Why don't Quantified Selfer like tracking psyche?

Have you ever wondered while most QS folks do not go beyond mood and stress when tracking their psyche? Even on this forum, the only psyche-related thread I see is “mood” (well, learning and cognition are somewhat different from what I mean). Most of QS folks associate psyche with psychological disorders like anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and since most of the self-tracking is conducted on “a need basis”, the psychological aspect of SELF is often ignored or avoided. But what about self-esteem, charisma, creativity, and other psychological traits and states? In my new post, I am pondering this question, and trying to show that adding some psychological elements could take self-tracking onto a more wholistic+holistic level.


What do you guys think?

yeah, thats what interests me a lot.

as im just psychology student discovering self tracking as a tool which might be helpful in couching, psychotherapy, personal development etc, i dont know what aims you exactly have here. nevertheless, from my point of view you it would be very difficult to distinguish the influence of the mood and of the percieved charisma to your charisma-estimation. and as you dont have records of your real mood (but only the estimations), you cannot fully clear it up statistically - and than i would have no use for such a result, because i cannot see a way how to use it as a predictor for, say, work efficiency. thus, i would rather use just the mood variable (including all the charismas, selfesteems etc), maybe resulting in a statement that i feel better after self-esteem improving activities, not to be dealing with the poorly defined self-esteem values.

well, dont think i expressed what i mean understandably so one more trial:)

if i answer some self-esteem questions i get something undefined, more or less self-esteem-like. and i can correlate it with the variables which interest me (as the mood and work-efficiency). so, unless im interested exacly in the subjectively perceived self-esteem, i will got some result about coincidence of some activities with self-esteem estimations, which furthermore correlate with the variables of quality of my life. so i would bring to the “reserach:)” much more bias with additional variable than while seeking for coincidences straightly between the activities and ultimate variables.

so, i would rather stay with very simple measurement of mood which would be more precise. from the results i can later say, ok, as i feel better after meeting with people adoring me like a God, the self-esteem really matters. but, in this case, i can easily define the self-esteem as result of those activities where i meet my very adorants and escape possible problems like

  1. cool clothes increases my self-esteem, but dont affect my work efficiency
  2. sunny weather increase both, work efficiency and self-esteem (as sings SoKo, “people always look better in the sun”:slight_smile: )
  3. thus, there seems to be a positive relationship between clothes and efficiency, since both correlates with self-esteem - but actually is not.
  4. even if i clear this up from the weather influence, there will (i guess always) be some underlying factors i cannot deal with.

This post from Quantified Self might be useful if you get into details of mood measurement. It outlines some distinct approaches, and ends with links to research on measuring more complex emotional/cognitive traits:

Measuring Mood: Current Research and New Ideas

hello vojtech,

I am not sure what you mean. even if the mood, charisma, and self-esteem (and we are interested in subjective concepts, since we are talking n=me or Quantified Self perspective) are highly correlated, they are still different constructs, and with the right choice of the measurement tools should help to differentiate that. If I understand you correctly, you propose to combine all three into one construct, sort of like you often see psychologists combining income, education and home ownership into Socioeconomic Status (SES) score instead of using three of them separately. I understand your concerns about “stability” and measurement error, but measurement error will always exist, regardless of the tools, statistical models and theories. IN other words, we will always be dealing with estimations of constructs; there is a reason these constructs are called “latent”. In fact, even non-latent constructs, like calories burned, steps taken, and yes, even weather, are estimated, not measured precisely. And yes, there will always be unaccounted variance - random/non-random factors that influence us but were not included in the model.

I just posted about tracking self-esteem http://measuredme.com/2013/04/tracking-self-esteem. As you can see, it turned out to be more stable than the mood or happiness, which I expected, since self-esteem is more of a trait rather than a state. Of course, there is always a causality issue. In my case I assume that it is self-esteem that affects my mood, charisma etc. These assumptions are made on intuitive basis, because I know myself. I know I often suffer from low or insufficient self-esteem. For other people, it may be other way around - it could be that mood and/or perceived charisma affect self-esteem.

i really enjoyed your post, please drop me a line at measuredme (-at-) gmail (-dot-) com, if you would like to discuss more or even meet for a coffee (if you are in NYC area). Also, google about psychometrics - this is the field that you may be potentially interested in (and in which I have a degree myself).



Do you think its partly because mental health problems are still stigmatized in our society?

I would guess in part at least because it’s difficult to quantify. Although I would love to see how people are doing so.

I’m not sure how long it takes for videos to get up on this site, but I saw a talk last week (Oct 30) at the QS Toronto meetup called Quantified Personality that might interest you (it was filmed for sure). The fellow who gave the talk didn’t track every day, but he did a 300 question personality index annually (since 2007), and has had family and romantic partners do so as well. (First time I’ve seen data in radar charts too.)