People ‘fall into four personality types’

Henrietta Strickland
September 20, 2018

Personality tests are beloved by high school guidance counselors and self-help book authors - but less so by many scientists. Unfortunately, researchers often question their accuracy; but one new study may have opened the way to scientific, solid personality assessments.

The researchers, a lot of them engineers, borrowed methods developed to study particle physics to analyze the responses of 1.5 million people from four separate studies measuring the Big Five. Personality traits have been shown to predict how well people do in life.

This is because each and every one of us is interested in "cracking the code" of who we truly are, and how we fit into the world.

Because online personality tests are so popular, the researchers had data from 1.5 million people. "The concept of these personality types has been very debated in the last 20 years".

American scientists conducted a survey of more than a million people and is the first to prove the splitting of the personality into four types. His latest research published Monday in Nature Human Behavior points to the opposite conclusion.

Co-author Prof. William Revelle explains "People have tried to classify personality types since Hippocrates' time, but previous scientific literature has found that to be nonsense,".

"Now, these data show there are higher densities of certain personality types".

The Average personality scores average scores in all five traits. These included John Johnson's IPIP-NEO, the myPersonality project, and the BBC's Big Personality Test.

From the datasets, the team plotted the five widely accepted basic personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. People in the "role model" cluster are pleasant to be around. "I believed there were no types at all", but the data "kept coming up with the same four higher densities than you'd expect by chance", Revelle says in a release. "Now, these knowledge justify there are better densities of sure personality kinds."Even supposing Revelle is a co-creator on the peek, he modified into skeptical on the birth". "This is by far the most valid estimate we have of how people cluster into types", says Richard Robins, a personality researcher at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study. "I would expect that the typical person would be in this cluster", notes study co-author Martin Gerlach. After that, they found out that there are four personality type.

Average personalities have high extraversion and high neuroticism but are low in openness.

Reserved personalities are not open, or extroverted, and neither neurotic. They are not particularly extroverted, but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious. The majority of people, though, landed into the average category, with high neuroticism and extraversion, low openness, and medium agreeableness and conscientiousness. For example, teenage boys are very over-represented in the "self-centred" personality type, whereas people over 40 are over-represented in the "role model" category. The researchers describe them as "good people to be in charge of things". Meanwhile, self-centered types score below-average on openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness, but high on extraversion.

She describes the index as an "incredibly seductive fantasy" that allows people to believe they can understand their own desires, and says employers are attracted to it because of the idea they can use it to create an "ideal workplace" where everybody is performing in their optimal role. There is a very dramatic decrease in the number of self-centered types as people age, both with women and men.

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