A Super Computer Analysis of New LDS Apostle Personalities

IBM’s Watson super computer can win Jeopardy against its greatest champions.  What does it think of the three newly called apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elders Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund?  According to an analysis utilizing IBM Watson’s Personality Insights service, the one attribute they all exude 100% based on their first General Conference remarks since their new leadership call is sympathy.

This analysis can be done by anyone on any text by visiting the IBM Watson Personality Insights service available here.  The site also has a detailed explanation of the science behind the analysis including its limitations; a direct link to that is here.  Note that the October 4, 2015 remarks were all far under the recommended number of words for an appropriate analysis.  At least 3,000 words are recommended with highest accuracy at 6,000 words or more.  An analysis including the October 4, 2015 remarks and multiple previous General Conference talks by each speaker was performed and is included below.  First, a look at the numbers based on the remarks on October 4, 2015.

Of the personality attributes analyzed by Watson, these are the attributes Watson found Elders Rasband, Stevenson and Renlund to be most similar.

Table 1: Rasband, Stevenson, Renlund October 4, 2015 Most Similar Personality Attributes

Attribute Rasband Stevenson Renlund
Sympathy 100% 100% 100%
Self-consciousness 1% 0% 0%
Agreeableness* 97% 96% 96%
Self-transcendence 96% 97% 97%
Outgoing 90% 93% 92%
Extraversion* 97% 92% 97%
Self-enhancement 8% 3% 4%
Assertiveness 83% 84% 88%

Sympathy was equal across all three at 100%.  There was a 1% difference between Self-consciousness, Agreeableness* and Self-transcendence.  There was a 3-5% difference on the Outgoing, Extraversion*, Self-enhancement and Assertiveness attributes.

*Agreeableness and Extraversion are category headers within the Big 5 (see explanation of the science).  Extraversion represents Activity level, Assertiveness, Cheerfulness, Excitement-seeking, Outgoing and Gregariousness; Agreeableness represents Altruism, Cooperation, Modesty and Uncompromising.

The same analysis by IBM Watson was run with the Sunday morning remarks by Church President Thomas S. Monson (see Table 2).  President Monson also exudes 100% Sympathy and has similar results for the attributes in Table 1.

Table 2: Rasband, Stevenson, Renlund October 4, 2015 Most Similar Personality Attributes with President Monson

Attribute Rasband Stevenson Renlund Monson
Sympathy 100% 100% 100% 100%
Self-consciousness 1% 0% 0% 0%
Agreeableness 97% 96% 96% 97%
Self-transcendence 96% 97% 97% 100%
Outgoing 90% 93% 92% 97%
Extraversion 97% 92% 97% 97%
Self-enhancement 8% 3% 4% 0%
Assertiveness 83% 84% 88% 90%

There are differences in the personalities of the three newly called apostles as one would expect for individuals with varying experiences and backgrounds.  These are the attributes where there was the widest range between the new apostles. President Monson is included but only the widest differences between the three new apostles was measured.

Table 3: Rasband, Stevenson, Renlund October 4, 2015 Widest Personality Attributes Range with President Monson

Attribute Rasband Stevenson Renlund Monson
Openness to change 67% 2% 0% 93%
Conservation 34% 92% 98% 1%
Challenge 7% 31% 64% 82%
Self-discipline 57% 83% 33% 33%
Structure 7% 25% 56% 18%
Conscientiousness 69% 87% 38% 58%
Achievement striving 42% 62% 13% 21%

As was mentioned previously, the number of words in the October 4, 2015 remarks was not sufficient.  In order to analyze across more words, two additional General Conference talks were included in a second analysis for each person.  For all but Elder Renlund, the total number of words reached the minimum required 3,500 words.  (See Table 5 for word counts and full results)

These are the most similar attributes of the three new apostles based on multiple remarks:

Table 4: Rasband, Stevenson, Renlund Multiple Remarks Most Similar Personality Attributes with President Monson

Attribute Rasband Stevenson Renlund Monson
Self-consciousness 0% 0% 2% 0%
Sympathy 100% 100% 97% 100%
Hedonism 9% 9% 6% 4%
Orderliness 22% 19% 18% 13%
Self-transcendence 98% 93% 98% 100%
Assertiveness 87% 83% 82% 92%

With a broader data set, Self-consciousness becomes the #1 most similar attribute with only a 2% difference.  Sympathy had only a 3% difference but with both Self-consciousness and Sympathy the difference comes from Elder Renlund who, as previously indicated, does not have enough words to meet the 3,500 word minimum.

The following table presents the results of both times the IBM Watson Personality Insights service was run.  The October 4, 2015 remarks came from the Sunday Morning General Conference Session.  The Multiple Remarks included the October 4, 2015 remarks for each speaker plus remarks from April 2014 and April 2012 for Elder Rasband, April 2014 and October 2012 for Elder Stevenson, April 2015 and October 2009 for Elder Renlund, and Priesthood October 2015 and Sunday Morning April 2015 for President Monson.

Table 5: Full Personality Data Results for October 4, 2015 Remarks and Multiple Remarks

October 4, 2015 Remarks Multiple Remarks
Attribute Rasband Stevenson Renlund Monson Rasband Stevenson Renlund Monson
Words Analyzed 902 1054 982 1765 3792 4173 3073 4770
Big 5    
Openness 40% 72% 48% 70% 65% 83% 63% 64%
Adventurousness 37% 72% 43% 66% 62% 84% 57% 67%
Artistic interests 97% 94% 85% 87% 91% 69% 53% 81%
Emotionality 91% 67% 76% 54% 66% 30% 53% 56%
Imagination 16% 25% 27% 40% 39% 62% 44% 38%
Intellect 28% 64% 45% 75% 61% 83% 66% 66%
Authority-challenging 12% 30% 13% 16% 23% 40% 30% 11%
Conscientiousness 69% 87% 38% 58% 65% 85% 36% 54%
Achievement striving 42% 62% 13% 21% 29% 56% 13% 12%
Cautiousness 49% 75% 62% 77% 65% 90% 57% 68%
Dutifulness 24% 41% 12% 30% 27% 45% 23% 31%
Orderliness 55% 60% 30% 17% 22% 19% 18% 13%
Self-discipline 57% 83% 33% 33% 50% 72% 21% 35%
Self-efficacy 73% 92% 59% 93% 84% 89% 60% 87%
Extraversion 97% 92% 97% 97% 96% 78% 91% 97%
Activity level 2% 16% 2% 1% 2% 32% 7% 1%
Assertiveness 83% 84% 88% 90% 87% 83% 82% 92%
Cheerfulness 88% 54% 73% 76% 70% 34% 52% 78%
Excitement-seeking 45% 9% 23% 16% 21% 6% 21% 25%
Outgoing 90% 93% 92% 97% 93% 86% 87% 96%
Gregariousness 89% 75% 82% 82% 79% 44% 68% 87%
Agreeableness 97% 96% 96% 97% 96% 85% 90% 97%
Altruism 82% 91% 73% 93% 85% 85% 70% 92%
Cooperation 65% 82% 36% 59% 70% 83% 42% 55%
Modesty 33% 60% 69% 7% 28% 48% 53% 21%
Uncompromising 73% 90% 71% 66% 72% 74% 56% 67%
Sympathy 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 97% 100%
Trust 50% 81% 51% 60% 66% 73% 50% 59%
Emotional range 53% 32% 56% 34% 31% 11% 58% 31%
Fiery 56% 35% 65% 51% 38% 26% 64% 48%
Prone to worry 76% 45% 61% 45% 42% 11% 56% 42%
Melancholy 28% 17% 55% 16% 19% 13% 56% 22%
Immoderation 36% 13% 22% 1% 14% 7% 17% 3%
Self-consciousness 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%
Susceptible to stress 71% 45% 46% 38% 35% 7% 49% 31%
Needs
Challenge 7% 31% 64% 82% 13% 11% 21% 71%
Closeness 42% 68% 84% 64% 58% 47% 73% 74%
Curiosity 7% 11% 48% 19% 14% 14% 33% 38%
Excitement 37% 38% 60% 33% 33% 22% 44% 46%
Harmony 79% 84% 100% 88% 87% 77% 97% 95%
Ideal 6% 19% 18% 8% 6% 6% 12% 15%
Liberty 54% 50% 81% 49% 52% 35% 67% 64%
Love 81% 85% 98% 92% 87% 76% 96% 95%
Practicality 76% 73% 100% 81% 85% 74% 98% 92%
Self-expression 66% 35% 60% 14% 46% 21% 46% 21%
Stability 22% 36% 64% 42% 33% 25% 50% 60%
Structure 7% 25% 56% 18% 17% 19% 44% 35%
Values
Conservation 34% 92% 98% 1% 11% 41% 42% 2%
Openness to change 67% 2% 0% 93% 80% 27% 51% 92%
Hedonism 13% 1% 0% 1% 9% 9% 6% 4%
Self-enhancement 8% 3% 4% 0% 6% 20% 7% 1%
Self-transcendence 96% 97% 97% 100% 98% 93% 98% 100%

The above results were obtained October 7th and 8th, 2015.

Personality Summary

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service provides a short personality summary compared to most people who participated in the surveys.  These are the summaries from the Multiple Remarks analysis for each of the new apostles and President Monson:

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

You are social and confident.

You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. And you are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life.

Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.

You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

You are rational, helpful and genial.

You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. And you are calm-seeking: you prefer activities that are quiet, calm, and safe.

Your choices are driven by a desire for well-being.

You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

Elder Dale G. Renlund

You are social.

You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. And you are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life.

Your choices are driven by a desire for efficiency.

You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with taking pleasure in life: you prefer activities with a purpose greater than just personal enjoyment.

President Thomas S. Monson

You are social and generous.

You are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them. You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. And you are laid-back: you appreciate a relaxed pace in life.

Your choices are driven by a desire for connectedness.

You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you. You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents.

Personality Visualization

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service also provides a graphical visualization of the personality data.  Here is President Monson’s visualization from the Multiple Remarks analysis:

MonsonVisualization_MultipleRemarks

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