(Based on new research by Luis Amaral and Martin Gerlach in journal Nature Human Behavior)
“That which permits a prediction of what a person will do in given situation”
– Raymond B Cattell
Personality is derived from the Latin word persona which referred to actors who played different roles and characters.
It is essentially a pattern of:
Why is it important to know Thyself?
It allows one to know about oneself, to better gauge one’s understanding of their abilities, qualities, and characteristics. This will further help in bettering one’s goal to achieve what one desires and even for that matter get better in the day to day activities.
According to new research produced by Scientist from Northwest University personalities can be categorized into 4 broad categories. New research succeeds Briggs and Myers 16 personality types. This has allowed simplistic change to a very complex Briggs – Myers types.
A look at 4 different types of personalities mentioned in research:
The majority kind is with this personality type. These people are generally social, extroverted and moderately agreeable. They are easy going and tend to worry a lot. These people are usually less neurotic but are categorized as less emotionally stable.
These people are usually good at taking directions and directives. These individuals are suited in routine works such as from software industry developers, programmers, analyst, data entry operators; from manufacturing industry workman, engineers as supervisors, head in charge of work/unit in a factory; from the financial institution are clerks, salesman, subordinate staff.
Recommended – Rethinking Personality Types
These are individuals who are introverted, usually agreeable but are less open than other types. They can be best described by persons who less interested in the limelight. They are also emotionally stable than Average and Self Centered type.
These are employed in workplaces where work is computational, analytical, good level of cognition requirement, such as operational and field jobs.
These are individuals high on agreeableness and extraversion. They display emotional intelligence. Are individuals who are reasonable, moderately open-minded.
They are best categorized as leaders example head in charge, ministers, chief executive officers, and other heads.
Recommended – The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI
In simple terms are opposite to Role Models. Self Centered are generally extroverted, moderately neurotic, low in terms of agreeableness and openness.
These are individuals who display moodiness and inconsistent behavior. They are usually seen as artist, designers, owners, creative individuals.
With such a level of awareness, one can better gauge his/her abilities if not then even some level awareness can guide a person to better take decisions with respect life goals, job/profession, personal matters, and other likely choices when one is standing at crossroads.
Do you get anxious when you hear the words ‘psychometric testing’ together? Are you unsure what’s it about and want to improve your knowledge about it? Then this article will help you with such queries.
What is it?
Psychometric tests are a standard method backed by scientific theories and explanations used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral style. They are designed to identify and measure the candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities).
They are objective in their methodology and assessment. They are developed by trained and experienced psychologists using rigorous methods to ensure that the tests are unbiased and do not contain material which could favor a certain group of candidates.
They identify the extent to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required skills, pressure level, emotional levels to perform an assigned task or job. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to get the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a telephonic interview or a face-to-face interview.
Similarly, a person with good emotional stability is able to handle hectic situations in a better way and hence proves himself more productive. All these tests are ‘standardized’, meaning they have been tested on people before of a similar age and background. Psychometric tests are also objective in terms of scoring. Most tests use multiple-choice questions with set right and wrong answers, so there is no room for bias marking.
The modern psychometric test has inception in Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Galton was fascinated by differences among individuals. It was him who showed that objective testing could provide meaningful results.
Another pioneer was James Cattell, who first coined the term ‘mental test’ in 1890. Fifteen years later, Alfred Binet introduced the first modern intelligence test.
Psychometric testing rose in popularity throughout the twentieth century, and today a psychometric test is best described as a standardized assessment which looks at human behavior and describes it with scores or categories.
Types of Psychometric Evaluation:
There are three broad categories in the psychometric evaluation. These are an Aptitude test, Personality test, and Achievement tests. These tests evaluate you in different parameters. A diagram below shows various parameters on which you are evaluated.
There are mainly psychometric assessments that are online tests comprising a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ), even in this age of internet some employers still use paper-based questionnaires. Your results are usually compared with the people who previously performed in the tests.
How successfully will you perform in a job is just not a play of your abilities, but also on your personal qualities that you possess. Interviews and group exercises can be used to assess social skills in a participant, but personality questionnaires can further explore the way you tend to react to, or deal with, different situations that will come in across your life or at the workplace.
Unlike aptitude tests, there are no right or wrong answers and questionnaires are in the major cases untimed. After you have finished a personality questionnaire, a profile is drawn up based on your answers to the questions.
Personality questionnaires ask questions designed to reveal factors such as: how you relate to other people around you; your style of work; your empathy; your motivations and determination towards certain setting or task, and your general outlook.
Situational questionnaires are also designed to reveal similar factors; however, the style of questioning is different, asking that you state how you are likely to react to a given scenario. It is very tailor-made to the given situation.
The most common personality questionnaires that recruiters use is OPQ, 15FQ, and 16PF.
Personality tests seek to measure your intangible traits objectively. This helps the company/person assessing you better understand your ability in a holistic sense. Because an intelligent person might be lazy.
Scoring of Personality Questionnaire
From your responses, the selector gains information about your style of behavior and how and why you do things in your own way.
It usually reveals out your general outlook. You may receive some feedback on the profile, which your answers produce, and usually they asses you qualitatively by different methods of analysis.
In which they rule out themes or codes that reveal out your personality which is followed by writing everything in a report or called Discussion.
Aptitude tests range from testing your logical, verbal and critical aptitudes. These are usually scored and have an objective marking. It does not matter if you finish the test (though you should complete as many questions as possible); it is the number of correct answers or right responses which counts.
Your score is then compared for assessment with how other people have done on the test in the past. This group is called the ‘norm group’. They could range anything from students/graduates, current job holders or a more general random group.
These tests are meant to evaluate your mental acuity. As you can see there are many parameters on which it can be tested upon, varying from your logical reasoning to numerical to critical thinking ability.
These are those tests which reflect your academic performances. Usually are conducted by your school/college/company or any institution seeking to test what you learned in you under graduation, graduation, and post-graduation.
These tests are usually standardized test to meet your educational qualification which would reflect your capabilities.
This enables selectors to assess your reasoning skills in relation to others and to make judgments about your ability to cope with tasks involved in the job.
The validity of such tests rests on how closely they assess abilities necessary to do the job. For this reason, there is a variety of tests; for example, tests of reasoning with written information (verbal reasoning tests), numbers, charts and graphs (numerical reasoning) or abstract figures (diagrammatic or spatial reasoning).
The choice of tests used should be related to the work tasks involved in the job. A 2008/2009 survey by AGCAS (The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) found that law firms tested for verbal reasoning only, while engineering and IT companies used a much wider use of tests including diagrammatic, abstract and critical reasoning.
Areas of Usage
These tests are mainly used by companies to hire future employers. It helps them sift through various job applicants based on their profiles.
Personality test is used everywhere by companies, institutions, and professionals who seek to hire people for specific roles. These roles can be sector specific or role specific (manager or leader) or specialization based.
Personality test seeks to determine those characteristics which will benefit the company in the best possible way. Hence, they are very much important.
Aptitude tests are conducted by various organizations and their scores are taken into consideration by universities. Examples of this are S.A.T, G.A.T.E, G.M.A.T. etc.
Achievement tests are those standardized tests which you are or have already given. They represent your schooling exams and college exams which you have given or are giving. These tests you on your understanding and learning of your subjects you are taught.
How can you benefit?
These tests play a very big role in delivering a suitable path to everyone both the participants (who want to find the which kind of role is the most suitable for him or her) and to the employer too (who want to find the right kind of candidate for a specific task.
These methods help people to reduce chaos, anxiety, stress in the occupational/organizational setting or even in day to day life in increasing the productivity and happiness in people’s life.
Psychometric evaluation in comparison to your domain specific evaluation is based on your holistic understanding of who you are as a person. Like suggested that emotional intelligence is of valuable importance.
There are many intelligent individuals with low EQ, this may not work for a company especially long term. Then measuring those aspects which are usually not found in standard test becomes important. Hence, it becomes important for a psychometric evaluation to promote efficiency.
What do we offer?
Here at Brainpundits, we seek to provide you with a holistic assessment of your personality, ability, and capabilities. This can help you gauge better, your abilities and draw on a career path for yourself. If you are a company, we provide tests which seek to augment your assessment program. This can help you better gauge in your or person you are assessing providing with dimensions that are free from human biases.
We offer assessments towards self-discovery in 4 aspects; personality, intelligence, interests, and aptitude. We help in identifying future education and career roles as per an individual’s aligned interests, cognitive ability, and personality makeup.
What personality type are you?
We offer a personality test that categorizes you into 2 types(A/B). This provides as easy fast reliable assessment of who you are and what are your traits.
- Know which personality type you are: A or B
- Understand whether you are prone to stress or not
- Take corrective measures to change your life
We provide a test that determines which stream is going to provide you with better outcomes in terms of career.
Find the top 2 most suitable Streams after your class X
- Know your abilities and interests
- Take measures to reach your goals
- Natural Inclination for further studies and future jobs
We provide career guidance to match your abilities we offer:
- Find the top 4 most suitable careers for you
- Know your aptitude, interests, and personality
- Take measures to reach your goals
- Identify strengths and potential weaknesses for the career search process
- Plan career goals and action steps
Find out how employable you are. Know your abilities, interests, and personality
- Take measures to reach your goal
- Identify strengths and potential weaknesses for the career search process
- Assess natural inclination
- Target opportunities that match personality, aptitude, and interests
Our SOCH approach is our ingenuity which provides a holistic assessment and suggests a viable career path for you.
SOCH is the acronym that we at Brainpundits have come up with about four dominant inclinations that we, as people, may have.
- S-tats (good with data, numbers, facts, and figures),
Stats indicate an inclination towards administrative work. People scoring high on stats are good at dealing with facts, number, records, files, and data.
- O-bjects (good with machines, tools, and new technology),
Objects indicate an inclination towards learning new tools and technologies. These individuals appear to be good at working with machines, mechanisms, materials, tools, and processes.
- C-oncepts (good in dealing with abstract concepts and being original)
Concepts indicate an inclination towards novelty-seeking. People scoring high on this dimension appear to be original persons who like working with their own unique ideas. They seem to be curious to understand the know-how of things and their functioning.
- H-umans (the more people-oriented person who is comfortable with interacting with people and maintaining interpersonal relations)
Humans indicate an inclination towards people. People scoring high on this dimension feel comfortable in interacting with others and believe in expressing themselves completely. Maintaining good interpersonal relationships with others is quite important for them which let them empathize and understand their problems easily.
All of us have these dimensions, but out of these four dimensions, there are some which are more dominant than others.
Through the paradigm of SOCH you can know about yourself better and after giving a simple Stream Selection test at our Brainpundits page, you will find out about your personality and know which stream would be ideally suited for you. Also, if you want to better know your ability you try
I hope through this article you have gained enough information about psychometric tests and would feel inclined to try out and learn more about our services and products that we have to offer.
If you want to try your hand at some then be sure to explore some of the free tests at offer at Brainpundits. So, what are you waiting for? Cheers and start exploring yourself.
Do Opposites really attract? Or Do we use 10% of our brains? These are some of the popular myths in psychology. In this article, we are going to debunk them and discuss what does science say about them.
The popular psychology industry has churned out various psychological myths about our personality, our minds, and our daily behavior. But they really are just myths and not backed by science. These myths get circulation by either movie, shows, radio program, and even self-help books.
Researchers call these myths psychomythology as it consists of urban legends and myths regarding psychology. The reason why should we know about these things is that separate fact from fiction. Acceptance of such myths can have harmful effects like stating and spreading false information. Blindly accepting things without fact-checking can also lead to a decline in critical thinking.
So, here are 10 of the most popular myths about psychology.
Myth 1: Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power.
Now, this myth is probably one of the famous ones out there. It was particularly made famous by films like Limitless (2011) and Lucy (2014) in which it is shown that most of the people used 10% of the brain and with dramatic increase in usage you could either become the smartest person in the world or a god, which was the case in the latter. Spoiler alert, this is not the case.
This myth is not only popular among the people but also among college students studying psychology as around 59% of a sample from a college believed it to be true (Houzel, 2002). Researchers have argued that the myth originated from a self-help book, which talked about how you can improve your brain usage.
Studies have shown, with the help of advancement in technology, that is not the case as even simple tasks witness activity which is spread across the brain. With the help of brain-mapping technology, studies have shown that if we only used 10% of our brains then it would have been fatally catastrophic.
Myth 2: The Mozart Effect or How Listening to Mozart Makes Babies Intelligent
The Mozart effect is a term that was coined by Alfred Tomatis in 1991. It originated from a highly speculative research project which tried to link listening to compositions by Mozart and rise in IQ points. The original findings, which later were not replicated, showed signs of a slight increase of 2-3 points. But they got exaggerated by the media as companies started to cash in on this by selling Mozart Effect CDs for infants. Even though the research was done on adults!
The findings themselves were subject to scrutiny as many researchers tried to replicate it but came up with mixed results, Moreover, the research never revolved around infants. It was a myth created by the companies.
Myth 3: Human Memory is Like a Tape Recorder
Most of us believe that our memory records things incomplete details, like a camera or a tape recorder. But this is another commonly believed myth.
Studies have shown that our memories are not exact replicas of our past experiences. A consensus among psychologists is that human memory is not reproductive – it doesn’t replicate events precisely – but rather it is reconstructive. We recall what has happened and it’s usually a blurry mixture of our beliefs, biases, emotions, and hunches.
Myth no. 4: Intelligence Tests (IQ) are Biased against Certain Groups of People
IQ tests, the psychology community agrees, are not perfect and have certain flaws. But a certain myth originated around that if two groups score differently on the test, then it is biased. It is found in popular writings and is the most common critical take against IQ tests.
However, many researchers have studied IQ tests and they were biased towards minorities or against women. In 1996, two task force was assembled to test these claims. These studies found that there is no merit to the argument that tests like SATs, and other IQ tests are biased. But it is important to understand the different scores, especially of minority groups and women, and caused behind them, which is separate from the IQ tests. These differences could be because of various factors but by calling IQ tests biased is neglecting those differences and working on them.
Myth no. 5: Our Dreams have Symbolic Meaning
One of the most popular myths associated with Psychology, especially with Freud, is that our dreams have symbolic meaning and one can interpret them. In fact, throughout the world people, across different cultures, believe that our dreams have hidden truths in them.
However, the contemporary scientific community rejects this idea and argue that dreams are anything but symbolic. Researchers have argued that before entering REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of our sleep, dreams just mirror our everyday activities and concerns that occupy our minds like studying for exams or paying our taxes.
During the REM phase, our brains produce, what Hobson calls, a “dramatic symphony” which is often illogical. Hobson’s theory called activation-synthesis theory has garnered enough scientific support and is also called Anti-Freud theory.
Myth no. 6: Opposites Attract
One of the most popular understandings people have is that we are attracted to people who have opposite personalities, beliefs, and understandings. This notion has been propagated via movies, shows, and novels. The technical term which is used for this is ‘complementarity’.
However, research has shown, that when it comes to interpersonal relationships, opposites do not attract. Rather, homophily, (a fancy term that researchers use) similar people attract each other, is the norm rather than the exception. Studies have shown that people are more likely to be attracted to people who have similar views and opinions. People in relationships having similar views and opinions signify signs of compatibility and stability.
Myth no. 7: There’s Safety in Numbers
Imagine two scenarios. In scenario 1, you are walking along the street and are about to be robbed and only see one bystander there. In scenario 2, there are people all around and the same event is happening. Who would you feel safer in? If your answer is scenario 2, then you may be the exception. As most of the research suggests that you’d probably be safer in scenario 1 and there’s danger rather than safety in numbers. But how?
Researchers give two reasons for this. First, is the pluralistic ignorance which basically means a bystander has to recognize that an emergency is actually an emergency. If you see other people not feeling concerned over an issue then you would probably feel that it’s not a serious issue. The second reason is what they call the diffusion of responsibility. It means when there are more people present, the fewer people would feel individually responsible in that situation.
Myth no. 8: Our Handwriting Tells Us About Our Personality
Another myth prevalent is that our handwriting tells us about our personality. There is actually a field devoted to this called Graphology. Researchers, however, have argued that its mere pseudoscience and does not hold any ground. The scientific tests have revealed that graphologists fall under the trap of the P.T. Barnum effect, as mentioned earlier in another article.
Myth no. 9: Psychiatric and Criminal Activities Increase During Full Moons
The fixation with full moons has been a thing with various authors of literature. The various supernatural phenomenon in fiction is linked with full moons like from the werewolf lore. But the obsession with full moons is not restricted to fantasy as various authors have linked with real-life events. Some have linked the full moon with rising in criminal activities, drinking, and lewd behavior, even increase in dog bites!
These authors call it the Lunar Effect or the ‘Transylvania Effect’, and it is deeply embedded in popular culture. Proponents of the Lunar effect argue since full moon leads to rise in tides. And since humans are made up of four-fifths of water, then it is plausible that it has an effect on us too.
But researchers argue that this does not hold any water (pun very much intended!). Researchers did a thorough meta-analytic study to see if there’s a link and found no evidence of the lunar effect being a reality. They call this association illusory correlation, which is the false perception of an association between events where no such association exists. Its what they call a statistical mirage.
Myth no. 10: Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent
This myth’s origin lies in popular culture as various films portray people with mental illness being violent. Movies and shows portray them as ‘psychopathic killers’ having ‘homicidal tendencies.
But actual research suggests that around 90% of people with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, don’t commit violent acts. Moreover, severe mental illness accounts for around 3-5% of all violent crimes.
So, there you have it. Ten psychomyths busted for you. So the next time someone says that the opposites attract or there’s safety in numbers, you tell them actually it does not! We’ll find more psychomyths to bust in another article. Till then, cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.
We all love to watch movies in our leisure time. In this article, we are giving you 10 films to make your curious about the psychological state of the human mind. These are handpicked for your viewing pleasure.
Top 10 Movies Related to Psychology
Sybil (1976) is one of the finest films when it comes to portraying multiple-personality disorder in the real world. In this movie, the protagonist suffered from a multi-personality disorder and developed 16 kinds of different personalities in herself. Sally Field, Joanne Woodward, and Brad Davis movie perfectly castes the scenarios, situations and how to behave with the person suffering from the multi-personality disorder. To see this purely psychological driven move you have to glue yourself with a chair to 3 hours and 18 minutes as its very long.
GOOD WILL HUNTING
Released in 1997, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck starrer film directed by Gus Van Sant is an epic masterpiece that shows how psychology can manifest and help you. In this move Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, a janitor at M.I.T has a great gift of mathematics. The films tell the story of an MIT mathematical prodigy who is able to solve any problem but is struggling to find his own identity. But one day he meets a girl who opens both his mind and heart. When he faces an emotional crisis, he takes help from psychiatrist Dr. Sean Maguireto, played by Robin Williams, who helps him recover. This film is a must watch for its heart moving moments.
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
If you want to dive deep into the mind of a psychopath then you cannot Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins. The silence of the Lambs (1991) is one of the famous films revolving around the psychology of the serial killer. It also stars Jodie Foster in a role the defined her career. The film is one of the benchmarks for a psycho-thriller. The film has other parts like Red Dragon (2002) but it’s the original that is the one that all recommend.
Rain main is a fascinating film about two brothers. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as two brothers. The movie blows everyone’s mind by showing extreme memory capabilities of Raymond. He is an astonishing character who is kidnapped by his own brother for ransom. The psychological aspect lies here is in the character of Raymond an Autistic and is a Savant, for his ability to memorize and recall all info he has read or heard before and he can count and do math at astonishing rates.
Matchstick Men (2003), directed by Ridley Scott, is a film about confidence tricksters. It is based on the book by Eric Garcia called Matchstick Men: A novel about Grifters with Issues. The main protagonist, a con artist called Roy, is flawlessly played by Nicolas Cage. In the film, he’s suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It consists of two themes that are running parallel to each other. One one hand we see a clever story of conmen, filled with the expected twists and an impressive final ‘sting’. On the other hand, we see a deeply personal story of a man struggling to cope with serious mental illness. It is highly recommended to anyone interested in working in Adult Mental Health, whether in psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychology or in any of the branches of psychotherapy.
It’s another masterpiece from the Director M. Night Shyamalan and flawlessly played by James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson. Released in 2016, this movie will not let you up from the cushioned sofas and glue you to the screens. Another multi-personality disorder movie will stun you from its suspense and thrills.
Kevin, having multiple-personality disorder carjacks and kidnaps three girls from a supermarket parking lot. He locks up the girls in a room and chillingly reveals at different times, a few of his 23 distinct personalities. It’s a thrill ride that you can’t afford to miss.
Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, is based on a short story by his brother, Jonathan Nolan, called “Memento Mori”. The movie stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano. The film, released in 2000, is described by Nolan as “a psychological thriller about a guy who can’t make new memories and who is looking for revenge”. Memento specifically explores the condition of anterograde amnesia and reflects the difficulty that sufferers have in appreciating the passage of time as they struggle to exist with very limited recent memory. This movie inspired the film Ghajini by A.R. Murugadoss, who made this film both in Hindi and Tamil.
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
A Beautiful Mind is a wonderful psychological drama in which Dr. John Nash who is a mathematical genius and a natural code breaker, at least in his own mind. He suffers from clinical schizophrenia and depression. Russel Crowe plays John Nash in this film to absolute perfection. The portrayal of a person suffering from Schizophrenia is one of the most accurate depictions. According to the DMV-IV (a criterion scale assessing psychological disorders), John Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia because of certain criteria he showed, hallucinations and delusions which lies under this disorder. This film is highly recommended.
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
In 1971, researchers at Stanford University wanted to study prisons and prisoner behavior. So they undertook an experiment. But it went unexpectedly wrong. The program also managed to bring infamy and change the lives of those who participated forever. Experimenting with a prison first requires a prison. The researchers were able to turn the basement of Stanford’s psychology building into a functional prison. Classrooms and offices became prison cells with hard beds. Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez based on the book The Lucifer effect this movie was an epitome of experimental psychology.
This psychological thriller is one of the most thrilling movies of all time, Trevor Reznik, the protagonist played spectacularly and flawlessly by Christian Bale, is an industrial worker. He’s also on the edge of a breakdown. Trevor Reznik the protagonist who have not slept in a year and his weight plummeting as fast as his paranoia skyrockets, the film documents his increasingly tenuous grasp on reality. The movie also gives an insight to the extent an actor can go while being in character. Christian Bale is famous for this role for risking his life as he lost a lot of weight for this film.
So, here you go 10 handpicked films for you to enjoy. If you have suggestions of your own then let us know in the comment. Till then cheers and be awesome!
Resilience in the workplace
When people do not manage effectively, it leads to high levels of workplace stress. That stress can lead to several negative personal and performance outcomes. Some professional teams work in highly stressful settings and are at risk of conditions such as burnout, depression, and anxiety.
Some individuals are not very much affected by workplace stress and the related negative consequences. Such people are known as resilient. Studies have found relationships between levels of individual resilience and specific negative consequences such as burnout, fatigue, and compassion. A study shows that occupational stress is a worldwide observable aspect that is related with several inimical consequences such as negative physical and mental health outcomes, and another study shows that high levels of workplace stress can cause the number of negative organizational outcomes such as impaired work performance and high turnover
WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL RESILIENCE?
Psychological resilience means the potential of a person to rebound, to recover, bounce-back, and adjust or even thrive after a misfortune. It is the caliber of a person to come out or bounce back from a difficult or thriving situation
It is a measure of multi-level perspective and not dependent on a single construct. These components include optimism, self-esteem, personal competence, social competence, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, social resources, insight, independence, creativity, humor, control, hardiness, family cohesion, spiritual influences, and initiative.
Factors affecting resilience
Neuroticism is one of the major personality traits out of five traits in the study of psychology. Basically, it is the extent to which a person experiences this world as unsafe, threatening and distressing. Any individual who scores high on neuroticism is more likely to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, and loneliness.
Many studies have established a strong relationship with psychological resilience. Apparently, higher levels of neuroticism signify low levels of psychological resilience.
We spend our days by not paying a lot of attention to things. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. By living in the present and putting more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. Some people call this type of awareness “mindfulness”.
A recent study investigated the relationship between the level of mindfulness, workplace variables (workload, co-worker support) and burnout. They found that a low level of mindfulness was the most prominent predictor of burnout, over and above the variance explained by workplace factors. Even studies are proposing that mindfulness is an important characteristic of people who score high on resilience.
Source – educationcloset.com
Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that he or she can perform a selected task.
Employees with higher levels of self-efficacy tend to have lower levels of anxiety, better coping skills and lower intentions of leaving their workplace. So if a person scores low on anxiety and posses better-coping skills then these set of people will show higher output to the given task. So, Self-efficacy is a sign of psychological resilience.
Source – whatsyourgrief.com
It is a process of adjustment following an adverse event. Coping strategies help in solving two types of issues. One is problem-focused, which addresses the practicalities of a situation. Second is emotion-focused, which reduces the psychological and emotional impact of a stress.
Positive reframing and support seeking coping mechanism lead to greater job satisfaction.
The use of active coping is positively associated with psychological resilience and a mediator of the relationship between self-efficacy and individual resilience in the workplace.
Workplace stress has serious implications for the quality of an employee’s work and their general psychological functioning.
Psychological resilience is an important tool for individuals as it helps promote healthy psychological adjustment for employees in high-stress work settings.
So, professionals rich in psychological resilience can work and function in a better way and can fetch better results for any organization.
Continuing our series on personality tests this post focuses on one of the most popular of them all, the Myers-Briggs Indicator or MBTI
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Are you an ENTP or INTJ or ESFJ? Now, before you think we at Brainpundits have lost our, well, brains, these are some of personality type tests that MBTI has to offer. MBTI or Myers-Briggs Indicator is one of the most popular personality type tests out there. Around 2 million people around the world take it annually. It is estimated that around 89 of the Fortune 100 uses this test to hire and manage employees.
It has also inspired various quizzes online based on characters from popular culture like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter etc. But despite its massive popularity and usage among the various organization around the world, the overall psychology community do no deem it to be scientific at all.
This article will trace the origins of the test, explain what is it about and also show the controversy behind it.
In order to tell the story of this test, we will need to go back to one of the major figures in the field of psychology, Carl G. Jung. In 1921, Jung published one of his famous books Psychological Types. In this book, Jung tried to give a formulation of personality types based on his observations. He argued there may exist two personality attitudes: Extroversion and Introversion, and four functions or orientation: Thinking, Sensation, Intuition, and Feeling.
In 1923, one of the contributors to test, Katharine Briggs found this book and made it her gospel. Katharine Briggs was a stay at home mom who had studied horticulture. Jung’s book made a remarkable impact on her and she thought of using the ideas from the book and implementing them in day to day life. A couple of decades later, her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, an aspiring fictional writer, with help from a management consultant Edward N. Hay and her mother debuted the test in 1943.
What is the Test about?
Katharine and Isabel expanded Jung’s original conception into 16 personality types with four binary categories.
Extroversion – Introversion; Intuition – Sensing; Thinking – Feeling; Judging – Perception
The original test had 93 questions, which haven’t changed much in today’s times, and based on the questionnaire, the test groups people into 16 discrete personality types. The details of these types can be seen in the image below.
While it sounds all hunky and dory but when you start scratching the surface cracks start to appear. The problem arises with the test that is there is no scientific validity for the test. A study showed that around 50 percent of the people end up having different results on the test, the second time they take it, that too after just a few weeks later. Other studies have also argued that the test is indeed ineffective in predicting how certain types maybe successful at different jobs.
Interestingly, all the major scientific journals of psychology have no research published based on this test. Whatever few articles that are available on this test are there to point out to the flaws that it has. While on the issue of the Rorschach test, as discussed in a previous article, the scientific community was divided. But on Myers-Briggs Test Indicator, they seem to be united in agreement that this test does not have any scientific validity.
Why is it Popular then?
Then you may wonder if this test is not scientifically valid and the majority of psychologists do not use this, then why is it so popular? The answer lies in a phenomenon called the Forer effect and effective product management by then Edward Hay. After its debut, the test was effectively marketed by Edward Hay, who had connections with General Electric, Bell Telephone and most importantly National Bureau of Statistics. Through his connections, the test got employed in early major corporations. Now, as mentioned earlier, the test is not only employed by various private companies in the world but also various government organizations.
The Forer effect, or the Barnum effect, refers to the psychological phenomenon where individuals are prone to believe that personality depictions apply specifically to them, but in reality, the descriptions are for everyone. A perfect example of this is your daily horoscopes. That is why most descriptions of the personality in Myers-Briggs Test Indicator are positive in their nature. So, one can even say this test – and different inspirations from it – is for entertainment, which is absolutely fine.
The dilemma comes, as Merve Emre argues in her new book argues, that in theory there are clear ethical violations how CAPT and CPP peddle this test without having any scientific basis as reliable; but in practice, many of the companies and organizations that use this test clearly have different definitions of ethics.
So, even though the Myers-Briggs Test Indicator has had a controversial stint with the scientific community. It still enjoys the support of the people at large. And it cannot be denied that this test still remains one of the most popular ones out there.
Continuing our series on personality tests this post focuses on one of the most culturally famous of them all, the Inkblot test or the Rorschach Test
The Rorschach test is one of the most famous and also one of the controversial tests that the field of psychology has produced. Once touted as the X-Ray of the soul, the test is now a part of cultural history as it has become a reference point in various shows and movies. There’s even a comic book character based named Rorschach with an inkblot as a mask. If you haven’t heard of it or know little of, not to worry as through this post I will enlighten you about it.
Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) was the mind behind the origin of the test. He was a young psychiatrist from Switzerland and was hailed a prodigy. He had worked along with Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung during his early years.
The idea of the test came to him from a children’s board game called Klecksography, a collection of inkblot cards. He published the test in 1921, sadly though Hermann Rorschach died less than a year before he could witness the popularity of his test.
What is the test about?
The test is a strange and a very open-ended test, in which there are 10 cards with strange markings in them. They don’t have any specific pattern to them and there is no expected answer to these inkblot cards. It’s a visual task which aims at self-projection.
Which basically means when you respond to one of these cards you are projecting your unconscious thoughts. It is a form of, what psychologists call, a projective test. By telling what they see in the inkblot, people actually telling about their views, their personality and how they project meaning and perceive reality.
Image Source – Wikipedia
Example of an Inkblot
In the image, you see an example of an inkblot card from the test. Predicted answers to this inkblot range from animal skin or skin rugs. The card signifies, according to psychologists, a threatening figure in order to elicit a sentiment of authority.
There are nine other inkblot cards like these and each is shown in a particular order according to the requirement of the test.
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Supporters of the Test
The test, however, is not without controversy as it has divided the whole community of psychologists. Some support the test as an important asset for a psychiatrist while the critics question its very validity.
The supporters argue that the test gives you a remarkable insight into an individual’s personality and may uncover hidden malice.
For example, on IQ tests or other standardized tests most troubled people can keep it together but studies have shown that the inkblot test reveals a different side to them.
Some psychiatrists have argued that while other tests may fail to reveal much but the Rorschach may be able to raise some red flags. For them, the 10 inkblots are sensitive and accurate tools to map how the mind works. Various researchers have used the Rorschach test to see early onsets of Alzheimer’s, which is a remarkable study.
Critics of the Test
The critics, however, question the very validity of the test. The question of validity rests with the idea what answers are reasonable, and more importantly, who decides what is reasonable. This is at the heart of the arguments against the usage of this test. The critics consider the test pseudoscience which should not be used in any kind of examination.
Other points of criticism are the implicit bias of the testing psychologist who may, unconsciously, project his/her beliefs in the responses. Some have questioned the very nature of the methodology involved measuring the personality. Finally, some have argued that the test not reliable for example, two different testers might end up getting two different personality profiles for the same individual.
Despite various controversies and critics of the test, the Rorschach test is still one of the most popular tests. It is still considered valid in the court of law, various medical insurance companies in the West considers its results valid. The test is also a cultural reference point. For example, Andy Warhol, on the creative geniuses of the 20th century, created a painting based on the test. Other examples include the comic book character from Watchmen, mentioned earlier.
So, suffice it to say the Rorschach test has made a cultural mark on the society and even though it still polarises the psychiatrist community, it is still one of the most influential personality tests out there.
In the next series on Personality tests, I will trace the origins and the story of another popular personality test, the Myers-Briggs Indicator. Till then be cheers and keep exploring yourself at Brainpundits!
In a country like India, seeking a counselor’s help is seen as a stigma. In this article, we try to trace the reasons why and also give tips to help yourself get better.
Just like how DNA makes an individual unique, neurons in our brain generate connections to make our thought process unique. This is called the Human Connectome. Each individual perceives, analyses and solves a given situation differently. Psychology helps us understand this behavior. But what is psychology?
Psychology is a science which helps understand the mental functions of an individual in different situations. However, there are stigmas attached to this term. Many people take this as a negative term. Especially in a country like India, where free advice is easily available so when people pay to get advice it is rejected by society. What people don’t understand is that it is not only ok to go to a counselor or a psychologist but sometimes necessary as well. It helps one understand themselves better. In our country, it is considered a taboo, so no one is ready to talk openly about their feelings and don’t want to take help of others.
This is not our fault we were brought up in this way. India, being a community-driven society, tend to focus on solving issues within the community or the family. So, earlier issues of depression or other psychological issues that used to exist were dealt with, with limited understanding of the problem, within the family or the community. But since the advent of the nuclear family setup, the issues are not being addressed.
Reasons Why People Hesitate to Seek Help
To understand why people don’t seek help, we need to look at the following reasons. The common link between them is our very social life.
- The Paagal hai Statement: Most people believe if anyone is going to a psychiatrist or a counselor, then he/she will be labeled as crazy or mentally unstable. The most common thing that we hear is “paagal hai”.
- Being Too Dependent – In some cases, people will think that you are dependent on others.
- Lacking Confidence – In other cases, some people don’t want to come across as a person who doesn’t live one’s life on one’s terms and needs others to help them.
- Requiring Approval – Sometimes we feel we need the approval of others in our life in making decisions.
- Overthinking – If we share our concern with others then it is believed that we are overthinking about stuff. Ignorance by others and the fear of not being understood or taken seriously forces us to gulp down our feelings and stay quiet.
- Embarrassment – Sometimes people don’t’ go to escape embarrassment. The fear of being judged by other person is also a reason that people don’t share. They are afraid to tell their story of failures.
Consequences Can Be Dire
The generation that suffers the most due to this hesitation, due to stigma set by the society, is the present generation, the millennials. Due to a generation gap, they are not able to talk openly with their parents. Parents try to be supportive but they force their child into a profession in which they are not interested in. Parents are also not at fault completely, many career options which are not conventional are rejected by society. So, at this stage, they should consult a counselor who can help their child in a meaningful way and make them understand their strengths and weaknesses so that they can make a better decision.
Lack of communication among parents and their children can send the child into depression. Depression again is a major problem prevailing in our society. Certain parameters of happiness are predefined. We do what we are told to do, this does not help us find our interests, which in turn makes us frustrated and depressed. But, it is the need of the hour that people understand that depression is not a mental illness it is just a state of mind. Bear in mind that I am not talking about severe clinical depression as it is different from situational depression, which I refer to here. But if not treated at the right time it can lead to a severe problem.
And if untreated minor forms of depression could lead to severe clinical depression. There are some cases; where people were consumed so much by depression, that death was the ultimate release. Chester Bennington, Avicii, Robin Williams are some of the examples. All of them had one thing in common and that was depression.
Need for Change
Recently, the film Dear Zindagi, brilliantly portrayed the complexity of the human brain. It was one of the very few made in India that tackled the issue of psychological disorder. In this movie, the protagonist is suffering through a sad phase in life but through a little help from a therapist, she is able to come to peace and look life in a new light.
Social media has also changed the way today’s generation get their information from. They are becoming more informed about the benefits of seeking psychological help thanks to the growing use of social media.
The concept of counseling is still a strange one to many in India. Many good schools hire counselors so that children can share their doubts and problems with someone because not all problems can be shared with parents. We need someone who is mature enough to guide us well. This concept is gaining popularity in big cities as nowadays many workshops are held in school and colleges to spread awareness.
What You Can Do Yourself
Well if you feel that your family or your community is not getting the level of awareness required for helping your issues, there are certain things that you can do yourself in order to help yourself.
- Being Vocal – It is imperative that you start being more vocal and expressing your ideas freely and taking the stand for what you believe in. More importantly, get people to listen to you.
- Find Like-Minded People – You should try to find people with similar views and try to connect them in order to eradicate negativity and not let others drag you down.
- Supporting Others. This might sound easy but it is the most difficult thing to do as it is a basic instinct to judge others. Hearing the problems of a person is sometimes the only therapy that he needs. In some case, listening and supporting others is therapeutic for yourself.
- Avoid Unnecessary Things: It would also be better if you started ignoring what’s not necessary and doesn’t help you grow as a person. This will increase your productivity and you will get time to do things that actually make you happy.
- Overcoming Failures – It is important to overcome insecurities and understanding that failures are part of life. It is the failure that makes us strong and we are careful in future of not making same the mistakes again.
- No One is Perfect – Understanding the fact that nobody is perfect and has some weakness and imperfection, will help you realize your goals more. So, it is fine if you are not excellent in every field.
- Support from Parents – Last but not least, parents need to support and believe in their child’s decisions. You are the one your child looks up to, so be a good example. Children should be taught the importance of being more expressive about their feelings.
Finding your niche is necessary to give your best in whatever you are doing. Understanding your psychology can be of great help in this aspect. It is not necessary to fit in the molds made up by society if it doesn’t make you happy. Understanding your psychology is not a one-day task. It takes time and can be done by being supportive and getting support. It is difficult to understand and solve the complexities of the human brain, but one can always try. We at Brainpundits are also here to help you as you can explore yourself by taking one of our numerous free tests. So, what are you waiting for? Take care and start exploring yourself!
In our last post, we had discussed what is procrastination? Now that we have a better understanding of the topic we can go ahead an learn on how can we deal with it?
In this post, you will learn all the important and simple ways you could use to beat procrastination.
Tagline: A recent study by researchers at Northwestern University have come up with a scientific understanding of personality types.
Rethinking Personality Types
The history of personality type tests has always had a complex relationship with the overall scientific community. From the infamous Rorschach inkblot test, of which the validity has always been contested to the very famous Myers-Briggs Test, which is used by various corporate organizations to hire future employees, which is also considered unscientific by the majority of the scientific community tells us something about the conflict that personality type tests have had with the scientific community.
Change Has Come
But this all may change as researchers at Northwestern University have just published a paper, using alternative computational methods to analyze data from over a million respondents, arguing that there exist four types of personality based on five-character traits. One of the researchers from the study says with this research personality types place from self-help books can move to scientific journals.
The study finds after analyzing the data that there exist four types of personality. They are Average, Reserved, Role Models, and Self-Centred. These personalities are based on five-character traits, namely: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Just to give you what the researchers mean by these concepts, here, in brief, are their explanations.
It refers to a person’s tendency to feel negative emotions (anger, worry or sadness) as well being sensitive in interpersonal relations
It signifies a person’s tendency to be social, talkative and enjoy the company of others and also have domineering personality.
It refers to a person’s tendency to appreciate and accommodate new ideas, values, arts, feelings and behaviors
It signifies a person’s tendency to easily agree with others rather than assert one’s own decisions and opinions
It refers to a person’s tendency to follow orders, rules and be cautious with most things in their life.
According to this research, Average people are high in Neuroticism and Extraversion but low in openness, which basically means they are more likely to be social, neurotic and their emotions can vary. But on the other hand, they may not be open to new ideas. The study argues that a typical person would fall under this category.
The Reserved personality type people, this research argues, are emotionally stable but not neurotic or even open-minded. They are also not that much social and tend to agree with others. They also tend to follow norms and are cautious when dealing with things.
The third personality type, according to this research, is Role Models. These people not only are emotionally stable but also, they are open to new ideas, are highly social and enjoy the company of others, and also are very hard working. They are generally good leaders and people you can depend upon.
The fourth personality type, this research argues, is Self-Centred. These people are extremely social and also have a very domineering personality. They are not open to new ideas and are less likely to agree with others and follow their own thought process.
What This Means
Well, you may be thinking what this research and its findings mean for the future of personality type tests and its engagement with the scientific community. For starters, the research finally brings personality types into the rubric of scientific research. One of the researchers says that the overall contribution of the research is the methodology part of the paper to the scientific community as it bridges the gap between personality types and ways of measuring them. It also means the personality types may be finally getting their undue recognition among the scientific community and this research could usher in a revolution in personality development research.
In case if you are interested and want to get your nerd on then here’s the link to the research. Till then, cheers and be awesome and keep exploring yourself at Brainpundits!