Samuel D Gosling

Samuel D Gosling
University of Texas at Austin | UT · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

222
Publications
350,111
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
42,575
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (222)
Article
In general, people are influenced by the standards set forth by groups of others; however, the levels of such conformity vary between people and across cultures. Here, we investigated factors related to country-level personality profile conformity (i.e., person-culture personality fit) across ∼5.9 million participants, residing in 57 different coun...
Article
Breakthrough innovations are expected to have a bigger impact on local economies than incremental innovations do. Yet past research has largely neglected the regional drivers of breakthrough innovations. Building on theories that highlight the role of personality psychology and human agency in shaping regional innovation cultures, we focus on psych...
Article
Full-text available
When you describe yourself and the people you know, the words you use might be different for each person. Maybe your sister is creative, and your brother is friendly. You could even describe your dog as playful and your neighbor’s cat as nervous! The descriptions are different because each of you has a different personality—that is, you differ from...
Preprint
In general, people are influenced by the standards set forth by groups of others; however, the levels of such conformity vary between people and across cultural contexts. Here, we investigated factors related to country-level personality profile conformity (i.e., person-culture personality fit) across ~5.9 million participants, residing in 57 diffe...
Article
Levels of fertility and the shape of the age-specific fertility schedule vary substantially across U.S. regions with some states having peak fertility relatively early and others relatively late. Structural institutions or economic factors partly explain these heterogeneous patterns, but regional differences in personality might also contribute to...
Article
There is growing evidence that psychological characteristics are spatially clustered across geographic regions and that regionally aggregated psychological characteristics are related to important outcomes. However, much of the evidence comes from research that relied on methods that are theoretically ill-suited for working with spatial data. The v...
Article
Full-text available
Lower socioeconomic status (SES) harms psychological well-being, an effect responsible for widespread human suffering. This effect has long been assumed to weaken as nations develop economically. Recent evidence, however, has contradicted this fundamental assumption, finding instead that the psychological burden of lower SES is even greater in deve...
Preprint
As human interactions have shifted to virtual spaces and as sensing systems have become more affordable, an increasing share of peoples’ everyday lives can be captured in real time. The availability of such fine-grained behavioral data from billions of people has the potential to enable great leaps in our understanding of human behavior. However, s...
Article
Full-text available
Loneliness levels were assessed in a longitudinal, nationwide sample ( N total = 6,010) collected over the course of the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. When in-person social contact restrictions were put in place, loneliness increased significantly compared to prepandemic levels but began to decrease again even before contact r...
Article
Accumulating evidence suggests that culture changes in response to shifting socioecological conditions; economic development is a particularly potent driver of such change. Previous research has shown that economic development can induce slow but steady cultural changes within large cultural entities (e.g., countries). Here we propose that economic...
Article
Childhood lead exposure has devastating lifelong consequences, as even low-level exposure stunts intelligence and leads to delinquent behavior. However, these consequences may be more extensive than previously thought because childhood lead exposure may adversely affect normal-range personality traits. Personality influences nearly every aspect of...
Preprint
Childhood lead exposure has devastating lifelong consequences, as even low-level exposure stunts intelligence and leads to delinquent behavior. But these consequences may be more extensive than previously thought, because childhood lead exposure may adversely affect normal-range personality traits. Personality influences nearly every aspect of huma...
Article
We draw on genetics research to argue that complex psychological phenomena are most likely determined by a multitude of causes and that any individual cause is likely to have only a small effect. Building on this, we highlight the dangers of a publication culture that continues to demand large effects. First, it rewards inflated effects that are un...
Article
Full-text available
Background As mobile technologies become ever more sensor-rich, portable, and ubiquitous, data captured by smart devices are lending rich insights into users’ daily lives with unprecedented comprehensiveness and ecological validity. A number of human-subject studies have been conducted to examine the use of mobile sensing to uncover individual beha...
Article
Full-text available
Loneliness is a widely affecting mental health symptom and can be mediated by and co-vary with patterns of social exposure. Using momentary survey and smartphone sensing data collected from 129 Android-using college student participants over three weeks, we (1) investigate and uncover the relations between momentary loneliness experience and compan...
Preprint
We draw on genetics research to argue that complex psychological phenomena are most likely determined by a multitude of causes, with any individual cause likely to have only a small effect. Building upon this, we highlight the dangers of a publication culture that continues to demand large effects: First, it rewards inflated effects that are unlike...
Preprint
Accumulating evidence suggests that culture changes in response to shifting socioecological conditions; economic development is a particularly potent driver of such change. Previous re-search has shown that economic development can induce slow but steady cultural changes within large cultural entities (e.g., countries). Here we propose that economi...
Chapter
People's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can vary a great deal over situations and time. Such dynamic patterns are difficult to assess using traditional survey- and lab-based methods. However, new digital media technologies (e.g., smartphones, wearable devices, smart-home devices) offer a powerful approach to capturing fine-grained records of peo...
Article
Full-text available
Regional differences in personality are associated with a range of consequential outcomes. But which factors are responsible for these differences? Frontier settlement theory suggests that physical topography is a crucial factor shaping the psychological landscape of regions. Hence, we investigated whether topography is associated with regional var...
Article
How relevant are the Big Five in predicting religiosity? Existing evidence suggests that the Big Five domains account for only a small amount of variance in religiosity. Some researchers have claimed that the Big Five domains are too broad and not sufficiently specific to explain much religiosity variance. Accordingly, they speculated that the more...
Preprint
Full-text available
Loneliness is a widely affecting mental health symptom and can be mediated by and co-vary with patterns of social exposure. Using momentary survey and smartphone sensing data collected from 129 Android-using college student participants over three weeks, we (1) investigate and uncover the relations between momentary loneliness experience and compan...
Preprint
As mobile technologies become ever more sensor-rich, portable, and ubiquitous, data captured by smart devices are lending rich insights into users' daily lives with unprecedented comprehensiveness, unobtrusiveness, and ecological validity. A number of human-subject studies have been conducted in the past decade to examine the use of mobile sensing...
Article
People around the world own digital media devices that mediate and are in close proximity to their daily behaviours and situational contexts. These devices can be harnessed as sensing technologies to collect information from sensor and metadata logs that provide fine‐grained records of everyday personality expression. In this paper, we present a co...
Article
Full-text available
People enjoy well-being benefits if their personal characteristics match those of their culture. This person-culture match effect is integral to many psychological theories and-as a driver of migration-carries much societal relevance. But do people differ in the degree to which person-culture match confers well-being benefits? In the first-ever emp...
Preprint
Social behaviors play a key role in the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, regional variation in personality traits that capture individual differences in these social behaviors may offer new insight into regional variation in COVID-19 cases. Here we combine self-reported personality data (N ≈ 3.5 million people), official COVID-19 prevalence rates,...
Article
Full-text available
Smartphones enjoy high adoption rates around the globe. Rarely more than an arm's length away, these sensor-rich devices can easily be repurposed to collect rich and extensive records of their users' behaviors (e.g., location, communication, media consumption), posing serious threats to individual privacy. Here we examine the extent to which indivi...
Article
Full-text available
We explore how variation in fatal automobile crashes across small geographic areas is associated with geographic variation in self-rated psychological and behavioral characteristics. Specifically, estimates of ZIP-code-level automobile fatality rates were linked to a separate dataset comprising 2.8 million responses to a widely used self-report per...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing availability of high‐dimensional, fine‐grained data about human behaviour, gathered from mobile sensing studies and in the form of digital footprints, is poised to drastically alter the way personality psychologists perform research and undertake personality assessment. These new kinds and quantities of data raise important questions...
Preprint
Full-text available
The increasing availability of high-dimensional and fine-grained data about human behaviorin the form of digital footprints from online repositories and data traces from high-frequencymobile sensing studies, is about to drastically alter the way personality psychologists performresearch and personality assessment. The new opportunities to collect t...
Article
Die geographische Psychologie befasst sich unter anderem mit Persönlichkeitsunterschieden von Regionen und Regionstypen, in denen Personen leben und handeln. Mittels solcher Forschung können regionale „Mentalitäten“ untersucht werden aus denen sich Forschungsfragen zu Entwicklungspfaden von Regionen und deren Populationen ableiten lassen. Während e...
Article
Rationale: Regular exercise is frequently recommended as a means of combating the negative effects of stress on mental health. But, among college students, exercise frequency remains below recommended levels. Objective: To better understand exercising behaviors in college students, we examined how exercise patterns change across an academic seme...
Article
Full-text available
Can personality traits be measured and interpreted reliably across the world? While the use of Big Five personality measures is increasingly common across social sciences, their validity outside of western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) populations is unclear. Adopting a comprehensive psychometric approach to analyze 29 fac...
Article
Sociability as a disposition describes a tendency to affiliate with others (vs. be alone). Yet, we know relatively little about how much social behavior people engage in during a typical day. One challenge to documenting social behavior tendencies is the broad number of channels over which socializing can occur, both in-person and through digital m...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has identified regional variation of personality traits within countries but we know little about the underlying drivers of this variation. We propose that the Industrial Revolution, as a key era in the history of industrialized nations, has led to a persistent clustering of well-being outcomes and personality traits associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has identified regional variation of personality traits within countries but we know little about the underlying drivers of this variation. We propose that the Industrial Revolution, as a key era in the history of industrialized nations, has led to a persistent clustering of well-being outcomes and personality traits associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Two recent electoral results - Donald Trump’s election as US president and the UK’s Brexit vote - have re-ignited debate on the psychological factors underlying voting behavior. Both campaigns promoted themes of fear, lost pride, and loss aversion, which are relevant to the personality dimension of Neuroticism, a construct previously not associated...
Chapter
The assessment of psychological situations in everyday life presents a number of methodological challenges, largely stemming from the need to assess situations as they occur in their natural context. Digital media devices (e.g., smartphones, wearables, smart home appliances) that come equipped with a wide array of sensors address these challenges b...
Article
Full-text available
Two recent electoral results—Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president and the UK’s Brexit vote—have reignited debate on the psychological factors underlying voting behavior. Both campaigns promoted themes of fear, lost pride, and loss aversion, which are relevant to the personality dimension of neuroticism, a construct previously not associated wi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 2 decades, many social scientists have expanded their data-collection capabilities by using various online research tools. In the 2011 article “Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data?” in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Buhrmester, Kwang, and Gosling introduced researchers to what was then...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Neuere Forschungen brachten deutliche Hinweise auf regional unterschiedliche Ausprägungen bestimmter Persönlichkeitsmerkmale in der Bevölkerung. Solche regionalen Unterschiede bei prägenden Verhaltenseigenschaften einer Bevölkerung können wesentlich zur Erklärung einer regionalen Entwicklung beitragen. Wir geben einen Überblick über...
Article
Full-text available
Human personality traits differ across geographical regions ¹⁻⁵. However, it remains unclear what generates these geographical personality differences. Because humans constantly experience and react to ambient temperature, we propose that temperature is a crucial environmental factor that is associated with individuals' habitual behavioural pattern...
Article
Full-text available
Substantial and systematic cross-country variation in entrepreneurship rates has been found in various studies. We attempt to explain such differences focusing on the interaction between institutional factors and population psychological characteristics. Constitutional provisions supporting economic freedom is our measure of the institutional conte...
Conference Paper
This paper showcases an approach to combining smart-phone sensing technology, web mapping services, and psychological assessments to enhance our understanding of the psychological characteristics of places. For two weeks, twenty-six students used a smartphone app that passively collected GPS sensor data. Human raters then characterized their most f...
Article
User interaction patterns with mobile apps and notifications are generally complex due to the many factors involved. However a deep understanding of what influences them can lead to more acceptable applications that are able to deliver information at the right time. In this paper, we present for the first time an in-depth analysis of interaction be...
Article
Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their nonreligious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies f...
Article
Self-tracking consists of recording the behaviors that occur in one’s daily life. Self-tracking studies can provide researchers with passively sensed information about individual’s daily behaviors and environments and actively logged information (e.g., self-reports). This method has great promise for obtaining detailed records of behavior in natura...
Article
Studies have shown that cognitive ability is correlated with parental socioeconomic status (pSES). However, little is known about the correlation between personality and pSES. To better understand this relation, we conducted a meta-analysis of the correlations between pSES and personality traits and temperament dimensions. The correlations were gen...
Article
Full-text available
A widespread stereotype holds that the Germans are notorious worriers, an idea captured by the term, German Angst. An analysis of country-level neurotic personality traits (Trait Anxiety, Trait Depression, and Trait Neuroticism; N = 7,210,276) across 109 countries provided mixed support for this idea; Germany ranked 20th, 31st, and 53rd for Depress...
Article
Full-text available
What are the entrepreneurial places in the United States? Although seminal theorizing on the determinants of entrepreneurship gives culture a unique and important role, systematic empirical evidence linking the distinct cultural identity of regions to their local entrepreneurial spirit and vitality is still scarce. This study offers a first, system...
Article
Full-text available
An extensive literature has emerged in regional studies linking organization-based measures of entrepreneurship (e.g., self-employment, new start-ups) to regional economic performance. A limitation of the extant literature is that the measurement of entrepreneurship is not able to incorporate broader conceptual views, such as behavior, of what actu...
Article
The recent arrival of smartphone-sensing methods has made it possible to objectively track consequential everyday health-related behaviors rather than rely on self-reports. To evaluate the viability of using sensing methods to monitor such behaviors in detail, the present research used a smartphone-sensing application to describe the patterns of st...
Preprint
With over 800 million active users, Facebook is changing the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another and share information. A rapidly growing body of research has accompanied the meteoric rise of Facebook as social scientists assess the impact of Facebook on social life. In addition, researchers have recognized the utility of Faceb...
Article
Smartphones now offer the promise of collecting behavioral data unobtrusively, in situ, as it unfolds in the course of daily life. Data can be collected from the onboard sensors and other phone logs embedded in today’s off-the-shelf smartphone devices. These data permit fine-grained, continuous collection of people’s social interactions (e.g., spea...
Preprint
Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their non-religious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies...
Article
Full-text available
Values are a central personality construct and the importance of studying them has been well established. To encourage researchers to integrate measures of values into their studies, brief and ultrabrief instruments were developed to recapture the 10 values measured by the 40-item Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ; Schwartz, 2003 Schwartz, S. H. (...
Article
The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (rp) and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient (rs) are widely used in psychological research. We compare rp and rs on 3 criteria: variability, bias with respect to the population value, and robustness to an outlier. Using simulations across low (N = 5) to high (N = 1,000) sample sizes we show...
Article
The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (rp) and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient (rs) are widely used in psychological research. We compare rp and rs on 3 criteria: variability, bias with respect to the population value, and robustness to an outlier. Using simulations across low (N = 5) to high (N = 1,000) sample sizes we show...
Article
Facebook (FB) has become a virtually inescapable aspect of modern social life. Yet many people have concerns about using FB and even consider quitting or abstaining from it. To establish a framework for organizing the varied concerns that people have about FB, the present research surveyed 2 groups known to have high rates of FB adoption (e.g., Dug...
Article
Research and theorizing on gender and age differences in self-esteem have played a prominent role in psychology over the past 20 years. However, virtually all empirical research has been undertaken in the United States or other Western industrialized countries, providing a narrow empirical base from which to draw conclusions and develop theory. To...
Article
Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their nonreligious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies f...
Article
Are religious people psychologically better or worse adjusted than their non-religious counterparts? Hundreds of studies have reported a positive relation between religiosity and psychological adjustment. Recently, however, a comparatively small number of cross-cultural studies has questioned this staple of religiosity research. The latter studies...