Building on recent advancements in the assessment of psychological traits from digital footprints, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of psychological mass persuasion—that is, the adaptation of persuasive appeals to the psychological characteristics of large groups of individuals with the goal of influencing their behavior. On the one hand, this form of psychological mass persuasion could be used to help people make better decisions and lead healthier and happier lives. On the other hand, it could be used to covertly exploit weaknesses in their character and persuade them to take action against their own best interest, highlighting the potential need for policy interventions.
Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion
S. C. Matz, M. Kosinski, G. Nave and D. J. Stillwell
PNAS 2017 November, 114 (48) 12714-12719. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1710966114