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!