Personality matters: the tie between language and how well your video content performs

Personality matters: the tie between language and how well your video content performs Personality matters: the tie between language and how well your video content performs

March 8, 20212 min read
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Why does one piece of online video content perform better than another? Does it come down to its relevance, production values, and posting and sharing strategies? Or are other dynamics at play?


There are plenty of theories about what, when and how to post if you want to drive the performance of your video. But new research by Goizueta’s Rajiv Garg, associate professor of information systems and operations management, sheds empirical and highly nuanced new light on the type of language to inject in a content if you really want to accelerate consumption. And it turns out that a lot of it depends on personality.



Together with Haris Krijestorac of HEC Paris and McCombs’ Maytal Saar-Tsechansky, Garg has run a large-scale study, analyzing the words spoken and used in speech-heavy videos posted to YouTube, and then organizing those words by personality – how they “score” in terms of the so-called Big Five personality traits.

“The Big Five is a system or taxonomy that has been used by psychologists and others since the 1980s to organize different types of personality traits. These traits are extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism,” says Garg.


“In previous research into video content performance, we’ve looked into mechanisms such as posting and re-posting on different channels and how they impact the virality of one video over another. But we were intrigued by the role of language and how different words map to these personality traits, which in turn might have an impact on user emotion or response.”


Emory has this entire comprehensive article that includes more details on the Big Five and it is available for reading here:



If you are a journalist looking to cover this topic – then let our experts help with your story. Rajiv Garg from Emory’s Goizueta Business School is available to speak with media – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.



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  • Rajiv Garg
    Rajiv Garg Associate Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management

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