In this post you can find general information about the Personality Analyst blog. The information is divided into the following four broad areas:

Last Updated: Mar. 30, 2011

I. Schedule and Coverage of the Posts

  • the current schedule
  • a description of the current posts
  • how to access the column
  • descriptions of earlier series of posts

II. Policies Concerning Posts, Corrections, Notes, and Comments

  • the column's policy on corrections
  • the columnist's policies on responding to comments
  • where to find references related to posts

III. The Author, Authorship, Disclosures, and Acknowledgments

  • links to other works by the author
  • a disclosure of interests
  • acknowledgements of those who help out on the Personality Analyst
  • miscellaneous information

IV. A Glossary and Stylistic Conventions

  • convention for denoting dates
  • glossary of key terms



The Personality Analyst blog is a column on matters concerning personality psychology, broadly conceived.

The posts sometimes are on individual topics concerning personality, and at other times are part of a series focusing on a specific topic such as Presidential Personality.

Scheduling Notes

Regular Posting Schedule:

After a two-year hiatus, the Personality Analyst returned on November 25th, 2013. In this version of the blog, I'll be posting on Mondays or Tuesdays as topics occur to me, rather than on a regular weekly schedule.

Beginning in April of 2011, posts will appear on a regular basis at the rate of two-to-four times a month. Posts will generally go on-line on Mondays or Tuesdays.

[From the beginning of the blog through March, 2011]: Posts appear each week and are posted sometime between Sunday afternoon, 4PM, and Tuesday 3 PM, Eastern Standard Time (GMT + 6:00).  Recently (2011+) the posts have been appearing on Tuesdays.

Occasional extra posts may appear on days in between. Please see below for holiday schedules and other exceptions...

Current Schedule Notes (see above for the regular schedule):

There have been no posts for the last weeks of March 2011.  Posts are scheduled to resume April 3rd or 4th.

There will be no post the week of February 28th, 2011.  After that, the blog will return on a regular schedule.

Posts are currently on a regular schedule. 

New posts are scheduled to resume January 24th, 2011.

New posts are scheduled to resume September 6th, 2010.

This Summer 2010, the Personality Analyst is on vacation the weeks of  Memorial Day, July 4th, and the month of August through the first week of September.

New posts resumed on July 20th, 2009.

I will be on vacation during the first half of July, 2009...see you with a new post on July 20th!

The post scheduled for Monday, Memorial Day, May 24th 2009 will appear instead on Tuesday May 25th.

In observance of Martin Luther King Day, and Inauguration Day in the US, the PA post normally scheduled for Monday, January 19th will appear Wednesday, January 21st.

New posts for the the Personality Analyst have resumed as of January 5th, 2009.

How to Access the Column

After the column is posted (see "Current Schedule"), it can be accessed on the front page of the Psychology Today Blog site ( for one to about 8 hours thereafter (depending upon the frequency of posts from other blogs). 

At other times, or to see and access all posts, go to the Personality Analyst home page at


There are several on-going series of posts at this time, marked by the different insignias (or earlier versions of them) below.

The Judging Personality seriesis identified in part by the "Judging Personality" icon to the left, which appears on the Psychology Today blog when a new entry is uploaded.  The posts concern how people judge one another, broadly conceived. An introduction to the group of posts can be found in, Judging Personality: Is Science Enough?

This group of posts began with a transitional column after the 2008 presidential election and continues to the present.

The Wisdom of Judging series is a sub-series of the Judging Personality series (see above).  This series of posts concerns wisdom traditions such as Hinduism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and others, and what they specifically have to say about judging others or refraining from doing so.

The Wisdom of Judging series serves as a foundation for enriching the overall Judging Personality series.  Posts are planned for throughout 2009.

The Presidential Personality Series.

The first group of six posts on Presidential Personality appeared in the weeks leading up to the 2008 US Presidential Election. They were identified in part by the icon appearing to the left.  Further posts are planned on an occasional basis when psychological research concerning presidential personality arises.  For example, a post is likely in the early Spring, 2009, concerning psychological analyses of President Obama's Inaugural Address.


Notes and References

Most posts have a Notes section at their conclusion which refers to references used for the post.

Policy Concerning Corrections

If a comment points out a clear factual inaccuracy or error in one of the columns I will attempt to correct it immediately and record the correction in the "notes" section that accompanies most posts.

Your Comments and Replies

Your comments on the blog and its posts are greatly appreciated. I read all the posts with great interest although I generally do not respond to individual posts.


Disclosure of Interests

Although these interests are independent of most posts, I provide them here for readers' general consideration:  Dr. Mayer is a co-author of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), published by MHS of Toronto, Canada, for which he receives test royalties.  He additionally receives royalties from a personality textbook, Personality: A Systems Approach, publsihed by Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Links to Other Works by the Author

Most of the authors' scientific articles are posted on his laboratory website at the University of New Hampshire.  Selected reprints regarding his systems framework for personality and his work in emotions and emotional intelligence can be found, respectively, on his personality and emotional intelligence websites.

Links to Dr. Mayer's textbook in personality psychology and his introduction to psychological measurement are here and here.


My thanks to Matthew Hutson, the Psychology Today editor who first suggested I undertake this blog, as well as to the PT editors Jay Dixit, Lybi Ma, Hara Marano, Carlin Flora, and Kaja Perina. 

My thanks also to Charles Frank, Psychology Today's COO, who has provided invaluable techincal assistance for the web site, as well as individual assistance regarding some of these posts.  

I am very grateful to a number of individuals who have helped me develop, in key ways, one or more of these posts.  My special thanks go to:

  • Deborah Hirsch, who has contributed her skillful editing to a great many of these posts, sometimes more than once. 
  • My father, Arthur C. Mayer, who had commented on the overall nature of the posts and on how to improve them until a few months before his death, at 88, in June of 2010.  

The above individuals have offered a great deal of excellent advice, both general and specific.  I have, however, not always followed it all, and many of the columns' shortcomings are a consequence of my own independent judgments. 

Miscellaneous Information

  • This "Information" post was uploaded on December 11th, 2008, and then backdated with permission as the second post of the series.
  • The introductory Personality Analyst post appeared August 24th, 2008.
  • The posts are written by John D. Mayer unless otherwise specified.


Convention of Denoting Dates  The series on "Judging Personality," and other posts as well, make reference to wide range of time periods.  In general, the posts use the CE/BCE system of denoting years in preference to the AD/BC system.  The CE/BCE system is a means of denoting years that is parallel to, but considered by some to be more religiously pluralistic than the AD/BC system.  BCE refers to Before the Common Era, and is a means of designating years identical to BC.  CE refers to the Common Era, and is a means of designating years identical to AD. For discussion of the two (and other) systems of dating years, please see the Wikipedia entry, or the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance website.

Glossary of Key Terms

Character: In general conversation, the term character sometimes is used as a loose synonym for personality. At other times, character can refer more specifically to the learned portions of personality, or just to the moral part of personality. When I refer to character in these posts, I typically use it as a synonym for personality.  My rationale is to follow the most common general usage.  A second reason I use the two as synonyms is that it is challenging to disentangle the learned (character?) portions of personality from those that are inherently biological.  At those times when I discuss environmental influences on personality, or good conduct, I will refer specifically to the learned or moral parts of personality. 

Psychological traits:  Long-term, relatively stable characteristics of personality.

Personality: The global psychological system that organizes an individual's motives and emotions, intelligence and knowledge, social actions, and self control.

Personality psychology: The branch of psychology that studies personality.


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