The Neuroscience behind Personality Tests - Can You Change Your Personality If You Change How Your N
Are You A Believer?
In business, there are two kinds of people: Those who like to use personality tests and those who roll their eyes. Can personality tests be used to categorize people’s behavior? Or would you answer the question differently if I asked: Can YOUR personality be categorized?
The Evolution of Personality Tests
Darwin’s evolution theory inspired Sir Galton. Galton's research in the 1880's, resulted in the birth of a personality classification system which influenced Jung, Cattell and many others, whose work became the basis for personality tests we know today.
Are Personality and Psychometric Tests still valid?’
With the application of neuroscience in business many people ask me: 'Are Personality Tests still useful?’ To answer this question directly - it is a simple yes – BUT I’m still asked:
Does neurology define personality? The way neurons fire, plays a huge a role in our characters. Let’s look at some neurotransmitters and how they link to The Big Five Personality Traits and what this means in business. The Big Five personality model academically underpins all personality tests and can be understood at the OCEAN model:
OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness & Neuroticism
Let’s see how the Big 5 Personality (OCEAN) Traits link-up to DOSE Your Neurology:
Conscientiousness is the trait of being diligent and is associated to high levels of dopamine.
Oxytocin helps us bond and improves trust levels causing us to be Open, Extrovert and Agreeable.
Low levels of Serotonin can lead to symptoms of a person being Neurotic or feeling anxious.
High levels have been linked to being Neurotic, ADHD and low levels of Conscientiousness.
So, is it possible to change my personality if I change the way my neurons fire?
Yes, it is! You simply need to link these four brain hormones, to make you become more conscientious, agreeable, extrovert and less neurotic. And then like magic, you will change your personality?
No, but the change in the level of hormones in your brain will impact your thinking and behavior patterns. Matthews, Etal (2003) and others show in genetic twin studies, that heritability and psycho-social factors both influence all five factors. The genetic impact to openness had a 57% genetic influence, extroversion 54%, conscientiousness 49%, neuroticism 48%, and agreeableness 42%. There are simple things I do to coach people to ‘train their brains’. As a change of mind changes everything - even the brain itself.
To see this in action, you can take this Harvard Medical School Published Test as a start. Their published research shows that certain personalities, are more likely to have heart attacks. If you want to change your personality test results let me know your score. I will happily give you, your psychometric results and discuss your personal plan.
Come learn more about our ME research presented at the Harvard Medical School IOC conference at the 1st Middle East Psychological Association Conference on Friday 27th & Saturday 28th of April.
And Remember – A Change Of Mind Changes Everything