Personality per the ancient Greeks

Write about what?

kachina_paper dolls 4 copyMany of the most current personality tests are built on older theories—sometimes much older theories. Around 2400 years ago, the physician Hippocrates described his idea that human moods were caused by an excess or lack of basic body fluids. Too much blood and you became giddy and talkative, too little and you would become morose. Feeling lazy? Blame it on too much phlegm. He probably borrowed this ideas from someone before him whose name we no longer know.

Although this was not a sound medical observation, the idea of four different temperaments caught on and has hung on for millennia. The word temperament comes  from the same word as tempera paint and means to mix. So philosophers, physicians and psychologist kept mixing four different factors to obtain their palette of personalities.

According to the ancients Greeks these were:

  • Choleric—ambitious, energetic, aggressive, even tyrannical.
  • Sanguine—charismatic, impulsive, pleasure loving and self-indulgent.
  • Phlegmatic—observant…

View original post 284 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Extrovert or Introvert?

One confusing trait of creativity…

Write about what?

Christmas06 054 b

 “One of the more consistent findings from the personality literature of artists is that they tend to be rather introverted” [1]

It seems logical for the creative people, particularly the artist, writer, and composer, to be introverted individuals.  They are willing to spend long hours alone working to produce a masterpiece. Society has a tendency to see them as eccentric and unsociable.  J. W. Fleenors research using the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, showed a rise in creativity ratings by others connected with a rise in introversion.[2]

On the other hand some research results have found a link between higher extraversion and higher creativity. Harrison Gough found this correlation using the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator[3] as did L.A. King using the Five Factor Model .[4] The place of the creative persons in the introvert-extrovert continuum seems  inconclusive.

Robert McCrae used divergent thinking to determine levels of creativity and his review…

View original post 462 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A twist in traits

The creative Myers-Briggs type is…

Write about what?

dec steph 104The Meyer’s Brigg Type Inventory (MBTI) is probably  one of the most widely known personality type assessments. Isabel Briggs Meyers and her mother Katharine Cook Briggs developed it from theories recorded by the well know psychologist Carl Jung. Neither Meyers or Briggs were trained in psychology or psychometric testing, but they did their homework, and learned from people who were. The MBTI was never promoted as a precise psychological test but more of a type sorter to help people understand those that had differing responses to the world around them.

So naturally people would use this inventory to try to determine the personality markers of a creative person.  But this has not been easy. When David W. Keirsey, author of the book Please Understand Me based on the work of Meyers and Briggs, reviewed the types he deduced that  the creative artisan personality was likely to exhibit the following:

  • Introversion…

View original post 373 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t like criticism? You might feel the same way about creativity.

An unfortunate companion to creativity…

Write about what?

647px-BitterkaelderSoed_edited-1 Illustration Ravnen 1890, Public Domain

Alex Osborn, known for founding the Creative Problem-Solving Institute, set up a structure for group creative brainstorming. One rule to free people from creative inhibitions forbid criticism and judgment during initial brainstorming. [1]

There is no need to guess why. People tend to champion their own ideas at the expense of better ideas. It only takes a small minority set on “defending their turf” to have a detrimental effect.

Ask educators the way to encourage creativity and they will tell you students need an environment full of stimuli. They will also say the classroom should have an open, accepting atmosphere, free from criticism to build up self-esteem. Ask people noted for work in creative fields, and they will agree with the need for a stimulating environment, but not with the lack of criticism.

While interviewing college art and educations majors about factors leading to creativity…

View original post 327 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative Semantics

If creativity just a matter of choosing the right words?

Write about what?

055 monitor brain

 Early psychology was considered a science that dealt with the causes and treatment of mental illness. Famed psychologist such as Sigmund Freud worked with neurotic and psychotic patients. His theories of psychoanalysis and resulting model of mental structure were based on his work with his patients and his own inner struggles. Freud’s own life experiences wielded one of the strongest influences on his theory of personality.

But psychology based on one person’s experiences is not enough. U.S. Air Force Personnel Laboratory became involved in developing a model to show the broad spectrum of people’s personalities in the 1960s. Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal developed the Five Factor Model of personality. They reviewed other’s research to find a set of traits that would form this model. Still they clung to the idea of psychology showing the differences between healthy and unhealthy traits. The names that they gave each factor–Surgency…

View original post 554 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative compared to whom?

Why we can’t replicate past psychological tests.

Write about what?

Map_students copyIn the twentieth century, experimental psychological shifted from the study of the mentally ill to research on the cognitive and personality development of basically normal people. Soon there was a plethora of  theoretical models on the formation of personality, with different ways of rating personality–too many. In 1961, Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal  sorted through the major theories to see what factors were used repeatedly and settle on five of these named surgency, agreeableness, dependability, emotional stability, and culture. [1]

This model has been tweaked frequently and the factors renamed; they are typically referred to as Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness to Experience. [2] But the theoretical model was only the beginning. Other psychologists developed questionnaires to test for these factors, and performed research to determine the norms , where the average for a population lies. Then, they started  performing experiments based on the factors. More than half a…

View original post 391 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The edge of psychotic

Too close to crazy?

Write about what?

IMAGE0043a copy

Writing synopsis of creativity research has led me to realize how much my spelling has deteriorated.  Mostly I rely on the word processor’s spell check, but sometimes it doesn’t recognize the scientific terms; other times it doesn’t recognize my vague resemblance of the actual word.  But when I keep running into the same word over and over again, I learn to type it right the first time.  So after a week of researching the creative personality I can accurately type out psychoticism even though it is not in my spell checker.

What does this trait, largely associated with mental illness and criminal behavior, have to do with creativity? Hans J. Eysenck developed a personality model based on three dimensions: Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism. Using his three dimensional model he found that people with recognized artist achievement typically have a higher score on psychotic scale than non-creative people. These traits include:

View original post 388 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning through social networking media?

Social behavior in a virtual world

Write about what?

068 laptopIn the past with students glued to their phones rather than paying attention in class, teachers wondered if they could teach better using a social network. Social media may be useful, but the belief that everyone is using it sometimes lead to further exclusion.  MySpace (yes, it still exists) Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, DeviantArt, Pinterest even LinkedIn are chosen by some students rather than Facebook and Twitter, because of the different offerings and levels of complexity. The recent switch to distance learning for students has revealed the weakness of attempts to learn completely on-line.

Mimi Ito traced what teenagers and young adults did on social networking sites. Most of it was everyday social transactions, sharing entertaining moments, and self publicity. A few used sites to explore and gain new knowledge. She also noted that teenagers feel weird having adults on the social networking sites.[1]

Students need instruction on how to avoid…

View original post 246 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Living in a “weed-out” world

What level of learning is necessary?

Write about what?

grass (1)The move to on-line degrees in higher education has been occurring since the beginning of the twenty first century and predictions abound that this will happen for almost all college courses, by the time the pandemic subsides.

Currently e-learning is relegated to upper level classes with independent student research and projects, and those memorization-heavy entry level courses formerly known as “weed-out classes.” These are typically freshman year classes aimed to eliminate weaker students. However, they may not even contribute to what students need for their degrees as they are often based on heavy amounts of information or large number of assignments rather than critical thinking and problem solving skills. 

Student often no longer go through the complex process of figuring out what they need to know. Higher level thinking skills do not exist in vacuum but must be connected to a course of study. They require a greater depth…

View original post 163 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Longer or shorter life?

How do artistic careers affect longevity?

Write about what?

grimm's grave wIt is not terribly uncommon to find contradictory conclusions when it come to creativity research. However, adding fame to the mix increases the variation in finding because fame is something the individual does not control. Granted there are some creative people who purposely hide their works (such as Emily Dickinson) and others who spend more time flaunting their work than creating it (like Salvador Dali). However, the fame is usually due to the ideas of the society about the creative person.

Exactly how does fame affect the longevity of he artist. Despite being from Australia, C. R. Epstein and R. J. Epstein, decided to use the New York Times as the gauge of fame.  Under the assumption that anybody with an obituary in the New York Times had obtained some degree of fame in their field, they examined the age at death and occupation of these people to see if…

View original post 503 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment