Imposter Syndrome: The Signs That You Underestimate Yourself (M)

Talking to others about imposterism can help to recalibrate a person’s estimation of their own abilities.

Talking to others about imposterism can help to recalibrate a person's estimation of their own abilities.


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The Strong Personality Trait That Indicates High IQ

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

This character trait is linked to a high IQ.

Being conscientious is linked to having a high IQ, but only among females, a study finds.

People who are conscientious are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.

Among males, however, those who are more careless and indifferent have higher IQs.

The study of school children also found that introverts who are conscientious get the best grades.

Fear may also be a factor in driving up grades, the Swedish research found, since neurotic pupils got better grades.

Neurotic people tend to worry more, which may motivate them to work harder if their worries are stoked by the system.

Ms Pia Rosander, the study’s first author, said:

“We have a school system in Sweden that favours conscientious and fear-driven pupils.

It is not good for psychological well-being in the long term if fear is a driving force.

It also prevents in-depth learning, which happens best among the open personality types who are driven by curiosity.”

The study included 200 pupils entering secondary school at 16 who were followed for three years.

The results revealed that girls who were eager to please got better grades.

On the other hand, boys were more likely to be curious, but the system tended not to feed their curiosity.

Ms Rosander said:

“Greater conscientiousness, i.e. getting things done, arriving on time, etc. may be a way for boys to compensate for a lower IQ.”

The study also found that introverts get better grades, probably because extraverts have so much to distract them.

Ms Rosander said:

“My studies clearly show that the school system needs to be more individualised.

How else can we support talented pupils with the ‘wrong’ personality type, those we call under-performers, who are capable but lack the ability to plan their school work, for example?”

The study was published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences (Rosander et al., 2011).

2 Fascinating Signs Of A Stronger Immune System

These two personality traits are linked to having a stronger immune system.

These two personality traits are linked to having a stronger immune system.

People with a positive and uninhibited personality tend to have a stronger immune system, research finds.

People with stable emotions, who are extraverted and outgoing also tend to have lower activation of their immune system, suggesting it is more healthy.

People who are extraverted tend to be focused on the world around them and are most happy when surrounded by people and when active.

Two signs that a person has a positive and outgoing personality are strongly disagreeing with both the following statements:

  • “I often find myself worrying about something.”
  • “I would rather keep people at a distance.”

The conclusions come partly from a study which found that people who are extraverted and have stable emotions are at lower risk of dying from peripheral artery disease.

In contrast, at the other end of the spectrum, a negative, inhibited personality is linked to a weaker immune system.

This type of negative personality is sometimes known as ‘type D’, where D stands for distressed.

The study’s authors explain:

“Preliminary evidence suggests that personality traits such as hostility may also be associated with the severity and progression of atherosclerosis [plaque buildup] in patients with PAD.

Another potential individual risk factor in this context is the distressed personality type (type D).

Type D refers to the joint tendency to experience negative emotions and to inhibit self-expression in social interaction.”

The researchers tracked 184 patients with peripheral artery disease.

The results showed that people with a type D personality were at higher risk of dying.

A type D personality refers to people who are neurotic and introverted.

One of the reasons for the link may be, the authors write:

“…inadequate self-management of chronic disease is a potential behavioral mechanism that may explain the relation between type D personality and poor prognosis in cardiovascular disease.”

The study was published in the journal The Archives of Surgery (Aquarius et al., 2009).

The Personality Trait Linked To A Stronger Immune System (M)

This personality trait is linked to low levels of interleukin-6, which is often a marker that the immune system is functioning better.

This personality trait is linked to low levels of interleukin-6, which is often a marker that the immune system is functioning better.


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The Personality Trait That Is A Sign Of Poor Mental Health

This personality trait is linked to mental health problems.

This personality trait is linked to mental health problems.

Being impulsive can be a sign of poor mental health, research finds.

People who are impulsive tend to prefer a small immediate reward over a larger reward later on.

Impulsive people tend to act on their immediate thoughts and emotions without thinking about the consequences.

In other words, impulsive people want to have fun now, not later — even if waiting is more sensible.

People who are depressed, have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or some eating disorders are more likely to be impulsive.

Psychologists can measure this type of impulsivity with a test of  ‘delay discounting’.

Delay discounting is the idea that people tend to discount a reward more, the longer the delay until they receive it.

So, psychologically, $5 right now is worth more than $10 in three weeks time.

Or, as the proverb has it: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

People who can delay their gratification find it easier to wait for their rewards.

However, people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder find it particularly hard to delay gratification.

The conclusions come from a review of 43 separate studies.

Dr Michael Amlung, the study’s first author, said:

“The revelation that delay discounting is one of these ‘trans-diagnostic’ processes will have a significant effect on the future of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.”

Among people with mental health problems, though, anorexia was the exception.

People with anorexia tend to make excessively self-controlling decisions.

This makes sense given that anorexia is a disorder characterised by a very high level of self-control over eating behaviours.

Professor Randi McCabe, study co-author, said:

“Examining factors that cut across psychiatric disorders, such as delay discounting, helps to illuminate commonalities and distinguishing characteristics amongst disorders that then guide further research on treatment and prevention.”

The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry (Amlung et al., 2019).

3 Personality Traits Linked To A Stronger Immune System

People with these three personality traits tend to have stronger immune systems.

People with these three personality traits tend to have stronger immune systems.

Personality traits and the immune system display some fascinating connections, research finds.

For example, contrary to conventional beliefs, outgoing and sociable individuals are found to exhibit the strongest immune responses.

This challenges the assumption that carefulness is synonymous with robust health.

Here are three ways research has found connections between personality and the immune system.

1. Introverts versus extroverts

Outgoing, sociable people have the strongest immune systems, a study finds.

Those who are the most careful, though, are more likely to have a weaker immune system response.

The research found no evidence, though, that a tendency towards negative emotions was associated with poor health.

2. Optimists versus pessimists

Optimists have healthier hearts than pessimists, a study of over 51,000 adults has found.

Optimists tend to have stronger immune systems, which may be part of the reason.

Professor Rosalba Hernandez, who led the study, said:

“Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts.

This association remains significant, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health.”

Optimists also had healthier body mass indexes, were more physically active and less likely to smoke.

Researchers found that the more optimistic people were, the greater their overall physical health.

The most optimistic people were 76% more likely to have health scores that were in the ideal range.

3. Conscientiousness

Men with conscientious personality traits and those who are open to experience live longer, a study has found.

Consciousness has repeatedly been linked to a stronger immune system.

For women, those who are more agreeable and emotionally stable enjoy a longer life.

This means that for women the best personality traits for a long life are:

  1. Extroversion
  2. Optimism
  3. Agreeableness
  4. Emotional stability

Whereas for men, the best traits are:

  1. Extroversion
  2. Optimism
  3. Conscientiousness
  4. Openness to experience

Ask your friends

The kicker is that it’s your friends — not you — who are better at judging these personality traits from the outside…

…and consequently predicting how long you will live and even how strong your immune system might be.

Dr Joshua Jackson, the author of a study on the subject, said:

“You expect your friends to be inclined to see you in a positive manner, but they also are keen observers of the personality traits that could send you to an early grave.

[…]

Our study shows that people are able to observe and rate a friend’s personality accurately enough to predict early mortality decades down the road.

It suggests that people are able to see important characteristics related to health even when their friends were, for the most part, healthy and many years from death.”

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2 Personality Traits That Protect Against Dementia (M)

Some people who have quite extensive damage to their brains from dementia can continue to function well, perhaps because of these personality traits.

Some people who have quite extensive damage to their brains from dementia can continue to function well, perhaps because of these personality traits.

People who score highly on the personality traits of extraversion and conscientiousness are less likely to be diagnosed with dementia, a study finds.

However, those who are neurotic are at an increased risk of a dementia diagnosis.

Experiencing more negative emotions was also linked by the research to a higher risk of dementia, while positive emotions lowered the risk.

The theory is that personality and the emotions make people more or less resilient against dementia by influencing behaviour.

Signs of pathology

The conclusions come from a review of 8 separate studies including over 44,000 people.

The study looked at markers of neurodegeneration in the brain, explained Dr Eileen Graham, study co-author:

“We’ve seen in previous research that if someone is higher in neuroticism, they have higher odds of being clinically diagnosed with dementia, whereas those higher in conscientiousness have lower odds of developing dementia.

However, those clinical diagnoses are typically based on assessments of cognition.

We wondered how personality traits might be related to clinically diagnosed dementia compared to dementia based on neuropathology markers assessed at autopsy.”

They found that while personality was linked to dementia risk, it was not explained by any signs of pathology in the brain.

Dr Emorie Beck, the study’s first author, said:

“This was the most surprising finding to us.

If personality is predictive of performance on cognitive tests but not pathology, what might be happening?”

Withstanding dementia

A probable explanation is that some personality traits help people withstand the onset of dementia better than others.

For example, conscientious people are more likely to take care of their health, including eating well.

Perhaps the higher sociability of extraverted people also helps protect them against dementia.

Some people who have quite extensive damage to their brains from dementia may continue to function well because of these personality traits.

It may be possible to target personality traits to reduce dementia risk, said Dr Graham:

“Neuroticism is related to dementia decline, and people with neuroticism are more prone to anxiousness, moodiness and worry whereas conscientious people are more likely to exercise, make and go to preventive health appointments and drink less.

So maybe that’s where an intervention might be useful to improve someone’s health behaviors for better health outcomes.”

No other factors, including gender, age or education explained the link between dementia risk and personality, said Dr Beck:

“We found almost no evidence for effects, except that conscientiousness’s protective effect increased with age.”

Related

The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia (Beck et al., 2023).