Pinpoint data used in peer-reviewed research

Columbia University Professor and Pinpoint advisor Sandra Matz published research leveraging Pinpoint data in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, of the American Psychological Association. The article is titled “Personal Echo Chambers: Openness-to-Experience Is Linked to Higher Levels of Psychological Interest Diversity in Large-Scale Behavioral Data.”


This research investigates the extent to which the personality trait of Openness-to-Experience can protect individuals from living in personal echo chambers that create and reinforce a narrow view on the world. Analyses of 2 large-scale data sets with over 80,000 participants and more than 40,000,000 behavioral observations demonstrate that individuals scoring high on Openness show higher variability in the psychological profiles associated with their personal interests—a novel concept termed psychological interest diversity. Study 1 examines the Facebook profiles of 57,185 users to demonstrate that a person’s Openness level predicts the degree to which the pages they like are diverse in the political ideologies, personal values, and personality traits of their followers. Study 2 replicates the findings of Study 1 using over 28,000,000 GPS-tracked event attendances collected via people’s smartphones. Specifically, the results show that individuals (N ? 22,953) with higher levels of Openness also show higher levels of psychological interest diversity in the events they attend, and that this effect is incremental to county- level variation in psychological interest diversity. The findings empirically support the theoretical conceptualization of Openness as a preference for variety and exploration and corroborate the role of personal dispositions in the creation of personal echo chambers. The discussion highlights the need to further explore psychological interest diversity as the initial basis of algorithmic filter bubbles—for example, recommendation systems or targeted advertising—which further amplify and reinforce existing interests and preferences.

Keywords: openness, Big Five personality, psychological interest diversity, preference for variety, personal echo chambers

Please click here to read the full article.