Reader in Computational Social Science
Academic Director of the Psychometrics Centre
BSc, MSc, PhD (University of Nottingham)
David’s research uses big data to understand psychology. He published papers showing using social media data from millions of consenting individuals to show that the computer can predict a user’s personality as accurately as their spouse can. Follow-up research found that personalising an advert to the recipient’s psychology is more effective than generic ads.
This research has important public policy implications. Do consumers prefer their online experieces to be customised? How should consumers’ data be used to target them? Should regulators step in, and if so how?
David has spoken at workshops organised by the EU Data Protection Supervisor, by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel, to UK government regulators, and to the Bank of England. His research has also been cited by many governments’ national data protection regulators worldwide.
David has also published research using various big data sources such as credit card data and textual data to show that spending money on products and services that match one’s personality leads to greater life satisfaction, that people tend to date others who have a similar personality, and that people who swear seem to be more honest.
David does consultancy on the topics of psychometrics, people analytics, and big data. He has worked on projects with companies including Amazon Payments, Barclays, Hilton Hotels, RBS, Shell, and Ubisoft.