Becoming More Conscientious or More Open to Experience? Effects of a Two-Week Smartphone-Based Intervention for Personality Change

Mirjam Stieger, Sandro Wepfer, Dominik Rüegger, Tobias Kowatsch, Brent W. Roberts, Mathias Allemand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-366
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • common change factors
  • conscientiousness
  • openness to experience
  • personality change
  • smartphone-based intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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