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MILLENNIALS 6: The Data Never Fibs.

Aug 12, 2017 | Insights

As Peter Brady wrestled with a personality crisis, after being called “dull” at a party, he famously adopted different guises in his quest to be scintillating. Here, he famously — to Gen X-ers at least , who unaccountably know every episode of ‘The Brady Bunch’ by heart — adopts the personality of Humphrey Bogart. Other failed, yet ultimately dishonest attempts at reinvention included a British guy in an ascot, and a guy who tells a lot of jokes. All of these blow up in young Peter’s face and he learns that the best course of action always is to just be yourself. Peter’s true self, incidentally, would already have been figured out and accurately analyzed and reported by Personality Insights™, able as it is to see past transparent smoke screens.

One of the many, perhaps dare we say even most, cool-as-heck insights to be found in a StatSocial report is our breakdown of an audience by personality. This ability has come to us through a marriage of our one-of-a-kind data and analytics and the super-computing powers of IBM Watson, with whom we’ve had a proud partnership for some time now, integrating their awesome Personality Insights™ tool into our reporting.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer “Mr Personality,” Lloyd Price reached number 2 on the Billboard charts in 1959, celebrating the thing which the enlightened — such as Mr. Price — find as, if not even more so, attractive than a sweet pair of gams, or washboard abs (whatever you’re into) . A great many of us have made the mistake at some point of dating someone solely for their looks, and realizing “Oh, personality does matter! I feel alienated and lonely with this individual.”

Price’s biggest hit was actually an unusually upbeat cover of the legendary folk “murder ballad,” “Stagger Lee.” A story song full of an array of personality types, surely. But perhaps those best left to forensic, criminal psychiatrists. Although Personality Insights™ could assess them all to a frightfully accurate degree, provided they posted to the internet with some regularity. Still, great record.

Okay, let’s jump forward, many decades past the records that maybe got the earlier Baby Boomers to boogieing, and get into how the Millennials break out in terms of personality.

Let’s put it this way, if Mr. Price had Personality Insights™ and StatSocial at his disposal, this record would have been 11 minutes long. And while you think that might have harmed his chart success, we contend he would have become bigger than ever. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? They’d have to put him in the Baseball and Football Hall of Fames as well, just because that’s how famous he’d have been.

As with all our entries in this series, we have broken the Millennials out by the conventional demographic brackets of 18 to 24 and 25 to 34. The point continuing to be that these two groups have nothing to do with each other.

This illustrates the greater point that during this era where marketers seem so focused on broad demographics — the attention of the so-called Millennial being so coveted — that there is a much more efficient way to locate and target the audience who will be most receptive to your message or brand. Sometimes the interests and lifestyles of those within a certain age-group may be relevant, and StatSocial has that data, but a 16-year or longer age bracket — the math generally applied when speaking of the so-called 18 to 34 Millennial — is illogically broad, and with StatSocial an utterly unnecessary concern.

Jumping into IBM Watson’s Personality Insights™ and how we’ve integrated these findings into our own one-of-a-kind insights, we offer this brief explanation of what you’re seeing.

Personality Insights™ starts by analyzing the full body of online written content — be it on blogs, social media, message boards, and so forth — of an individual, and deriving from it a personality profile. It is vastly more intuitive and capable of comprehending nuance, sarcasm, irony, and the like than you may ever believe possible. But we’ve yet to encounter an individual or client who has put the technology to the test and not been wowed by just how accurate its reporting is.

We apply this technology, as we do all our analysis technology, to an entire social audience, and derive from the various personality types contained within, the proportions of this personality type or that contained within the audience from which you’re extracting statistics. So you’ll know they’re 10% greedy yet 22% altruistic, or whatever the case may be.

Personality Insights™ starts by breaking each personality type into falling under one of the Big Five umbrella categories and from there more granular personality types are sorted.

Here directly from the Personality Insights™ site are the Big Five with IBM Watson’s own explanation.

Big Five personality characteristics represent the most widely used model for generally describing how a person engages with the world. The model includes five primary dimensions:

  • Agreeableness is a person’s tendency to be compassionate and cooperative toward others.
  • Conscientiousness is a person’s tendency to act in an organized or thoughtful way.
  • Extraversion is a person’s tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
  • Emotional range, also referred to as Neuroticism or Natural reactions, is the extent to which a person’s emotions are sensitive to the person’s environment.
  • Openness is the extent to which a person is open to experiencing a variety of activities.

Top 10 Personality Insights™ for People Ages 18 to 24, Courtesy of StatSocial and IBM Watson.

Really, unsurprising for the age-group being analyzed, and surely not what one would think is anything unique to these particular 18 to 24 year olds. The percentages, it should be noted, are small throughout, meaning that if we were to expand to a top 20, or top 30, we’d likely see a group of personality types rather evenly distributed throughout this portion of our Millennial friends (6 entries in, that is how we’ve come to think of them).

Anger, Excitement-Seeking, Immoderation, Depression (unfortunately), these are all traits part and parcel of being young.

In the above video clip, we see our findings, many decades ago now, more or less acknowledged, for one of the first times in mainstream American pop culture.

The older Millennials, as has been the case entry after entry, find themselves having “bigger things” to worry about. Self-efficacy is not in league with the obsessions cited in the younger portion’s list, as it relates to making ones way in this world and pulling ones own weight. And look at how much larger the percentages are. There’s a commitment here to these traits.

Caution, or Cautiousness is one of those astounding things that occurs to one as they become aware of their mortality. This dawning really begins to settle in for most starting around age 25.

From there we see a combination of the responsible, and the more seeking and adventurous. Curiously, while the impulses seem at cross-purposes, as one gets older he or she also realizes that with life being short, it is important to not just relish it, but actually live it.

As much so as the top list, this list would be no different for Millennials of this age than it would have been for Boomers of this age or Gen X-ers of this age, and so forth.

Top 10 Personality Insights™ for People Ages 25 to 34, Courtesy of StatSocial and IBM Watson.

As we’ve seen in other lists that role playing games, and airplane models still rank among the hobbies and interests with this age group. So, we know that they’ve not wholly abandoned youthful escapism and some manner of creativity. At number 10, imagination figures in amongst the traits that seem to speak to a serious life of responsibility and discretion.

But with this we encourage you to search through our blog archives and find some of our older entries highlighting our always fruitful and proud partnership with IBM Watson.

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In the meantime, we encourage you to add us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you get a chance, say hello.

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