Do you have people in your friend list who often use strong words such as ‘die’ or ‘kill’ or use destructive references in their posts on social networking sites? Take them seriously, for it may be a warning of their psychopathic personality, as per a new study. While many of us may not bother about what we habitually tweet about, a study has found that these can reveal if we are psychopaths, with words such as die, kill and bury being some of the key warning signs. “I have a few followers on Twitter who don’t think twice before expressing violent thoughts — sometimes even cuss words —when they are going through a tough phase. Some of them are also known to be very violent in their personal lives,” says Roshini Bhattacharya, an advertising professional.
Scientists claim users’ word choices indicate personality traits and their research could be used by police to identify potential threats or by bosses when hiring employees.
According to a research by computer science professors and doctoral students at London’s Online Privacy Foundation, swearing too much is also a giveaway.
“People are making judgements about others based on social media. Companies even exist that will do this for you if you’re hiring,” says Chris Sumner, head of London’s Online Privacy Foundation.
This behavioural pattern is also helping those seeking serious relationships. “A few months back, I started dating a seemingly well-behaved guy. But it was only after I read his tweets that I realised his behaviour was slightly violent. He always talked about things going wrong in his life. I immediately distanced myself from him. I later found out he was known to have a destructive personality,” reveals a 23-year-old Delhi girl on the condition of anonymity.
However, Chris says that almost all researchers say that more research is needed before social media screening should be considered for use.
-with inputs from IANS