What Watson Told Me

Watson, the supercomputer, can get a read on your personality based on your writing.

I was curious (which killed the cat so you have been warned) so I plunked into the analyzer some recent blog posts from my personal and work blogs, some Facebook posts and a few tweets. This is what it said about me after analyzing 6,073 words I’ve written online.



You are inner-directed and shrewd.

You are independent: you have a strong desire to have time to yourself. You are reserved: you are a private person and don’t let many people in. And you are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them.

You are motivated to seek out experiences that provide a strong feeling of well-being.

You are relatively unconcerned with tradition: you care more about making your own path than following what others have done. You value independence a bit more: you like to set your own goals to decide how to best achieve them.

I think this is mostly accurate. Not terribly flattering (shrewd? who wants to be called shrewd?) but accurate-ish.

I’m scratching my head about the things that I am lower in according to the full profile. It says, for example, that I’m low in curiosity (33%) which is A need to pursue experiences that foster learning, exploration, and growth.

It also says that I’m unlikely to respond on social media, buy eco-friendly, or treat myself.


Re: social media. I think I over respond if anything. Not so much in the comments section of news articles, the place where civility and discourse has gone to die killed by people more concerned with making their points than contributing substantively to the conversation. Rather, I respond to more personal posts and news.

Eco-friendly? I buy eco-friendly!…. ok, I’m thinking about this and I realize my eco-friendly may be different than other people’s eco-friendly. Life cycle analysis, people. It’s REDUCE first, reuse, then recycle.

And treat myself? Have you seen my clothing purchases the last year? After years and years of buying WalMart clothes I’m upgrading my wardrobe. I flirted with upscale cosmetics (not for long, didn’t justify the expense). I also spend a lot of money on my hair but my stylist is a professional and I think she deserves to be well paid.

Some of my lowest scores ring very true.

I’m at 13% on the introversion/extroversion scale.
Higher: More energetic and pronounced engagement with the external world. Likes high group visibility, talking, and asserting themselves. Lower: Needs less stimulation and are more independent of their social world. 

11% Tradition. Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one’s culture and/or religion provides. Actually, this one explains a lot.

7% Ideal. A desire to satisfy one’s idea of perfection in a lifestyle or experience, oftentimes seen as pursuing a sense of community.

3% Gregariousness. Fondness for the company of others; sociability.

Geeze, this makes me sound like a grumpy old man.

There are things that I am high in that seem to contradict the lower scores.

Stimulation (66%) Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life. How can I be lower in curiosity but higher in stimulation?

And openness to experience (79% one of my highest scores) seems to contradict this too.

Openness to experience. Higher: Intellectually curious, emotionally-aware, sensitive to beauty and willing to try new things. Lower: Preferring the plain, straightforward, and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle.

More than any other quality I think openness to experience describes me.

I am relieved to see that I rate fairly high in Helping Others and Harmony.

I also score high in emotional range. Higher: More likely to have negative emotions or get upset. It could mean they are going through a tough time. Lower: More calm and less likely to get upset. It does not mean they are positive, or happy people.

I like to think of this as I feel deeply. I don’t see myself as someone who is chronically or easily upset. Maybe I am but I’ve learned to process the emotions? Or maybe this is where the tool needs some refining.