A few years ago, Sibill Schilter, a student at the University of Zurich, heard that his school was recruiting people to test whether a smartphone program could change a person’s personality. This is what people think, feel, and do, and are known as “five great”: openness, conscience, perversion, acceptance, and confusion of the brain.
To find out more about him, Schilter signed. Maybe, he thought, he was a little bit too good. “I’m a person who always wants to please everyone a little bit, and I can be better off if I say no when I don’t want anything else,” says Schilter.
For decades, psychiatrists have debated whether this is a permanent or permanent change. A study by Schilter was conducted to see if using the program daily for three months could achieve a lasting change in personality. Each student chooses one option that he or she wants to increase or decrease. For example, one goal might be to overreact, which researchers have described as being too trivial, too aggressive, too quiet, or too frequent.
The program of program, called Peach (PErsonality coACH), works as a diary, dashboard, and embedded text messaging system. On the dashboard, users can briefly view their goal, a calendar that shows their progress, and their weekly activity. For example, a person who wants to work hard may be given a one-hour homework assignment after school. The app sends the user two notifications every day to remind them, and if the user progresses it will appear on the dashboard.
Users can also communicate with another type of digital, chatbot also known as “Peach,” about their daily activities. Chat rooms may ask what work they are doing or what their concerns may be. Users can also choose to write entries on a daily basis, testing themselves for the top five features. (For example: “How would you describe yourself today – shy or friendly?”)
In a study published in February in Growth of the National Academy of Science the researchers concluded that the program works. The study was conducted with 1,523 volunteers. Compared to the control group, users who received a smartphone experience showed a change in their personality on their goals. Overall, friends, relatives, or close friends who volunteered to see the participants experience a change in personality, while the adjusted self-perception and observation lasted more than three months from the end of the study. In particular, the changes noted by observers were significant among those interested in addition Behavior, but not for those who want to reduce one, suggest that it may be easier for others to see a person improve the situation compared to getting rid of it.
Mirjam Stieger, lead author of the study, describes the “high level” of interference – where users connect to the app and chatbot several times a day – as the key to driving change. “Repetition helps,” says Stieger, who works after the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Laboratory at Brandeis University.
Mathias Allemand, a senior researcher on the project, agrees, adding that other ways in which people can try, such as seeing a facilitator or attending meditation meetings, often less difficult, happens every week or two. He adds that the availability, simplicity and flexibility of the app — such as having a variety of chats and chatbot on a daily basis — attracted the interest of the participants. “You have a cell phone and [chatbot] a teacher in your pocket, ”says Allemand, professor of psychology at the University of Zurich.