The Influence of Personality on Code Reuse

AbstractThe ubiquity and necessity of computer software requires programmers to reuse extant code to keep up with increasing software demands. Researchers have started to investigate the underlying psychological processes and the programmer characteristics affecting code reuse. The present study investigated the role of programmer personality (propensity to trust, suspicion propensity) on willingness to reuse code. Programmers were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Programmers completed propensity to trust and suspicion personality inventories and were subsequently presented with 18 pieces of computer code containing transparency and reputation manipulations. The results demonstrated that propensity to trust did not influence willingness to reuse code. However, facets of suspicion propensity did affect reuse willingness. Programmers lower in trait mal-intent perceptions and higher in cognitive activity were more likely to report they would reuse code. Implications and applications are discussed.

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