Publication Date

January 2004

Document Type



© ACM, 2004. This is the authors’ version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International Conference on Design of Communication: The Engineering of Quality Documentation. Memphis, TN, October 10-13, 2004, 75 - 82.


This paper extends previous work by other researchers that indicated that users of computers preferred a computer with a personality that was similar to theirs. We conducted a similar experiment, but looking beyond preference to see if the personality of documentation would make a difference in the user’s performance. Our data suggest did not indicate that personality match affects performance; and if such a relationship exists it is likely to be weak. We discuss the related research, describe our methodology, present our results, and describe their implications and limitations.