Regression modeling week 1


The general consensus in academic psychology is that there are five fundamental personality traits:

  • Extraversion: Extraversion reflects how much you are oriented towards things outside yourself and derive satisfaction from interacting with other people.
  • Conscientiousness: Conscientiousness reflects how careful and orderly an individual is.
  • Neuroticism: Neuroticism is the tendency to experience negative emotions.
  • Agreeableness: Agreeableness reflects how much you like and try please others.
  • Openness: Openness reflects how much you seek out new experiences.

When it is said that there are five fundamental personality traits, it is meant that there are only five traits that are completely independent (knowing someones level of one trait gives you no information about their level on any of the others) and all other personality traits will be correlated with one or more of the big five. With this data we are attempting to evaluate if any of these traits is a good predictor of a persons’s grit.

Data collection

This data was collected through an on-line personality test open to anyone, from. At the end of the personality test, users were asked if their answers were accurate and would be willing to complete an additional survey. At the end of the additional survey users were asked if their answers were accurate and their data could be used for research. This dataset consists of exclusively participants over 13 years old who consented yes at both parts. The answer of 4 720 people were kept.

The first part of the test uses public domain scales from the International Personality Item Pool to asses the user’s score on each of the big five traits. It can be found here:

These questions allow to evalute a person on a scale from 1 to 5 for each trait. It is estimated the general population distribution (not just people of answered the tests) for each of these trait follows these curves:

Then came the supplemental survey, if they agreed to it (only individuals who opted into the supplemental survey are included in this dataset). Twelve questions were asked to rate the user’s grit on a scale from 1 to 5. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty), and the lowest score on this scale is 1 (not at all gritty).

Data codebook

Big five test

For the big five test, the following items were rated on a five point scale where 1=Disagree, 3=Neutral, 5=Agree (0=missed). All were presented on one page in the order E1, N2, A1, C1, O1, E2……

  • E1: I am the life of the party.
  • E2: I don’t talk a lot.
  • E3: I feel comfortable around people.
  • E4: I keep in the background.
  • E5: I start conversations.
  • E6: I have little to say.
  • E7: I talk to a lot of different people at parties.
  • E8: I don’t like to draw attention to myself.
  • E9: I don’t mind being the center of attention.
  • E10: I am quiet around strangers.
  • N1: I get stressed out easily.
  • N2: I am relaxed most of the time.
  • N3: I worry about things.
  • N4: I seldom feel blue.
  • N5: I am easily disturbed.
  • N6: I get upset easily.
  • N7: I change my mood a lot.
  • N8: I have frequent mood swings.
  • N9: I get irritated easily.
  • N10: I often feel blue.
  • A1: I feel little concern for others.
  • A2: I am interested in people.
  • A3: I insult people.
  • A4: I sympathize with others’ feelings.
  • A5: I am not interested in other people’s problems.
  • A6: I have a soft heart.
  • A7: I am not really interested in others.
  • A8: I take time out for others.
  • A9: I feel others’ emotions.
  • A10: I make people feel at ease.
  • C1: I am always prepared.
  • C2: I leave my belongings around.
  • C3: I pay attention to details.
  • C4: I make a mess of things.
  • C5: I get chores done right away.
  • C6: I often forget to put things back in their proper place.
  • C7: I like order.
  • C8: I shirk my duties.
  • C9: I follow a schedule.
  • C10: I am exacting in my work.
  • O1: I have a rich vocabulary.
  • O2: I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas.
  • O3: I have a vivid imagination.
  • O4: I am not interested in abstract ideas.
  • O5: I have excellent ideas.
  • O6: I do not have a good imagination.
  • O7: I am quick to understand things.
  • O8: I use difficult words.
  • O9: I spend time reflecting on things.
  • O10: I am full of ideas.

Grit test

For the grit test the following items were rated on a five point scale where 1=Very much like me, 2=Mostly like me, 3=Somewhat like me, 4=Not much like me, 5=Not like me at all:

  • GS1: I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.
  • GS2: New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.
  • GS3: My interests change from year to year.
  • GS4: Setbacks don’t discourage me.
  • GS5: I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest
  • GS6: I am a hard worker.
  • GS7: I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one
  • GS8: I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete
  • GS9: I finish whatever I begin.
  • GS10: I have achieved a goal that took years of work.
  • GS11: I become interested in new pursuits every few months.
  • GS12: I am diligent.

Validity test variables

The following items were presented as a check-list and subjects were instructed “In the grid below, check all the words whose definitions you are sure you know”. A value of 1 is checked, 0 means unchecked. The words at VCL6, VCL9, and VCL12 are not real words and can be used as a validity check:

  • VCL1: boat
  • VCL2: incoherent
  • VCL3: pallid
  • VCL4: robot
  • VCL5: audible
  • VCL6: cuivocal
  • VCL7: paucity
  • VCL8: epistemology
  • VCL9: florted
  • VCL10: decide
  • VCL11: pastiche
  • VCL12: verdid
  • VCL13: abysmal
  • VCL14: lucid
  • VCL15: betray
  • VCL16: funny

Demographic variables

A bunch more questions were then asked:

  • education: “How much education have you completed?” 1=Less than high school, 2=High school, 3=University degree, 4=Graduate degree.
  • urban: “What type of area did you live when you were a child?” 1=Rural (country side), 2=Suburban, 3=Urban (town, city).
  • gender: “What is your gender?” 1=Male, 2=Female, 3=Other.
  • engnat: “Is English your native language?” 1=Yes, 2=No.
  • age: “How many years old are you?”.
  • hand: “What hand do you use to write with?” 1=Right, 2=Left, 3=Both.
  • religion: “What is your religion?” 1=Agnostic, 2=Atheist, 3=Buddhist, 4=Christian (Catholic), 5=Christian (Mormon), 6=Christian (Protestant), 7=Christian (Other), 8=Hindu, 9=Jewish, 10=Muslim, 11=Sikh, 12=Other.
  • orientation: “What is your sexual orientation?” 1=Heterosexual, 2=Bisexual, 3=Homosexual, 4=Asexual, 5=Other.
  • race: “What is your race?” 1=Asian, 2=Arab, 3=Black, 4=Indigenous Australian, Native American or White, 5=Other.
  • voted: “Have you voted in a national election in the past year?” 1=Yes, 2=No.
  • married: “What is your marital status?” 1=Never married, 2=Currently married, 3=Previously married.
  • familysize: “Including you, how many children did your mother have?”.

Technical information variables

This data was collected over several pages, the time on each page was recorded:

  • introelapse: The time spent (in seconds) on the introduction page to the big five personality test, had an introduction to the big five and a policies statement.
  • testelapse: The time spent (in seconds) on the body of the big five personality test.
  • surveyelapse: The time spent (in seconds) on the additonal survey.

Some other values were calculated from technical information:

  • country: ISO country code
  • operatingsystem: The operating system of the users computer, determined from HTTP user agent
  • browser: The browser the user is using, determined from HTTP user agent
  • screenw: The width of the users screen in pixels, from javascript
  • screenh: The height of the users screen in pixels, from javascript
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