With so many words to choose among, which ones we choose say a lot about us. Linguists and psychologists have long posited that things like the number of active verbs in our sentences or which adjectives we use reflect personality traits.
Now, according to NPR , IBM researchers have taken the personality dictionaries already created by scientists, dropped them into Watson (the Jeopardy!-winning computer), and are applying its analyses to people’s posts on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs—forming a digital database of people and personality types (try a demo here). Over time, more text from more of us will help Watson get smarter.
In its own studies, IBM found that characteristics derived from people's writings can reliably predict some real-world behaviors. For example, people who are more open to experiences are more likely to click on an ad, while people who score high on self-enhancement (i.e., seeking personal success) are more likely to read articles about work.
Needless to say, understanding people in this way can have countless business applications, such as targeted marketing. And there are obvious privacy concerns. Beyond all this, though, it interesting to note that the words we select provide such insights into our personalities, Choose them wisely!
We want to hear: Do you notice you have a penchant for certain words or phrases? What do you think your word choices say about you? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.