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

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

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
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

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on June 04, 2015 in Brick by Brick
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 in 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 in 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!

By Rebecca Coffey on April 27, 2015 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
Haters gonna hate. Forgivers gonna live longer.

Is it Time to Change our Narrative about Climate Change?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in More Than Mortal
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.

Why We Get Such Dumb Advice About Love, Money and Health

Does not every teenager already know you should comb your hair and look for a kind, suitable partner? What kind of dumb advice is this?

'The Eureka Factor' and Your Creative Brain

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on April 13, 2015 in Tracking Wonder
A creative insight can be as small as landing on an angle for a blog post or as big as discovering a fresh angle for a new book or business launch. The moment you gain such an insight flashes like lightning – and vanishes like lightning. Can you become aware of such moments? And can you replicate them?

Dragging Dead Bodies

Dragging around the dead bodies at work sure can wear you out! Here is some good advice.

The Attractiveness of Personality Traits

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 02, 2015 in A Sideways View
Some traits are more attractive than others. But there are downsides to all extreme scorers. Is there a downside to being a sociable extravert or a highly agreeable person?

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM Players

By Michael Castleman M.A. on April 01, 2015 in All About Sex
Contrary to the portrayal of Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades of Grey," BDSM aficionados are psychologically normal and healthy.

The Facts of (Business) Life

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in A Sideways View
Is the Business School degree the ideal passport to health, wealth and happiness?

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

What to Consider When Adding to Your Four-Legged Family

Choosing a new canine companion can be daunting. Should you adopt a shelter pet or buy from a breeder? Would a puppy or adult dog be a better fit for your life style and family? In this blog Dr. Stepita discusses what to consider before bringing your next furry family member home.

We Really Do Die Alone

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Brick by Brick
When working to improve public health, there are often many things that we simply can't change. Social isolation has proven to be a robust and significant risk factor of poor health and early mortality. And there is something we can do about it.

How to Become the Person You Most Want to Be

Those who feel compelled to defend their egos tend to violate their deeper values

Leaders: We Love Humble Leaders But Idolize Narcissists

By Ray Williams on March 17, 2015 in Wired for Success
Research shows that humble leaders whose focus is to serve others are equally successful, but more importantly, capture the hearts and loyalty of others.

Make Your Dreams Come True, Be Extreme

If you push yourself to extremes and find out what your true talents are.

How to Completely Change Your Sex Life and Relationship

It's normal for a couple who has been together for a few years to fall into a stale and boring pattern. Our brains crave novelty. Stability and security is nice and comforting, but it’s not exciting. Instead of taking each other for granted and then going on Facebook looking up someone you dated high school, try being open and honest with each other. Hit the reset button.

What's The Matter With Anxiety?

By Nick Luxmoore on March 07, 2015 in Young People Up Close
Trying to treat the symptoms without understanding the meaning of the anxiety is a waste of time. If the anxiety could speak, what would it be saying?

An OCEAN Far Away: Big 5 Personality Factors in Star Wars

Which Star Wars characters characters are the most open to experience while others are set in their ways? Who's the most conscientious or lackadaisy? Who are the extraverts, who's most agreeable, and who's most neurotic? Help rate the characters in order to find out together.