Aug 22, 2008 10:53pm

I'm trying to understand about the personality traits display when you compare users.

[When you look at another user's home display, this is shown under the "To Do" heading on the right as "Compare our profiles". That takes you to a page called "Compare Users", which shows the 26 personality traits.]

This is the explanation that OKC gives:

"Here's a comparison of the personalities of [me] and [the other guy]. The more questions they answer, the more this page will say. The graphs represents where their "true" personalities could lie, based on what we know."

The 26 traits are things like "More Adventurous", "More Artistic", and "More into drugs". I think this same analysis might determine your personality awards.

OK, that sounds good, but where are they getting the info about our personality traits? I looked in the FAQ:

"2.7. How do you calculate my personality traits? The numbers are calculated by something we call the "UberAlgorithm". We're all Spanish speakers here. The UberAlgorithm periodically runs across your account, studying everything you've ever told us, and then sorts through it to calculate reasonable ranges for each axis. For example, you might've been exposed to 12 questions affecting ambition, which isn't a lot, so we only know you're between 30% and 90% ambitious."

That's helpful, but how does OKC determine if a answer indicates ambition, to use their example. Are they reviewing the questions and their possible answers to subjectively judge how each indicates something on one or more of the 26 different axes? When they write a question, or a user writes a question, are the affect on the 26 axes specified as an undisclosed aspect of the question? For example, it says I'm very greedy. Apparently someone interpreted some of my answers as indicating that I am greedy. Who is that someone?

[Axes really is the plural form for axis. I looked it up.]


Aug 23, 2008 8:24pm

I unintentially double posted this, and sfguyyy y r d = new Date (1219530110 * 1000); document.write(makeSmartDateString(d,JOURNAL_FORMAT)); esterday:

"For example, it says I'm very greedy. Apparently someone interpreted some of my answers as indicating that I was greedy. Who is that someone?"

That would be OkCupid staff.  And those decisions are not made on a case-by-case basis, they are just programmed into the computer algorithm that assigns various weights to questions based on the personality traits that the programmers/staff feel they measure.

That means that OK Cupid staff members look at the questions one by one and determine what each of the answers reveal about your personality.

For example, there is a question "Do you generally smile at little kids who cross your path?", with the possible answers of yes, no, and "Only if no one is looking". They might have decided:

"yes" indicates: compassionate, giving, not greedy

"no" indicates: not compassionate, not giving, greedy

"Only if no one is looking" indicates: compassionate, but not giving or greedy.

I think the personality traits measures are then used to award personality awards, with an award for each of the 26 personality traits.


Jul 13, 2009 7:42am

I don;t have an answer but I'm interested in one. It says I'm "Less Mathematical" than someone but I've never been asked any questions about Maths, and imagine I'm much more mathematically inclined than most. How can I change my score?


Aug 17, 2009 6:12am

I would really like to know how to change these, out of the 4 that i have shown 3 of them are wrong.  it says i'm not mathmatically inclined yet i'm an engineer... it says i'm not adventurous yet i go extreme sports.  i can't figure this out but i hope people don't pay too much attention to it.


Aug 17, 2009 6:05pm

Agreed. I'm pretty annoyed by mine. The actual descriptions aren't so bad, but the names are pretty misleading. I'd like an option to just leave them off.


Aug 22, 2009 12:25pm

From what I've read here, the way these personality traits are configured is definitely not based on critical thinking, but on a staff members' "perception" of what an answer to one of the questions tells about our personalities.  Out of the 4 that I have, 3 are wrong.  Clearly, they haven't read any of my emails or based these decisions on any results of tests I've taken either.  I don't think I'll give any merit to these in the future when reading them on someone's profile.  Not only are we being judged subjectively, but who knows how high of an IQ the judges have, whether or not they're trained in psychology, how conservative, sensible, how much life experience they have...the factors can go on for days!!  They've decided that I'm "Less Trusting".  This is hilarious, as I'm incredibly trusting until someone tries to feed me a bunch of bs, as I'm very perceptive and remember what I was told the first time!  I'm also a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words, so bs is easy to spot for me...sorry guys! lol


Aug 22, 2009 1:16pm

I having the comparisons is worthwhile, but they have to find a better way to do it. Something that is objective and mathematical, and doesn't involve their personal judgments, but our judgments, as users.

For example, when we're answering questions, WE could have the option of labeling them as indicating a certain trait. Most of them would be easy: compassionate, into drugs, socially free, independent, introverted, kinky, literary, old-fashioned, etc.


Aug 22, 2009 3:26pm

You really think letting users do it themselves would be more objective? Uh, sure.

The way they do it is actually quite good, I think, because it's not arbitrary. It's their website, why shouldn't they be the ones judging which is what and so forth? (And also note that it's compared to other users, and given how geek heavy this place, it's quite possible for someone to be good at math and yet less mathemetical)


Aug 22, 2009 11:42pm

I too would like an answer to this question.  On every other account I've had on here, I've always gotten the "less friendly" badge.  It seems either not to have registered at all on this one, or to have been retracted.  I don't know what I've done wrong or answered differently.


Sep 8, 2009 3:04am

The "Personality Traits" portion of this site not only offer no value to members (since they are actually often misleading), but they cannot be turned off by the users, which is just plain wrong.

When I first joined, I thought there was an area where users "chose" the icons that appeared on the bottom of their profiles. Then, I saw that the site put icons on MY profile, and both of them were dead wrong.

Perhaps they plan to "allow" you to turn the function off if you subscribe. (Just like the phone company charges you to have an unlisted phone number). I can't see any other reason they insist on dropping those icons on our profiles.



Sep 8, 2009 3:22am

In this thread, people complain about being put on a relative axis compared to other people based on their answers to standardized, normalized questions. Don't like where you fall on the axis? Try looking at the questions you've answered and figure out how you might have gotten the rating you did. Or you could re-examine your self-perceptions; maybe you aren't really as trusting or mathematical or aggressive as you thought you were.


Sep 13, 2009 2:01am

I don't see how I'm greedy. I'm the farthest thing from greedy... I mean I donate to local charities, take care of family and friends and almost never spend on myself.


Sep 13, 2009 7:18pm

In my experience the personality icons are more accurate than most people are willing to admit and/or realize, which explains why there is so much hostility towards them. However, many questions on this site are lacking in context, which could account for any skewed results (I've skipped hundreds of poorly-written questions).

Anyway, I've noticed that about half of the icons never appear on profiles; not even those of members that have answered thousands of questions. Case in point: Go to my profile and click the "Compare" button, and you'll see that I'm way More Dominant than average, yet the corresponding icon has never appeared on my profile.


Sep 13, 2009 7:30pm

My take on it is don't take it to seriously, but be willing to take an honest look at yourself for your flaws and improve upon them.


Sep 14, 2009 12:15am

I'm just...whatever about the whole thing, what i got kinda fits xD I'm just going with the flow here.


Sep 14, 2009 1:36am

I would agree that those "personality traits" should not be taken too seriously.  Who ever is doing this rating stuff sure thinks I suck!  lol Maybe they are jealous? 


Sep 14, 2009 1:36am

That would be OkCupid staff.  And those decisions are not made on a case-by-case basis, they are just programmed into the computer algorithm that assigns various weights to questions based on the personality traits that the programmers/staff feel they measure.

I think you are very wrong on this assumption. What you write here would need artificial intelligence in order to be implemented. I believe the personality traits are assigned, from a small number of questions marked manually from OKC staff, and that's why so many people claim that they don't represent them, cause OKC staff isn't payed to go do this thing on every question that there is on the site. I believe they have only marked a subset of the questions written by themselves.


Sep 14, 2009 5:45pm

I tend to agree with CrimsonShores and ThatKyle. It's just unnerving to have seeming badges of dishonor splattered on your page as if you had killed your brother and were being marked for it. Same with the personality test... It's like "gee, well, I guess I am sort of childish when you think about it, but I don't really think people's first impressions of me should be so heavily influenced by the developers choice of such strongly connotative language." Oh well, hopefully the atmosphere of OKC is more akin to one of joking and fun... it just contrasts starkly against some of the pay dating sites. Frankly, being new to the site, I'm intrigued to continue to just see how terrible my personality really is. Questions away!


Sep 14, 2009 6:13pm

I'm interested in pkostas comment above. I wonder how many of the questions actually influence the personality traits graphs and badges. It should include at least the most popular few hundred questions. I doubt they evaluate every single question.


Sep 24, 2009 12:52pm

I'm glad I came across this discussion. I currently have like... 13 trait Icons. I think that they're very accurate for the most part (even if I'm not totally happy about some of them, they're still true).... but as I answer questions, some will disappear, reappear, and new ones will show up. So I have a couple questions.

First: Does an icon NOT show up if you're "average"? For example... if you're not really Optimistic... but then again... not a pessimist... do you simply not get the icon? Do you have to be one extreme or the other? If you have no icons (but answered thousands of questions), does that simply mean that your totally average across the board?

Second: WHICH questions calculate these traits? I mean... We can all write our own questions... but when we do, it doesn't ask us which answers will push which trait in any direction, and how much. Does the okcupid staff review the questions and anwers, and then do it for us? Seems like that would be quite a bit of work. Are those questions for the sole purpose of calculating the matches? I WANT TO KNOW WHICH ONES WILL JUDGE ME, DAMN IT!




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