APP Yourself!

Personalized plates! Personalized toys! Personalized … personality?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Want to be more sociable, conscientious, considerate? You’re in luck – there’s an app for that! 

That’s right – Mirjam Stieger from Brandeis University and team have developed a personalized personality APP. They want to see if digital intervention can help users improve their personality! 

More than a thousand participants tested the APP. Before starting, the subjects specified their personality goals. Examples? To be more outgoing, or less emotionally vulnerable. 

The app offers feedback based on self-reflection. Participants took a personality assessment before using the app, then again three months after. Friends and family also reported their observations to the researchers.

Results? For those who wanted to be more extroverted or conscientious, their personality assessment shows the modification succeeded! Even their friends noticed the changes! The app was less successful for those who wanted to DECREASE a trait. More research could show whether these changes can be maintained long term.  

Now, can I APP-ly this to my Candy Crush addiction? Not that it’s out of hand. Much.

Reference: Stieger, M., Flückiger, C., Rüegger, D., Kowatsch, T., Roberts, B. W., & Allemand, M. (2021). Changing personality traits with the help of a digital personality change intervention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(8), e2017548118.