Machine Learning Approach to Personality Assessment and Its Application to Personnel Selection A Brief Review of the Current Research and Suggestions for the Future

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JiSoo Ock
HyeRyeon An


As we enter the digital age, new methods of personality testing-namely, machine learning-based personality assessment scales-are quickly gaining attraction. Because machine learning-based personality assessments are made based on algorithms that analyze digital footprints of people’s online behaviors, they are supposedly less prone to human biases or cognitive fallacies that are often cited as limitations of traditional personality tests. As a result, machine learning-based assessment tools are becoming increasingly popular in operational settings across the globe with the anticipation that they can effectively overcome the limitations of traditional personality testing. However, the provision of scientific evidence regarding the psychometric soundness and the fairness of machine learning-based assessment tools have lagged behind their use in practice. The current paper provides a brief review of empirical studies that have examined the validity of machine learning-based personality assessment, focusing primarily on social media text mining method. Based on this review, we offer some suggestions about future research directions, particularly regarding the important and immediate need to examine the machine learning-based personality assessment tools’ compliance with the practical and legal standards for use in practice (such as inter-algorithm reliability, test-retest reliability, and differential prediction across demographic groups). Additionally, we emphasize that the goal of machine learning-based personality assessment tools should not be to simply maximize the prediction of personality ratings. Rather, we should explore ways to use this new technology to further develop our fundamental understanding of human personality and to contribute to the development of personality theory.


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Ock, J., & An, H. (2021). Machine Learning Approach to Personality Assessment and Its Application to Personnel Selection: A Brief Review of the Current Research and Suggestions for the Future. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 34(2), 213–236.
Systematic review and meta-analysis articles


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