Project

Back to overview

Changing Personality Traits: Testing the Efficacy of a Mobile Technology-Based Intervention

English title Changing Personality Traits: Testing the Efficacy of a Mobile Technology-Based Intervention
Applicant Allemand Mathias
Number 162724
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Gerontopsychologie und Gerontologie Psychologisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.03.2016 - 31.08.2019
Approved amount 536'598.00
Show all

All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Psychology
Information Technology
Communication sciences

Keywords (9)

Personality change interventions; MobileCoach intervention platform; Randomized controlled trial (RCT); Mobile technology-based interventions; Design science; Intentional personality change; Smartphones; Longitudinal methods; Personality change

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Forschungsbefunde weisen darauf hin, dass sich die Persönlichkeit im Laufe des Lebens verändern kann. Zudem gibt es Hinweise, dass sich langfristige Veränderungsprozesse der Persönlichkeit positiv auf unterschiedliche Lebensbereiche wie Arbeit, soziale Beziehungen und Gesundheit auswirken. Jedoch ist noch wenig bekannt über die kurzfristige Veränderbarkeit der Persönlichkeit. Das Projekt leistet dazu einen Beitrag.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojektes

Das Ziel des interdisziplinären Forschungsprojektes ist die Untersuchung der kurzfristigen Veränderbarkeit bzw. Plastizität der Persönlichkeit mittels einer mobilen technologiebasierten Intervention. Dabei sollen drei Forschungsstrategien verfolgt werden: (1) Die Entwicklung einer individualisierten, digitalen Intervention über die neue Interventionsplattform „MobileCoach“ (www.mobile-coach.eu); (2) die Überprüfung der Wirksamkeit der entwickelten Intervention, sowie (3) die Erforschung von Veränderungsprozessen und Wirkmechanismen mit dem Ziel der Weiterentwicklung der Intervention.   

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Das Projekt leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag zu einem besseren Verständnis der kurzfristigen Veränderbarkeit der Persönlichkeit und der Weiterentwicklung der Interventionsplattform „MobileCoach“. Das Projekt wird zudem neue und wichtige Informationen über Interventionsansätze mittels mobiler Technologie generieren, die über den Forschungsbereich hinausgehen und für die Praxis der psychologischen Intervention relevant sind.    

 

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.03.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
PEACH, a smartphone- and conversational agent-based coaching intervention for intentional personality change: study protocol of a randomized, wait-list controlled trial
Stieger Mirjam, Nißen Marcia, Rüegger Dominik, Kowatsch Tobias, Flückiger Christoph, Allemand Mathias (2018), PEACH, a smartphone- and conversational agent-based coaching intervention for intentional personality change: study protocol of a randomized, wait-list controlled trial, in BMC Psychology, 6(1), 1-15.
Changing personality traits: Some considerations from psychotherapy process-outcome research for intervention efforts on intentional personality change interventions.
Allemand Mathias, Flückiger Christoph (2017), Changing personality traits: Some considerations from psychotherapy process-outcome research for intervention efforts on intentional personality change interventions., in Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 27(4), 476-494.
Design and evaluation of a mobile chat app for the open source behavioral health intervention platform MobileCoach
Kowatsch T., Volland D., Shih I., Rüegger D., Künzler F., Barata F., Filler A., Büchter D., Brogle B., Heldt K., Gindrat P., Farpour-Lambert N., l'Allemand D. (2017), Design and evaluation of a mobile chat app for the open source behavioral health intervention platform MobileCoach, in In: Maedche A., vom Brocke J., Hevner A. (eds) Designing the Digital Transformation. DESRIST 2017. L, Springer, Berlin.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
PD Dr. Severin Haug, Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Arnold Kamis, Suffolk University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Matthias Mehl, University of Arizona United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Brent W. Roberts, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Hot Topic „Personality Trait Change Through Intervention“ at the 51st Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs) Talk given at a conference Digital Coaching for Intentional Personality Change 15.09.2018 Frankfurt, Germany Stieger Mirjam; Allemand Mathias;
19th European Conference on Personality Talk given at a conference Piloting Micro-interventions for a Smartphone-Based Personality Change Intervention. 17.07.2018 Zadar, Croatia Stieger Mirjam; Allemand Mathias;
Workshop "Personality and Healthy Aging" Individual talk PEACH, a Smartphone- and Conversational-Based Coaching Intervention for Intentional Personality Change 14.07.2018 Zurich, Switzerland Allemand Mathias; Stieger Mirjam;
15th Conference of the Swiss Psychological Society Talk given at a conference Symposium "Use of new technologies for studying everyday life" 04.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Allemand Mathias;
11th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS) Talk given at a conference Leveraging the potential of personality traits for digital health interventions: A literature review on digital markers for conscientiousness and neuroticism 04.09.2017 Genoa, Italy Rüegger Dominik Markus; Flückiger Christoph; Kowatsch Tobias; Stieger Mirjam; Allemand Mathias;
15th Conference of the Swiss Psychological Society Talk given at a conference A mobile technology-based intervention for intentional personality change 04.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Allemand Mathias; Kowatsch Tobias; Rüegger Dominik Markus; Stieger Mirjam; Flückiger Christoph;
Persuasive Embodied Agents for Behavior Change (PEACH2017) Workshop, co-located with the 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017) Talk given at a conference Workshop: "Text-based healthcare chatbots supporting patient and health professional teams: Preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial on childhood obesity" 27.08.2017 Stockholm, Sweden Kowatsch Tobias; Rüegger Dominik Markus;
5th Conference of the Association for Research in Personality (ARP) Talk given at a conference A mobile technology-based personality change intervention 08.06.2017 Sacramento, United States of America Allemand Mathias; Stieger Mirjam;
5th Conference of the Association for Research in Personality (ARP) Talk given at a conference Symposium: "Using new technologies to study personality expression and change" 08.06.2017 Sacramento, United States of America Allemand Mathias;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
166348 Measuring the Impact of Social Support and Common Dyadic Coping on Couple’s Dyadic Management of Type II Diabetes by a Novel Ambulatory Assessment Application for the Open Source Behavioral Intervention Platform MobileCoach 01.03.2017 Interdisciplinary projects

Abstract

Background. Longitudinal research has shown that personality traits are changeable over longer time periods, and that changes may bring about positive life outcomes such as greater success in work and family, better health, and longevity. Research also found that most people want to change or modify some aspects of their personality. However, less is known about the short-term changeability of personality traits, and non-clinical psychological interventions for intentional personality change over relatively short periods of time are lacking. To stimulate intervention efforts and to maximize the effects of future interventions, Allemand and Flückiger (under review) proposed a generic intervention model based on empirically derived general change mechanisms. One promising approach to deliver interventions is using mobile technologies. Mobile technology-based interventions (MTBIs) allow a proactive delivery of short communications at any time and place and the distribution of individualized information that help people to achieve their change goals. The main aim of the planned research program is thus to test the efficacy of a MTBI for intentional personality change using a novel open source platform that supports the design of evidence-based, scalable and low-cost interventions (www.mobile-coach.eu; Filler, Kowatsch et al. 2015). The research strategy is threefold: (1) to develop a MTBI to change personality traits, (2) to examine its efficacy to change personality traits in the desired direction, and (3) to examine underlying processes and mechanisms in an effort to improve the intervention outcomes. Methods/Design. This project combines interdisciplinary expertise from longitudinal personality psychology, psychological intervention research, information systems research and computer science to develop and evaluate a MobileCoach-based MTBI to support intentional personality change. The first research strategy relates to design science research and focuses on the development of a mobile application with sensor services relevant to the personality change intervention and a communication service that mediates the interaction between a conversational agent and the user. Two types of agents will be experimentally manipulated: (a) a low (impersonal) vs. (b) a high (personal) anthropomorphic conversational agent. Experiments and pilot studies will be conducted to test and improve the manipulation and the technical feasibility of the MTBI. The second and third strategies refer to process-outcome intervention research and will include a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with intensive longitudinal methods to test for the efficacy of the MTBI with the two experimental intervention conditions in comparison to a minimal assessment control condition. The MTBI will provide (a) individually tailored microinterventions including learning and action strategies and change techniques to stimulate and maintain a change process, and (b) individually tailored monitoring and progress feedback. The intervention will use mobile communication services to deliver strategies and change techniques, to keep them communicating with the conversational agent and to practice, to promote change commitment and motivation, and to support the change process. Participants in the two experimental conditions will be actively involved in one or more dialogs with the agent per week over a time period of 3 months. Outcome variables will be assessed weekly to monitor the change process in action. Pre-, post, and 6-month follow-up outcome assessments and active (self-reports via agent-triggered dialogs) and passive process assessments (sensors) will be conducted by fully automated data collection strategies. Study participants will be 450 adults (150 per condition) who want to change or modify some aspects of their personality. Main outcome criterion will be the achievement of individual change goals. Relevance. This proposed research is the first testing the efficacy of a MTBI for intended personality change. Given that this novel intervention approach proves effective, it could be easily implemented in various non-clinical settings and could reach large numbers of people due to its low-threshold character and technical scalability. The project is innovative from a personality psychology point of view as it examines the short-term changeability of personality traits, from a psychological intervention perspective as it applies a new generic intervention model, and from an information systems perspective as it investigates how mobile sensor services and anthropomorphic conversational agents must be designed to effectively deliver individualized interventions in real life and real time.
-