You have probably heard of the adage “The eyes are the window to the soul”, but did you know that there’s now a way to determine a person’s personality type with just eye movement? Studies suggest that people with similar personalities tend to shift their eyes in identical ways.
Recently, a global team of scientists used machine learning to establish a link between eye movements and a person’s personality type. Accordingly, they designed an artificial intelligence (AI) that is capable of determining the type of personality a person may have based on how his or her eyes move.
More about the AI Technology
The group of scientists, which is led by scientists at the University of Stuttgart, conducted an experiment with 50 students and staffs at Flinders University as participants. They were asked to wear a state-of-the-art, head-mounted eye tracker to record their movements as they performed a 10-minute-long routine.
Simultaneously, the participants were also asked to answer a questionnaire, which was designed to determine their personality traits, that would be used later to gauge the success of the experiment.
From that experiment, it was discovered that this AI technology can detect four out of the “Big Five” basic personality traits. It could easily perceive agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and neuroticism. It could not, on the other hand, assess openness to experience.
However, it should also be mentioned that while the AI was able to predict these personality types, it wasn’t able to do it with particularly high accuracy; even so, the researchers say that it was still reliable for those traits.
With continued improvement, this technology could dramatically enhance interactions with machines, making things like virtual assistants a way of interpreting our mood or personality. What’s more, it could improve how humans and robots interact. If the machine can understand what a person is like, then it can act accordingly.
As expected though, there is bound to be some concerns about the use of technology like this. For instance, it could be exploited to find out whether a person is vulnerable to manipulation.
The Big Five Personality Traits
So, what are the “Big Five” personality traits? The Big Five personality traits, which is also called the Five Factor Model (FFM), is a classification for personality traits and is based on common language descriptors. The five factors are conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience.
Conscientiousness refers to the personality trait of being careful, systematic, and vigilant. Extraversion, on the other hand, refers to being outgoing, talkative, and overall having an energetic behavior.
There is also agreeableness, which is a personality trait that is perceived as kind, cooperative, warm, sympathetic, and considerate. In comparison, neuroticism refers to the tendency of being prone to psychological stress. Also, people who are predisposed to neuroticism tend to be moody and manifest feelings of anxiety, fear, loneliness, guilt, worry, anger, jealousy, frustration, envy, and overall depressed mood.
Lastly, out of the five personality traits, openness to experience is the one mostly used to describe human personality. It involves six dimensions or facets, that is active imagination (or fantasy), aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity.
Personality Traits According to Eye Movements
Based on the studies conducted by the researchers, here are the personality traits related to eye movements:
Generally, when you’re in a new place and you tend to look around more, you are regarded as the curious type. When you tend to look at abstract images for extended periods of time, then you’re the open-minded type.
Now, those people who tend to blink faster when they’re in a new environment are considered as the neurotic type as opposed to the type that is open to new experiences who move their eyes from side-to-side more.
We also have people who tend to have dilated eyes when they’re in an unfamiliar place, who are considered to be the conscientious type. On the other hand, people who spend less time staring at negative emotional things are considered optimistic.
Of course, there is a disclaimer. Even though these are amusing, albeit outlandish, things to ponder, you should remember that eye movement patterns are not the decisive factors for these character traits because they are simply tendencies that the scientists had found a correlation with.