Play Style & Personality

While we were researching the relationship between play style and personality, the most interesting information came from looking at correlations between the two. Correlations are a statistical way of determining if and how much two measures are related. We found that play style and personality are related, but that most of the relationships are quite small. The biggest of these correlations (|0.1|<r<|0.15| for those familiar with the statistics) show three overarching themes.

1. Conscientiousness & Speed

Of the five personality dimensions, ‘Conscientiousness’ offers the most and strongest correlations with play style. Play style variables describing certain actions per time unit have a negative relationship with this dimension, pointing toward a slower play style. A slower play style does not necessarily mean someone plays worse. For instance, Deaths per Second is also a measure of “speed” and is also negatively related with Conscientiousness. However, dying less is a positive thing in Battlefield 3. Additionally,  Conscientiousness also relates to spending one’s time on ”slow” activities such as preferring the game mode Conquest, spending more time per round, and preferring the relatively slow tank to other vehicles.

2. Unlock Score & Personality

Of all the game variables, Unlock Score per Second is generally the most strongly and consistently predictive of personality. Unlock Score is earned by achieving target scores with different classes, weapons, and vehicles. The only way to get a high Unlock Score is by using all the different weapons/vehicles/classes offered in the game, basically forcing a player to vary his play style. In general, Unlock Score relates negatively with the personality dimensions Conscientiousness and Extraversion.

3. Work Ethic & Performance

Work ethic relates negatively with game performance. Work ethic is not a personality dimension, but a term we coined to describe a collection of statements in the personality test such as ”I shirk my duties” and ”I find it difficult to get down to work.” Statements such as ”I do things in a half-way manner” show a mixed relationship with game performance. As such, the key factor here is someone’s ability or willingness to attend to his responsibilities, and not the thoroughness or dedication he may show once he does attend to his work.