UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Can Psychological Traits Be Inferred From Spending? Evidence From Transaction Data

Gladstone, JJ; Matz, SC; Lemaire, A; (2019) Can Psychological Traits Be Inferred From Spending? Evidence From Transaction Data. Psychological Science , 30 (7) pp. 1087-1096. 10.1177/0956797619849435. Green open access

[thumbnail of Gladstone_0956797619849435.pdf]
Preview
Text
Gladstone_0956797619849435.pdf

Download (253kB) | Preview

Abstract

The automatic assessment of psychological traits from digital footprints allows researchers to study psychological traits at unprecedented scale and in settings of high ecological validity. In this research, we investigated whether spending records-a ubiquitous and universal form of digital footprint-can be used to infer psychological traits. We applied an ensemble machine-learning technique ( random-forest modeling) to a data set combining two million spending records from bank accounts with survey responses from the account holders ( N = 2,193). Our predictive accuracies were modest for the Big Five personality traits ( r = .15, corrected ρ = .21) but provided higher precision for specific traits, including materialism ( r = .33, corrected ρ = .42). We compared the predictive accuracy of these models with the predictive accuracy of alternative digital behaviors used in past research, including those observed on social media platforms, and we found that the predictive accuracies were relatively stable across socioeconomic groups and over time.

Type: Article
Title: Can Psychological Traits Be Inferred From Spending? Evidence From Transaction Data
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0956797619849435
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619849435
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Big Five personality traits, computational social science, consumer psychology, financial decision making, psychometrics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076117
Downloads since deposit
1,349Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item