Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

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Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Born
Seth Isaac Stephens-Davidowitz

(1982-09-15) September 15, 1982 (age 38)
NationalityUnited States
EducationStanford University
Harvard University
Known forResearch using Google Trends to study human behavior
Scientific career
FieldsData science
Economics
InstitutionsGoogle
ThesisEssays Using Google Data (2013)
Doctoral advisorAlberto Alesina
Websitesethsd.com

Seth Isaac Stephens-Davidowitz (born September 15, 1982)[1] is an American data scientist, economist, and author. He is a New York Times op-ed contributor and a former data scientist at Google,[2] as well as a former visiting lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[3][4] He has published research using Google Trends search data, as well as data from Wikipedia and Facebook, to gain real-time insights into people's thoughts and beliefs that they may be unwilling to admit publicly.[5][6][7]

His book Everybody Lies was published by HarperCollins in 2017. The book subsequently became a New York Times bestseller, and was named a book of the year by both PBS NewsHour and the Economist.[3]

Biography[edit]

Stephens-Davidowitz was born on September 15, 1982 in Englewood, New Jersey[1] into a Jewish family,[8] son of Esther Davidowitz and Mitchell Stephens.[9] He grew up in Alpine, New Jersey, and attended Tenafly High School in Tenafly, graduating in 1999.[10] He went on to earn his B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University before enrolling at Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in economics in 2013.[3][9]

Everybody Lies[edit]

Everybody Lies was published by HarperCollins in 2017. The book has received several reviews and other coverage,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] was a New York Times bestseller, and was named a book of the year by both PBS NewsHour and the Economist.[3]

The overriding theme of the book is that people aren't as honest about their true natures when responding to standard questionnaires as they are when searching the internet, on the assumption that search is a private activity.

Of particular note is the empirical chapter, Chapter 4: Digital Truth Serum, derived from extensive Big Data analysis of search engine search histories (primarily Google's) on sensitive subject matters such as prejudice, violence, and sexuality.

The remainder of the book addresses the surrounding issues of methodology, epistemology, and moral philosophy.

Table of contents
  1. Your Faulty Gut
  2. Was Freud Right?
  3. Data Reimagined
    • Bodies as Data
    • Words as Data
    • Pictures as Data
  4. Digital Truth Serum
    • The Truth About Sex
    • The Truth About Hate and Prejudice
    • The Truth About the Internet
    • The Truth About Child Abuse and Abortion
    • The Truth About Your Facebook Friends
    • The Truth About Your Customers
    • Can We Handle the Truth?
  5. Zooming In
    • What's Really Going On in Our Counties, Cities, and Towns?
    • How We Fill Our Minutes and Hours
    • Our Doppelgangers
    • Data Stories
  6. All the World's a Lab
    • The ABCs of A/B Testing
    • Nature's Cruel
    – but Enlightening
    – Experiments
  7. Big Data, Big Schmata? What It Cannot Do
    • The Curse of Dimensionality
    • The Overemphasis on What Is Measurable
  8. Mo Data, Mo Problems? What We Shouldn't Do
    • The Danger of Empowered Corporations

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Seth Stephens-Davidowitz Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Harvard University Department of Economics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  2. ^ Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth (9 July 2017). "Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets". the Guardian.
  3. ^ a b c d "Seth Stephens-Davidowitz". Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  4. ^ Shermer, Michael (1 June 2018). "Web Searches Reveal (in Aggregate) What We're Really Thinking". Scientific American. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. ^ Illing, Sean (13 June 2017). "Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people". Vox. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  6. ^ Stein, Joel (15 June 2017). "That Time an Algorithm Whisperer Took Me to the Heart of Darkness". Time. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  7. ^ Ell, Kellie (24 April 2018). "Users don't seem to mind Google has more data than Facebook". CNBC. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  8. ^ Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (20 December 2014). "What We're Searching For". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth (2013). Essays Using Google Data (Ph.D.). Harvard University. p. viii. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  10. ^ Palmer, Joanne (15 February 2018). "Big data is watching you". Jewish Standard. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ "That Time an Algorithm Whisperer Took Me to the Heart of Darkness". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  12. ^ Shaywitz, David. "No Lie: Engaging New Book Brings Behavioral Science Into The Era of Big Data". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  13. ^ Hall, Eugene L. (July 2018). "Stephens-Davidowitz, S. (2017). Everybody lies: Big data, new data, and what the Internet can tell us about who we really are. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 352 pp., $27.99". Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 44 (3): 556–557. doi:10.1111/jmft.12325.
  14. ^ "Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz review – what internet searches reveal". the Guardian. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  15. ^ Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth (2017-07-09). "Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  16. ^ "Everybody Lies". Kirkus Reviews.
  17. ^ Sussman, Lisa (2019). "Everybody lies: Big data, new data and what the internet can tell us about who we really are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. New York: HarperCollins, 2017, 338 pp". International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. 16 (3): 203–205. doi:10.1002/aps.1612. ISSN 1556-9187.
  18. ^ Mouncey, Peter (2018-05-01). "Book review: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Everybody lies: What the Internet can tell us about who we really are". International Journal of Market Research. 60 (3): 323–326. doi:10.1177/1470785318770312. ISSN 1470-7853.
  19. ^ May 10, CBS News; 2017; Pm, 12:18. "Can what you Google reveal your true self?". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2020-12-08.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Duncan, Anna. ""Everybody Lies" by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz – a review – theGIST". Retrieved 2020-12-08.

External links[edit]