Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. It is often used by advertisers to understand and target specific groups of consumers. Psychographic studies, which involve the analysis of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles, can provide valuable insights in a variety of fields, including marketing, demographics, opinion research, prediction, and social research. These studies can be particularly useful in understanding the motivations and behaviors of individuals or communities.
Psychographic attributes, which can include traits such as risk tolerance and consumer attitudes, can be contrasted with demographic variables (such as age, gender, and income) and behavioral variables (such as purchase history and usage patterns). They can also be distinguished from organizational descriptors, sometimes referred to as firmographic variables, which include characteristics like industry, company size, and functional area.
Psychographic targeting involves using personality-related information to create targeted marketing campaigns that are designed to appeal to specific groups of consumers based on their personal characteristics. For example, a car manufacturer might create a campaign targeted at consumers who are adventurous and environmentally conscious, while a fashion retailer might target consumers who are trendy and style-conscious.
The Big 5 Personality Test is a widely used psychological assessment tool that measures an individual's personality traits based on the Big Five Personality Factors: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (OCEAN). This test is often used in research and for personal development purposes.
In the 2010s, Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, was able to create detailed personality profiles for over 100 million registered US voters by using psychographic information obtained from a quiz-like Facebook app, "This Is Your Digital Life", developed by data scientist Aleksandr Kogan, seemingly modeled on the Big 5 Personality Test. This information was gathered without the need for participants to complete lengthy personality questionnaires, a process that can be time-consuming. Instead, the app was able to automatically gather this information, allowing Cambridge Analytica to quickly create profiles on a large scale. These profiles were then used for targeted political advertising by the company.