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Mobile sensing for studying personality dynamics in daily life


People's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can vary a great deal over situations and time. Such dynamic patterns are difficult to assess using traditional survey- and lab-based methods. However, new digital media technologies (e.g., smartphones, wearable devices, smart-home devices) offer a powerful approach to capturing fine-grained records of people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors across occasions (i.e., across time and situations) via mobile sensors and metadata logs. Here, we introduce mobile sensing as a methodological approach for capturing personality dynamics in studies of daily life. To encourage researchers to use mobile sensing methods, we describe how sensing can be used to study personality and provide a set of guidelines for studying personality dynamics using mobile sensing. Specifically, we discuss procedural factors to consider before launching a sensing study and analytical techniques to consider when studying personality dynamics. We conclude by discussing the promise of mobile sensing for advancing research on personality dynamics.

Gabriella Harari
Clemens Stachl
Sandrine R. Muller
Samuel D. Gosling
Handbook of Personality Dynamics and Processes
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