The Watson Demo: Our Personalities Revealed in Our Writing

personality
by Vic

My wife came across this interesting piece of web-based software that I wanted to share with all of you.

It’s called the Watson Demo (link attached).

The way the software works by taking content taken from blogposts, facebook, twitter, and any other form of writing you desire and analyzes it.  This analysis breaks down the personality of the writer.  The more words put into it, the better and more accurate the results.  The minimum amount of words suggested is about 1,000.

I actually took the time to copy about 1,300 words of the manuscript that I’m working on and it pegged me fairly accurately.  Which got me thinking, is there a way to specifically portray yourself in the way you write, or is our personality so ingrained in us that we cannot help but present ourselves the same way no matter how we write?

The system breaks down the analysis into a few different categories: The Big 5, Needs, and Values.  Pulling straight from the website’s documentation link, this is what it says:

  • Big Five personality characteristics represent the most widely used model for generally describing how a person engages with the world. The model includes five primary characteristics, or dimensions:
    • Agreeableness is a person’s tendency to be compassionate and cooperative toward others.
    • Conscientiousness is a person’s tendency to act in an organized or thoughtful way.
    • Extraversion is a person’s tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
    • Emotional Range, also referred to as Neuroticism or Natural Reactions, is the extent to which a person’s emotions are sensitive to his or her environment.
    • Openness is the extent to which a person is open to experiencing a variety of activities.

    Each of these top-level dimensions has six facets that further characterize an individual according to the dimension.

  • Needs describe which aspects of a product will resonate with a person. The model includes twelve characteristic needs: Excitement, Harmony, Curiosity, Ideal, Closeness, Self-expression, Liberty,Love, Practicality, Stability, Challenge, and Structure.
  • Values describe motivating factors that influence a person’s decision-making. The model includes five dimensions of human values: Self-transcendence / Helping others, Conservation / Tradition,Hedonism / Taking pleasure in life, Self-enhancement / Achieving success, and Open to change / Excitement.

Knowing that is how the analysis is modeled gives a better understanding of how it works.  But, I still wonder if I could change my writing style.  I tried a few different times but ultimately I came up with the same results with very few differences.

Ultimately, I don’t believe it is possible for me at this time to change the personality that presents in my writing, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.  I do believe that there are events that can lead to those changes, whether positive or negative, and I would be interested to see how that affects the writing analysis.

What do you think?  Is personality in writing impossible to separate ourselves from, or is it something so intimately intertwined that to do otherwise would be impossible?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Grace and Peace.

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