How you move your mouse can reveal your personality, scientists find

Eek! The way you move your computer mouse can reveal your personality type, scientists find

  • Research team gave 791 people a photo-rating task to do on their computers 
  • They were then given a personality questionnaire called the Big Five Inventory 
  • Team finds a link between combinations of movements and personality types

You might assume that everyone moves their computer mouse in pretty much the same manner.

But scientists have analysed tiny variations and found they reveal a lot about our personalities.

If you’re a slow mouse mover, for example, you’re more likely to be nice.

The team from the University of Chicago gave 791 people a photo-rating task on their computers. 

You might assume that everyone moves their computer mouse in pretty much the same manner. But scientists have analysed tiny variations and found they reveal a lot about our personalities

Researchers ran a programme which measured the way participants were using their mouse, analysing factors such as speed of movement, clicks and pauses. 

They were then given a personality questionnaire called the Big Five Inventory, a standard measure of traits used by psychologists.

It assesses how conscientious, open, extroverted, agreeable and neurotic a person is. 

When the team compared the personality test results with those of the mouse task, they found a link between combinations of movements and personality types. 

‘Fewer unnecessary clicks, slower mouse movements, and more fixations (i.e. brief pauses) are linked with people being higher on agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness, and low on neuroticism,’ said lead researcher Dr Kimberly Meidenbauer, who published the findings in the Journal of Personality.


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Researchers ran a programme which measured the way participants were using their mouse, analysing factors such as speed of movement, clicks and pauses

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