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Becoming more conscientious or more open to experience? Effects of a two‐week smartphone‐based intervention for personality change


Stieger, Mirjam Nadine; Wepfer, Sandro; Rüegger, Dominik; Kowatsch, Tobias; Roberts, Brent W; Allemand, Mathias (2020). Becoming more conscientious or more open to experience? Effects of a two‐week smartphone‐based intervention for personality change. European Journal of Personality, 34(3):345-366.

Abstract

Research indicates that it might be possible to change personality traits through intervention, but this clinical research has primarily focused on changing neuroticism. To date, there are no established, proven techniques for changing other domains of personality, such as conscientiousness and openness. This research examined the effects of a two‐week smartphone‐based intervention to either change one facet of conscientiousness (i.e. self‐discipline) or one facet of openness to experience (i.e. openness to action). Two intervention studies (total N = 255) with two active intervention groups for mutual comparisons were conducted. Results of self‐reports and observer reports showed that people who wanted to become more self‐disciplined were less self‐disciplined at pretest. Similarly, people who wanted to become more open to action were less open to action at pretest. The results showed that people who chose the self‐discipline intervention showed greater increases in self‐discipline, and people who chose the openness to action intervention showed greater increases in openness to action compared with the other group. Changes were maintained until follow‐up two and six weeks after the end of the intervention. Future work is needed to examine whether these personality changes are enduring or reflect temporary accentuation as a result of participation in the intervention. © 2020 European Association of Personality Psychology

Abstract

Research indicates that it might be possible to change personality traits through intervention, but this clinical research has primarily focused on changing neuroticism. To date, there are no established, proven techniques for changing other domains of personality, such as conscientiousness and openness. This research examined the effects of a two‐week smartphone‐based intervention to either change one facet of conscientiousness (i.e. self‐discipline) or one facet of openness to experience (i.e. openness to action). Two intervention studies (total N = 255) with two active intervention groups for mutual comparisons were conducted. Results of self‐reports and observer reports showed that people who wanted to become more self‐disciplined were less self‐disciplined at pretest. Similarly, people who wanted to become more open to action were less open to action at pretest. The results showed that people who chose the self‐discipline intervention showed greater increases in self‐discipline, and people who chose the openness to action intervention showed greater increases in openness to action compared with the other group. Changes were maintained until follow‐up two and six weeks after the end of the intervention. Future work is needed to examine whether these personality changes are enduring or reflect temporary accentuation as a result of participation in the intervention. © 2020 European Association of Personality Psychology

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 May 2020
Deposited On:10 Nov 2020 17:54
Last Modified:31 Jan 2021 08:42
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0890-2070
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2267
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCR13I1_162724
  • : Project TitleChanging Personality Traits: Testing the Efficacy of a Mobile Technology-Based Intervention

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