Personality Essential Reads

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

9 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Chances For Success

Many new parents may be too busy to realize it, but Tovah Klein of Columbia University argues that “the ages from two to five are crucial for your child’s long-term healthy development and success—for laying the foundation of who they will become over time.” Here are 9 ways to improve your child's chances for success from "the toddler whisperer."

Twins Reared Apart: Documentary Films and More

By Nancy L Segal Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in Twofold
Twins reared apart tell us a lot about where our behaviors come from!

5 Important New Insights About Why We Get Angry

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Curious?
Here I present "in press" research for the first time on what we learned by examining 2342 episodes of intense anger in everyday life. What we found introduces new insights into this complex emotional experience.

Do Dog Owners Make Better Lovers? Some Scientific Answers

By Peg Streep on July 30, 2015 in Tech Support
Some studies have shown that dog owners like to dominate but that they're also more sociable than people without pets or people who prefer cats. But did you know that the presence of a dog changes how we assess someone, even a stranger? That and more....

Creative Concerns

At first glance, the notion that creativity perturbs us is oxymoronic. We live in an age in which we are encouraged to prize all things ingenious. However, novelty also brings risk and uncertainty.

What Really Makes Narcissists Tick?

Among other things, narcissists typically come across as arrogant, manipulative, entitled, and woefully lacking in empathy. But if these defining features are understood at a deeper level—as powerful psychological defenses to protect them from experiencing a truly frightening vulnerability—a quite different picture of them emerges. . . .

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

Child sexual abuse is a big risk factor for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. But why do some victims turn out one way, others a different way, and still others turn out without any disorders at all? So called empirical studies of child abuse are limited to such variables as who the perpetrators were, what did they do, and how often. There's a lot more to the story.

The Archeology of Misbehavior

Archeology is the study of human activity in the past. The archeology of misbehavior is studying current behavior to uncover hidden sources. The “ruins” of misdeeds are built upon personality architecture and cultural landscapes.

Personal Intelligence: Are You Using Yours?

You've heard a lot about emotional intelligence. Now there's a new kid on the block.

Sex and the Single Borderline Woman

The Buddha and the Borderline is a cross between "Girl, Interrupted" and "Bridget Jones’s Diary." She is much more than a ‘lonely and increasingly horny receptionist,’ as she says in the book. Her insights into the world of the borderline mind are as funny as they are revealing.

What Are Situations?

What were you doing yesterday at 10am? 2pm? 8pm? Why were you doing those things? A moment’s reflection on our day’s activities makes it obvious that situations impact our behavior. But what are situations actually? I’ve spent the past 9 years doing research aimed at answering this very question. This post describes what we currently know about situations.

By Neglecting Spatial People, What Innovations Have We Lost?

Peter Thiel famously said of the future: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” As innovative as Twitter might be, it pales in comparison to engineering feats that could truly transform our future. And by neglecting spatially talented people, we may have already lost so many incredible inventions.

Worried About a Midlife Crisis? Don't. There's No Such Thing

The midlife crisis is one of those urban legends that refuses to go away, no matter how much evidence question its universality. The latest evidence to refute the midlife crisis myth shows, yet again, that there are no massive personality upheavals when the decade marker strikes four-zero.

Religious Individuality

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in Cui Bono
Eric Dietrich posted "It is not that there are no gods or goddesses, but rather that there are no [true] religions." I agree, but not just because no religion is true. I go a step further. Because each individual's religious experience is unique, there are as many versions of a religion as there are members. Ultimately, there are no Christians, Buddhists, etc.

How the Things You Say Pave the Road to Character

How does what we say pave the road to character? David Brooks has some words of wisdom.

5 'Flaws' That Just 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 Most 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.