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

Regret vs. Remorse

The borderline or narcissist is often regretful, but how often do they really fee remorse for hurting others?

5 "Flaws" That Make You More Lovable

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in In Love and War
You may think that people love you despite your flaws, not because of them. But some of the traits that you see as flaws may be more attractive than you realize.

The Compassionate Way to End a Relationship

Ending a relationship involves pain for both partners, regardless of who initiates the breakup. Although the well-known song proclaims there are 50 ways to leave your lover, the literature identifies 47. People high in compassionate love will be the most likely to use the least painful of these breakup strategies.

Will the Arguing Ever End?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on June 29, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
Why things get worse before getting better. We all argue now and then. Chronic arguing, however, requires thoughtful and ongoing work. Happy endings are possible—but there may be a storm or two before the calm.

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.

Is High Self-Esteem Bad for You?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in A Sideways View
Research suggests that the belief that bolstering self-esteem leads to many positive psychological and behavioural consequences may be misguided. Indeed it could have seriously unintended consequences and make matters worse

Surprising Links Between Gratefulness, Money and Happiness

Research finds unexpected ways in which your level of happiness and materialism are effected by your experience of gratitude in life.

Physically Active Children Grow Up to Be Healthier Adults

Why are children who exercise regularly more likely to remain healthy and fit into adulthood?

Inside Out: A Psychologist's Take

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D on June 25, 2015 in Reel Therapy
Why is the new animated film "Inside Out" so popular? It might have something to do with how the characters, which are a young girl's emotional states, are actually so much more....

How Many Victims to Come, How Many Himizu's to Surface?

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Exploring the racism, psychopathy, and schizophrenia of Dylann Roof from a clinical psychology perspective.

Curiosity: The Top Trait Among Those Who Succeed

By Gregg Levoy on June 24, 2015 in Passion!
How the power of passionate curiosity—what Buddhists call "beginner's mind"—can help us thrive.

Do Parts of How You Are Bother You or Others?

By Dan Mager MSW on June 24, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Reactions driven by personality challenges are unconscious and automatic, like a reflex. You don’t think about it, it just happens... However, we can learn and develop the skills to respond to other people and situations intentionally with conscious awareness, rather than react on impulse.

Nice Guys Really Do Finish Last

A new study shows that being over-confident may not make you more desirable, but can still help you get the girl.

How Pixar's Inside Out Gets Anger Right

By Ryan Martin Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in All the Rage
The character of Anger, voiced by Lewis Black, is pretty much all the anger metaphors rolled into one.

3 Things Your Eyes Tell the World About You

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on June 22, 2015 in Head Games
When William Shakespeare famously wrote that the eyes are the window to your soul, he didn't have the benefit of scientific studies. As it would turn out, research carried out centuries after he shared this insight backs him up.

Finding a Life Partner, Part One

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Can evolutionary psychology help explain why it seems so hard to have a successful intimate relationship? A new article published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences investigates the enigma of human mating choices and the evolutionary forces shaping us today.

What Do Dreams Mean?

Dreams have fascinated people from the beginning of time. People believe dreams foretell the future; that they have psychological meanings; we commune with sprits and the dead; that there are visitations from ancestors; dreams are filled with omens and auguries. They are steeped in mystery, as if written in some kind of secret code, decipherable to a special few.

The Psychology of Common Sense

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in A Sideways View
For many years psychologists seem troubled by the accusation that psychological findings were little more than "common sense"; that psychology was a waste of time in that it revealed very little that we did not already know. This blog reviews some of those early studies

Inside Out

By Marty Babits on June 17, 2015 in The Middle Ground
Pixar's new film shows us how feelings really work.

Tackling the Emotions in Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder have one of the most challenging psychological problems to treat. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is in a relationship with someone who has this disorder, you know how difficult it can be to live with the disorder. Mentalization-based therapy, focused on emotions, may provide an important new approach.

The Enneagram: Teens Speak for Themselves, Part 2

Nine-Peace Seeker (avoiding conflict): “I looked different on the outside from how I felt inside. I felt different from what was around me. There didn’t seem to be a place for me in my family so I numbed myself—"

Fetishism and the Thirst for More Life

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Fetishism feels that certain people and things have power to protect us. Big money and big shots exert an uncanny fascination, so do lovers and religious symbols. Whether you call it fetishism, transference, or fandom, it’s magic and shapes us. The psychology of abandon investigates fetishism because our idols seem larger than life and beyond everyday constraints.

A Response to "Why Patients with BPD Don't Get Better"

This post is in response to a post authored by David M Allen, MD titled “Why Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder Don’t Get Better,” published on June 15, 2015. I have several problems with this post and I’ll start with the title. Firstly, the title is a vast over-generalization.

Why Patients with Borderline Personality Don't Get Better

People who exhibit symptoms of borderline personality disorder, despite being intelligent and showing no signs of psychosis, persist tenaciously in their troublesome, self-destructive behaviors. They will not stop no matter what other people try to do to get them to. They will not tell you about the horrifying reactions they get from family members when they act better.

Diagnosing and Managing Criminal Psychopaths

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Criminologists, forensic psychologists and FBI profilers consider psychopathy to be the most important forensic concept of the early twenty-first century. Psychopaths are charming but deadly in their interactions with others. Because of its relevance to law enforcement, corrections, the courts and related fields, the need to understand psychopathy cannot be overstated.

How Would You Like to be Assessed?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 12, 2015 in A Sideways View
How would you like to be evaluated at school? Which of the many methods gives the best insight into you effort and ability?

Why It's Good to Go Alone

By Polly Campbell on June 11, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
Worries about what others will think can keep us couch bound. But you may be surprised what happens when you head out for some fun on your own.

Can Watching a Film Character Sniff Make You Sniff?

By Siu-Lan Tan Ph.D. on June 11, 2015 in What Shapes Film?
Can watching a film character take a sniff elicit sniffing behavior in the audience? And if so, how might we explain this response?

Six Obstacles to a Successful Relationship With a Psychopath

By Rhonda Freeman Ph.D. on June 11, 2015 in NeuroSagacity
Psychopaths are typically excited and stimulated by a new partner. This can easily be mistaken as bonding and deep caring. However, this tends to be the dopamine driven stage of romantic love that can feel like addictive attraction. Once that wears away, so does their interest. It is often at this point that they display disdain for their partner.

5 Ways to Deal with Angry People

By Ryan Martin Ph.D. on June 09, 2015 in All the Rage
We all have to talk to or work with angry people all the time. Those interactions can be challenging so here are five ways to deal with them.