Towards "Honest Signals" of Creativity - Identifying Personality Characteristics Through Microscopic Social Network Analysis

Peter A. Gloor*, Kai Fischbach, Hauke Fuehres, Casper Lassenius, Tuomas Niinimäki, Daniel Olguin Olguin, Sandy Pentland, Arttu Piri, Johannes Putzke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper presents preliminary results on predicting individual creativity based on interpersonal interaction patterns. We combine insights from analyzing communication in an E-mail student network of a distributed course with measurements of interaction by sociometric badges for 23 programmers in Northern Europe. In the first case study we measure communication patterns of 23 software developers in a Nordic country through sociometric badges over a period of 4 weeks, associating it with creativity and productivity collected by a daily questionnaire. At the same time we collected individual trust through another questionnaire. We found that the more central people are in the network, the more trusting they are, and the less they oscillate between low and high states of energy, the more trusting they are.

The second case study is based on a sample of 17 students from a German university participating in a multinational course. We show that e-mail behavior is associated with personality type as measured by the FFI personality test. We found that the larger degree and betweenness centrality of students in the e-mail course network is, the more agreeable and less neurotic they are. The faster students respond to e-mail, the more open and agreeable they are. The smaller the contribution index of students is, i.e. the less e-mails they send relative to other team members, the more neurotic they are.

We speculate that there might be two different types of creativity, "lonely genius"-feeling most creative when on his/her own with lower trust in others, and "swarm creative"-most creative when in the midst of other people, and with higher trust. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of COINs 2010 Organizing Committee

Original languageEnglish
EditorsJ Gluesing, P Gloor, C Miller, K Riopelle
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event International Conference on Collaborative Innovation Networks - Savannah, Gabon
Duration: 7 Oct 20109 Oct 2010
Conference number: 2

Publication series

NameProcedia Social and Behavioral Sciences
ISSN (Print)1877-0428


Conference International Conference on Collaborative Innovation Networks
Abbreviated titleCOINs


  • sociometric badges
  • social network analysis
  • creativity
  • trust

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