All About Personality

Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One's personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, and impossible to overlook that of others.

Recent posts on Personality

Personality and the Brain, Part 8

Knowing how the brain works, how it specializes for certain tasks and what triggers changes in the brain’s structural connections can help you change your personality.

A Sense of Being, In An Evolved Life

By Saul Levine M.D. on October 23, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
A sense of Being is a cornerstone, as are Belonging, Believing, and Benevolence (Four B's), in evaluating if we are living evolved lives, which are both meaningful and fulfilling.

Trump's Temperament: Not Narcissistic, But Not Normal

By Nassir Ghaemi M.D., M.P.H. on October 23, 2016 in Mood Swings
Beyond pejoratives terms to scientifically based concepts

Personality and the Brain, Part 7

After his injury, music literally draws Derek Amato's attention away from other tasks he has to perform.

Diagnosing Psychopathy

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on October 23, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
Psychopathy is a continuum ranging from those who possess all of the traits and score highly on them to those who have the traits but score lower on them.

Psychopaths Can Actually Be Creative People

Psychopathy, a trait associated with antisocial qualities, may show up in a prosocial form among creative people. New research shows the physiology supporting this intriguing link

Personality and the Brain, Part 6

After his brain injury, Derek Amato became more agreeable and empathetic, suggesting that personality is not set in stone.

Do Narcissists Make Better Leaders?

Research shows narcissists are more likely to get promoted to leadership positions. But do they do a better job?

The Impact of Death on our Everyday Lives

Defensive reactions to personal trauma, separation issues, and especially death anxiety impact our lives at three distinct levels.

Willy Wonka and Financial Happiness

By Michael F. Kay on October 21, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Do you have the discipline to make your dreams become reality?

Personality and the Brain, Part 5

People's psychic abilities can be explained by a peculiar crossing of the senses.
By Nogas1974 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Biology Determines Every Thought, Feeling, and Behavior

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Cui Bono
Psychologists say behavior results from the interaction of biology and environment, yet argue about their relative importance. Read why the importance of biology is always 100%.
Judith Orloff

Beware of the Go-For-the-Jugular Vampire

By Judith Orloff M.D. on October 20, 2016 in Emotional Freedom
This vampire is one of the most malevolent of bloodsuckers, this person is vindictive and cuts you down with no consideration for your feelings. Learn how to protect yourself.

Personality and the Brain, Part 4

When the bossy left hemisphere is “shushed” and the creative right brain is allowed to “speak,” artistic talent proliferates.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

How to Handle Observing a Narcissist – 5 Survival Techniques

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on October 19, 2016 in What Matters Most?
When you know you will be around a narcissist, or observing one in action, what can you do? How can you take care of yourself and grow in the process? Check out these 5 strategies.

The Couch Potato Problem

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 in Media Spotlight
Understanding how personality can influence lifestyle choices such as sedentary behavior can be useful in encouraging us to be more active.

Personality and the Brain, Part 3

When the connection between the emotional brain and the front of the brain is damaged, people have trouble interpreting or feeling their emotions.

Reframing Temperament: “Difficult” vs. “Stressed”

By Stuart Shanker DPhil on October 18, 2016 in Self-Reg
Parents need to understand what their child’s limbic system is “telling” them. And when they’re able, children and teens need to do the same.

Stone-Aged Minds in Modern Voting Booths

Under ancestral conditions, large-scale politics did not exist. But small-scale politics, or the politics found in localized communities, have characterized our species for eons.

Personality and the Brain, Part 2

“Leigh used to be the class clown,” Amber said. “She would immediately shift a sinister atmosphere into a cheerful one. Now she barely smiles."

Personality and the Brain, Part 1

One evening on October 11, 2009, life took a dramatic turn for 41-year-old Leigh Erceg.
Jessica Tracy

Take Pride

By Jessica Tracy, Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Take Pride
What drives humans to work hard to achieve, discover, create, and innovate?

Find Your Happy Place

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Happy Trails
Tired of missing out on good times? A quick personality assessment can lead to better decisions.

4 Clues to Hillary’s Real Character

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on October 12, 2016 in Me Before We
We no longer trust anything that politicians say. It is their actions that count. So what can we learn about Hillary Clinton’s character from her actions?

The Halloween Costume as a Tool for Personal Growth

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in How To Do Life
Trying on personas can be instructive and fun.

The President's Personality

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on October 11, 2016 in Face It!
Are there certain personality traits that help predict the success of a president? Do our current candidates embody these?

Are Personality Traits Hereditary?

By Ugo Uche on October 11, 2016 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
Genes do not operate in isolation.

How to Deal With the Gossipmonger at Your Workplace

Gossip at the workplace is likely here to stay. What can you do about it if you are the victim?

Ambiguous Family Communication: Explanation, or Description?

People involved in repetitive dysfunctional family interactions may non-answer questions about why they did something by paraphrasing an earlier description of their state of mind.

Trump: How Dark Is His Dark Side?

Is Trump a true misogynist—or maybe even a sexual predator? And does the latest video of his “locker talk” with Billy Bush tell us anything about him that we didn't already know?