Subtitle: A new approach for studying individual differences in density distributions
Publication Date:
Author(s): Nilam Ram, Lizbeth Benson, Timothy R. Brick, David E. Conroy, Aaron L. Pincus
Publisher: Academic Press Inc.
Publication Type: Academic Journal Article
Journal Title: Journal of Research in Personality
Volume: 69
Page Range: 191-205

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.