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  • Hi everyone so

  • I'm making an announcement today, and I suppose you might regard it as an advertisement

  • So I'm warning you to begin with because I don't want you to waste your time if you're not

  • interested in listening to a description of the newest thing that we've created so we

  • Just put up a website called understand myself calm, and it's a personality assessment for individuals

  • And it's based on a personality model that was developed in my lab about

  • Ten years ago by dr. Colin D. Young and

  • Lean dr. Lena quilty dr. De young is now a professor at the University of, Minnesota

  • And it was based on some ideas that I had been developing with another former student of mine dr.

  • Daniel Higgins who's a partner with me and this enterprise along with my former graduate supervisor dr. Robert Peel from McGill University?

  • It's based on the Big Five personality model which measures extraversion

  • which is a positive emotion dimension and is associated with gregariousness and

  • enthusiasm and assertiveness and sociability and that sort of thing and

  • A trait called neuroticism which is basically negative emotionality

  • Which is associated with a proclivity towards anxiety and emotional pain?

  • Agreeableness which is compassion and politeness and so agreeable people are I would say broadly speaking rather maternal in their orientation

  • They tend to care more for others than for themselves

  • They're more cooperative than competitive whereas so-called disagreeable people are more competitive and more

  • Brusque I would say and perhaps more straightforward and more able to stand up for themselves as well

  • Conscientiousness is another one of the dimensions. That's orderliness and industriousness and

  • the last dimension is opens to experience which is a combination of interest in ideas, which is often known as intellect and

  • Interest in aesthetics and which is associated

  • let's say with creativity and that's the dimension that's also most highly correlated with IQ we developed the big five aspect scale in an

  • Attempt to take the big five so that's extraversion neuroticism agreeableness conch justice and openness to experience

  • Which are the canonical dimensions of personality?

  • We developed the big5 aspect scale in order to break down those big five traits each of them into their two most

  • Statistically robust sub components and we call those aspects

  • And that's actually become a pretty popular personality model the scientific paper which announced that

  • statistical division has accrued about

  • 750 citations which is an awful lot of citations by the way for a scientific paper it makes it into a kind of classic

  • Especially because it's only also only had ten years to accrue

  • Citations and a citation is when some other scientist refers to the paper in one of their papers by the way

  • anyways

  • I've been working over the last couple of years to generate really detailed

  • personality reports on each of the big five traits and the ten aspects at about seven different levels of

  • Specificity ranging from extremely low to extremely high, and we think we've produced what might be the most comprehensive and accurate

  • Personality reports that are currently available you answer a hundred questions in order to complete the personality survey

  • The questions themselves are actually public access or you could call them open source

  • They were derived from Lew Goldberg's IP IP international personality item pool

  • They're the consequence of many many decades of attempts to

  • Define a set of phrases that most

  • comprehensively and also most concisely captures the variation in human personality and

  • So you can find those questions many places on the line, but the reports themselves and the comparison sample of approximately

  • 10,000 people are

  • Proprietary and constitute the central element of value in in our offering essentially and what we're hoping is that people can use this

  • personality test site to develop a much deeper understanding of themselves so that they know what they're like especially compared to others and

  • That they can also compare themselves to anyone else for example who might have taken the test and see the thing about

  • Personality is that the differences between people actually run quite deep

  • There's a lot of individual variability, so there are people who are extreme extraverted

  • They want to spend every moment of their time

  • Socializing with other people and there are people who are very introverted, and they want to work alone

  • And they find interactions with with large groups of people or even small groups sometimes quite tiring

  • And they have to spend a lot of time recovering they tend to be much more quiet. They're not necessarily

  • Shy because that shyness is more

  • Consequence of variation on the second dimension neuroticism and so people are high in neuroticism I feel much more anxiety and emotional pain

  • per unit of uncertainty and stress than people who are very low in neuroticism who are

  • Often known as emotionally stable and who tend to be quite imperturbable

  • Agreeable people as I mentioned before are warm and compassionate and and very much care for other people

  • but are also likely to be taken advantage of and to feel a certain amount of resentment whereas disagreeable people are tough and straightforward and

  • competitive and out for victory, but can also be somewhat self-centered and harsh and then

  • Conscientious people are hardworking and dutiful conscientiousness is a really good predictor of long-term life success especially in

  • Academic attainment where it's second only to IQ and also in managerial and administrative

  • jobs that require attention to detail and a fair bit of

  • Responsibility let's say and routine work

  • Open this to experience

  • That's the creativity dimension and some people are extremely high and openness to experience

  • And they want to do nothing but discuss ideas and and spend their time in creative and artistic pursuits

  • And other people are more conservative because low openness is associated with conservatism

  • And they're not really interested in novel ideas, and they don't think abstractly that often

  • And they're they're not out for new experiences or flights of fantasy or imaginative

  • Exercises or any of that thing there are a lot more concrete and practical

  • Now the reports that we've prepared not only provide you with information about all of the aforementioned big five traits

  • They also break each one down into its dual aspects. So there's actually 15 different sources of information

  • that are contained in the reports and so for extraversion you get a

  • Description of the degree to which you're assertive, which means forthcoming let's say in public and willing to put your opinions forward

  • And enthusiasm which is a more pure marker of positive emotion and the capacity to look forward to and enjoy

  • events and situations

  • Spontaneously and with neuroticism you learn about the trait aspects

  • withdrawal and volatility and withdrawal is the tendency to be

  • Stymied or or stopped. Let's say by fear to be frozen in some sense like a prey animal and

  • Volatility is an aspect

  • That's associated with irritability and the tendency to be easily rubbed the wrong way

  • Let's say and to react emotionally to that and then for agreeableness

  • There's two aspects and one is compassion, which means pretty much what it says

  • it's the ability to embody the feelings of others and to react in a caring manner to that and

  • politeness which seems to be something like

  • respect for authority and social conventions

  • and so one of the things you see for example is that liberals are higher in compassion and

  • Conservatives are higher in politeness even though. They're both

  • Aspects of trait agreeableness conscientiousness breaks down into two aspects as well, which are quite interesting

  • One of them is industriousness which is associated with diligent hard work

  • and the ability to stay task focused without distraction and to work hard and

  • orderliness which seems to be associated with disgust sensitivity and which is a pretty good predictor of

  • conservative belief

  • As it turns out that some elements of conservative belief are associated with higher than normal levels of or higher than average

  • Let's say levels of disgust sensitivity and the final trait

  • Division in two aspects is that of openness to experience and it can be divided into openness proper?

  • Which is essentially a dimension of creativity and aesthetic sensitivity so preference for engagement?

  • activities that are associated say with fiction or drama or art and

  • intellect which is an index of interest in ideas and

  • Abstraction and philosophical concepts and that sort of things so the report produces a very high resolution

  • Representation of personality and there are very interesting

  • Differences at the aspect level that are worth

  • Concentrating on we try to develop a personality test that isn't designed to make you feel good yourself

  • Although it might you know it depends on your personality but to give you the most accurate and straightforward description of who you are

  • That's possible so that you can use the genuine information. That's provided in order to maybe organize your life also

  • understand the difference between

  • Yourself and other people because you know we often think that the reason that we don't share the same viewpoint is because we have differences

  • of opinion

  • but it actually goes a lot deeper than that because

  • You're very

  • Perceptions are dependent on the variability in your personality and so it isn't only that people differ in their opinions they differ very much in

  • How they see the world how they actually perceive the world because your personality

  • Constitutes a kind of template or filter through, which you organize your perceptions and so

  • It's very important to understand that there is substantial

  • Personality variability in the world and that you're often talking with people who see things differently

  • Than you and a good example of that is the divide between

  • let's say left-leaning people and right leading people because the left-leaning people tend to be very high and openness to experience and

  • Relatively low in conscientiousness especially in the aspect of orderliness whereas the conservative types tend to be very high in

  • conscientiousness especially orderliness and

  • Relatively low and openness and so those are fundamentally different

  • Orientations in the world and you could say that the more conservative types the more right-wing types

  • Are much more concerned with the preservation of tradition and tend to believe that things that have been done the?

  • Tried-and-true manner in the past are the most reliable

  • Whereas the people who are on the Left who are more radical are more concerned with the fact that?

  • The environment shifts radically and rapidly and unpredictably and so we have to be willing to shift with it and so

  • Those are both valid viewpoints because every element of lived experience has an orderly element and a chaotic element

  • Let's say and you have to be prepared for both and the purpose of

  • straightforward political dialogue between people of different personality types is to help determine on an ongoing

  • Basis how much we should be relying on tradition and how much we should be attempting to transform ourselves

  • and there's no permanent solution to that problem because things stay the same and

  • And they do that at different rates at different times so dialogue is unbelievably important

  • Which by the way is why I'm such an advocate

  • Let's say for free speech because it's the mechanism that keeps people of different types speaking instead of fighting, so it's really important, so

  • Anyways the website is called understand myself calm

  • And you can go there and sign up for the personality test it'll be delivered to you pretty much immediately

  • After you fill out the questions each question is posed as a phrase

  • Take you about 15 minutes to

  • complete the questions

  • you can only do it once and the reason for that is is that the

  • Norms that we compared you against so that would be the self reports of the 10,000 other people

  • Against whom you're compared they were only allowed to do it once and so we have to maintain

  • Stringent control over that to maintain the validity of the test, and I would say don't do it when you're hungry

  • Don't do it when you're tired

  • Don't do it when you're feeling down or in a bad mood about yourself or feeling

  • Self-critical and don't do it when you're likely to be interrupted or distracted you want to take it seriously

  • And you want to think about your answers now you're supposed to answer as you are typically not as you'd like to be

  • And you know you don't want to be either too hard on yourself, or too

  • good to yourself you want to be as accurate as possible because then you'll benefit most from the

  • feedback and

  • Then the last thing I would say is that we've some of you know about this already

  • but we've also developed a set of interventions called self authoring and that's available at self authoring calm and

  • What self are thering can help you do is?

  • reconfigure certain elements of your behavior and perhaps over the long run your personality so

  • the self authoring suite helps you write an autobiography and and detail out the

  • Both positive and negative experiences of your past so that you can capitalize on the positive

  • experiences and figure out how to duplicate them and maybe put the negative experiences to rest and we feel that that's a good way to

  • reduce

  • trait neuroticism over the long run and the evidence for that is that writing programs of this sort tend to improve people's mental health and

  • decrease their negative emotion so and and

  • stabilize them

  • So so if you take the personality test and you're not how

  • for example with your scores on trait neuroticism you feel that you would benefit from some additional emotional stability then the

  • past authoring program from the self authoring suite might be something worth considering and then

  • With regards to the other personality traits um the present authoring program at self authoring com is also a personality

  • exercise of a sort, but what it helps you do is

  • Center on your

  • Virtues and your faults using a Big Five model again so that you can identify

  • What's good about your personality and figure out how to capitalize that on that in the future and so that you can identify?

  • Where your major weaknesses are and figure out how to rectify those and so that's useful for general personality?

  • work

  • I would say and then the last one which we've done the most research on is called future authoring and the future authoring program

  • Helps you think about your life

  • and we think about it as an adjunct to conscientiousness perhaps over the long run and

  • Also as an exercise that could increase positive and decrease negative emotion bias by helping you establish your goals and also

  • Stabilizing your view of the world so in the future authoring program

  • You're asked to consider your life along about seven dimensions so friendship

  • intimate relationships

  • What you do outside of work with your private life in terms of useful and creative activity or enjoyable activity or social activity?

  • What you're aiming for in your career?

  • How you're going to configure your self?

  • education how you're going to take care of yourself mentally and physically and how are you going to handle your use of drugs and alcohol

  • Because those are pitfalls that people often

  • Encounter that tear them down and hurt them badly and so

  • You're asked to think about yourself three to five years down the road as if you were taking care of yourself

  • as if you were a valuable person you know because you want to extend that

  • Courtesy to yourself because you're as valuable on average as anyone else

  • and you should treat yourself that way so anyways you're asked to design a future three to five years down the road where your

  • experience along each of those dimensions is optimized, and then you're asked right for 15 minutes about

  • What your life could be like three to five years down the road if?

  • You were taking care of yourself the way you should and things were working out properly

  • so you could imagine that you're developing a vision of the life that you'd like to lead and

  • Then you're asked to reverse that and to write for 15 minutes

  • And think about this as well about what your life would be like if you let your bad habits and your characterological

  • weaknesses take the upper hand and auger you into the ground so that you became you know a failure and bitter and resentful and

  • Isolated and unhappy and and all of the terrible things that go along with bad luck and and also

  • missed opportunities and let's call them ethical errors so and then you're asked to take your positive vision for the future and

  • elaborate that out into a detailed plan where you justify your

  • Your goals you you describe what those goals. Are you rank order them in importance you describe?

  • How you would be better and your family would be better and your society would be better if you stuck to your goals you?

  • make a contract with yourself to determine how it is that you're going to approach those goals and stay on path and

  • And so forth and so these are quite extensive

  • exercises and we developed them you might say as an alternative to

  • lengthy and expensive

  • Psychotherapy and there's a fair bit of research evidence suggesting that writing exercises of this sort are extremely effective ways of reconfiguring

  • The manner in which you approach the world and so the research we've done for example

  • In three different locations now and with with several thousand college students although

  • this is not a program only designed for college students has indicated that even if you do a relatively poor job of let's say the

  • future authoring program

  • And you're a college student it increases the probability that you'll stay in your program by about 25%

  • Which is a?

  • walloping

  • improvement and also has about the same effect on your grade point average and so that seems to be particularly true for people who are

  • Doing the worst so it's been really effective for

  • disenchanted ethnic minority males in Holland for example compared to the Dutch national females who

  • do better than anyone else in the sample that we looked at two years after the