Asking One Question Can Reveal Much About Someone’s Personality

Posted on March 13, 2017

Photo: flickr

As the title suggests, there is one question that, when asked, allows us to find out more about the respondent’s personality. In fact, asking the respondent what he or she thinks of other people is a good way to glean more about what he or she is like. People generally see more of their own personality and character traits in others. For instance, a kind-hearted person is more inclined to see kindness similarly expressed in others, while a selfish person would regard others as selfish too.

More interestingly, a large number of negative personality traits are linked to an inclination to view others in a negative light. For example, an inclination to see others negatively is an indicator of depression and perhaps even a personality disorder.

This was concluded from three studies. In the first, participants were asked to give their assessments of people based on positive and negative characteristics. It turns out that if they were more favourable in their judgement of others, they would also be happier, more emotionally stable and more capable than those who were not as generous with positive characteristics. They were also more content with their lives. The opposite is also true: those who gave harsher, less pleasant judgements of others tended to exhibit these characteristics themselves; they were more narcissistic and anti-social.

When a follow up round of tests was conducted a year after the first round, the results did not change. This means that using people’s ratings of others to determine characteristics of their personalities is a credible method, as the results remain consistent.

Indeed, the process of diagnosing someone with a personality disorder also often includes an assessment of the way they view others. For instance, narcissists often perceive others to be inferior and incompetent. However, in the case of narcissists, they do not think the same of themselves.

Ultimately, there is great potential for this method to be used, as it is widely applicable and could perhaps be linked to even more potent results.


Category(s):Personality problems

Source material from PsyBlog


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