What Is Personality Change?

We’ve all wished we could be someone else, whether it’s just polishing a few dull spots in our personality or fully rewriting the story of our lives, Jay Gatsby-style. If you're a procrastinator, you may have wished you could be more productive; if you're gloomy, you may have hoped you could be more optimistic; if you're shy, you may have longed to be the life of the party. Changing a core personality trait (such as introversion) is difficult. But what you can change is your behavior. It's never too late to do what you want to do, and with a little sweat and a little luck, you can break out of old patterns and be just who you want to be.

Recent posts on Personality Change

Can Intelligence or Personality Compensate for Disadvantage?

Can intelligence or personality compensate for background disadvantage in predicting later life outcomes?

Why the Clinical Use of Psychedelics May Heal Sexual Trauma

Recent research indicates that psychedelics can assist in healing sexual trauma by increasing the personality trait of openness to new experiences.

For Those Who Want to Ring in the Fourth Millennium

How much would your personality change if you lived for a thousand years? And how much would it matter?

Has Your Therapist Been Replaced by a Robot?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 28, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
A therapist who can’t pass the Turing Test (a computer’s ability to pass for human in conversation) should not be allowed to graduate.

Personality Traits, Emotional Intelligence and Collaboration

There is a strong connection between certain personality traits, emotional intelligence and collaborative potential.

Major Challenges to Cultivating Healthy Anger

What are the blocks to learning how to give up destructive anger? How can they be overcome?

David Bowie's Life at the Extremes

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in In Excess
David Bowie was one of the most interesting people that ever lived. With an ever-shifting persona he sometimes lived life at the extremes (addiction and an interest in the occult)

Job Skills and Jobs Help, But They Are Not Enough

Do you think that acquiring job skills and a well-paying job prevents crime? Rarely is this true. Change is a lot more complicated.

11 Reasons Why We Fall in Love

We have the greatest propensity to fall in love when we perceive the other person as a way for us to undergo rapid self-expansion.

Why Growth Most Often Occurs When We Fall Apart

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on January 11, 2017 in Standard Deviations
An introduction to the theory of positive disintegration and why adversity is so important in developing character.

Redealing Personality Disorder Diagnoses

A new deal for DSM-VI may mean a new shuffle of diagnoses as well.

Post-Time War Stress Disorder: Doctor Who's Secret Symptom

Can the eponymous hero of "Doctor Who," the longest-running sci-fi TV series, help us understand PTSD?

Progress and the Human Psyche

Here is a question for you: which force will be in the driver’s seat of your heart, your mind, and your society? Entropy, homeostasis, or progress?

Do Your Trees Keep You From Recognizing Your Forest?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on November 16, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
It’s like not being able to see the forest for the trees. When you’re in the thick—or “thicket”—-of things, it’s hard to grasp the deeper dynamics of what’s going on in your life.

Giving Your Heart and Selling Your Soul

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in In the Name of Love
It seems that when love is not all you need, it is unthinkable to give your soul.

Why Are We Offended by Media Violence?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A a new research study examines how viewers respond to media violence and what shapes their judgments about what they find offensive.

Canine PTSD

By Nicholas Dodman on October 25, 2016 in Dog Days
If a dog has a dysfunctional or traumatic past, it may set him or her up for C-PTSD when confronted by some terrifying, life threatening event

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.

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.
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Ghost Righter

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A bit of Halloween fun, let's consider therapy in the afterlife for those who made poor choices while alive.

Major Clinical Depression: A Cause of Inadequate Nutrition?

It is a long established fact that decreased nutrition prevents a speedy recovery from depression.

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.

Does Preventing Male Baldness Cause Depression?

It reads like a Performance Enhancing Drug exclusion....

When You’re of Two Minds, Admit It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Ambigamy
Is integrity being consistent or is it being honest about your inconsistency? It's both and the latter matters more.

Recovery Is a Process of Learning, Growth, and Healing

By Dan Mager MSW on September 19, 2016 in Some Assembly Required
Recovery from addiction is the process of sustaining abstinence, and learning and practicing the awareness and skills necessary to live a whole, healthy, and healed life.

A Weird Trick To Free Yourself From Your Identity

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Are you worried about your identity labels limiting your freedom? This simple reframing trick could be all you need!

Working With Rageful Couples: A "Free-Range" Approach

My very angry patient was making great progress, applying a range of new insights. The problem was that his wife became very angry as a result of these changes.
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The Ghost of Situationism and Why Personality Is Not a Myth

A recent podcast on the "myth" of personality trots out long discredited arguments against the reality of personality. Why do these ideas keep returning like a restless ghost?

The Overlooked Value of Early Recollections

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on September 04, 2016 in Dawn of Memories
An Unknown Proposition: Early Childhood Recollections Serve an Essential Purpose in Life.