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Dimensions of Chinese Personality [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-11-20 17:31:52 |Display all floors

To differential psychologists, the question of 'What are the main human psychological differences?' provides the sport of kings. Suppose it be allowed that we all 'have' personalities that might be more or less directly 'measured'. The next interesting question will then concern which personality variations have actually turned out to be at all quantifiable in practice.

A great deal hangs on the answer. People probably differ from each other in most aspects of what it is like to be a person-except in capacities which have high biological survival-value. To detect and measure the main differences between people will thus mean we can begin to sketch the psychological structure of the human being which allows such surface differences in personality to occur.

The master psychometrician-psychologists, Raymond Cattell and Hans Eysenck, both made their academic fortunes by arguing persuasively to their audiences that they had managed to 'carve nature at the joints'.

[Cattell claimed to use superior statistical (factor-analytic) methods that were, in principle, more likely to align dimensions with the natural structure of personality and Eysenck claimed (from experimental methods) to have begun to trace the underlying workings of the main psychological 'black boxes' and processes (of motivation and conditioning), the different functioning of which in different people yields our manifest diversity in behaviour and experience.]

The first extensive analysis of personality data was reported on 2,532 patients of general practitioners in Holland by Heymans and Wiersma (1909, Zeitschrift f�r Psychologie 51). By 1927, Cyril Burt felt able to claim (on a visit to Edinburgh, discussing work by colleagues in London--Henderson Trust Lectures, No. 7) that rating-scale data yielded two main temperament factors of neuroticism and extraversion (as they would be called today). (The term "neuroticism" is misleading in so far as neuroticism / emotionality is a perfectly attractive trait when coupled with good intelligence)

In the 1930's Woodworth's personality inventory (tapping n and e) was in use in the USA; and Thurstone and his wife developed additional measures of political and moral attitudes. By 1955, American psychometricians were searching for clusters of co-variation among self-report items and ratings that would allow talk of objectively identified 'dimensions of personality'. Especially to the forefront in this was the British-born Cattell, with his sixteen personality factors (and 16PF Test to measure them), plus another thirty or so ('Universal Index') factors found from time to time outside the questionnaire realm. There were, however, reliable correlations both among these sixteen 'oblique' and between them and others.

This inter-correlation seemed to some (not to Cattell himself) to admit of their reduction to the equally reliably found six chief, independent, 'second-order' dimensions of personality. In the 1980's, data from Paul Costa and Jeff McCrae's Baltimore sample of adults (as part of US research into ageing) provided seemingly the best-ever data for dimension-hunters: data were amassed not only from hundreds of middle-aged testees but also from their spouses and from long-standing friends and neighbours on a good range of psychometric tests. Like Cattell and co-workers, McCrae and Costa came to recognize six chief independent dimensions of psychological variation-a 'Big Five' that appear in questionnaires and ratings, plus Intelligence.

Commonly used titles for the six dimensions, some possible Freudian parallels, and some suggestions as to how to envisage the alternative 'end' of each dimension) would be as follows.

Intelligence, general intelligence vs concretistic thinking;
Emotionality, neuroticism, anxiety, id? vs placidity, stability;
Extraversion, energy, surgency, eros? vs introversion, gravity;
Conscientiousness, control, superego vs impulsivity, casualness, liberality;
Disagreeableness, will, independence, ego? vs subduedness, passivity, affability;
Openness, Culture, affection, idealism vs tough-mindedness, cynicism, thanatos?

Three notes to this summary of the 'Big Six' are necessary.

(1) Many differential psychologists restrict the term 'personality' to non-intellective differences. This is principally because general intelligence (g) is best measured by 'puzzle' items to which the correct answer must be found. Hence there is often talk of 'the five-factor model of personality (FFM)', or 'the Big Five'.

(2) By conventional standards, intelligence is easily and reliably measured.  However, it is hard to elicit valid self-ratings of intelligence. This is perhaps because most people mix largely with people of similar intelligence and education to themselves. Thus they find it hard to be realistic about their own levels of intelligence (see Brand, Deary & Egan, 1993, in G.Van Heck, Personality Psychology in Europe).

(3) McCrae and Costa's Disagreeableness seems to be similar to Cattell's Independence (or Promethean Will) vs Subduedness; but McCrae & Costa's Openness is probably a mixture of Cattell's Pathemia (Tender-mindedness) and Intelligence. (Openness correlates at around .35 with g even in studies where IQ range is restricted-see Brand, 1994, Europ. J. Personality.)

Why were the Big Five-or-Six (Big 5-or-6)-the 'Six' including g-not recognized previously?

(1) Cattell's methods were sophisticated; but his writing involved many neologisms. (In fairness to Cattell, these were introduced so as to make clear distinctions between the concepts of factor-analytic psychology and those of ordinary language.) Thus many psychologists found Cattell's opus dauntingly hard to follow. At the same time, Cattell's readiness to incorporate strands of Freudian conceptualization into his analyses gained him few friends in the scientific psychology of his day.

(2) In Britain, Eysenck had championed a markedly smaller number of personality dimensions-urging in particular that only his Extraversion, Neuroticism and (after 1970) Psychoticism possessed much reliability or general significance or had firm, demonstrable bases in learning mechanisms and brain functions.

(3) In crude forms of measurement [asking whether people are 'quick', 'tough' 'strong' etc.], and also when subjects of lower levels of education are surveyed, some of the Big 5-or-6 show a tendency to fuse to yield a reduced number of dimensions.

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Post time 2014-11-20 17:33:20 |Display all floors

The g factor -- unitary, innate, linearly rankable intelligence, linked to basic information processes and having causal status -- is still intact as a key psychological postulate.

A whole issue of the international academic journal Intelligence (26, 3, 1998) was devoted to honouring Emeritus Professor Arthur Jensen, the Californian psychologist who became after 1969 the leading scholar in the study of people's differences in general intelligence.

London School theorizing about ‘g’ was commended to the attention of a wider audience of US intellectuals by a young Harvard academic (Commentary, Aug. '98, 'IQ since The Bell Curve').

In mice, levels of something like ‘g’ have proved to be alterable by genetic engineering (Nature 2 Sep. '99, 'Genetic super-mouse'). The Princeton creator of the learning-boosted mice is now working with Eureka Pharmaceuticals and writes, "it would not be totally surprising if enhancing learning and memory skills led to improved intelligence" (Scientific American, Apr. 2000, 'Building a brainier mouse').

The case that Chromosome 6 houses "the intelligence gene" is outlined in Matt Ridley's Genome (2000, HarperCollins).

According to new Cambridge University research, a neural basis for general intelligence may be the prefrontal cortex (Science 21 vii 200; New York Times 21 vii 2000, “Study finds region of brain may be key problem solver”.) And US scientists at NHS have found important DNA differences between high-IQ children and normal controls. See here.
Posted by JR at 12:05 AM


New Zealand's Emeritus Professor James Flynn recently talked to a packed house in Edinburgh University Psychology Department about his continuing hopes that some 'Factor X' might one day be found to boost Black IQ just as Dutch IQ scoring improved by 20 points from 1950 to 1980. Flynn's audience included several woebegone oldies, much greyed and even entirely whitened in the years since they had gone along with the Looneyversity's plan to get rid of me; and the Department could not even make its clock on the wall work. Flynn's effort was marred by a ridiculous insistence on squeezing him into just one hour, meaning that the last half of his talk, giving his 'answer' to the paradox of IQ being 75% genetic yet intergenerationally malleable, would never be faithfully relayed by any student, let alone by the deadbeat and dessicated staff. Probably it didn't matter, since Flynn chose largely to neglect the argument of THE g FACTOR (Chapter 4) that test sophistication is the answer he needs; and, over lunch and libations, Flynn gave away that he did not think that his own great-grandfather must have been a mental defective – only that the man would have lacked the 'open-ended problem solving skills' which Flynn held to measured by IQ tests. This admission reminded his audience (including key TgF supporters and myself) that, following Flynn's real premisses, even if Black IQ scores could be boosted, Blacks would not enjoy a gain in real intelligence. Subsequently, conversation turned to how to maintain the norming of tests like Raven's Matrices: no funding is available even to genius grant-getter Professor Ian Deary from UK government sources, so it looked as if the Pioneer Foundation would need to come to John Raven's rescue. PeeCee was also considered, for Jim – who was twice fired from American academia by rightists around 1960 – now receives a steady chorus of complaint from 'liberal'-lefties that he should not countenance discussion of IQ and race, let alone urge new research on the subject using the Raven's Matrices (on which African Blacks score only around 70). Even Jim was amazed to hear of PeeCee's latest breakthrough to control Pergamon Press (due to publish a Festschrift for Art Jensen) and also close down the offshoot Praeger (which mail-order-publishes Richard Lynn). Fortunately, Jim's own genes had gone marching on: his own son had been appointed a professor of mathematics in the University of Liverpool. (For the latest answer to Flynn & Dickens, see The great IQ-score rise: test sophistication, Caesarian births or masked mystificatory multipliers?)


Further dawning awareness of the importance of innate intelligence levels was seen in Oxford University where researchers (in sociology and experimental psychology) seem to be confirming findings at Warwick University that IQ is a better predictor of academic progress than is the 'wide knowledge' classically expected in entrance candidates and supplied especially to students who have attended fee-paying schools. {Forty years too late, Oxford may thus adopt IQ selection - though not, sadly, to boost academic levels or to give the best education to those who can best cope with it, but rather to respond to government pressures and bribes to select more students from working-class backgrounds. Of course, selection should involve both intelligence and achievement. As Confucius said, "Whoever learns but does not think is lost; but whoever thinks but does not learn is in danger" (Analects 2:15).}


In January 2001, Phil Rushton's paper showing African students (University of Witwatersrand) have a mean IQ of only 84 was published:

J. Philippe RUSHTON & Mervyn SKUY (2000).
'Performance on Raven's Matrices by African and White university students in South Africa.' Intelligence 28, 4, 251-265.

The authors note: "Black South African students are a highly selected population. They have passed standardized school matriculation exams, entered university and been chosen for a first-year course in Psychology on the basis of academic performance. Assuming that these students are 1 standard deviation {15 IQ points} above the population mean, the results are in accord with earlier work finding that Africans, in general, average a tested IQ of 70."


The Winter 2002/3 issue of Occidental Quarterly included a fine article by Richard McCulloch contesting the constructivist (neo-Marxist) view that 'race' is just a social contract. In particular, a table and figure detailed the main phenomenon of world racial structure, the differences between Caucasoids, Mongoloids and Negroids - and showed in particular that the groups from which both the English and Japanese are most different genetically are the Nigerians, the Bantu, the Bushmen and the Australian Aborigines.

(Ref.: Masatoshi Nei and Arun K. Roychoudhury, "Evolutionary relationships of human populations on a global scale," Molecular Biology and Evolution, Sept. 1993 (pp. 927-943)
Evolutionary relationships of human populations on a global scale.

    M Nei and A K Roychoudhury


Using gene frequency data for 29 polymorphic loci (121 alleles), we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 26 representative populations from around the world by using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method. We also conducted a separate analysis of 15 populations by using data for 33 polymorphic loci. These analyses have shown that the first major split of the phylogenetic tree separates Africans from non-Africans and that this split occurs with a 100% bootstrap probability. The second split separates Caucasian populations from all other non-African populations, and this split is also supported by bootstrap tests. The third major split occurs between Native American populations and the Greater Asians that include East Asians (mongoloids), Pacific Islanders, and Australopapuans (native Australians and Papua New Guineans), but Australopapuans are genetically quite different from the rest of the Greater Asians. The second and third levels of population splitting are quite different from those of the phylogenetic tree obtained by Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1988), where Caucasians, Northeast Asians, and Ameridians from the Northeurasian supercluster and the rest of non-Africans form the Southeast Asian supercluster. One of the major factors that caused the difference between the two trees is that Cavalli-Sforza et al. used unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) in phylogenetic inference, whereas we used the NJ method in which evolutionary rate is allowed to vary among different populations. Bootstrap tests have shown that the UPGMA tree receives poor statistical support whereas the NJ tree is well supported. Implications that the phylogenetic tree obtained has on the current controversy over the out-of-Africa and the multiregional theories of human origins are discussed.

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Post time 2014-11-20 19:20:48 |Display all floors

A very favourable review of Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen's IQ and the Wealth of Nations appeared in Occidental Quarterly, Winter 2002/3. The author, Ed Miller, a professor of finance at the University of New Orleans, concluded that the book demonstrated "the explanatory power of a single variable, the IQ of the country's population." OQ also carried an interesting review saying that Harvard sociologists, led by one Robert Putnam, are at last beginning to notice and lament the decline of 'community' - after decades in which they worked hard to break up people's natural communities of race, religion and family.

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Post time 2014-11-21 23:26:03 |Display all floors
Good stuff.

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Post time 2014-11-23 00:41:27 |Display all floors

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Post time 2014-11-23 20:21:23 |Display all floors
Too much to read, so I will not!

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Post time 2014-11-24 07:15:01 |Display all floors
Octopussy Post time: 2014-11-23 20:21
Too much to read, so I will not!

Give it a try!

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