Read Welcome to the Brave New World of Persuasion Profiling from Wired Magazine: List at least one positive and one negative thing about...

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one positive element that emerges from this profiling method is being able to use such technology and psychological profiling for that which is "good."  The use of psychological profiling can be quite meaningful in issues such as individual choice and health.  For example, the manner in which DirectLife uses such technology is powerful because it "uses human coaches to figure out which arguments get a particular individual to eat more healthfully and exercise more regularly."  The ability to profile individuals in helping them make better and more healthy lifestyle choices is quite impressive.  This use of technology can display positive effects in the way it helps individuals.  The negative is how such technology can be manipulated by those with ultimately self- serving agendas.  Political operatives or consumerist forces can use the technology to both manipulate and guide individual choices towards their own end.  It is in this light where I think that the profiling method might not be such a good thing.

In terms of whether the method is good for consumers, perspective is critical.  From the perspective of a commercial enterprise, the profiling method is effective because it helps to pinpoint potential sales.  However, there is something very off about the idea that someone else in the position of commercial sales is able to predict and target my behavior based on aggregate data of my browsing or viewing habits.  The idea of personal choice is minimized when it is reduced to psychological profiling and using that data as predictive behavior of what I will do.  I was particularly taken aback by the idea that "exhortations" from ""  That vision is something that in of itself would demonstrate that this profiling method can possess a potential dark side to it.