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

Why Is Neuroticism So Toxic?

Neuroticism is widely considered the most toxic of the "Big Five" personality traits. Read this blog post for some easy tips on how-to become less neurotic.

5 Ways to Get out of the Indecisiveness Trap

We are constantly making decisions but for some people, these come harder than for others. Find out what to do when you're stuck in the indecisiveness trap.

Personality Profiles of Great American Presidents

A study finds that presidential greatness is associated with a mix of bright and dark traits. Great presidents have been compassionate yet also knew how to manipulate people.

How Scary Are the Mental Health Risks of Vegetarianism?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on December 15, 2015 Animals and Us
While most vegetarians don't have histories of psychiatric disorders, some studies have linked meat-avoidance with mental illness. But how strong is the link and why does it exist?

Choosing a Therapy and a Therapist

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on December 14, 2015 A Sideways View
How do you go to when you have a problem? Why do some therapies and treatments seem to work so much better than others? Are there some ingredients that are common to nearly all?

Personality's 'Big One' and the Enigma of Narcissism

Narcissists can be charismatic yet also alienate others. Narcissism combines adaptive and maladaptive traits. This makes it difficult to reconcile narcissism with the theory that all personality traits express a single underlying dimension such as a general factor of personality.

This Is the Key to Getting Over Worries

For most of us, there’s plenty to worry about in our lives. However, some people seem to figure out how to keep their worries down to a minimum.

Always Reward Your Writing Brain

By Susan Reynolds on October 30, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
When you feel good, your brain releases and bathes itself in what are called the feel-good chemicals—dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and others—which is so pleasurable for your brain that it eagerly awaits new opportunities to repeat this experience.

Why Don’t We Feel Safe?

Are you feeling anxious and isolated? You may just need more human contact.

Your Field Guide to the Femme Fatale

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
According to research psychologists from the U.K.’s University of Liverpool, narcissistic women are often sexually coercive. But rather than rape, they use emotionally manipulative tactics like threatening blackmail or vowing to harm themselves.

Ten Tips For People Who Second-Guess Themselves

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 Ambigamy
"Why do I second guess myself so much?" Oops. There you go again.

Study Decodes the 5 Types of Facebook Status Updates

Want to know your personality type? A new study says your Facebook page says it all.

The Trouble With "Shame On You! You Shouldn't Feel That!"

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 Ambigamy
Some people shun negative emotions to purge them. It doesn't work.

Wanting to Feel Good, Familiar or Useful?

But what about familar emotions? Do people like, and seek out, familiar emotions more than unfamilar ones? Or, do people merely seek out emotions that feel good?

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.

The Psychology of Delusions

What different types of delusions do people suffer from?

Choosing to Be Child-free

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?

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?

Jealousy Hurts Love, or Does It?

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.

Who Was George Washington?

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 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?

Are Men and Women Psychologically Different?

What Is Mindfulness and How Does It Work?

Mindfulness is one of the most important developments in mental health in the past twenty years. Understand what it is and how it works.