Your spending habits reveals aspects about your personality, says study.(Unsplash)
Your spending habits reveals aspects about your personality, says study.(Unsplash)

Your spending habits reveals aspects about your personality, says study

Spending money is as common as breathing, but do you know this common activity can signal various aspects of your personality?
By Asian News International | Asian News International, Washington D.c. [usa]
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2019 03:03 PM IST

Spending money is as common as breathing, but do you know this common activity can signal various aspects of your personality?

According to research published in the journal of Psychological Science, over 2 million spending records from more than 2,000 individuals indicate that when people spend money in certain categories, this can be used to infer certain personality traits, such as how materialistic they are or how much self-control they tend to have.

“Now that most people spend their money electronically - with billions of payment cards in circulation worldwide - we can study these spending patterns at scale like never before. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that it is possible to predict people’s personality from their spending,” said Joe Gladstone, who co-led the research.

We all spend money on essential goods, such as food and housing, to fulfill basic needs - but we also spend money in ways that reflect aspects of who we are as individuals. Gladstone and colleagues wondered whether the variety in people’s spending habits might correlate with other individual differences.

“We expected that these rich patterns of differences in peoples spending could allow us to infer what kind of person they were,” said Sandra Matz, another researcher of the project.

For the research, account holders completed a brief personality survey that included questions measuring materialism, self-control, and the “Big Five” personality traits of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Participants’ spending data was organised into broad categories including supermarkets, furniture stores, insurance policies, online retail stores, and coffee shops and the researchers used a machine-learning technique to analyse whether participants’ relative spending across categories was predictive of specific traits.

Overall, the correlations between the model predictions and participants’ personality trait scores were modest. However, predictive accuracy varied considerably across different traits, with predictions that were more accurate for the narrow traits (materialism and self-control) than for the broader traits (the Big Five).

Looking at specific correlations between spending categories and traits, the researchers found that people who were more open to experience tended to spend more on flights, those who were more extraverted tended to make more dining and drinking purchases, those who were more agreeable donated more to charity, those who were more conscientious put more money into savings, and those who were more materialistic spent more on jewellery and less on donations.

The researchers also found that those who reported greater self-control spent less on bank charges and those who rated higher on neuroticism spent less on mortgage payments.

The findings have clear applications in the banking and financial services industries, which also raises potential ethical challenges. For example, financial services firms could use personality predictions to identify individuals with certain traits, such as low self-control, and then target those individuals across a variety of domains, from online advertising to direct mail.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Malaysian artist Wani Ardy poses for a picture after an interview with Reuters, in Shah Alam, Malaysia March 2, 2021. Picture taken March 2, 2021. (REUTERS)
Malaysian artist Wani Ardy poses for a picture after an interview with Reuters, in Shah Alam, Malaysia March 2, 2021. Picture taken March 2, 2021. (REUTERS)

Born without a womb, Malaysia artist Wani Ardy sparks sexual health conversation

Reuters, Kuala Lumpur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 04:20 PM IST
It wasn't until her 20s that Wani finally learned that her rare condition had a name - Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH) - when internal sex organs such as the womb or the vagina are either absent or underdeveloped at birth.
Close
There is a critical need for housing for older LGBT+ people, said Anna Kear, chief executive of Tonic Housing, as many say it would be "terrifying" to live in a predominantly straight home where other residents did not accept them.(Unsplash)
There is a critical need for housing for older LGBT+ people, said Anna Kear, chief executive of Tonic Housing, as many say it would be "terrifying" to live in a predominantly straight home where other residents did not accept them.(Unsplash)

UK to open first LGBT+ retirement home as market grows

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:12 PM IST
Britain's first LGBT+ retirement home is set to open in mid-2021, the housing association behind the London riverside apartments said on Tuesday, highlighting a growing market of older people who do not want to be forced back in the closet.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Be happy with self

By Prerna Gauba
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 03:12 PM IST
Recently Japan appointed a Minister of Loneliness, which made it clear how loneliness has become a global issue.
Close
Screengrab of the game
Screengrab of the game

Harry Potter game features trans characters after Rowling's transphobic comments

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:58 AM IST
The next Harry Potter video game will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type and gender placement for the school dormitories, taking a stride toward inclusivity after several recent controversies stemming from comments by series creator J.K. Rowling that were seen as transphobic.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Warmer tone in college syllabi makes students more likely to ask for help: Study

ANI, Oregon
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:35 AM IST
Conversely, when a syllabus is written in a more cold, detached tone, students are less likely to reach out.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Layperson can reduce pregnant women's depression as well as a professional

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:33 AM IST
One in five women will develop postpartum depression, and both mother and child are adversely affected by postpartum depression.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Gender equality has improved in India, says new study

PTI, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:17 PM IST
Reduced and flexible schedules, more sabbaticals, and new opportunities to upskill and learn are critical offerings that can help organisations attract, hire, and retain more female talent.
Close
Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan(Instagram/minimathur)
Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan(Instagram/minimathur)

Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 02:26 PM IST
  • Mini Mathur shares romantic mushy ‘wild candid’ pictures on 23rd wedding anniversary with Kabir Khan, spills the beans on a long and happy marriage and we are taking notes to amp up our romance game this Sunday
Close
Details of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West's divorce revealed(Instagram/ kimkardashian)
Details of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West's divorce revealed(Instagram/ kimkardashian)

Kim Kardashian sites irreconcilable differences as reason for divorce from Kanye

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:01 AM IST
New details from the divorce of American reality TV star Kim Kardashian and renowned rapper Kanye West have surfaced. The two stars who have been married for almost seven years have a prenup, which will help them avoid a hairy dispute over their massive fortune.
Close
Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar celebrate 7 years of togetherness(Instagram/ankita_earthy)
Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar celebrate 7 years of togetherness(Instagram/ankita_earthy)

Milind Soman and Ankita celebrate seven year anniversary with beautiful pics

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:34 PM IST
  • Ankita Konwar wished husband Milind Soman on their seven year anniversary by sharing beautiful pictures of them together along with a loved-up note.
Close
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)

How pandemic redefined happiness

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:39 PM IST
If you are happy and you know it…it’s probably because the past months have made you re-examine what really brings joy, and what was just superfluous noise
Close
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)

LGBT+ Americans inch closer to 'freedom' as House passes Equality Act

Reuters, New York
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:47 PM IST
LGBT+ Americans moved a step closer to winning legal protection from discrimination on Thursday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed a key civil rights bill backed by President Joe Biden.
Close
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)

Another plea in HC for recognition of same sex marriages

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:16 PM IST
Four more people belonging to the gay and lesbian community urged the Delhi High Court on Thursday to declare that marriages between any two persons irrespective of their sex be solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.
Close
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.

Pawri Dilli me ho rai hai: Viral meme reference makes it to wedding invites!

By Aprajita Sharad, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:52 PM IST
Youngsters in Delhi-NCR are choosing to use viral memes and pandemic references to create informal, fun wedding invites.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

With LGBT members trapped home, homophobia soared in Israel amid Covid lockdowns

Reuters, London
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 02:02 PM IST
Hatred ruins the lives of thousands of LGBTQs who are asking to live their life with dignity and safety.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP