Youyou Wu

pronounced as yo-yo


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Psychology at University College London (UCL), Faculty of Education and Society (IOE), Department of Psychology and Human Development. I obtained my PhD in Psychology from the University of Cambridge. I was also a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern Institute of Complex Systems (NICO) at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

I study personality expression in the digital space, using computational methods like machine learning and natural language processing. I have shown that personalities inferred from people’s Facebook profiles are more accurate than judgements made by friends, roommates, family members, and romantic partners. This line of research has stimulated continuous discussions and applications in industries that involve personality profiling, including insurance, marketing, politics, and gaming.

As a psychologist of this generation, I am also drawn to metascience and methodology, and particularly reproducibility. I am interested in how we can best predict replication outcomes before an actual replication takes place. I am currently ranking the replicability of >10k Psychology publications in top-tier journals using machine learning, for scientists to prioritize manual replications of certain studies.

My work has appeared in journals like PNAS, Nature Communications, and Psychological Science. It has been covered by global outlets like BBC, New York Times, and the Economist.

Outside of academia, I occasionally contribute science news and data journalism pieces for the Economist. I also enjoy skiing in resorts and the backcountry.


  • Prof Brian Uzzi (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University)

  • Dr Yang Yang (Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame)

  • Dr Michal Kosinski (Stanford University, Graduate School of Business)

  • Dr David Stillwell (Judge Business School, Cambridge University)

  • Dr Sandra Matz (Columbia Business School)

  • Dr Yinxian Zhang (Sociology, Queens College CUNY)