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How are personality states associated with smartphone data?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Rüegger Dominik, Stieger Mirjam, Nißen Marcia, Allemand Mathias, Fleisch Elgar, Kowatsch Tobias,
Project Changing Personality Traits: Testing the Efficacy of a Mobile Technology-Based Intervention
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Journal of Personality
Page(s) per.2309 - per.2309
Title of proceedings European Journal of Personality
DOI 10.1002/per.2309

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Smartphones promise great potential for personality science to study people’s everyday life behaviours. Even though personality psychologists have become increasingly interested in the study of personality states, associations between smartphone data and personality states have not yet been investigated. This study provides a first step towards understanding how smartphones may be used for behavioural assessment of personality states. We explored the relationships between Big Five personality states and data from smartphone sensors and usage logs. On the basis of the existing literature, we first compiled a set of behavioural and situational indicators, which are potentially related to personality states. We then applied them on an experience sampling data set containing 5748 personality state responses that are self‐assessments of 30 minutes timeframes and corresponding smartphone data. We used machine learning analyses to investigate the predictability of personality states from the set of indicators. The results showed that only for extraversion, smartphone data (specifically, ambient noise level) were informative beyond what could be predicted based on time and day of the week alone. The results point to continuing challenges in realizing the potential of smartphone data for psychological research.