Want to Identify a Psychopath? Check Their Facebook Status Update, Says Swedish Researchers

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By Christine Lazaro | December 3, 2013 6:22 PM EST

Now there's a way for you to identify if one of your friends is a psychopath and that is by checking out their Facebook status updates, according to several researchers in Sweden.

The Province Web site reported that the Swedish researchers have devised an algorithm that can do word analysis mentioned in Facebook updates. They discovered that through the algorithm, the darker shades of people's personalities are unraveled.

Details of the Study

The study came out in a form of a personality questionnaire given to around 300 Americans. It is the typical questionnaire used to identify whether a person is narcissistic, neurotic, extrovert, Machiavellian or psychopathic. The people involved were also required to submit their most recent posts in Facebook.

One of the researchers by the name of Danilo Garcia stated that the results of the analysis of the Facebook status updated were related to the personality results of the questionnaires they answered. Due to the success of the study, the researchers entitled the paper "The Dark Side of Facebook."

Take a Walk at the Darker Side

According to Sverker Sikstrom, who is one of the contributors of the project, the sense of competition that the social media Web site renders is the one that triggers people to reveal their darker or much evil sides. For example, the participants who showed signs of being a psychopath dealt with topics of prostitutes, pornography or decapitation in their status updates.

This then leads to the potential fact that the number of times a user updates their statuses and even the number of friends they have can also be a tool or factor in revealing more of the dark side of people. "Facebook is about connecting people, but in so doing it has created a challenge of increasing competition in the market for social interaction," Sikstrom concluded in a Refinery 29 article.

Just remember though that even if you or some of your friends show traits of a psychopath, it does not necessarily mean that all of you are psychopaths. Now, that's a relief to know especially for those who have dark secrets to keep.


(Video Credit: YouTube/Finding the TRUTH)

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