personality

Your partner’s personality adds value

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business_man_and_woman_1600_wht_5662Successful people are more likely to have a partner with certain personality traits according to a 5-year study at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

These traits, which help their partners to be advance their careers are: conscientiousness, reliability, and diligence.

These are the traits commonly found in successful executives with conscientiousness linked to success in life generally i.e. you do what you say you’ll do.

The study examined 5,000 married couples aged between 19 and 80 years of age and tracked them over 5 years to see how well they did at work. They also asked them to describe their partners.

Those who progressed the most in their chosen occupation had a spouse who scored high in conscientiousness, regardless of sex.

The author of the study, Joshua Jackson, talking about the results said “ It is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse’s personality matters too”.

He said it’s not just about your spouse encouraging you to ask for a pay rise or promotion but the influence of your spouse’s daily behaviour which influences you over time.

Conscientiousness can mean a spouse sharing the domestic chores or emulating the other person’s personality traits making them reliable and diligent employees.

This is where HR has been getting it wrong! Instead of using personality questionnaires to assess the applicant they should be inviting the applicants’ spouses in for assessment as well. Of course that doesn’t help if the applicant doesn’t have one – unless they borrow one for the occasion from a successful friend.

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Are you NORMAL?

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Otrazhenie

From http://www.thepiphanycafe.com/

I was always fascinated with what is considered to be ‘normal’ for us, human beings. As Dr. Eric R. Maisel points out, “This is not an idle question without real-world consequences. The “treatment” of every single “mental disorder” that mental health professionals “diagnose,” from “depression” and “attention deficit disorder” on through “schizophrenia,” flows from how society construes “normal” and “abnormal.” This matter affects tens of millions of people annually; and affects everyone, really, since a person’s mental model of “what is normal?” is tremendously influenced by how society and its institutions define “normal.”

From The Illusion of Normal

The matter of what is normal can’t be and must not be a mere statistical nicety. It can’t be and must not be “normal” to be a Christian just because 95% of your community is Christian. It can’t be and must not be “normal” to own slaves just because all…

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Night owls more likely to have Dark Triad of personality traits….psychologists beware!

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I was going to reblog this at 0100 today then thought better of it in case someone wondered..

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Watch out for the creatures of the night – those who prefer to stay up late tend to have more evil personality traits than those who prefer to be early risers, according to research.

Research suggests people who like staying up late tend to have more evil personality traits.

Research suggests people who like staying up late tend to have more evil personality traits. 

 Psychologistshave found that people who are often described as “night owls”display more signs of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathic tendenciesthan those who are “morning larks”.

The scientists suggest these reason for these traits, known as the Dark Triad, being more prevalent in those who do better in the night may be linked to our evolutionary past.

They claim that the hours of darkness may have helped to conceal those who adopted a “cheaters strategy” while living in groups.

Some social animals will use the cover of darkness to steal females away from more dominant males. This behaviour was also…

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Learning to become an Optimist

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glass_half_full_empty_1600_wht_5473Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full? Are you a born optimist?

Or do you always see the down-side? And can you do anything about it if you do?

Michael Mosley is presenting a BBC2 Horizon programme this week, 10 July at 21.00: “the Truth about Personality” 

He was suffering from insomnia, and worrying all the time so he decided he would investigate the latest ideas on personality and see whether or not he could become more optimistic.

A psychologist and neuroscientist at Oxford University, Professor Elaine Fox, believes that our basic drives are reflected in our patterns of brain activity which determine how we see the world.

She tested Mosley’s brain activity levels and found that he had more activity on the right side of the frontal cortex than the left, which has been found in other studies to be associated with higher levels of pessimism, neuroticism, and anxiety. She then got him to take a test to show whether he had an unconscious bias towards happy or angry faces by responding to flashing dots behind the faces. The results confirmed his bias towards pessimism.

The question was could he do anything about it? Twin studies show that there is a degree of heritability in personality  of  up to 50%. The rest is down to random factors or the environment  including whether or not the genes are switched on in response to life events and the environment (what is called epigenetics). Serious life events can not only trigger depression and anxiety but can alter genes to make people more vulnerable later in life.

He did two things: first he practised mindfulness every day for 20 minutes; secondly he used Cognitive Bias Modification using a computer programme which presented 15 blank or angry faces with 1 happy face. He had to practise finding the happy face to train his body to look for positive images.

put_on_a_happy_face_500_wht_5883After several weeks he found his mood lifting and he was sleeping better. He also performed differently on the two tests he had undergone earlier – in a positive direction.

Previous research in America involving over 1,000 people showed that optimistic people lived on average 7.5 years longer than pessimists.

Mental attitude was more important than any other factor according to the researchers at Yale. So this is clearly something we should take seriously.

 

Trainee Teachers to be tested for “emotional resilience”

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Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Future teachers will be subjected to new “personality tests” from September to make sure they can communicate with pupils in the classroom.

The tests are designed to ensure that new staff have the organisational skills necessary for lesson planning and the “emotional resilience” to cope with the pressures of badly-behaved children. They are part of a wider shake-up of the teacher training system planned by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary.

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Other key measures include tougher literacy and numeracy tests – with a restriction on the number of times trainees can retake them. In addition, those with only third-class degree passes will be banned from accessing grants for training, while those with first-class honours will be eligible for generous incentives.

The tests are designed to show the “non-cognitive” ability of applicants, who will be expected to fill out a computer-based questionnaire gauging their response to a series of situations. Academics…

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Personality Neuroscience: Unlocking The Mystery of The Brain in Order to Understand The Whole Person

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Brought to my attention via Dr Mark’s Business Psychology blog

Fresh Perspectives on Psychometrics & Psychology

Brain painting

This month, President Obama unveiled plans to fund a $100 million project to discover how different regions of the brain connect and result in the many complex functions that we as human beings are capable of. The BRAIN initiative, similar in its audacious attempt to push the boundaries of human knowledge as the Human Genome project, will endeavour to discover more about the most complex structure in the universe.

So, I was inspired to reconnect with my neuroscience roots myself and through a recommendation of our very own Psyche Editor; Mr Starkey, came across the intriguing field of ‘Personality Neuroscience’. The aim of this field, is “to understand both the biological systems that are responsible for the states associated with [personality] traits and the parameters of those systems that cause them to function differently in different individuals” (DeYoung, 2010).  A leading figure within Personality Neuroscience is Dr Colin DeYoung, who…

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Feel warmer towards people

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If you want someone to feel better pre-disposed to you offer them a hot drink rather than a cold one.

Researchers at Yale University asked participants in their study to rate the personality traits of a fictitious person after asking them to hold a cup of coffee – either hot or iced.

They found that those who had held a hot drink rated the person as more generous, sociable and good-natured compared to those who had held a cold drink.

The researchers say we are more sensitive to cues from our physical environment than we might think.

Previous research found that the size of paper used in presentations had a greater impact and the weight of clipboards used to hold CVs influenced recruiters’ impressions (a weightier candidate)

Source: APA Monitor January 2009 & others

Creativity, fear, and dishonesty

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One of my favourite blogs – Psyblog – recently posted on why people secretly fear creative ideas.

It seems we say we value creativity but don’t really want it. Teachers apparently don’t like creative kids – they are probably too disruptive and not good at following rules.

In organisations leaders say they want creative ideas – and then stick to the tried and tested.

I’ve seen creative people promoted only to find that they then have other priorities so they get frustrated and end up losing their credibility when they succumb to their dark side and their ideas are seen as totally unrealistic.

Experiments by Mueller and colleagues using implicit attitude tests showed that when people are uncertain they think negatively about creative ideas and found it harder to recognise them. This shows that people may dislike creative ideas because they increase uncertainty and that’s not a state we enjoy.

But of course being creative requires just that – doing something that hasn’t been done before or doing something in a different way.

Research elsewhere into the links between creativity and the Big 5 personality factors confirmed that openness and extraversion were significantly related to creativity, but agreeableness had no effect. However they found that people with higher levels of arrogance and pretentiousness also reported more creative accomplishments and being engaged in more creative activities.

So other researchers then explored the connections between creativity and dishonesty.

In a series of experiments reported in Psychology Today they found that people reporting higher creativity were more likely to take advantage of ambiguous situations to cheat. This was nothing to do with intelligence; there were no links between intelligence and creativity nor between intelligence and dishonesty. In fact creativity was a better predictor of dishonesty than intelligence.

People with a more creative mindset were more motivated to think “outside the box” and this is what led to increased levels of dishonesty. In experiments within real organisations they found that people working in what were considered more creative departments or in jobs in which they were expected to be creative, were more likely to act unethically when asked to make decisions on a range of scenarios.

The research actually showed that creativity causes dishonesty. The researchers think that “creativity helps people to develop original ways to bypass moral rules …. to reinterpret information in self-serving ways as they attempt to justify their immoral actions”.

It makes you wonder about creative entrepreneurs who may be less inclined than the rest of us to follow rules which they regard as meaningless red tape eg paying VAT! Or think of Richard Branson’s early days selling vinyl records out of telephone boxes.

The researchers also caution that although the findings are statistically significant they are only trends and there are many creative people who are not dishonest. 

Are entrepreneurs intelligent?

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Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Associate Professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London recently posted a blog on Psychology Today about IQ and how it is still the best predictor of success in life, including at school, at work, and in health.

He says that many people however associate high IQs with geeks or nerds and don’t accept how useful it is as a predictor of job performance, particularly since the publication of books on emotional and multiple intelligences.

There is also more knowledge about intelligence now, about the effects of interaction with the environment and competition on IQ scores.

He also acknowledges that much of the research has been carried out on traditional types of jobs, albeit requiring different skills and qualifications.

He is therefore interested in people in non-traditional jobs, the self-employed and entrepreneurs, on which there are few if any studies and who will form an increasingly large proportion of the working population in years to come.

So he wants to know how important IQ is in entrepreneurial success and has designed a survey to explore this. If you want to read the background to this in more detail and would like to be part of some research to find out, click here.

If you don’t want to read the Psychology Today blog just go straight to the on-line test and get your free report  here.

Some people believe that entrepreneurs just have lucky personalities and it’s nothing to do with how intelligent they are. But imagine if you had both the brains and a winning personality!

Updated 19 May 2011:    The link above is to Dr Mark’s Business Psychology Blog, one of my favourites,  and he has posted another one on “Bottling the Entrepreneurial Spirit”. Well worth reading.

See also: How do you know how intelligent you are?

Brains and a ‘winning’ personality? Now that would be dangerous!

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Brains and a 'winning' personality? Now that would be dangerous! If you were only allowed to look for one thing in a prospective manager, what would it be? Business psychology tells us that it should be ‘brains’, or rather general intelligence, or if you want to be precise, the ‘fluid’ bit of general intelligence. That’s the sort of intelligence that helps you to solve problems you haven’t come across before. Why? Of all the things we could assess, general intelligence – or having sufficient brain power – is t … Read More

via Dr Mark’s Business Psychology Blog