Personality neuroscience

May 1, 2013

Brain imageIf you’re interested in the (growing) link between personality research and neuroscience – that’s the way in which we are able to map specific areas of the brain in terms of personality traits – the link below is a good place to start. And if you’re reading this and thinking, you know, that sounds sort of interesting, you probably have your Amygdala to thank… Why? Click and find out.

Free personality tests…

November 18, 2010

If you want some reputable, free and easy-to-use personality tests here are a few links:

You will also find many more links to free tests and questionnaires on my website at:

PS: Strictly speaking personality tests aren’t ‘tests’, it would be more accurate to describe them as questionnaires, inventories or indicators – one of the reasons being that unlike tests there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to the questions.

Photo credit: Ambro/

Can introverts lead?

November 18, 2010

Watch this video interview. The expert is Francesca Gino who is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.

Can introverts lead?

It lasts just over 9 minutes.

You should meet my brain, its got quite a personality…

July 5, 2010

This is really fascinating. In a recent study using MRI technology researchers have found evidence to support a connection between the ‘volumes’ of different parts of the brain and the Big Five personality factors. After controlling for age, sex, and overall size of brain they have found a link between Extraversion and the volume of the medial orbito-frontal cortex (the bit that deals with rewards); Neuroticism and areas that process threat, punishment and negative affect; Agreeableness and the parts that deal with information about the mental states of other people; and Conscientiousness and the lateral pre-frontal cortex (the bit involved in planning and the voluntary control of behaviour). There appeared to be no associations with Openness, which in some ways is even more interesting as there is anyway an ongoing debate about the interpretation of this factor. Putting aside chicken-and-egg arguments about how the relative volumes of different parts of the brain arise, are we looking at the dawn of a genuine ‘personality neuroscience’ and (brave) new ways of understanding what makes us who we are?

DeYoung, C.G., Hirsh, J.B., Shane, M.S., Papademetris, N.R. and Gray, J.R. (2010). Testing Predictions from Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five. Psychological Science, 21(6), pp.820-828.

Do managers need to be extraverts?

April 1, 2010

Err, the answer seems to be ‘yes’. Good managers need to be people minded, and it probably also helps if they like folk as well! Technically those in the upper quartile of extraversion (75th percentile or higher) should enjoy managerial work and will probably also achieve greater success. More on this in Hugh McCredie’s article in the Spring 2010 edition of Assessment & Development Matters. Now, where did I put that personality questionnaire?


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