Personality Essential Reads

Personality's 'Big One' and the Enigma of Narcissism

Narcissists can be charismatic yet also alienate others. Narcissism combines adaptive and maladaptive traits. This makes it difficult to reconcile narcissism with the theory that all personality traits express a single underlying dimension such as a general factor of personality.

This Is Your Brain at 100%

By Kevin Bennett on November 21, 2015 Modern Minds
Is your brain operating at only 10% capacity? Here is why the answer is a lot like Bigfoot.

Why Some Math Anxiety Might Actually Be a Good Thing

We typically think of math anxiety as universally bad for math learning, but a team of scholars have now discovered that the relationship between math anxiety and learning is much more complex.

What's The Difference Between Rationality And Rationalizing?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 Ambigamy
We toss around rational and rationalize as though we know the obvious objective difference between them when actually, it's a little more complicated than that.

Terrorism as a Vehicle for the Criminal Personality

The criminality of the individual is primary.

10 Things Passive People Say

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 12, 2015 The Squeaky Wheel
When passivity becomes our default way of responding and interacting and determines our general approach to life, it hurts us in ways we might not realize: Here's what to look for:

7 Things Only Narcissists Do

Recognizing the signs of narcissism is the first step in effectively dealing with a narcissist.

How Can Smart People Sometimes Be So Stupid?

If ignorance is bliss, we must be living on Planet Euphoria.

How I Learned About the Family Dynamics I Write About

In the comments by readers responding to my blogposts about dysfunctional family dynamics, I am often accused of naively believing my patient's "distorted" descriptions of their interactions with their family-of-origin members. In fact, I have observed these processes directly in a variety of ways. I describe those ways herein.

Loss Aversion and Romance

By Eyal Winter on November 07, 2015 Feeling Smart
Lazy and disheveled ranks as top deal breaker.

Psychopath for President?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 04, 2015 Talking Apes
When psychopathy is combined with a high degree of intelligence and a strong ability to delay gratification, the result is a ruthless, Machiavellian type who often makes it to the highest echelons of business and government.

Can the Experience of Awe Open the Mind?

People who are open to experience are more prone to experiencing awe. Is it possible that profound experiences of awe could also induce greater open-mindedness? Mystical experiences under the influence of psychedelics can increase openness to experience. Perhaps such experiences are so awe-inspiring that create a deeper and lasting appreciation for the mystery of life.

Why Road Ragers (and Others) Rage

Hyper-aggressive people don't view their outrageous behavior as you and I do. In their minds, they are underdogs, avenging angels, agents of justice—anything but malevolent malefactors.

How Narcissists Really React When Things Don’t Go Their Way

Finding the smart way through to a solution can get you through many predicaments in life. Dealing flexibility is generally the best strategy, one that narcissists surprisingly can use.

Violent Media Creates Couch Potatoes, Not Violent Youth

How many times have readers read stories about how violent video games and movies are causing more youth violence? Youth violence has in fact fallen as media has become more violent. Many studies only measure short-term aggressive thoughts after watching these things, not actions. In fact, most kids who watch a lot of violent media are couch potatoes, not gang bangers.

5 Psychological Lessons from Marathon Running

Marathon running is intense and dangerous. So why do some of us take on this kind of superfluous activity? Here are five psychological factors that help us understand the nature of marathon running.

If You Want to Improve Health, Change Your Behaviour

New research confirms the role of behavioral factors in health and that text-based support can improve heart disease risks. Making small changes in behavior can improve life.

What Is A Butthead Other Than Someone We Butt Heads With?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 16, 2015 Ambigamy
An important personal, social, political, practical and even spiritual question.

Depression Is a Thief

By Anneli Rufus on October 15, 2015 Stuck
Depression steals our interest in those things that used to thrill us, but — at first, at least — we don't know we've been robbed. Victims of burglaries and stickups know, but we don't. When and how will we demand our stuff back?

7 Reasons Why Laziness Is a Myth

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

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.

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?

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?

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.

Your Field Guide to the Colorful Personality

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.

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?

The Personality of Donald Trump

By Ryne A. Sherman Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 The Situation Lab
The fate of any organization is a function of that organization's leadership. The the United States is no exception to this rule. Further, how a person leads is a function of his or her personality. Thus, we must consider the personality of the leading Republican candidate Donald Trump and what a Trump presidency would mean for the fate of our nation.

Mental Illness Does Not Equal Dangerous, Mostly

By Carrie Barron M.D. on September 14, 2015 The Creativity Cure
There are many different kinds of mental illness and most people with these conditions are not dangerous. However a certain mix of psychological ailments combined with other known risk factors can be a set up for violent crime. If we can clear up the misunderstandings we will be in a better position to predict and protect.

Is Online Dating a Good Way to Find Profound Love?

It is commonly agreed that online dating provides people with a larger pool of romantic candidates. However, it is not certain whether online dating is a better way to find long-term profound love than conventional offline dating is. This article suggests an answer to this question.