That Takes the BISCUIT: Predictive Accuracy and Parsimony of Four Statistical Learning Techniques in Personality Data, with Data Missingness Conditions

Lorien G. Elleman*, Sarah K. McDougald, David M. Condon, William Revelle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The predictive accuracy of personality-criterion regression models may be improved with statistical learning (SL) techniques. This study introduced a novel SL technique, BISCUIT (Best Items Scale that is Cross-validated, Unit-weighted, Informative, and Transparent). The predictive accuracy and parsimony of BISCUIT were compared with three established SL techniques (the lasso, elastic net, and random forest) and regression using two sets of scales, for five criteria, across five levels of data missingness. BISCUIT’s predictive accuracy was competitive with other SL techniques at higher levels of data missingness. BISCUIT most frequently produced the most parsimonious SL model. In terms of predictive accuracy, the elastic net and lasso dominated other techniques in the complete data condition and in conditions with up to 50% data missingness. Regression using 27 narrow traits was an intermediate choice for predictive accuracy. For most criteria and levels of data missingness, regression using the Big Five had the worst predictive accuracy. Overall, loss in predictive accuracy due to data missingness was modest, even at 90% data missingness. Findings suggest that personality researchers should consider incorporating planned data missingness and SL techniques into their designs and analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-958
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Big Five
  • machine learning
  • nuances
  • personality
  • statistical learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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