Are some people just ‘jerks’? New study identifies four major personality types

jerk
Image credit: Jrcasas/iStock

Personality type tests are hugely popular, though if you ask working psychologists, they’ll tell you the results are little better than astrological signs.

[However] in a report published [September 17] in the journal Nature Human Behavior, researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois identify four personality types: reserved, role models, average and self-centered. The new approach was nothing like the basis for widely used personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs.

Social psychologists dispute whether personality types exist. Traits are another matter. Personality traits “can be measured consistently across ages, across cultures,” said [Luís A. Nunes] Amaral, co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. The five best-established traits, or Big Five, are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Related article:  How much can we blame our genes for addictive behavior?

So the scientists used a sophisticated machine learning algorithm to identify clusters of traits, or what [psychologist William] Revelle called “lumps in the batter,” in this 5-D population.

“What is unique about the current study is their choice of the Big Five trait domains as a starting point,” [psychologist John] Johnson said, “rather than some theoretical types that sprang from the imagination of the theorist.”

People who scored very high in extroversion but were below average in agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness were “self-centered.” Amaral put it in a “nontechnical way”: Some people are “jerks.”

Read full, original post: Scientists identify four personality types

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend