Eye Movements During Everyday Behavior Predict Personality Traits Abstract/Intro: "Besides allowing us to perceive our surroundings, eye movements are also a window into our mind and a rich source of information on who we are, how we feel, and what we do. Here we show that eye movements during an everyday task predict aspects of our personality. We tracked eye movements of 42 participants while they ran an errand on a university campus and subsequently assessed their personality traits using well-established questionnaires. Using a state-of-the-art machine learning method and a rich set of features encoding different eye movement characteristics, we were able to reliably predict four of the Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness) as well as perceptual curiosity only from eye movements. Further analysis revealed new relations between previously neglected eye movement characteristics and personality. Our findings demonstrate a considerable influence of personality on everyday eye movement control, thereby complementing earlier studies in laboratory settings. Improving automatic recognition and interpretation of human social signals is an important endeavor, enabling innovative design of human–computer systems capable of sensing spontaneous natural user behavior to facilitate efficient interaction and personalization."
Last Edit: May 3, 2018 15:26:42 GMT -5 by Amsterdam
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein
AuburnAlerith I was listening to the podcast 'Skeptics Guide to the Universe' this morning (#682 Aug 4, 2018), and Stephen Novella mentioned an article he wrote a week ago in which he discusses, coincidentally, the Frontiers article that Amsterdam references above. Sounds like the skeptics are, shall we say, a bit skeptical that there could be much correlation between eye movements and personality type.
Yes, I would expect a skepticism of that sort and I actually think it's warranted. The blanket comparison of eye-movements against BigFive traits is very.... very crude.
The reason Big Five is used as the go-to personality metric to test against is because it's the only one that's proven to have any sort of statistical fidelity (of a sort) but it is not a model of human nature. Think of the Big Five as a real phenomenon at the broadest and most general level of resolution. Like if you were to ask the question of what colors the world is made of. Yellow, Red, Blue, White, Black <-- is a good answer. But it says nothing about "how" or "what" produces each color, and for that you need to get into material properties and chemistry.
The wrong personality metric is being used to compare eye movements to, so this approach is really not going to produce the proper results. Also, I need to note that vultology is a field... that is presently nearly non-existent. And studies like this are just dipping their toes into a phenomenon (42 participants, hah!) without any real reverence for it's ginormous magnitude or scope.
If you really wanted to discover the link between human-expressivity and personality you have to dig far deeper than just eye movements and also be agonostic as to where (along that expressivity) the answer may be found. For example, if I had unlimited funding the way I'd do vultology is by tracking literally everything about a person's movements for hours at a time, across hundreds of samples. Things like their gait, their speech tone, their facial expressions, their posture, how much eye contact they retain, how quickly their saccades go, how many saccades and in what context they do them, how long they take to say each word, how many words they say, which words they accentuate, what their head and arms do as they talk, etc -- and then run the data through a massive number-chruncher to see statistical correlations. They would definitely appear.
That would be the proper way to truly index human expressivity. Taking a menial slice of the pie (eye-directions) and comparing it to a very menial/general personality survey (we are so behind in psychology, that Big Five is the only thing we feel confident about) will hardly result in anything robust enough to use.
By comparison, CT is taking in "the whole enchilada" and doing it in more organic/human ways --but increasingly more granular, as per the Definitive Vultology series and CTVC-- and is agnostic as to what pathway of expressivity may have strong correlations, which allows for the most robust patterns to actually show up over time and with hundreds of samples. Getting caught up at the reductionist scale (as science often does) is one of the traps we can fall into. It may not be so important what direction the eyes are gazing to tell apart (lets say) Ne and Se, but the manner in which the gaze is executed and the ocular tension involved. Which cues are significant and which are not, is something that can only be discovered through time and lots of testing.
It'll probably take science a lot of studies and a loooot of time to confirm/deny the things we are testing here at CT, because human qualia is computationally intensive. What I'd like to do is sketch out the phenomenon in an organic way but as fully as possible, to give a sense of how to approach the question at all. But it most certainly cannot be approached by selecting out any one detail and hyper-focusing on that. We have no choice but to take all of it in simultaneously.
Cool. Well, I'm a believer that eye-movement can be an indicator of 'personality', but yeah, it needs a lot more work before it's accepted in the scientific field. I too am glad they're skeptical. I just wish there was a way to show them some of the things that V can do.