SODAS Lecture: Personality in your Pocket - How to use Smartphones for Psychological Assessment

SODAS lecture
We are delighted to host Dr. Clemens Stachl for this SODAS Lecture

Personality in your Pocket: How to use Smartphones for Psychological Assessment


The digitization of our society has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we engage with digital media, exchange information, and make decisions. This change has had a profound impact on the way social scientists collect data on human behavior and experience in the field. To address this challenge, a new form of data collection has emerged in the form of in-vivo high-frequency mobile sensing via smartphones. Mobile sensing enables researchers to investigate previously intangible psychological constructs with more objective data on behavior and environments. By collecting fine-grained, longitudinal data in real-world settings at a large scale, this approach has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of human behavior and experience. When combined with cutting-edge machine learning techniques, mobile sensing data can provide direct predictions of psychological traits and behavioral outcomes. In this talk, I will provide a comprehensive overview of our work that combines machine learning and mobile sensing, exploring the opportunities and limitations of this innovative approach. Additionally, I will offer a discerning perspective on the implications of the routine use of mobile psychological sensing for research and society.


Clemens Stachl is Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Director of the Institute of Behavioral Science and Technology at the University of St. Gallen. Prior to assuming his faculty position in Switzerland he worked on postdoc positions at the Department of Communication at Stanford University and at the Department of Psychology at the University of Munich. His research is focused on the investigation of behavioral-psychological phenomena through a technological lens. Specifically, he uses data from consumer electronics (e.g., smartphones) and social media to study how psychological traits (e.g., personality), states (e.g., affect) and psychological processes (e.g., person-situation interaction) are reflected in digital traces of everyday behavior and how these data can be used to study these phenomena. Additionally, he is concerned with the implications for individuals, groups, and societal structures that might arise from the widespread use of computational and algorithmic systems in our daily lives.