Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a mobile application to enhance and optimize personality traits, such as social skills or emotional intelligence. In the study, the scientists verified changes in personality after three months of daily use of the smartphone application. In addition, the beneficial effects were still observed three months later.
Personality is much more than our way of being or relating to the world. Its features directly affect important issues such as our emotional life, job performance, and even psychophysical well-being. Although psychology and psychiatry work on these issues, other tools and strategies for daily use that could promote positive personality changes have not yet been adequately developed.
However, a group of scientists led by the University of Zurich in Switzerland has managed to demonstrate, according to a statement, that personality traits can be modified through non-clinical methods in just three months. To do this, they used an application for mobile phones, through which a virtual assistant, a series of specific content, and a support chat allowed participants to sharpen or attenuate their personality traits.
The research included an impact study on a sample of 1,500 participants, combining changes reported by the volunteers, observations from close people, and data collected through the app. Five main personality traits were examined: openmindedness, conscientiousness and values, sociability, kindness and empathy, and emotional vulnerability.
The participants had to select some traits and try to enhance or reduce them according to their positive or negative regard for them. According to the study’s conclusions, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the data shows concrete changes in personality after three months of daily application use. At the same time, observers indicated that these changes were sustained over the next three months.
SHORT TERM RESULTS
In addition to verifying the usefulness of the technological tool, the research also shows that personality changes can occur more quickly than previously thought. Traditionally it was believed that these modifications were made after long periods of internal work, but the new study finds positive modifications in only a few months. According to the research results, the application showed greater effectiveness in cases where people wanted to enhance and not reduce a personality trait. At the same time, the observers indicated that emotional vulnerability was the trait studied with the lowest rate of positive modifications.
TOOLS WITH A FUTURE
Considering that these technological tools are easily accessible to the majority of the population and their use is relatively simple, it is likely that their impact on improving personality traits will increase significantly in the coming years. It is worth noting that the system used in this case had a completely virtual operation. No face-to-face instances were required to communicate with participants’ observers or access the content included in the application.
Suppose we understand the importance of promoting the development of the personality, whose impact generates changes even in the brain’s structure. In that case, it is possible that this type of new technology can collaborate to create a more harmonious society with happier and fuller individuals.