Personality - BIG 5 (OCEAN)

Personality - BIG 5 (OCEAN)

Behavior Sales Language-based Personality framework is based on The Big Five personality traits, also known as the OCEAN model of personality traits. The Big Five model includes five main categories, each of which contains six underlying facets, for a total of 35 different measures of personality.

It’s important to note that Behavior Sales’s evaluation of personality is based on the analysis of a person’s language. This approach is fundamentally different from the traditional way of assessing personality, which typically relies on self-assessment surveys or questionnaires. For this reason, we have termed our approach a “Language-based Personality.”

We believe our Behavior Sales Language-based Personality framework accurately reflects how one’s personality is perceived by others, whereas traditional personality assessments reflect an individual’s perception of their own personality. The two can be markedly different for a variety of reasons including one’s own biases, but the language-based approach provides for a more objective evaluation.

Our measures are baselined against our proprietary personality datasets, which are comprised of hundreds of thousands of personality-labeled language samples that exceed 350 words.


The Behavior Sales Emotions engine detects emotions and sentiments expressed in text. It is designed to score the emotions a person is expressing, which can include emotions they’re feeling in the present, emotions they’ve felt in the past or expect to feel in the future, or emotions they see or assume others are feeling. Each emotion can be seen as negative, neutral, or positive.

The Behavior Sales Emotions engine analyzes the amount of emotion proportional to the size of a particular piece of text on everything from a short tweet to a long speech. This is particularly valuable when you want to understand how emotions change over time, in different contexts, and across different individuals. For longer documents, you can analyze the entire language sample at once to understand the average of all emotions expressed in the text.

The Behavior Sales Emotions engine measures 20 different emotions:

7 positive emotions

  • Admiration
  • Amusement
  • Calmness
  • Excitement
  • Gratitude
  • Joy
  • Love

5 negative emotions

  • Anger
  • Boredom
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Sadness

2 ambivalent emotions

  • Curiosity
  • Surprise

6 summary metrics of emotions

  • Ambifeel
  • Badfeel
  • Goodfeel
  • Sentiment
  • Emotionality
  • Non-emotion

Cognitive Processing

The cognition framework provides access to nine measures that quantify levels of multiple aspects of cognitive processing and analytical thinking. This framework makes it possible to analyze how people think, digest information, problem-solve, and make decisions.

Analytical Thinking

The Analytical Thinking measure indicates the degree to which language shows markers of deliberate, structured, and complex thinking. Lower levels of Analytical Thinking is indicative of less productive, less structured, and less hierarchical thinking.

For example, highly analytical language is typical of scientific writing and intellectual speech. Language with lower scores on this measure is typically seen in highly social environments, such as casual gatherings among friends.

A drop from baseline in the Analytical Thinking style of an individual is highly correlated with significant events in an individual’s personal life, especially in the case of negative events. A significant event will disrupt pre-existing cognitive patterns, and lead to a temporarily less structured way of thinking and communicating. With finite mental resources available, when increased mental energy is dedicated to coping, less mental energy is available for higher-level thinking.

Cognitive Processing

The Cognitive Processing measure - also referred to as Cognitive Load - looks at the markers present in language that indicate someone is using increased mental energy to process environmental or situational stimuli. Words in this category are broad, and include certain adjectives (i.e., obvious, essential, specific), verbs (i.e., distinguish, suppose, consider), and nouns (i.e., secret, question, findings), that reflect increased levels of cognitive processing.

When individuals are trying to understand the world around them, they often use words that demonstrate this behavior. If this mental processing is continuous or rigorous, it can increase an individual’s Cognitive Load. This increase can occur due to the complexity or format of a task, time pressure, a significant event or change that impacts them, and other factors. Elevated attentional demands can have a significant and negative impact on analytical thinking, decision-making, and one’s ability to carry out complex mental tasks.

If people are experiencing a high cognitive load, it can mean their current understanding of the content being spoken about is overwhelming. Therefore impacting their ability to make decisions. This overwhelm can trigger buyers to abandon the sales conversation.

  • Connecting Clout, Social and Cognitive processing can confirm a person’s understanding of the topic and their influence of persuasion.


The Causation measure includes language associated with the cause and effect of an action (i.e., change, create, initiate, solve). Individuals may also use more Causation words when dealing with an unexpected or surprising situation.


The Certainty measure evaluates a range of certain adjectives (i.e., complete, apparent, undeniable) and adverbs (i.e., confidently, absolutely, definitely) relating to Certainty and specificity.


The Comparison measure evaluates certain adjectives (i.e., cleanest, wittiest, newest) and prepositions (i.e., before, after,) that are used to compare one or more entities to each other.


The Differentiation measure includes certain verbs (i.e., differ, hasn’t, can’t), adverbs (i.e., actually, differently, exclusively), conjunctions (i.e., unless, although, whereas), and other languages related to difference and contrast. While the Differentiation and Discrepancy categories are similar, Discrepancy is typically used to point out inconsistencies, while Differentiation is typically used to discern the qualities of two or more items.


The Discrepancy measure includes certain adjectives (i.e., abnormal, lacking, unnecessary), adverbs (i.e., normally, hopefully), and verbs (i.e., mustn’t, shouldn’t, ought) related to concepts of inconsistency and deviation. While the Differentiation and Discrepancy categories are similar, Discrepancy is used to point out inconsistencies, while Differentiation is used to discern the qualities of two or more objects or concepts.


Words in the Insight measure are broad and include certain verbs (i.e., accepted, comprehend, define), nouns (i.e., solution, reflection, complexity), and adjectives (i.e., perspective, question) related to understanding.

Research has shown that the presence of Insight and Causation words when describing a past event could suggest that an individual is actively reappraising the event, and possibly shifting their feelings or thoughts towards it.


The Tentative measure includes certain adverbs (i.e., approximately, hopefully), verbs (i.e., guess, depending), and adjectives (i.e., indefinite, vague) related to non-definitive or hedging behavior. For example, women and individuals who are lower in status can sometimes use more hedging language than men or those in positions of power.


The Behavior Sales Drives framework contains five measures that provide insight into what motivates people. Drives can be strong predictors of individual or group behavior, offering insight into whether a person is driven by a need for achievement and self-actualization, a need for domination, a need for reward, a need to avoid risk, or if they are driven by a need to engage in risk-seeking behavior.


The Affiliation measure includes language that relates to connecting and being in the presence of other people.


The Achievement measure includes language related to actualization and fulfillment. Words in this category include certain achievement-related verbs (i.e., advance, obtain), and nouns (i.e., plan, award, prize). While the research related to Achievement and Drives is large, one study has shown that marker words can be important in detecting implicit motives, such as Achievement and Power.

Risk Seeking & Risk Aversion

The Risk Seeking and Risk Aversion measures evaluate certain language related to caution (i.e., avoid, danger), failure (i.e., lose, disaster), and behavior (i.e., apprehensive, reluctant, tentative). When combined with other Drive measures such as Reward, as well as Social Dynamics measures, we can begin to understand how individuals evaluate and assess risk related to objects, events, experiences, other people, and the world around them.


The Power measure is broad and contains language related to status (i.e., beginner, president, authority), dominance (i.e., conquest, destroy), wealth (i.e., rich, poor), and fame (i.e., famous, royal).


The Reward measure is narrower in scope as compared to the Power and Achievement categories. This category includes certain language related to benefits (i.e., award, goal), opportunity (i.e., bet, wager, score), and feelings (i.e., eager, fearless, excited). Studies have investigated the relationship between goal setting, hopes, duties, and rewards. If you can connect a person’s goals, and rewards to your conversations you can improve your ability to influence and persuade others.

Linguistic Inquiry

The Behavior Sales Linguistic Inquiry classifies language into 94 psychologically-relevant categories. With our ability to identify patterns in social relationships, internal cognitive processes, motivations, thinking styles, and much more.

Social Dynamics

The Social Dynamics framework provides access to seven measures that evaluate a number of important aspects of how people are focused on themselves, focused on other people, whether they communicate with authenticity, clout, hesitation, the degree to which they communicate formally or informally, and more.


Social words are a marker of social engagement and are associated with awareness of other people. This vast category of words makes reference to other people and includes certain pronouns, possessives, social nouns (i.e., brother, team), social verbs (i.e., participate, listen), social adjectives (i.e., trusting, secret), and more. When individuals use Social words, they are inherently thinking about or interacting with other people. Therefore, people who communicate using a higher level of Social words are generally more socially-conscious.


The Affiliation measure includes language that relates to connecting and being in the presence of other people. Words in this category are related to the Social measure but measure different phenomena. The Social measure is a marker of social engagement and is associated with the awareness of other people.

Inward Focus

The Inward Focus measure analyzes if an individual’s language is focused on themselves, or outwardly focused on other people. The more someone uses “I” and self-related words, the more focused they are on themselves.

How we see ourselves in the world is vitally important to how we interact within it. While research is still being done on the implications of self-focused language, we know it holds important information on how we communicate and behave in the world around us.

Outward Focus

The Outward Focus measure determines the degree to which a person’s language is focused on themselves or on other people by evaluating their use of “I” words and other self-referencing languages.

A high score suggests a significant focus on people or entities other than oneself. A low score suggests minimal to no focus on other people or entities other than oneself.


The Authentic measure evaluates when someone is speaking naturally and uninhibited or whether they are carefully curating their words. A person may change their language for multiple reasons, such as to be more easily understood to align with the expected tone or style or to avoid mentioning specific things.

When evaluating authenticity it is important to compare samples within the same context as to ensure the accuracy of the results. When someone is communicating inauthentically they tend to distance themselves from their words. Authentic communicators tend to speak their mind use their own language and care less about the specific words they choose to use. People with high authenticity scores tend to be seen as relatable down-to-earth and honest.


Language in this category contains a range of negative language and contractions, such as wouldn’t, shouldn’t, don’t, cannot, etc. This category, combined with other measures of Social Dynamics, Personality, and Emotions can be helpful to understand more about how people feel about topics and the world around them, as well as aspects of the dynamics of their relationships with others.


The Clout measure evaluates whether language is influential and leadership-like, or whether it is more passive and less persuasive. Language with lower Clout scores may not be intended to draw audiences in or to inspire action. Clout can be context- and subject-specific; an individual with a low Clout score in one context may express a higher Clout score and have the ability to be influential in a different context.

Research has shown that people with lower status levels are more focused on themselves, whereas leaders are more focused on others and the group as a whole. This phenomenon has been documented across a range of social and linguistic contexts, group sizes, and settings. It is important to note that this focus on others does not suggest that leaders put others before themselves, but rather that they’re particularly attentive to the behavior and mental states of others.

Temporal and Orientation

Temporal and Orientation measures provide access to three measures of Temporal Orientation and two measures of Attentional Focus. Temporal and Orientation measures provide insight into whether a person’s language and thoughts are rooted in the past, present, or future, while the Attentional Focus measures provide insight into whether a person is focused on themselves or on external entities.

By combining Temporal and Orientation and/or Attentional Focus measures, our emotions engine, you can gain a detailed understanding of whether fear is associated with an event in the past, a current situation, or if it is associated with something in the future that has yet to occur.


Hate speech is a serious and growing problem for online publishers, e-gaming companies, comment moderation platforms, and social media sites. In addition to the ethical reasons for combating online hate speech, governments across the globe are beginning to implement new legislation that requires platforms to remove hateful content within hours or face significant financial penalties.

The Toxicity framework can be used to detect the likelihood of toxic language in your data. It can detect the probability that your language sample contains threats, hate speech, offensive language, and general toxicity. In addition to these four categories, we also provide 17 Toxicity measures that can help you identify the specific source of toxicity in your data.

The Toxicity framework helps to identify language that might be considered obscene, insulting, or offensive, including lewdness, descriptions of sex or desires, direct insults to the reader of the message, or excessive swear words in a context where they aren’t welcome.

Needs and Values

The Needs and Values framework comprises 17 measures that evaluate aspects of what motivates a person’s preferences, habits, and decision-making.

Needs: Each of the 12 Needs measures should be interpreted as traits that can impact decisions and can be predictive of their consumption preferences and habits.

Values: Each of the 5 Values measures should be interpreted as factors that motivate and influence a person’s decision-making.

Our customers often use Needs and Values to understand their audience, employees, and people who are important to their businesses, and create messaging that aligns with their unique needs and values.

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