Phone movements can predict your personality

Mobile phone movement patterns say a lot about your personality type, say researchers who used data from phone accelerometers – the tiny sensors tracking phone movement for step-counting and other apps – to predict people’s personalities.

“Activity like how quickly or how far we walk, or when we pick up our phones during the night, often follows patterns and these patterns say a lot about our personality type,” said Flora Salim, Associate Professor at RMIT University in Australia in the study published in the journal IEEE Explore.

Previous studies have predicted personality types using phone calls and messaging activity logs, but this study showed adding accelerometer data improved accuracy.

Physical activity is proven to have a strong correlation with human personality. Therefore, researchers analysed physical activity features from different dimensions like dispersion, diversity, and regularity.

The results were analysed in accordance with the big five personality traits, which are — Extraversion: how energetic, sociable and talkative you are; Openness: how curious and inventive you are; Agreeableness: how friendly and compassionate, rather than suspicious and hostile you are to others; Conscientiousness: how organised, efficient and careful you are; and Neuroticism: how nervous and sensitive, rather than confident and secure you are.

According to the researchers, the key findings suggest that people with consistent movements on weekday evenings were generally more introverted while extroverts displayed more random patterns.

The findings also show that meeting with different people and taking up unplanned options, agreeable people had more random activity patterns and were busier on weekends and weekday evenings than others.

They also found that friendly and compassionate females made more outgoing calls than anyone else. Conscientious, organised people did not tend to contact the same person often in a short space of time.

Sensitive or neurotic females often checked their phones or moved with their phones regularly well into the night and past midnight. Sensitive or neurotic males did the opposite, said the research.

According to the study, more inventive and curious people tend to make and receive fewer phone calls compared to others.

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