Behavioral landscapes and earth mover's distance: A new approach for studying individual differences in density distributions

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Abstract

Contemporary views of personality highlight intraindividual variability. We forward a general method for quantifying individual differences in behavioral tendencies based on Earth Mover's Distance. Using data from 150 individuals who reported on their and others’ interpersonal behavior in 64,112 social interactions, we illustrate how this new approach can advance notions of personality as density distributions. Results provide independent confirmation and establish validity of existing representations of individual differences in interpersonal behavior, and identify new dimensions and profiles of personality and well-being. Benefits of the EMD method include freedom from assumptions about the shape and form of density distributions, generality of application to n-dimensional behavior captured in experience sampling studies, and natural integration of personality structure and dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-205
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume69
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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