Using Linguistic Cues for the Automatic Recognition of Personality in Conversation and Text

F. Mairesse, M. A. Walker, M. R. Mehl, and R. K. Moore

It is well known that utterances convey a great deal of information about the speaker in addition to their semantic content. One such type of information consists of cues to the speaker's personality traits, the most fundamental dimension of variation between humans. Recent work explores the automatic detection of other types of pragmatic variation in text and conversation, such as emotion, deception, speaker charisma, dominance, point of view, subjectivity, opinion and sentiment. Personality affects these other aspects of linguistic production, and thus personality recognition may be useful for these tasks, in addition to many other potential applications. However, to date, there is little work on the automatic recognition of personality traits. This article reports experimental results for recognition of all Big Five personality traits, in both conversation and text, utilising both self and observer ratings of personality. While other work reports classification results, we experiment with classification, regression and ranking models. For each model, we analyse the effect of different feature sets on accuracy. Results show that for some traits, any type of statistical model performs significantly better than the baseline, but ranking models perform best overall. We also present an experiment suggesting that ranking models are more accurate than multi-class classifiers for modelling personality. In addition, recognition models trained on observed personality perform better than models trained using self-reports, and the optimal feature set depends on the personality trait. A qualitative analysis of the learned models confirms previous findings linking language and personality, while revealing many new linguistic markers.


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