Are you average, reserved, self-centred or a role model?
According to studies of 1.5 million people worldwide, all of us fall into one of these four personality types.
Teenage boys are most likely to be self-centred, the least desirable type focusing on themselves and their own needs, the American authors say, while more women than men are likely to be role models that others look up to.
The latest research, published in Nature Human Behaviour, claims to have identified separate categories, with our personalities falling into clear groupings* of characteristics.
Professor Luis Amaral, one of the authors, from Northwestern University, Illinois, said: ‘Personality types only existed in self-help literature* and did not have a place in scientific journals. Now, we think this will change because of this study.”
The research used results from several online personality tests which asked between 44 and 300 questions.
The team analysed the five widely accepted basic personality traits*: Neuroticism (when people are unpredictable in behaviour or anxious), extroversion (outgoing and often direct attention to things other than themselves), openness (open and don’t keep secrets), agreeableness (kind and considerate people) and conscientiousness (people who are careful and particular).
Your face can also tell you a lot about your personality as this video shows:
After processing the data, the four personality types that emerged were:
- Average: These people are higher in unpredictable behaviour and are outgoing, but low in openness. Researcher Martin Gerlach said the typical person would be in this cluster. Women are more likely than men to be this type.
- Reserved: This type is emotionally stable, but neither open nor* anxious. They are not particularly outgoing but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious.
- Role models: They score low in anxiety and high in all the other traits. The likelihood that someone is a role model increases dramatically with age. These are people who are dependable* and open to new ideas, and “good people to be in charge of things”, Mr Gerlach said. More women than men are in this category.
- Self-centred: These people score very high in outgoing characteristics and below average in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. “These are people you don’t want to hang out with,” said one researcher. There is a dramatic fall in the number of self-centered types as people grow older.
- groupings: joining things together in a group
- literature: books
- traits: distinguishing qualities or characteristics
- nor: not true
- dependable: someone you can depend on
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
- How many people took part in the personality traits study?
- What personality type were teenage boys most likely to be?
- Which magazine was the study published in?
- Which personality type is the typical person likely to be?
- Which personality type is considered best to be in charge of things?
1. What’s Your Personality?
Work with two to three other classmates who you think you know quite well. On a piece of paper draw your friends or write their names. Underneath their name or picture, write a list of characteristics and personality traits you think this person has (honest, confident, shy etc.)
At the bottom of the list, match the character traits you have listed to one of the personality types listed in the Kids News article.
Ask your friends if they agree or disagree with the personality type you have assigned them.
Do you agree with the personality type they have matched you to?
Why do you think age affects what personality type people come out as?
Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum Links: English, Personal & Social
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight all the openers you can find in blue. Discuss if they are powerful and varied openers or not. Why do you think the journalists has used a mix of simple and power openers? Would you change any, and why?
HAVE YOUR SAY: Which personality type do you think you are? Why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.