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How do 'big data' affect us as psychological beings? In this paper I argue that the user-specific contents spawned by analyses of massive data sets obtained by transaction data and online marketing software agents of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. must tend to reinforce the respective user's 'self-image'. As long as this man-machine feedback loop is not interrupted by purposeful manipulation, it will thus lead to a general behaviour schematization enabling a yet more precise consumer prediction and so forth. The final result may be a population that is maximally predictable while at the same time each individual of that population may feel maximally singular. Is such a social end state heaven — or is it hell?
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Eberlgasse 6/3, A-1020 Vienna, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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