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

Adults With ADHD Are More Common Than You'd Guess

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 06, 2015 Open Gently
ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of adults.

Is Your Dog an "Upper" or a "Downer" and What It Means

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 06, 2015 Animal Emotions
It's wrong to assume dogs are always "up" and ready to bound around without a care in the world. A study using non-invasive methods shows there are marked individual differences in personality among dogs concerning whether they're "glass half empty" or "glass half full" bowsers, just like humans. This information is directly linked to questions about their well-being.

Why Narcissism, Greed and Power Go Hand in Hand

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Shame
Modern day America has been characterized as both a New Gilded Age and a Culture of Narcissism. It is no coincidence that these two critiques have arisen at the same time.

3 Ways to Spot a Narcissist

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on October 05, 2015 Head Games
We know narcissists are self-involved, grandiose, and exploitative. But would you know one if you met one? It may be more difficult than you think.

7 Reasons Why Laziness Is a Myth

Debunking the Myth of Laziness. 7 reasons “slackers” don’t exert effort. Laura D. Miller, LCSW

Because Someone’s Got to Do It: How to Be a Critical Thinker

Why it's good to resist the allure of black and white thinking, single sources of information, and conversations only with persons who always absolutely agree with you.

The Hidden Trait that Predicts Being Attractive

Finding love is a tricky game. New evidence suggests that others' interest in you might be tied to your dispositional mindfulness.

Do You Work for a Demanding 'Type A' Boss?

By Victor Lipman on October 03, 2015 Mind of the Manager
Type A managers, of which there are many, can at times be impatient, stressful, and plain old hard to work for. Here are practical tips to help you survive, and even succeed.

The Borderline Daughter

Is your daughter developing a Borderline Personality? Is she difficult or truly in trouble? Here are some clues that should prove helpful.

Can You Really Change Your Personality? Research Says “Yes”

Research shows that you can consciously "grow" and develop dimensions of your personality that have been dormant or blocked.

Putting Trump and the GOP on the Couch

The GOP presidential candidates appeal to needs for safety and security through grandiosity and paranoia. Psychologists can help us understand how American Exceptionalism and xenophobia function to counteract feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, and self-blame, all of which are on the rise. Paranoia and grandiosity are pathological solutions.

Trumpism: Daily Examples of a Stunning Lack of Compassion

Is one-upmanship, or Trumpism, becoming more prevalent than empathic or compassionate responses in our day-to-day lives?

Four Ways to Foster Ethics in College Athletics

With appropriate attention and desire, college athletics can be an excellent venue for nurturing ethical behavior and character formation. It really doesn't take that much time or money to make it happen. But will colleges make it a priority?

Gas-lighting: Burning the Bridges of Truth

One of the more insidious forms of mental abuse has come to be referred to as gas-lighting. It refers to those who attempt to destroy another person’s sense of reality.

Does Uncertainty Breed Prejudice?

By Nathan A Heflick Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 The Big Questions
How does the quest for certainty impact prejudice towards people who do not belong to our social groups?

6 Things You’re Saying To Yourself That Are Holding You Back

By Mridu Khullar Relph on September 29, 2015 Culturally Incorrect
What are the things you say to yourself when no one’s listening? Recognize any of these?

Why “Cheer Up” is Not the Nicest Thing to Say

When trying to comfort someone going through difficult times, we must consider numerous details to decide how to best help them. If we choose the wrong social support tactic, our attempts to help can have the opposite effect.

Fear the Walking Dead: Can Brain Parasites Make Us Zombies?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on September 28, 2015 Psych Unseen
Can brain infections really turn us into zombies? Research with the human brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii suggests that yes, maybe they can.

What Makes Someone a Master Manipulator?

Among those afflicted with certain personality disorders, there are many who are master manipulators. Do personality disorders cause people to develop into master manipulators? The connection may not be as you expect.

To Be More Creative try Being a Little Silly

Everyone can be a little silly at times, and depending on the circumstances, you might be more creative as a result. “Clever silly” ones can bring tremendous payoff, as long as you know how to express them.

The Colorful Personality: Another Face of the Dark Side?

People with colorful personalities, or histrionic traits, can be entertaining yet also very self-centered. Charming and theatrical, they may use social skills to exploit others. The colorful personality may be an addition to the growing list of dark personalities.

Who Says Extroverts Make Better Leaders? Part 2

In the first part of this interview, Andy Johnson, author of Introvert Revolution: Leading Authentically in a World That Says You Can’t, discusses misconceptions and biases surrounding introvert leadership. In this second part, he offers tools, tips, and more insights to help introvert leaders thrive in an extrovert*-centric world.

Can You Map Your Talents and Character Strengths?

With a growing number of organizations investing money and resources in the use of their people’s strengths, it has to be worth asking: “Exactly what is a strength?” Are they talents, values, interests or resources? Are they something we’re born with or something we’re able to develop?

Negative Spiritual Beliefs Can Sabotage Your Well-Being

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2015 The Athlete's Way
New research shows that people who believe that a higher power or "God" is punishing them with an illness tend to have significantly poorer health outcomes.

Yogi Berra’s Mis-Quotes: Why They’re So Comically Endearing

On the advent of Yogi Berras’ passing this week at the age of 90, it seemed fitting for me to pay tribute to him here. But not so much for his being a sterling Hall of Fame catcher who helped lead his beloved Yankees to ten World Series victories, as for his wacky but so “winning” malapropisms—which over the years have delighted millions. . . .

What Behaviors Do We Inherit via Genes?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 The Human Beast
A pervasive assumption in evolutionary psychology is that how we act is affected by the genes we carry. Is there good concrete evidence of this? Are our outcomes predetermined by our biology? The most intriguing findings on this issue come from twin studies.

Self-Centered or Narcissistic: How to Tell the Difference

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on September 23, 2015 Fixing Families
While narcissistic individuals are certainly self-centered, not all self-centered individuals are narcissistic. Here's how to tell the difference.

Should We Beware of Sad Songs?

People expect that sad music will make them feel better by providing catharsis, the opportunity to work through sadness, or the knowledge that other people have also had similar feelings. But does it?

Are Early Childhood Memories Random and Disconnected?

By Arthur J. Clark Ed.D. on September 23, 2015 Dawn of Memories
Finding patterns in an individual's early recollections

The Future of Standardized Testing?

In science fiction novel Ender’s Game, the talent and personality of each battle school student is adaptively assessed by the Mind Game, tailored to their interests and individuality. The game was used, in part, to select Ender Wiggin as the young commander who would save the world. What can this teach us about the future of testing?