Using the Personality Insights Service in IBM Watson

by Stas TurloJuly 5, 2016
In this post, we show how to extract, analyze, and visualize a spectrum of personality attributes from Reddit and Stack Overflow answers/questions.

IBM Watson Personality Insight is one of the services for text analysis available within IBM Bluemix. Learn how to start working with using Personality Sunburst Chart for visualization.



To get started, you need:

  • an IBM Bluemix account
  • the Cloud Foundry CLI


How it works

The Personality Insights service makes use of recent studies in the fields of psychology and psycholinguistics. Relying on data analytics algorithms, the models—trained and calibrated by IBM—infer personality characteristics based on textual information:

  • Big Five represent the most widely used model for generally describing how a person engages with the world.
  • Needs describe which aspects of a product will resonate with a person.
  • Values describe motivating factors that influence a person’s decision making.

For more details, refer to this IBM Watson documentation.

Our demo app can use either the Stack Exchange API (via Stack-on-Go) or Reddit user comments RSS feed (via SlyMarbo/rss) to collect input data for Personality Insights. To make requests to Personality Insights, we use the Go SDK for IBM Watson services. To visualize responses from the service, Personality Sunburst Chart is used. Below, you will find a sample result of the output.


Trying it yourself

The source code for the article is available in our GitHub repo. You can click this link to deploy a demo app to your Bluemix account or use the following steps to deploy it manually:

  • Clone a repository: git clone
  • Go to the repository directory: cd personality-insights-demo
  • Create an application: cf push APP_NAME
  • Create a Personality Insight service instance: cf create-service personality_insights tiered personality-insight-svc
  • Bind the service instance to your application: cf bind-service YOUR_APP_NAME personality-insight-svc
  • Restage your application: cf restage APP_NAME

Alternatively, you can create and bind the service instance using the Bluemix dashboard UI.

The binding procces is simple.

As you can see, with the Personality Insight service, it is really easy to extract and analyze a spectrum of attributes to discover actionable insights about human personalities.


Further reading

This post was written by Stas Turlo with assistance from Victoria Fedzkovich.