Changing behavior with the help of a digital personality change intervention

There’s good news for everyone who wants to do a little better in 2022. A recent study found that digital tools were so effective in helping users change their behavior traits, friends and family noticed their progress.

It’s February, which means most people’s New Year’s resolutions are already out the window. The daily yoga challenge is a goner. The diet ended on January 8th. And that savings account — well, at least it didn’t shrink, right?

The point is: Change is hard. It’s a monumental task to shift our behaviors, especially when those behaviors have been with us for so long. Now imagine you’re not just trying to break a bad habit but transform elements of your very personality. Ouch.

But there’s hope. A recent study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined the effect of digital intervention tools on people’s efforts to change their behaviors. Here’s the exciting part: The tools worked.

And that’s a good sign for everyone who wants to do a little better in 2022.

What does the data say?

The PNAS study considered a group of 1,500 people who signed up for a personality coaching app. Participants were split up into two groups: One group got the greenlight to use the app, and the other was notified it had to wait one month before starting the program.

The first group showed greater self-reported changes compared to those in the second group. In fact, changes were significant for those who wanted to increase a certain behavioral trait and for those who wanted to decrease one.

What’s more, friends, family members, or partners of the participants observed personality changes in the desired direction, too — particularly for those who wanted to increase a trait.

Behavior is malleable

The study authors came to a striking conclusion: “Self- and observer-reported changes persisted until 3 months after the end of the intervention. This work provides the strongest evidence to date that normal personality traits can be changed through intervention in nonclinical samples.”

This news is positive. The study indicated that we can change our behaviors — personality doesn’t dictate our every move. It may sway us one way or the other, but behaviors put us in the driver’s seat.

For instance, say a digital tool reveals you score high for self responsibility — a trait typically defined as an individual’s ability to own a particular issue. Your high score translates to a likelihood that you take on too much too often. You might even gravitate toward the tasks that feel more valuable or important.

When you understand this inclination, you can set boundaries more easily and delegate more effectively. You’ll help others grow instead of doing the work for them.

Outcomes are possible

So what does all this mean for those of us with a resolution that’s been put on the back burner?
It means we need to focus on our choices, big and small.

To achieve change, we need one key ingredient: awareness. Without it, we can’t know which behaviors are holding us back and which are propelling us forward. But once we’re in the know, action becomes possible.

To find out how PeopleBest can serve your team, book a demo and set up a time to chat with one of our specialists.

PeopleBest is a revolutionary, simple and powerful way to capture the exact ‘DNA of success’ inside people, teams and companies.