Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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Internet: Refuge for those with psychotic leanings?

February 14, 2010Science

Warning: If you're answering a questionnaire and are asked if you experience big mood swings and enjoy scenes movie scenes of "violence and torture," think twice before answering yes. It points to high rankings on "psychoticism." (And considering that millions enjoy watching 24, it might lead to worrisome conclusions about our society.)

In any case, a study of Internet behavior carried out by Turkish researchers appears to show that  people with higher levels of psychosis are more likely to take refuge in online dealings, and to use the Internet as a substitute for face-to-face contact.(ex Murketing). Could that explain Facebook's soaring popularity? The social behavior of mere neurotics, I should note, seems to be unswayed by the Net.

These groups are defined by Eysenck's personality test. I looked for it online, and found numerous links for "free" personality tests. This is a booming field online. People want to learn about themselves, and as I've written more than once, companies just love scooping up gigabytes of intimate, self-reported data from millions of us.


Jack Bauer plying his craft in "24"

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