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.

The main aim of the planned research program is to test the efficacy of a smartphone-based intervention 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 smartphone-based intervention 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.

This proposed research is the first testing the efficacy of a smartphone-based intervention 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.

Video Clips

©2017 Dynage Film Productions and University of Zurich, Personality Change team: Marcel Lauber, Mirjam Stieger, Thierry Haenggi, Charlotte Grimmel, Dave Haeusler, Stefan Wittwer, Andrea Trueb, Sina Hemmann, Roman Lickel, Rita Kamber, Pascal Fischer & Mathias Allemand. All rights reserved.

Publications

Rüegger, D., Stieger, M., Flückiger, C., Allemand, M., Kowatsch, T. (2017) Leveraging the Potential of Personality Traits for Digital Health Interventions: A Literature Review on Digital Markers for Conscientiousness and Neuroticism, 11th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS), Genoa, Italy. PDF
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: Maedche A., vom Brocke J., Hevner A. (eds) Designing the Digital Transformation. DESRIST 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10243. Springer: Berlin; Germany, 485-489. (Paper-PDF | Poster-PDF | Slide-PDF | Screencast)
Rüegger, D., Kowatsch, T., Stieger, M., Allemand, M. (2016) Unobtrusive Recognition of Personality Traits with Health Impact: A Literature Review with a Focus on Conscientiousness and Neuroticism, Proc. of the 10th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS) – Extended Abstract & Poster, Paphos, Cyprus. PDF
Filler, A., Kowatsch, T., Haug, S., Wahle, F., Staake, T. & Fleisch, E. (2015) MobileCoach: A Novel Open Source Platform for the Design of Evidence-based, Scalable and Low-Cost Behavioral Health Interventions – Overview and Preliminary Evaluation in the Public Health Context. Wireless Telecommunications Symposium 2015 (WTS 2015), New York, USA. PDF