Word Choice

Perhaps the most over-looked aspect of bots is their personality - or lack thereof. Said another way, text conversations have many components, and tone, word choice, and timing are everything. I learned a lot about how to phrase text messages for Gainful. How you word a text can make all the difference. For example, when we want to engage with students and encourage studying, we don't ask "Are you studying?" Instead, we ask "Where are you studying?" It's subtle, but our response data shows us that the former sounds like nagging and the latter, more like conversation. Plus the unexpected question causes students to pause and give it thought, thus starting the planning wheels turning.

The words used in responses are also just as important. Crisis Text Line has done a lot of work parsing what words indicate more at risk users.


I've been disagreeable for as long as I can remember.  Case in point: when in the first grade I was forced to wear a gypsy costume for Halloween when I really wanted to wear the Hawaiian Girl costume, I refused to smile in any pictures. I used to worry about that scowl, but new research shows that my disagreeable streak might actually be a virtue.

A new study published in the Journal of Personality shows that in an experiment involving delivering electric shocks "nice" people were more likely to follow orders while "unfriendly" or disagreeable people were less likely to hurt others.

There you go.




Are you getting enough sleep? How do you feel when you wake up? It turns out how you sleep says a lot about your personality and how you feel at the start of your day. Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, analysed six common sleeping positions and found that each is linked to a particular personality type.

No matter what your sleep position, Harvard Business School Associate Professor Amy Cuddy says sleeping in a fetal position can make you less confident because it's a lower power position.

To counter-act the potential effect of the sleep position on your emotions, she says you should take the time to either stretch out in a confident position before leaving your bed or strike a powerful pose before leaving for work.

What's a confident position or power pose?  See her Ted talk here.