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Posts Tagged "personality"

Beautiful Minds

How Does IQ Relate to Personality?

boy behind a desk

Personality and IQ have traditionally been viewed as distinct domains of human functioning. However, research over the past three decades suggests that IQ is a personality trait. In an excellent book chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence, personality neuroscientist Colin DeYoung points out that many personality traits involve cognitive processes and abilities. It’s just [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

openness

Openness to experience– the drive for cognitive exploration of inner and outer experience– is the personality trait most consistently associated with creativity. But there are many different forms of cognitive exploration. Just to name a few, openness to experience comprises intellectual curiosity, complex problem solving and reasoning, imagination, artistic and aesthetic interests, and emotional and fantasy [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Why Do You Want to Be Famous?

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In 2012, a study found that a desire for fame solely for the sake of being famous was the most popular future goal among a group of 10-12 year olds, overshadowing hopes for financial success, achievement, and a sense of community. Which raises the question: Why do people want to be famous? John Maltby found six major reasons [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice

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What is greatness and how do people get there? Is greatness born or made? Is greatness the result of talent or practice? Few other questions have caused such intense debate, controversy, and diversity of opinions. The heights of human accomplishment have always fascinated us, and for good reason. The striving for greatness is a fundamental [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Profiling Serial Creators

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Every single day, all across the globe, extraordinarily creative and talented students sit in our classrooms bored out of their minds. These budding innovators may differ drastically in what particular domain captivates their attention, whether it’s science and engineering, architecture and design, arts, music and entertainment, business and finance, law, or health care. Nevertheless, as Richard Florida [...]

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Beautiful Minds

In Defense of Working Memory Training

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One minute we’re being told that brain training makes you smarter, and the next minute we’re told it’s all bogus. Confused? I don’t blame you. The research literature on brain training is confusing and even sometimes contradictory. This is the way of science. I believe, however, that there is hope in making sense of things if the field and the [...]

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Guest Blog

Walking the Line Between Good and Evil: The Common Thread of Heroes and Villains

Mythology, science fiction and comic books are chock full of stories of heroes and their battles against the ills of society—the eternal struggle between good and evil. We are meant to view these two main characters—the Hero and the Villain—as opposites on the spectrum of ethics and morality. But are they really so different when [...]

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Guest Blog

Mirror images: Twins and identity

Whenever someone finds out I’m an identical twin, one question is always asked. "So, who’s older?" No matter which one of us is asked, my brother Daniel and I will always repeat the same answer we’ve given hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. "Our parents never told us,” says Daniel. “We always say that, [...]

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Observations

Personality Might Be Genetically Encoded in Bee Brains

bee personality

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are more than cookie-cutter drones, workers, foragers and queens. They might have individual personality differences similar to our own, according to new research. After studying hives—both in the wild and in the lab—and analyzing genetic and biochemical profiles of bees’ brains, researchers have found that some bees, like some humans, seem to [...]

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Observations

Stress tests devised to reliably reveal personality in birds

greenfinch from animal personality test of stress and behavior

Most dog and cat owners will happily describe their pet’s disposition down to the smallest, human-like detail. But how much of that is over-reaching anthropomorphizing and how much is an individual animal’s actual "personality" shining through? Researchers in the U.K. devised a series of tests to see how individual animals respond—both behaviorally and biologically—to different [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Gloom-and-Doom Disease: Should Woody Allens Have a Home in the Manual of Mental Illness?

Woody Allen portrait

Part 4 of a series Depression and anxiety are like a pair of warring siblings. Both are disruptive and trying. They don’t want each other’s company, but are stuck together by virtue of the same parentage. Depression, after all, is often a product of rumination, the grating mental do-overs of ugly past events, usually with [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

George Alexander Louis: What’s In A Name?

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My latest at The Guardian is on the psychology of first name choices – a timely topic, as the royal family has just announced the name of the latest heir to the throne: George Alexander Louis. Read on to find out why that choice was fairly predictable. “What’s in a name?” Shakespeare has Juliet ask [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The WEIRD Psychology of Elephants

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

In 1976, psychologists John and Sandra Condry of Cornell University had 204 human adults view videotaped footage of an infant boy named David and infant girl named Dana, and asked them to describe the infants’ facial expressions and dispositions. They described their findings in an article in the journal Child Development. In the video, infants [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Feeling Snappy? Measuring Personality in Hermit Crabs

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The idea behind quantifying personality is deceptively simple: personality refers to predictable differences in behavior between people. Those differences should be reasonably reliable. That is, they ought to hold constant across different types of situations. Those differences should also be reasonably stable, which means they should be consistent over time. For example, you might score [...]

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