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

There’s a Bright Side to Personality’s Dark Triad

We know that people high on psychopathy and related traits lurk in the “dark side” of personality, but what about its opposite? Having a “bright side” to your personality may sound positive, but it can create its own shadows in your life. See how you rate on these 13 typical qualities of the colorful (but still dark) personality.

Who Says Extroverts Make Better Leaders? Part 1

Introverts, take the lead! So urges Andy Johnson, the introvert, leader, executive coach, and licensed counselor who wrote Introvert Revolution. Johnson is leading the charge to eradicate the bias against introvert leadership. In this first installment of a two-part series, he sheds light on the plight of the introvert leader.

Does Anticipating Temptation Help You Resist Temptation?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
In Smart Change, I talk about the importance of planning for temptations. The idea is that temptations are hard to deal with in the moment, because they suggest something that would feel good to do right now. Those temptations can capture your motivational system and drive you to do something that is not in your long-term best interests.

Superman Needs You

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 26, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
A powerful leader in politics, business, in love has “magnetism.” But leaders depend on followers, who follow because it’s rewarding. Consider the attention commanded by Donald Trump or even Adolf Hitler. Lives depend on it. What’s the magnetic secret?

Why Are Optimists Smiling? Are They Blind to Reality?

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on August 25, 2015 in Dawn of Memories
Understanding a Person's Outlook on Life Through Early Recollections

Why Narcissists Try to Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

It’s never pleasant to be the target of an insult. However, before you let an insulting remark get the better of you, stop and consider who’s doing the insulting. It’s likely that it’s just a narcissist, trying to feel better by making you feel bad.

LSD, Suggestibility, and Personality Change

A recent study found that LSD increases suggestibility. Research suggests that psychedelic drug use can increase openness to unusual ideas, such as spiritual and paranormal beliefs, in the long-term. Could this be be due to a long-lasting increase in suggestibility and related personality traits?

What Does It Take to Succeed in Life?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology describes one of the most comprehensive studies to date looking at the effects of family background, personality, and intelligence on later success. By studying 81,000 participants over an eleven-year period, researchers found that the American Dream is still alive and well. More or less.

The Conspiracy Effect

Can merely being exposed to popular conspiracy theories make you less pro-social?

How "Awesome" Are You, Really?

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in The Pursuit of Peace
Individuals appear to differ in how often they experience awe. Guided by this assumption, researchers have developed measures of “awe-proneness,” two of which are presented in detail here. Research suggests that the tendency to experience awe predicts several aspects of everyday experience.

The Benefits of Personality Disorder

By Neel Burton M.D. on August 23, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Everyone suffers for who he is, and, very often, our greatest strength is also the germ of our deepest suffering.

What Mindfulness App Is Right for You?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 22, 2015 in Urban Survival
New study reveals the top 4 mindfulness apps. Which one fits your personality best?

4 Ways to Keep Your Perfectionism from Getting You Down

Always wanting your life, and everything in it, to be perfect can become a thankless enterprise. In addition to the fact that perfection is almost impossible to achieve, striving for the ideal can cause your stress levels to mount. These 4 tips will help you keep perfectionism under control.

How Introverts and Extroverts Can Make Professional Magic

By Sophia Dembling on August 21, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Introverts and extroverts can achieve extraordinary results when they learn how to work together, according to author Jennifer Kahnweiler.

Why Doesn't Anyone Return Messages?

By Victor Lipman on August 21, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Are people just too busy these days? Or lazy? Or oversaturated with media? And does anyone (besides me) care?

Why Male and Female Psychopaths Get More Sex

One theory is that male and female psychopaths end up hypersexual through different routes via contrasts in personality - it's the antisocial aspect in men, but instead the impulsive thrill seeking in women.

Does Your Partner Have Rage Attacks? Here's What to Do

If, for whatever reason—or possibly no good reason at all—your partner is blasting you, what do you need to do? Granted, many therapists would simply suggest that you leave the scene. For, as a matter of personal dignity and respect, you’re hardly obliged to tolerate such abuse. But although such a response is warranted, it can actually be dangerous. . . .

Why the Experts Are Wrong About the Genetics of Happiness

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Curious?
Every month, there is a major news article about the gene for god, divorce, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. There are popular books touting a so-called fact that only 40% of happiness is due to genetics. But what does this mean? What is wrong about these statements? Read on for the answers in 500 words.

Does Where You Live Shape Who You Are?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Mind Wandering
Recent research shows interesting connections between your physical surroundings and your personality. Mountainous states show higher rates of introversion than flat ones. We don't know yet how much your surroundings might shape such personality variables, but there's little doubt that where you live has an impact on your happiness and life satisfaction.

Employees Can’t Be Summed Up by a Personality Test

By Peter Bregman on August 19, 2015 in How We Work
“When with a group of people,” she read, “you enjoy being at the center of attention.” “No.” I answered. “I’d rather speak to one person.” “No way!” she replied, “You love being the center of attention. I’m checking a big YES.” She must have changed at least half my answers. I’m not saying she was wrong. Most of the time, I think we were both right.

Psychopaths Are Immune to Contagious Yawning

Catching a yawn from someone is deeply rooted in empathy, and seen across intelligent, social species. A new study shows that psychopaths, who are lacking in empathy, are far less likely to catch a yawn.

Inside the Mind of the Twitter Troll

The latest scientific study on internet trolls finds them to suffer from a unique constellation of manipulativeness (cunning, scheming, unscrupulous), sadism (pleasure from inflicting pain on others) and psychopathy (lacking empathy and remorse), which may only be properly illuminated by psychological testing.

Young Men with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Traits

By Robert Fischer M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Failure to Launch
How do young men with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits present, and how can we help them?

Public Faces Vs. Private Thoughts: the Actor's Paradox

Many therapists seem to think that patients behave in their offices in ways typical of how they behave in other social contexts. This is very naive. We all present different aspects of ourselves, and hide other things, depending on the goals we are trying to reach with certain others, or because of loyalty to our family system and its beliefs. We lie even to ourselves.

Narcissists Lose Status and Know It

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Narcissists feed off the energy of the people around them. They crave status and work hard to achieve it. But, do they succeed in getting the status they want? An intriguing possibility is that narcissists don’t actually get status, they just believe that they have status within a group.

Can You Fake Intimacy?

Being involved in a truly intimate relationship means that you reveal your real self to your partner. The question is whether the self you show to your partner is authentic or sham. Find out whether you and your partner are being as honest as possible with each other.

Nine Kinds of Responsibility

By Elizabeth Wagele on August 18, 2015 in The Career Within You
We don’t all express our ability to be responsible in the same way.

Can What You Post Online Reveal Your Personality?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 17, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Can open-language assessment on social media posts be used to study personality? A new research study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that it can. Computerized analysis of the language used were consistent over time and correlated well with how participants responded on personality tests. And that may be just the beginning.

Desperate: The Hidden World of Introvert Narcissists

Narcissism is often associated with its many external manifestations. At the same time, psychiatrist Glen Gabbard suggests that some narcissists belong to a subtype that are much more introvert oriented. Here is a comparison of introvert versus extrovert narcissists...