Predicting work performance with new technology: Automatic recognition of Conscientiousness in spoken text versus self-rated Conscientiousness?

Djurre Holtrop, Ward R.J. Breda, Janneke K. Oostrom, Reinout E. De Vries, Jasper Stooker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review


Djurre Holtrop and his colleagues* search for innovative and potentially better ways to measure personality. In their research they contrasted a traditional self-reported conscientiousness test (the HEXACO-60) with text-based conscientiousness. The latter was measured by having a sample of participants respond to questions about conscientious behavior at work, using as many adjectives as they could. An example question - given by Holtrop in his presentation - is: “You are approaching a project deadline and the results are not yet as desired. How would you handle this?” Participants’ responses were analyzed by means of text mining software. This software identifies and weighs the adjectives in the responses which are related to conscientiousness, also taking into account any adjacent adverbs that strengthen or weaken the meaning of the adjective. A possible response to the aforementioned example question might be “I am not very diligent in working on projects”. In this case, the software assigns a positive value to the adjective “diligent”, amplifies this value on the basis of the adverb “very” and, subsequently, reverses the sign due to the presence of the word “not”. Holtrop and his colleagues found that both self-reported conscientiousness (r = .37**) and text-based conscientiousness (r = .26*) predicted supervisory rated work performance (measured by seven items about quality and quantity of work). However, text-based conscientiousness had no predictive value over and above self-reported conscientiousness. Although the reliability of text-based conscientiousness warrants further attention (the internal consistency reliability was .34 and thus low), this search for new ways to measure personality seems promising for both theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventDutch Work and Organisational Psychology conference 2015: Werkgemeenschap van onderzoekers in Arbeids- en Organisatiepsychologie congres 2015 - Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Nov 201527 Nov 2015


ConferenceDutch Work and Organisational Psychology conference 2015
Abbreviated titleWAOP 2015
Internet address


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