All About Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness is not just about getting to church on time, in a freshly ironed suit. It's 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 for success, but the off-the-charts conscientious may court perfectionism by setting sights too high.

Recent posts on Conscientiousness

Sometimes the Simple Sound of “Sorry” Stinks

"Sorry" can be a sorry excuse for an apology, especially in a text. Here's a better way.

The Pressure to Be Perfect

Perfectionistic thinking is different from having high expectations and a drive to do a good job, in that the pressure to be perfect brings with it a host of negative thoughts.
eric1513 / 123RF

Living in a World of Opposites, What's the Best Way to Cope?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on October 09, 2017 in Off the Couch
We live in a world filled with turmoil and contradictions. How do we manage the feelings they stir up? And what can we do to make things better?

Is President Trump Mentally Healthy? The Pros Weigh In

Recently many leading mental health professionals have argued that the duty to warn provision (excuse the pun) "trumps" the longstanding Goldwater Rule when it comes to Mr. Trump.

Cognitive Dissonance

What happens when you receive information or behave in a way that is totally contradictory to your beliefs? You experience cognitive dissonance.

Mindful Interactions in the Digital Age

Are you striving to bring balance and stillness of mind to your online interactions? Awareness, reflection, and intentionality can make it possible.

Relationship as Spiritual Practice Part 2

Practices of sacred partnership are numerous, but here are some that we have found to be tremendously helpful. Please don’t be confined to these offerings of practices.

The Pitfalls of Popularizing New Science

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
I believe that it is important for scientists to popularize psychology. At the same time, I think that there are real dangers in popularizing science.

What's the Key to Winning Hearts and Minds?

You can’t change someone else’s mind or their habits. The harder you try, the more resistance you face, and frustrated you become. But, there is a better way.

10 Ways to Protect Yourself in a Terrorist Attack

Preparing for the next terrorist attack involves not paranoia, but preparedness. Mindful, intentional steps to be proactive, not reactive can protect you and your loved ones.

Holding the "Both-And" in Times of Stress

Compassion, wisdom, and curiosity may just be able to help us avoid the well trodden path to polarization, them vs us, and the limits of right and wrong. We are more than all that!

Delaying Gratification Can Come at a Cost

Rational decision-making should play a role in assessing if delaying gratification is worth it—but not be the only factor. Emotions are important too.

Living in the Modern World, Part I

By Susan Hooper on July 30, 2017 in Detours and Tangents
The process of getting settled in my new home has made me think about the lives of the people who make the things I buy.

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? Should You Change?

The brain areas associated with high sensitivity are the same ones involved when expressing empathy. You can benefit from your high sensitivity by selecting the right environment.
"Signage 55 speed limit"/David Lofink/CC BY 2.0

Can We Teach the Rules for Breaking the Rules?

By Barb Cohen on July 27, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
If I take a box of pens from a store without paying, I commit shoplifting. But suppose I take a box of pens from the office where I work. Will my coworkers judge me a thief?

How to Talk to a Vet

By Robert Dingman Ed.D. on July 18, 2017 in Mind Matters
So many veterans feel distance and alienation from their civilian compatriots because they conclude that we really don’t want to know or can’t understand how they feel.

Stand Up For Civility

If we all do our part to reinforce civil behavior and provide corrective feedback for uncivil behavior we may help to turn our increasingly uncivil community into a more civil one.

Rallying the Troops Versus Quieting the Indignation

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Attitude Check
Is open-mindedness enough to make us more tolerant of other groups?

Happy Birthday America

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on July 04, 2017 in Obesely Speaking
In the struggle of human evolution versus devolution, America is clearly Gettysburg

Should You Finish What You Start?

Do you have several half-finished projects going at a time? If so, here's a neat trick that might help you finish things more often.

How Accurate Are You at Judging Personality?

Do you consider yourself a good judge of personality? New research provides clues on how to improve this important asset.

The Good-Enough Daughter: Is it Okay?

In assuming a caretaking role for a family member, we must accept that everyone has limitations (us as well as the recipient of our care).

The Root of All Evil

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in Ambigamy
Doubt is excruciating. No wonder most if not all of us find alluring some simple permanent formula that supposedly alleviates it once and for all.

Connecting the (Hidden) Dots

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on June 09, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
What dots do we choose to form patterns? What patterns make sense to us, and which dots are discarded? What dots do we infer?

Early Childhood Memories: Endure or Drift Away?

How stable are early recollections, and why does it matter?

Reality Check: Who Are You and What Are You Doing?

By Samantha Boardman M.D. on June 07, 2017 in Positive Prescription
As tempting as it is to push life's bigger questions away, research shows it is worth the time and effort to answer them.

Does It Really Matter How We Talk About Addiction?

Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. When talking about addiction, the truth of this age old adage rings empty. In this article, find out why.

The Four Qualities It Takes to Become a High Flyer

The highly successful in work, if not life, seem to share 4 common personality traits according to new research on the qualities that can position you to fly high and succeed.

7 Things That Conscientious People Don't Do

By Caroline Beaton on May 22, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
For millennials struggling to adapt to the real world, as I did, embodying this trait could be the key to a successful, happy adulthood.