Understanding Personality through Patterns of Daily Socializing: Applying Recurrence Quantification Analysis to Naturalistically Observed Intensive Longitudinal Social Interaction Data

Alexander F. Danvers, David A Sbarra, Matthias R. Mehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ambulatory assessment methods provide a rich approach for studying daily behaviour. Too often, however, these data are analysed in terms of averages, neglecting patterning of this behaviour over time. This paper describes recurrence quantification analysis (RQA), a non-linear time series technique for analysing dynamic systems, as a method for analysing patterns of categorical, intensive longitudinal ambulatory assessment data. We apply RQA to objectively assessed social behaviour (e.g. talking to another person) coded from the Electronically Activated Recorder. Conceptual interpretations of RQA parameters, and an analysis of Electronically Activated Recorder data in adults going through a marital separation, are provided. Using machine learning techniques to avoid model overfitting, we find that adding RQA parameters to models that include just average amount of time spent talking (a static measure) improves prediction of four Big Five personality traits: extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness. Our strongest results suggest that a combination of average amount of time spent talking and four RQA parameters yield an R2 =.09 for neuroticism. Neuroticism is shown to be associated with shorter periods of extended conversation (periods of at least 12 minutes), demonstrating the utility of RQA to identify new relationships between personality and patterns of daily behaviour. Materials: https://osf.io/5nkr9/.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • ambulatory assessment
  • dynamic systems
  • electronically activated recorder
  • personality
  • social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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