All About Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness is not just about getting to the church on time, in a freshly-ironed outfit. It is a fundamental personality trait that influences whether people set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices or behave impulsively, and take seriously obligations to others. Conscientiousness is a key ingredient in success, but the off-the-charts conscientious may court perfectionism by setting their sites too high.

Recent Posts on Conscientiousness

It's Hard to Hide Your OCD

By Donna Barstow on September 25, 2015 Ink Blots Cartoons
One study looks at possible links between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and workaholics. They're not necessarily related, but they could be neighbors.

Are Early Childhood Memories Random and Disconnected?

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on September 23, 2015 Dawn of Memories
Finding patterns in an individual's early recollections

How Can You Be More Stoic?

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 The Empowerment Diary
The word stoicism was one written about by philosopher Aurelius and has come to have numerous meanings. The most common reference is to being someone who accepts what is happening without complaining. Others like Taleb say that the stoic sage transforms difficult emotions into manageable ones. This blog offers ideas on how to encourage a sense of stoicism into our lives.

Is Your Dark Side Stronger?

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 Attitude Check
Is it easier to think in a way that favors our own groups? Thinking in an egalitarian way may take time and energy.

Can You Change Your Personality?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 07, 2015 Media Spotlight
A recent research study shows that people are able to make significant personality changes in just sixteen weeks. For example, people who wanted to become more extraverted tested as being higher in extraversion by the end of the study period. These changes can be measured by personality testing as well as behaviour changes.

Opinion Polls Reveal Dramatic Decline in Impact of the Bible

Opinion poll surveys representative of the general population began in Britain in 1937, with the launch of the British Institute of Public Opinion (later Gallup Poll), which first covered the Bible in a question in 1938: "What book of all you have read impressed you most?" The Bible was mentioned by 16% of interviewees.

Are You a Feeler, Doer, or Thinker?

What no other words can tell me so clearly

What Most People Get Wrong About Generosity and Selfishness

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 Ambigamy
People treat generosity as all good and selfishness as all bad. It's more complicated than that. Still, pretending it's that simple can be a great way to grab what we want.

LSD, Suggestibility, and Personality Change

A recent study found that LSD increases suggestibility. Research suggests that psychedelic drug use can increase openness to unusual ideas, such as spiritual and paranormal beliefs, in the long-term. Could this be be due to a long-lasting increase in suggestibility and related personality traits?

What Does It Take to Succeed in Life?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 Media Spotlight
A new paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology describes one of the most comprehensive studies to date looking at the effects of family background, personality, and intelligence on later success. By studying 81,000 participants over an eleven-year period, researchers found that the American Dream is still alive and well. More or less.

Can You Escape Bias?

Is is possible to be completely bias free? Even with the best of intentions, the forces of social conditioning can interfere with our perceptions and constructions of one another. Have you ever misjudged someone, or been on the receiving end of wrong assumptions? How can we overcome these limiting tendencies in favor of embracing and appreciating our many dimensions?

Nine Steps to Turn Your Money "Shoulds" Into Action

When was the last time you rocked a “should”? As in, "I should replace that burned out light bulb." "I should exercise more often and eat better."

Striving To Maximize Both Charm and Chutzpah

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 Ambigamy
Etiquette is no longer enough to make a gentleman or gentlewoman, and actually never was. Aspiring gents must strive to maximize etiquette and character, humility and boldness, always seeking for better ways to speak their minds and be heard.

Resolving the “Conscientiousness Paradox”

Conscientious individuals generally have good outcomes, but countries with high national levels of conscientiousness generally have poorer levels of human development. What does this apparent "conscientiousness paradox" mean?

Why You May Want to Be a Cat Person (Or Have One Around)

By Peg Streep on July 14, 2015 Tech Support
Are Cat people really that different from Dog people? Actually, they are in some respects. But does that mean that never the twain shall meet? The low-down on the special qualities Cat people have...

What Can You Learn About People from Facebook?

As anyone who uses Facebook knows, different people post updates about different things: Your high school friend sharing photos of her kids, your colleague opining on politics, your friend posting funny animal videos. But what drives people to post what they do? A new study examines how our personality relates to the type of content we present on Facebook.

Regional Differences in Personality: Surprising Findings

Individual personality traits and the geographic region where one lives are correlated with important social outcomes. Research has found that personality traits are also geographically clustered in ways correlated with these same outcomes. Some of the results are surprising as the individual level and societal level correlates of personality can differ strikingly.

4 Reasons We Should All Give Up Cynicism

Cynicism feels protective. A little cynicism, however, goes a long way. Too much mistrust and cynics find themselves losing more than they gain. If you default to cynicism in your thinking and interactions, make an effort to tap into your more optimistic side.

How Psychologists Can Help Curb Cheating in Sports

It seems as if every week a new scandal involving cheating and antisocial behavior in sports is capturing the headlines—and psychologists are finally stepping in to solve the problem.

The Real Strength of Mike Mahler

Mike Mahler, a leading fitness guru, shares how having goals not only is critical to one’s initial motivation to engage in health behaviors, but also is crucial to enable a person to overcome the barriers that inevitably arise when trying to achieve strength and fitness.

Want to Get Ahead? Pick the Right Partner

Surprising new research shows how your spouse's personality impacts your chances of success at work.

People Who Say “I Hate Game Playing” Play Them

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 Ambigamy
Hate game playing? Hate it enough to wonder what's really behind it? If so read on.

A Grab Bag of Wisdom to Help You Enter Flow

You know those times when you aren't in the mood to write, but you want to get in the mood? Read some of these honest and insightful quotes from good writers to help ease your own transition into the headiness of a creative flow state.

Lessons to be Learned from the Enron Scandal

What can we learn from Enron? A lot more than you'd think.

A Mother’s Intuition

By Shimi Kang M.D. on May 07, 2015 The Dolphin Way
Have you ever felt that fluttering feeling in your stomach? The kind that rises up into your chest and makes your heart race and even though you couldn’t possibly have any idea why you’re feeling that way, all you know is that the decision you’re about to make feels either very right or extremely wrong? We all do, and as parents we need to get back in touch with it.

Why Judging Others Is Bad for You

We go through so much of our lives judging people, places, and things. We make these judgments our reality and see them as facts. Then we use the same language to judge other people, places, and things, to judge ourselves. By doing this, we don't leave room for compassion towards ourselves and to the experience of others.

Adolescence and Honoring Agreements

Keeping agreements is a teenage habit worth the parental effort to teach.

Pardon Me—Or Else!

Haters gonna hate. Forgivers gonna live longer.

Is it Time to Change our Narrative about Climate Change?

One thing I have learned from my own research as a social psychologist is that fear is not always a good tool for changing attitudes. But fear is what we often use to get people to care about the environment.

Caring For Mother Earth

The Earth is our par excellence caretaker. The Earth is a source of care that—like any "sane" caregiving mature relationship—will only be able to offer and give care if the love and care that we come up with, offer, and implement as individuals, communities, societies, and as a planet constitute genuine reciprocal—we care for the Earth, the Earth cares for us—solutions.