Big Data, Psychological Profiling and the Future of Digital Marketing | Sandra Matz

Sandra Matz; Digital Psychometrics and its Future Effects on Technology; 34 slides.


  • Sandra Matz; Digital Psychometrics and its Future Effects on Technology; Keynote at ApacheCon; 2017-05-16; video: 23:08.
  • Sandra Matz; Big Data, Psychological Profiling and the Future of Digital Marketing; President’s Lecture, at The Berlin School; On YouTube; 2017-02-20; video: 1:10:52.


  • Cambridge Analytica
  • Apply Magic Sauce, Prediction API
  • myPersonality Project
    • myPersonality Database


  • Personality (Big Five, OCEAN)
  • Values
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Impulsivity
  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism





Is Facebook Targeting Ads at Sad Teens?


Michael Reilly

      ; In

MIT Technology Review

      ; 2017-05-01.

The social network appears to leverage sensitive user data to aim ads at teenagers who say they feel “anxious” and “worthless.”

How moms won the Internet — and what that means for the rest of us | The Washington Post

How moms won the Internet — and what that means for the rest of us; Caitlin Dewey; In The Washington Post; 2015-07-16.

tl;dr → linkbait sites are for 40+ women, the same ones who watch AM TV shows.



Attributed to Caitlin Dewey, the reporter:

  • <quote>the momification of the Internet</quote>,
  • <quote>marketers and advertisers adore mothers, the people responsible for most household spending. Moms are the motherlode, so to speak.</quote>
  • <quote>On top of that, there seems to be something unique about how women, and particularly mothers, use Facebook — something rooted in the fundamental, gendered communication styles we’re taught since birth. Studies <snip/> suggest that ladies rely on the network to support relationships in a way that men simply don’t.</quote>
  • <quote><snip/>viral content mills <snip/> all lean older, and heavily female. You’ve heard, perhaps, that millennials created this vapid virtual cesspool of feel-good “virality.” But it’s not millennials: It’s their mothers.</quote>
  • <quote>the inspiration porn that clogs our Facebook feeds so frequently.</quote>
  • “cute[ness] factories”
  • <quote>As [Caitlin Dewey] worked on this column, [she] thought about calling and asking [her Mom] if she ever logs into my dad’s account to check the other kinds of things people post: the “mind-blowing” rescue stories, the cute kid videos, the Little Things piece about a Texas waitress recently shared by our cousin MaryRose.  On second thought, though, she doesn’t need Facebook: She has “Ellen” and “GMA” and “Today.” And in a striking illustration of what the viral Internet’s become, they all basically speak the same language now.</quote>



For color, background & verisimilitude

  • Liam Corcoran, press relations, NewsWhip.
  • Scott DeLong, editor, Viral Nova.
    • Founder
    • Located in OH
  • Maia McCann, director, content [development], Little Things
    • opines about cute; need more; need heartwarming, inspiring, etc.
    • Project: pets-for-(returning)veterans.
  • Neetzan Zimmerman
    • ran a content mill, The Daily What, (defunct)
    • <quote>Facebook was obviously always going to be co-opted by moms, It’s all about gossip, baby photos, schmaltzy stuff — it’s so mom already.</quote>


in order of appearance

  • Buzzfeed
  • Clickhole
  •, Little Things
    • is a content mill
    • Maia McCann, director, content [development].
    • Staff of 40 writers.
    • Recruits from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU)
  • Viral Nova,
    • a content farm
    • Acquired
      • Zealot Networks
      • $100M
      • 2015-07-early
    • sold to [whom?] for $100M 2017-early
    • Scott DeLong, founder, editor.
    • Moved to “native advertising” after the Facebook algo changes of 2015-Q1.
  • Upworthy
    • Audience skews female, 40+
  • NewsWhip
    • Liam Corcoran, press relations

Non-Exemplars (defunct)

  • Cheezburger
    • Ben Huh, ex-CEO (resigned)
  • The Daily What, (defunct)
    • Neetzan Zimmerman


Prior output from Caitlin Dewey.


  • Life on the Content Farm; Carlos Perez; In Motherboard; 2015-03-06.
    Teaser: Even if we can’t figure out the dress color … We can figure out the beauty of the scalable internet machine, yall!

      • defunct
      •; his current blog; last post 2015-06-23.
      • Carles a.k.a. Carlos Perez, age 29
        <quote>‘Carles’ is Carlos Perez, a 29-year-old Texas native and self-described ‘bro from suburbia’ with a degree in accounting from Tulane University. In 2007, when he was 22, like countless other recent grads with crappy jobs, Carlos started a blog. He decided to stay anonymous.</quote>
  • The Last Relevant Blogger; Brian Merchant; In Motherboard; 2015-01-30.
    tl;dr →5400+ words.  Millennial dude makes a blog, it gets successful yet is uneconomic; he walk away [with substantially nothing].

Via: backfill.


Marketing euphemisms for women who are consumers

On the notional name for home economists (sic).

  • housewife → deprecated
  • stay-at-home-mom → neutral, but isn’t really catchy now is it?
  • Chief Household Officer (CHO) → zing!
  • Mom CEO → zing! zing!
  • “momprenuers” → thud. Seems to be a neologism among the shortened form of mother and entrepreneur.


  • CHO: Chief Household Officer; Atlantic Pictures for Hewlett Packard & Google; 2015-01.
  • Jodie Lynn; Mom CEOtm; In Her Blog; essay dated variously 1989-2011.
    Claimed <quote>Jodie Lynn originated the term Mom CEO™ and Mommy CEO™ (and CEO MOM™) in 1989, and all implications in honoring “balance in the life of moms/women” in print since 1996 as the real CEO of Household™, CHO (Chief Household Officer ™) and   Mom   CEO (Chief Everything Officer)™.</quote>
  • Don’t call me a ‘housewife’ – I’m a Chief Household Officer; Sally Williams; In The Telegraph; 2009-05-09.
    Teaser: Women have long held the purse-strings at home, but many are now running their households like a business

    • Definition
      <quote>The Future Laboratory, the think tank that identified a new phenomenon: Chief Household Officers, housewives who run a house the way they would run a business – strategically and balancing budgets. </quote>
    • Referenced
      • Kathy Peel, Family Management, a book, promotional site
      • Alison Light, Mrs Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Press, 2009-09-01, 400 pages, Amazon: Kindle: $10, paper: $0.01+SHT.
      • Kay Smallshaw, How to Run Your Home Without Help, 1949; reissued by Persephone Books.
      • Maud Pember Reeves, Round About a Pound a Week
        Ms. Reeves was a member of the Fabian Women’s Group,
    • Mentioned
    • Quoted
      • Tom Savigar, director, The Future Laboratory.
      • Mary Henessey, staff, Basildon Citizens Advice Bureau,
        Ms. Henessey is attributed as: financial capability co-ordinator.

Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use | Weinreich, Obendorf, Herder, Mayer

Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, Matthias Mayer; Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use; In Transactions on the Web, Volume 2, Number 1, Article 4. 2008-02. 31 pages. paywall.



A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics | Rentfrow, Gosling, Potter

Peter J. Rentfrow, Samuel D. Gosling, Jeff Potter; A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics; In Perspectives on Psychological Science; 3(5):339–369; 2008; 31 pages.


Volumes of research show that people in different geographic regions differ psychologically. Most of that work converges on the conclusion that there are geographic differences in personality and values, but little attention has been paid to developing an integrative account of how those differences emerge, persist, and become expressed at the geographic level. Drawing from research in psychology and other social sciences, we present a theoretical account of the mechanisms through which geographic variation in psychological characteristics emerge and persist within regions, and we propose a model for conceptualizing the processes through which such characteristics become expressed in geographic social indicators. The proposed processes were examined in the context of theory and research on personality traits. Hypotheses derived from the model were tested using personality data from over half a million U.S. residents. Results provided preliminary support for the model, revealing clear patterns of regional variation across the U.S. and strong relationships between state-level personality and geographic indicators of crime, social capital, religiosity, political values, employment, and health. Overall, this work highlights the potential insights generated by including macrolevel perspectives within psychology and suggests new routes to bridging theory and research across several disciplines in the social sciences.

Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

, , , , (Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project); Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms; In Their Blog; 2015-01-09; landing, questionaire.

Via: backfill


Universe of Social Media

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
Not Mentioned
  • Google+
  • Google (Mail?)
  • Tumblr
  • Yahoo (Mail?)


Site Adult Internet Users Adult Population
Facebook 71% 58%
Twitter 23% 19%
Instagram 26% 21%
Pinterest 28% 22%
LinkedIn 28% 23%


  • omnibus surveys
  • Nicole Ellison, Cliff Lampe, School of Information, University of Michigan.
  • telephone interviews
    • English & Spanish
    • wireline, N=1,002
    • wireless, N=1,001
  • Princeton Survey Research Associates International
  • 2014-09-11 -> 2014-09-14.
  • Confidences
    • 95% confidence
    • Total Population, N=2,002
      • ± 2.5%
    • Internet Users, N=1,597
      • ±2.9%


Social media users among all adultsFrequency of social media site use

Facebook users

Instagram users

Among online adults, the percent who use Pinterest

Twitter users


Percent of online adults who use the following social media websites
Percent of online adults who use the following social media websites
% of online adults who use the following social media websites, by year
Among all American adults ages 18+, the percent who use the following social media sites
Frequency of social media site use
More people use multiple social media sites
Percent of users of each particular site who use another particular site
Among online adults, the percent who use Pinterest
Among online adults, the percent who use LinkedIn
Twitter users
Instagram users
More people use multiple social media sites
Facebook users

The Wealthy-Hand-to-Mouth | Kaplan, Violante, Weidner

Greg Kaplan, Giovanni Violante, Justin Weidner; The Wealthy-Hand-to-Mouth; Brookings Papers on Economic Activity; Spring 2014 Conference; Brookings Institute; 2014-03-20; 65 pages; landing.


The wealthy hand-to-mouth are households who hold little or no liquid wealth (cash, checking, and savings accounts), despite owning sizable amounts of illiquid assets (assets that carry a transaction cost, such as housing or retirement accounts). This portfolio configuration implies that these households have a high marginal propensity to consume out of transitory income changes–a key determinant of the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy.

The wealthy hand- to-mouth, therefore, behave in many respects like households with little or no net worth, yet they escape standard definitions and empirical measurements based on the distribution of net worth. We use survey data on household portfolios for the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain to document the share of such households across countries, their demographic characteristics, the composition of their balance sheets, and the persistence of hand-to-mouth status over the life cycle. Using PSID data, we estimate that the wealthy hand-to-mouth have a strong consumption response to transitory income shocks. Finally, we discuss the implications of this group of consumers for macroeconomic modeling and policy analysis.


Definition: households who hold little or no liquid wealth (cash, checking, and savings accounts), despite owning sizable amounts of illiquid assets (assets that carry a transaction cost, such as housing or retirement accounts). [from the abstract]

  • Hand-to-Mouth (W-HtM)
  • Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth (W-HtM)
  • Non Hand-to-Mouth (N-HtM)
  • Poor Hand-to-Mouth (P-HtM)

Thesis: these households have a high marginal propensity to consume out of transitory income changes–a key determinant of the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy. [from the abstract]


  • W-HtM are  a distinct class
    • Centered around middle age.
    • The behavioral experience is transitory.
    • They cure to N-HtM.
  • Towards Stimulus Policy Generation

    • First we showed that the drop in the consumption response to a fiscal stimulus payment as the size of the payment increases, is much steeper in the model that allows for W-HtM behavior than in the models that do not.
    • Second, we showed that the model that allows for W-HtM behavior implies that to maximize the aggregate consumption response to fiscal stimulus payments, the payments should feature more moderate phasing out with household income.</quote>


  • Life-Cycle Permanent Income Hypothesis (LC-PIH)
    • standard model
    • buffer-stock model
  • the elasticity of inter-temporal substitution; is not zero
    • implies a break-down of the forward looking Euler equation holding with equality.
  • hand-to-mouth consumers (HtM)
  • marginal propensity to consume (MPC)
  • Other Frameworks (that miss)
    • toy studies; frameworks either feature only one asset or feature two assets with different risk profiles, but with the same degree of liquidity
    • Bewley models with uninsurable idiosyncratic risk and credit constraints
    • spender-saver models; patient-vs-impatient consumers; complete markets
  • Other Studies (of the same)
    • <quote>Lusardi, Schneider and Tufano (2012), who document that nearly one half of U.S. households would probably be unable to come up with $2,000 in 30 days.</quote> page 32.
  • Two-Asset Models
    • Classes
      • poor hand-to-mouth (P-HtM)
      • wealthy hand-to-mouth (W-HtM)
      • not hand-to-mouth (N-HtM)
    • Claim:
      • W-HtM are a distinct third class because…
      • W-HtM spend like P-HtM
      • W-HtM have demographics like N-HtM in {all,some,enough} other respects.
  • The Model
    • The two-asset portfolio
    • A two-period timeframe
    • Certain parameter configurations, a portfolio composition with positive amounts of illiquid wealth and zero liquid wealth is optimal.
    • W-HtM in that configuration are better off bearing the welfare loss from
      income fluctuations rather than smoothing consumption.
    • Assumption: there exists a long-term high-return high-illiquid (high transaction cost) asset class.
  • Robustness Questions
    (in majoritarian-significant enough numbers for us to care)

    • Do any of these people even exist?
    • Do they exist over significant periods of time?
      Is it a transient or persistent state (a lifestyle).
  • Data Sources
    • US → Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), since 1983, stable since 1989.
      The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in co-operation with the Statistics of Income Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    • Canada → SFS
    • Australia → HILDA
    • UK → WAS
    • Euro → HFCS
  • Measurement
    • liquid wealth → short-term cash – short-term debt
      • the imputation procedure
      • Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC)
      • ratio = Average Cash Holdings via SPC 2010 / Median Value of Cash Accounts SCF 2010
      • Huh? <quote>Average cash holdings, excluding large-value holdings in 2010 was $138. Median checking, saving, money market and call accounts in the 2010 SCF is $2500, making the ratio about 5.5%. </quote> footnote, page 24.  How is this relevant to W-HtM?
      • The “median” of all other liquid wealth is infinitesimal-to-zero.
    • illiquid wealth → a house.

Findings Claimed

  1. HtM → 25-40% of households [US]
    • P-HtM → 33% of that → 8-12% of all housefholds
    • W-HtM → 66% of that → 13-25% of all households
  2. HtM → is age correlated
    • P-HtM are under 40 “young”
    • W-HtM peak at 40 “hump shaped at 40″
      • Figure 5, page 34
      • age span 20-80
  3. W-HtM → Something about “sizable amounts of wealth” → $50,000 in illiquid assets at age 40
    • Claim unclear.
    • This is an uncontextualized, unnormalized [US] number
    • Contextualized page 34; high income is $70,000/year for N-HtM.
    • Contrast with
      • electronic gear (nationally normed)
      • travel [plane] flights,
      • labor service rates [e.g. doctor, dentist, accountant, auto mechanic, gardner, etc.]
      • car prices (nationally normed),
      • house prices (locally normed).
  4. W-HtM are like N-HtM in other attributes
  5. Transience → yes
    • See Table 4, page 37; the numbers don’t add to 100%
    • N-HtM is an absorbing state;
    • P-HtM is semi-persistent
      • 2-year timeframes
      • P-HtM → P-HtM is 52%
      • P-HtM → N-HtM is 37%
      • P-HtM → W-HtM is 11% (apparently; 100%-52%-37%)
    • W-HtM is transient
      • lasting 2-5 years; median 29 months
      • W-HtM → W-HtM is 17%
      • W-HtM → N-HtM is 83% (apparently; 100%-17%)
  6. 50% of HtM consumers are “missed” by “Net worth” estimation
    How is this allocated?

    • all within W-HtM
    • evenly between P-HtM and W-HtM


Via: backfill

Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love | John Lastovicka, Nancy Sirrianni

John L. Lastovicka, Nancy J. Sirrianni; Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love; In Journal of Consumer Research; 2011-08; 20 pages; DOI: 10.1086/658338.


Our treatment of material possession love expands an understanding of the role that discrete emotional attachment forms play in identifying commercial value for marketers and in enhancing consumer well-being. Employing a mixed-methods research design—relying on both qualitative and quantitative data—we develop and empirically test a three-factor, but seven-faceted, conceptualization of material possession love in four separate consumption contexts (automobiles, computers, bicycles, and firearms). We find love-smitten consumers nurturing their beloved possessions, in part, by buying complementary products and services. We also find that material possession love is empirically tied to loneliness and social affiliation deficits, which suggests a compensatory basis of consumer well-being. We distinguish possession love from the construct of attitude and empirically demonstrate the distinct functionality of each. Our concluding discussion considers our mixed-methods findings and their implications for consumer research.


<quote>The fatuous love found with computer owners is colored by passion and commitment, but without intimacy, deep knowledge of the other is absent (Sternberg 2006). Therefore, this is fatuous—or considered foolish—as commitment is apparently made due to a love-at-first-sight infatuation, without deeply knowing the other. Fatuous love is often problematic with interpersonal relationships. For example, Las Vegas’s quick marriage laws likely facilitate Nevada having the highest divorce rate among residents of any U.S. state (U.S. Census Bureau 2008). In consumption relationships, however, we believe fatuous love typically has less serious consequences. Fatuous consumer love characterizes relationships likely born in an infatuation, when the consumer’s initial hands-on encounter with an object’s total sensory experience (i.e., its look, motion, feel, scent, taste, and sound) elicits a captivating aesthetic response. Objects eliciting such reactions rely on what industrial design theorist Donald Norman (2005) calls visceral design, meaning designs that do what nature does when eliciting biologically prewired emotive reactions. Consequently—at the visceral level—the look, feel, sound, speed, and other sensory experiences of initial reactions to products should be examined by future work.

We believe it is not a coincidence that the objects that we found devoid of fatuous love—firearms, bicycles, and automobiles—all originated in the nineteenth century or earlier and, as such, rely on technologies with visible moving mechanical parts. Hence, because such technology is relatively more accessible to the average consumer, we believe intimacy has more of an opportunity to develop. In contrast, today’s computers are based on early twenty-first-century microcircuits without visible moving parts and, as such, are undecipherable black boxes for many consumers. As a result, technology may be a barrier to intimacy for many, thereby facilitating fatuous love. However, romantic love was also detected with computer owners. Indeed, our qualitative work found some consumers illuminating their computer’s interiors by inserting clear panels and lighting the interiors of their computer cases. Such modifications likely served to facilitate intimacy.

Only one form of possession love detected in our data was devoid of passion. The companionate love we detected among cyclists and computer owners reflects committed relationships where consumers have intimate knowledge of their beloved possession. Companionate love is stronger than friendship because of the element of a commitment to keep; it is also similar to enduring romantic love, but without passion. While passion may have once burned hot, in companionate love, the passion has cooled. While enduring romantic love has more excitement, companionate love is more colored by warmth and compatibility; it reflects a steady, comfortable, and affectionate relationship, without the volatility of passion (Sprecher and Regan 1998). Although those in companionate love may have lost the thrill of having, for example, an exciting bicycle or the very latest computer, such consumers have an enduring and comfort able relationship with a possession that they know well and that they plan to keep and use into the future.

Our findings are circumscribed, however, in not detecting three additional nascent forms of love that are defined by only one love component; these forms are infatuation, friendship, and empty love. In particular, consider the absence of infatuation in our data. Our methods, while effective in sampling owners, omitted nonowners. Those nonowners in infatuated love—who are driven by a passion to possess a given object, but who are without first-hand intimacy or any years of ownership reflecting commitment—were omitted in our samples. Therefore, we urge future research to sample nonowners to study infatuated consumers and, in so doing, also assess both possession and brand love longitudinally. We speculate that brand love is most operant during infatuation, especially prior to owning, when largely only a love for an idea exists and not necessarily the love for some specific object. Moreover, we conjecture that as a material object becomes less of the marketplace, and becomes more appropriated by a consumer, then—among smitten consumers—possession love may over-shadow brand love.</quote>