All About Neuroticism

Self-deprecating comedians and complainers wear their neuroticism as a badge of honor. In truth, the negatively biased are more prone to depression, anxiety, self-consciousness and hypochondria, to name just a few behavioral tripwires. Neuroticism is no fun for anyone. The good news: all personality traits, including emotional instability, exist on a continuum, in this case from the very neurotic to the implacably stable. If you can laugh at your hang-ups, you're probably not that neurotic to begin with.

Recent Posts on Neuroticism

Choosing to Be Child-free

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in A Sideways View
More and more people in the west are choosing not to have children. Is this a puzzle for evolutionary psychologists? What does the research say on this topic?

Fear of Intimacy and Closeness in Relationships

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in The Freedom to Change
Being in a relationship with someone who shuts down emotionally when times get tough is no fun. It’s also no fun to try your best only to have others accuse you of not being emotionally available. Learning where these avoidant personality styles come from can help you cope more effectively with stress in your relationships and have a more rewarding experience.

What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality

Research shows the way you interact on social media says a lot about your personality and your self-esteem.

Are Women More Emotional Than Men?

Is There Evidence of Women’s Greater Negative Emotionality All Around the World?

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?

What "Fifty Shades of Grey" Got Wrong About BDSM

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.

Jealousy Hurts Love, or Does It?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Insight Therapy
Jealousy in relationships is common and universal, with deep evolutionary origins. Research shows it can affect relationships in complicated and surprising ways.

How Young Is Too Young?

Do you remember feeling pressure as a child to do better at school, fit in socially, or behave more appropriately? Making the right decision was not always as easy as adults and cheerful children's books sometimes painted it. Luckily, stumbling slow motion through a decade or so of dysfunctional days (aka natural childhood development) was an expected and accepted part...

Does Anxiety Help You Survive in the Modern World?

Might the worrisome symptoms of anxiety have a useful function? Our ancestors needed to worry about lions, tigers, bears, and the headhunters over the next hill. But is anxiety still useful in the modern world? There are some scientific findings on this question.

The Two Main Barriers to Self Knowledge

By being mindful—observing yourself in an unbiased and non-elaborative way—you can counteract informational barriers and motivational barriers to self-knowledge.

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.

Who Was George Washington?

By Gregg Henriques on February 22, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
An analysis of George Washington's character and relational strivings on what would have been his 283rd birthday.

He Who Loves Will Be Conditioned to Show it

Love is not a disposition but it can occur below conscious awareness.

The Tug-of-War Between Passion and Security

By Gregg Levoy on February 17, 2015 in Passion!
In the contest between passion and security, security tends to win, but passion doesn't keep quiet about it. Here's how to manage the conflict between them.

Personality Traits of BDSM Practitioners: Another Look

A recent study provides some new insights into the personality traits of dominant and submissive BDSM practitioners. Dominant practitioners seem to be more calm and have a greater desire for control, while submissive ones may be more emotional and introverted. Some questions remain about how these findings compare to previous studies into this fascinating world.

What Do Your Tweets Reveal About You?

It makes sense that we could tell something about someone’s political leanings based on their Twitter rants, but can we tell more about a person from their tweets?

How Big are Psychological Sex Differences?

By David P Schmitt Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Sexual Personalities
Are Men and Women Psychologically Different?

What Is Mindfulness and How Does It Work?

By Gregg Henriques on February 06, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Mindfulness is one of the most important developments in mental health in the past twenty years. Understand what it is and how it works.

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM

‘Fifty Shades’ piqued your curiosity? Answers to five kinky questions.

What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 05, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
A lot of websites give you the chance to represent yourself with an avatar rather than a picture of yourself. Avatars are often cartoon-y pictures with facial features, clothing, and accessories that allow you to personalize your picture. The avatar you select can influence the way people interact with you.

Do Opposites Attract?... It Depends on How They Interact

By Gwendolyn Seidman Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Close Encounters
We've all heard how “opposites attract”, even though we’re also told “birds of a feather flock together”. The relative truth of each of these adages depends on the specific traits where we're similar or dissimilar to our partners, and more importantly on which traits we express when we actually interact with each other.

What Your Emotions Are Really Telling You, If You'll Listen

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Curious?
Get access to one of the newer topics in psychology - emotion differentiation, clarity, and complexity. Life is more than whether we feel negative or positive emotions, it is about how we describe, label, understand, regulate, and use these emotions.

Women Who Don't Orgasm

Many women profess being satisfied in sexual, but orgasm-less relationships. What's going on behind this trend?

3 Things Being A Cat Person or Dog Person Reveals About You

By Peg Streep on January 19, 2015 in Tech Support
Does knowing whether someone prefers cats to dogs or dogs to cats give you insight into who they are? Should you be asking about pets when you choose a doctor or lawyer, or hire a realtor or a nanny? Here's what science knows.... and you should too.

Who Uses Their Head and Who Listens to Their Heart?

Whether a person identifies with their head or their heart can say a lot about their personality. Are people in their heads really smarter than those in their hearts? The head/heart distinction might reveal something about how personality and intelligence are related. Shifting a person's attention between the head or the heart might change the way they think and behave.

Is There a Single Dimension of Mental Illness?

A new study finds evidence for a “p factor” that cuts across a wide number of different psychiatric diagnoses.

Computers Judge Personality Better Than People Do

By Matthew Hutson on January 12, 2015 in Psyched!
New research shows that a simple algorithm adding up your Facebook Likes can actually assess your soul better than your soulmate can.

Loneliness, Chronic Illness, and Growing Older

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on January 12, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new research study published in the journal Health Psychology presents the results of an eight-year longitudinal study looking at the link between chronic illness and feelings of loneliness in older adults. Not surprisingly, chronic loneliness was highest for older adults with a history of health problems. How can they learn to cope with feeling isolated?

Does Your Personality Predispose You to the Winter Blues?

With winter in the northern climes comes an increase in the risk of developing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Short of a diagnosable disorder, others experience the winter blues. As it turns out, it’s not only the cold or the reduction in daylight but personality may also play a key role.

Well-being in College Students

By Gregg Henriques on January 09, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Some data on college student well-being. Not surprisingly, symptoms of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation were strongly inversely related to well-being. Napping was also. Binge drinking frequency was not related at all. The research demonstrates the utility of thinking about mental health in terms of well-being rather than disease-like mental disorders