Implementing Personality Theory to Human-Computer Interaction

Vladimir I. Pokhilko

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 1, 1991


The role of psychological knowledge in computer science will increase in nearest future. The time has come to start thinking about implementing personality theory to organize human-computer interaction. But there are hundreds personality theories. Before all we have to build computerized basis that will allow us to integrate different peronality theories and use them in designing computer system. It is very difficult to design computerized description of human personality for multiple application. There are two different parts of such computerized personality model that we have to describe: content of the personality and formal structure of cognitive processes (cognitive style). The description of personality contents can be done using computerized personality traits thesaurus. This thesaurus was developed not on the basis of dictionary definitions but using psychological expertise. The thesaurus does not reflect the literary standard of the language but real semantic structures existing in the mind of native speakers. Now we have such program in Russian ("TEZAL" program) and we are looking for possibility to develop English version. The formal structure of cognitive style can be modeled using the repertory grid technique (developed by G. Kelly, the author of personal construct theory). We have develped a computerized version of repertory grid technique which is available both in English and Russian ("KELLY" program). Using this two computerized method we can: 1. Analyze personality traits of users in the process of man-computer interaction. 2. Adapt program to the users personality. 3. Train users. 4. Improve users' cognitive structure.


Vladimir Pokhilko was born in Moscow and received degrees from radio technological college and from the Phychology Department at Moscow State University. He continued to earn his PhD. in Psychology in 1985 from the Institute of Psychology of Soviet Academy of Science where his research focused on the role of an individual system of meaning in human personality. Dr. Pokhilko co-founded the Moscow Association of Experts in Computerized Psychological Methods in 1986 and most recently has worked in the Department of Psychology and Knowledge Engineering at Moscow State University. He has more than 30 publications in semantic memory, personality theory and computerized psycho-diagnostic and personality measurement. Dr. Pokhilko and his colleagues designed and developed the psychological systems KELLY (a knowledge acquisition tool based on the "repertory grid technique" - developed by American psychologist George Kelly) and TEZAL (a computerized thesaurus of personality traits). He also developed the computer games MATRIS, FACES, and SEMANTIC MAZE. Dr. Pokhilko will be conducting his research in the United States for the next three years.


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