Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

A pleb on the web tries to understand psychographic targeting

A pleb on the web tries to understand psychographic targeting

Siva Swaminathan

October 17, 2020

More Decks by Siva Swaminathan

Other Decks in Education


  1. Diffusion of innovation Essentially, an analysis of sociology (individuals and

    social links). Very broadly applicable, for the spread of all kinds of ideas (fundamentally what makes us human?)
  2. Legibilizing social interactions Electronic social networks which make up fabric

    of the web, are excellent for providing a legible map of sociography, allowing for surgical dexterity in targeted messaging.
  3. What spreads effectively need not be innovation or even truth

    Reproduction, Variability, Heritability, Differential selection (Just needs a good fit into incidental constellation of environmental factors) (see arguments by Daniel Dennett, Bret Weinstein)
  4. Methodological individualism (factorizable structure of mathematical models) Person is described

    by their interests Person is described by their psychography Person is described by their sociography
  5. Tracing back to Edward Bernays (1928, 'Propaganda'), a close relationship

    between marketing and psychology. (Adam Curtis, 'The century of the self')
  6. Innovation diffusion models Segment individuals into each stage of adoption

    Innovators, Early Adopters, Early majority, Late majority, Laggards Mapping between identifiable/targetable traits & segmentation
  7. Market segmentation & user profiles Typically industry/context-specific analysis, sponsored by

    market leaders, or trade associations, or consulting agencies. eg: Only broad targeting (typically mass media) "Subarus for lesbians"
  8. Structured models arbitrary tidbits Sub/urban lifestyle choices? Preferred car models?

    Which OS & browser? Thermostat prefetences? etc. ≫≫
  9. Collaborative filtering N users, B behaviors Humongous sparse matrix Eg:

    Product recommendations, Ad effectiveness, Topic modeling, etc. ⟹ N × B
  10. "Big (wide) data, with simple algorithms beats complicated models" Humans

    are not unique snowflakes, but well approximated into a handful of types
  11. From how we behave to who we are Could we

    generalize across domains? What might be a more intrinsic characterization of people?
  12. Vacuuming up digital exhaust responses in silly quizzes links you

    click on time spent on various pages location tracking (bluetooth, GPS) Facial recognition and body trajectory Eyeball tracking etc. behaviors
  13. More "factors" Demographics [who] (eg: age, gender, location, etc) Psychographics

    [why] Personality traits: (eg: OCEAN, thriftiness, risk aversion, etc.) Psychological states: (eg: mood, emotions, stress level, etc.) less temporally stable, but more effective? Other factors: Behavioral data [how] & Transactional data [what]
  14. Other modalities of influence Which voice would have the desired

    influence? What wording would have the desired influence? Target messages for virality?
  15. Possible beneficial uses of personalization Mental health diagnosis and interventions

    Better matching (employment, dating, entertainment, etc) "Nudge" towards healthier outcomes Custom insurance premiums and interest rates
  16. Fundamentally breaks common knowledge (eg: Say's law of one price)

    Discrimination (eg: "good" and "bad" price discrimination)
  17. Psyops: Disinformation & Nonlinear war Mess with sense-making apparatus Spread

    FUD (war, elections, political polarization, etc) Correlate power usage to bring down the power grid! "Global village" (McLuhan, 1950s) (BLM protests in BLR and NZ, ignoring COVID lockdown!) Gerasimov doctrine
  18. Assault on individual agency? At what point should we regulate

    targeted messaging like the Imperius Curse? (ambient nudges better -vs- direct control) Why is advertizing different from rape? (Memetics -vs- Genetics)