Brian Keegan, a post­doc­toral social sci­en­tist at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, cited the Greek myth of Nar­cissus in describing the per­son­ality quizzes’ attrac­tion. “We like to see our reflec­tions of our­selves through these sys­tems,” he said. “I think people are also moti­vated by how these sys­tems can be gamed, like how much would you have to change your responses to become the char­acter you want.”

In other words, par­tic­i­pants will make an effort to see what they want to see, or as Cliff Lampe, an asso­ciate pro­fessor at the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan’s School of Infor­ma­tion who studies social media, put it: “If you’re answering a ‘Star Wars’ quiz and you want to be Han Solo, you’ll answer as you think Han Solo would. You want your net­work to see that you’re Han Solo.”

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