Stanford Graduate School of Business
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior

Research Statement

Michal Kosinski’s research focuses on individual differences in behavior, preferences, and performance. Specifically, he is interested in the mechanisms linking psychological traits (such as personality) with a broad range of organizational and social outcomes, including job performance, person-job fit, consumer preferences, and ideology, as well as the expression and recognition of psychological traits from behavioral residues, language, and facial features. Kosinski conducts his research using a range of computational methods, including machine learning, data mining, and observational studies involving millions of participants.

Research Interests

  • Individual Differences
  • Personality
  • Consumer Preferences
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Ideology


Professor Kosinski received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2014. He also spent a year as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. Kosinski’s research has had a significant impact on both academia and the industry. His findings featured in The Economist’s special report on the future of insurance (2015), inspired two TED talks, and prompted a discussion in the EU Parliament. In 2013, Kosinski was listed among the 50 most influential people in Big Data by DataIQ and IBM, while three of his papers were listed among Altmetrics’ “Top 100 Papers That Most Caught the Public Imagination” (in 2013 and 2015). Prior to entering academia, he founded a successful ITC startup and served as a brand manager for a major digital brand.

Academic Degrees

  • Phd in Psychology, University of Cambridge, 2014
  • MPhil in Psychometrics, University of Cambridge, 2009
  • MSC in Psychology, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2008

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business 2015
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Computer Science Dept., Stanford University, 2014-2015
  • Visiting Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, University of Namur, 2012-2013

Professional Experience

  • Deputy Director, University of Cambridge Psychometrics Center, 2010-2014
  • Researcher, Microsoft Research, 2010-2014

Awards and Honors

  • GSB Trust Faculty Scholar, 2017-2018
  • Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science,2015
  • Top 100 Papers that Most Caught the Public Imagination (22nd), Altmetrics, 2015
  • Open Innovation Award, Accenture, 2015
  • One of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Big Data, DataIQ and IBM, 2013
  • Top 100 Papers that Most Caught the Public Imagination (9th), Altmetrics, 2013
  • Top 100 Papers that Most Caught the Public Imagination (21st), Altmetrics, 2013


Degree Courses


OB 206: Organizational Behavior

Building on the discipline of social psychology, this course helps you cultivate mindsets and build skills to understand the ways in which organizations and their members affect one another. You will learn frameworks for diagnosing and resolving...

OB 660: Topics in Organizational Behavior: Individual Processes

This course will focus on psychological processes that occur within individuals that cannot be seen but whose existence can be inferred on the basis of people''s behavior. Such processes, referred to as individual processes, include personality,...


OB 206: Organizational Behavior

Building on the discipline of social psychology, this course helps you cultivate mindsets and build skills to understand the ways in which organizations and their members affect one another. You will learn frameworks for diagnosing and resolving...

In the Media

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself?

The New York Times Magazine, November 21, 2017

A Stanford Psychologist Says Internet Culture Isn't as Toxic as It Feels

Quartz, August 19, 2017

Big Data and Politics

C-SPAN, May 19, 2017

Interview with Fredrik Skavlan

Sveriges Television AB, April 8, 2017

Deep-Dark-Data-Driven Politics

WNYC, March 29, 2017

Interview with Fareed Zakaria

CNN, March 25, 2017

The End of Privacy

Keynote CeBIT '17, March 25, 2017

Tumult in Asia, African Healthcare, Healthy Diets and Depression

BYU radio, March 14, 2017

Is the digital 'you' the real 'you'?

Radio New Zealand, March 4, 2017

Why computers know you better than your spouse – Michal Kosinski on the rise of Big Data

BlindSpot, December 10, 2016

On What Facebook Knows – An Interview with the Man Behind Facebook’s Personality Experiment

SocialMedia Today, October 1, 2015

Can we guess who you are based on the pages you’ve liked on Facebook?

The Washington Post, September 2, 2015

Raw Data

Stanford Worldview, September 2015

Stanford News

Stanford News, August 26, 2015


Westdeutcher Rundfunk (WDR), June 15, 2015

Risk and Reward

The Economist, March 14, 2015

When 'Likes' Can Shed Light

The Wall Street Journal , March 11, 2015

Computers Judge Personality Better Than People Do

Huffington Post - Science, January 13, 2015

How Facebook Knows You Better Than Your Friends Do

Wired, January 13, 2015

Your computer knows you better than your friends do, say researchers

The Guardian, January 13, 2015

Facebook understands you better than your spouse

Financial TImes, January 12, 2015

Your computer knows you better than your friends do

Science, January 12, 2015

Featured on NBC

NBC News, 2015

Featured on CBS

CBS News, 2015

Predictions based on digital footprint(in German)

WDR, 2015

Assorted TV coverage

Assorted Media, 2015

Like Mining, Ep-3

Do-Not-Track, 2015


Elektrischer Reporter, 2015

Zehn Jahre Facebook

Shift- Deutsche Welle, March 2, 2014


BBC4, September 20, 2013

Witamy w Nowych Mediach

Nowe Media, September 2013

With big data comes big responsibility

Financial Times, March 14, 2013

More Privacy Perils: Facebook Data Is Greater Than The Sum Of Your Likes

Forbes , March 12, 2013

Liking curly fries on Facebook reveals your high IQ

Wired UK, March 12, 2013

Facebook reveals secrets you haven’t shared

Financial Times, March 11, 2013

Dni tradycyjnej psychologii są policzone

Psychologia-Speteczna, 2013

Psychology is the solution

The Psychologist, November 2011

Insights by Stanford Business

written10 Most-Read Stories of 2017

December 4, 2017

Readers keyed into humor’s workplace value, the secret to improving communication skills, and advice from Sheryl Sandberg and Marc Andreessen.

audioPodcast: Michal Kosinski Shares his Vision of a World Without Privacy

August 14, 2017

Should your digital footprint be public?

videoMichal Kosinski: AI Is Already Smarter Than We Are

May 9, 2017

In part two of a three part series, a data scientist explores how artificial intelligence developed a mind of its own.

videoMichal Kosinski: Can We Out Evolve Artificial Intelligence?

May 9, 2017

The human mind will outsmart AI in the end, says Michal Kosinski in the final piece of a three part series.

videoMichal Kosinski: The End of Privacy

May 9, 2017

In part one of a three part series, a Stanford GSB professor discusses a controversial algorithm that knows more about you than your best friend.

writtenTurns Out That Opposites Don’t Attract After All

January 17, 2017

A study of “digital footprints” suggests that you’re probably drawn to personalities a lot like yours.

writtenTwelve Business Books to Read in 2017

December 6, 2016

Reading recommendations from the Stanford GSB community.

writtenCan Your Personality Explain Your iTunes Playlist?

July 29, 2016

Researchers find a new way to examine your musical taste, with implications for the music and health care industries.

writtenWill Facebook Replace Traditional Research Methods?

October 8, 2015

Social media offers researchers a window into the human experience.

writtenWhat Our Digital Footprint Says About Us

August 27, 2015

A Stanford scholar says social media reveals your most intimate personality traits.

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