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Thread: Type A personality... doesn't exist. Sorry!

  1. #1
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    Wink Type A personality... doesn't exist. Sorry!

    Turns out it was all a mistake.


    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-personality.html

    Turns out there's no 'type' in Type A personality

    November 6, 2018 by Don Campbell, University of Toronto

    You know the type. Hard-driving, competitive, impatient. They call it Type A. But new University of Toronto research suggests that this common pop-psychology concept is really not a type at all. "For a long time, Type A has been one of the most familiar personality traits, but it turns out there's no evidence for the 'type' in it," says Michael Wilmot, a postdoctoral researcher at U of T Scarborough's department of management.

    Still, he says there's a lot to be learned from the research that led to this term. Type A is often used to describe impatient perfectionists who are obsessed with their work. The trait was first described in the 1950s by a pair of cardiologists who were looking for risk factors for heart disease. It resulted in decades of research and scholarly debate about whether or not Type A was a source of heart disease. Subsequent research found that only a few characteristics associated with Type A (hard-driving, competitiveness and hostility) were risk factors.

    What eventually emerged was that Type A is better described as a "multidimensional syndrome" a cluster of traits rather than an actual typology. But then a landmark 1989 study argued that Type A is a naturally occurring type people are either Type A or Type B. This finding supported the prevailing view in popular culture, but as Wilmot points out, that study was never replicated.

    "To determine questions about typology, researchers use a set of procedures called taxometric methods," says Wilmot (pictured left). One of his co-authors, Nick Haslam, a professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, recently wrote a paper urging researchers to re-examine older studies that used taxometric methods. "He found that many that reported typological evidence were likely false-positives due to their use of now outdated methods."

    Aside from not being able to replicate the original finding, their results suggest that Type A behaviour is better described as a group of distinct personality traits. These traits, which include hard-driving/competitiveness, speed and impatience, as well challenges with time pressure, all exist along spectrums that can be found in individuals at higher or lower levels, but none as either/or categories.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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    There are two types of typologies, binary and non-binary.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I'm amazed to discover anyone still believed there is such a thing as a Type A or a Type B personality.

    Grant Hutchison
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    I'm a typo personality.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I'm type A-. The blood bank is always happy to see me.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Type A is better described as a "multidimensional syndrome" – a cluster of traits rather than an actual typology... better described as a group of distinct personality traits.
    If they're saying that a "multidimensional syndrome", a "cluster of traits", and/or a "group of distinct personality traits" doesn't make a "type", then either they are in need of some help with English, or they're pretending to be, for whatever undisclosed reason(s).

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    No, Wilmot and his colleagues are saying that the traits don't cluster; there is no syndrome. Occasionally you'll find someone with a group of traits classically associated with "Type A", but such a combination is no more common than other mixtures of traits, and you certainly cannot label people as being either Type A or Type B. The person who needs help with English is the author of the Medical Press article.

    As I said, I'd be amazed if any medical/psychological professional is still taking the Type A / Type B distinction seriously. Even a moment's introspection reveals that it's Not That Simple.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-Nov-07 at 12:53 AM.
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    I always thought Type A and Type B simply meant there are those who 'dive in head first' and those who 'read the manual first'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    If they're saying that a "multidimensional syndrome", a "cluster of traits", and/or a "group of distinct personality traits" doesn't make a "type", then either they are in need of some help with English, or they're pretending to be, for whatever undisclosed reason(s).
    They're saying it's just one of many possible assemblages of traits. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    This is overly simplistic (for certain) but I had always associated type A's as extroverts and type B's as introverts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    This is overly simplistic (for certain) but I had always associated type A's as extroverts and type B's as introverts.
    I can be very introverted, except when I'm being extroverted.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    You know the type. Hard-driving, competitive, impatient. They call it Type A. But new University of Toronto research suggests that this common pop-psychology concept is really not a type at all. "For a long time, Type A has been one of the most familiar personality traits, but it turns out there's no evidence for the 'type' in it," says Michael Wilmot, a postdoctoral researcher at U of T Scarborough's department of management.
    LOL, a huge mistake.

    The history and continuing evolution of Personality type tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and the DISC Personal Profile System test gives us a good look at the mechanics of how Personality Type evaluation systems work. It's a pity the doctoral student didn't research any of this.

    William Marston, the guy who developed the original DISC theory and model, was also involved in the development of the Polygraph/Lie Detector so it is interesting to note that two DISC Personality categories were removed in the early 1990's when the Polygraph test was discontinued. The Myers Briggs test does not have and never did have the 2 category types that were removed from DISC in the early 1990's.

    I actually did the pre 1990's version of the DISC PPS and someone I know also tested in one of the since removed Personality Type Classifications called 'Overperform' or 'Underperform'. Basically these classifications identified when you had deliberately selected either all of the 'best' responses or all of the 'worst' responses. To me that's a binary indicator that someone is not telling the truth or giving honest opinions much the same way as a refusal to undergo a polygraph test these days is more important than the actual test result itself.

    That begs the question, how can you say something like that about personality types if all of the lying *******s have been included in all the other categories since the early 1990's, instead of having a red flag raised like they were previously?

    Also, wouldn't you actually expect to be deluged with narcissists after neutering the only test that could tell you, with a high degree of certainty, that a candidate is at worst lying through their teeth or at least did the test wrong?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%...Type_Indicator
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment

    Just for the record I'm a MB-TI ENTJ and a DISC Achiever, Developer, Developer.
    Last edited by LaurieAG; 2018-Nov-08 at 08:20 AM. Reason: punctuation

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    Given the poor performance of polygraphs, I'd say an innocent person has as much reason to refuse a polygraph as a guilty one does. I'd certainly refuse to undergo such a test if I were innocent, and would agree if I were guilty.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Given the poor performance of polygraphs, I'd say an innocent person has as much reason to refuse a polygraph as a guilty one does. I'd certainly refuse to undergo such a test if I were innocent, and would agree if I were guilty.
    That's a strong statement, but I assume you're serious. My experience makes me suggest that one should consider those administering the test as well.
    Last edited by George; 2018-Nov-08 at 04:41 PM.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    That's a strong statement, but I assume you're serious. My experience makes me suggest that one should consider those administering the test as well.
    I'm absolutely serious - the evidence suggests that, even in the hands of a trained operator, I have a significant chance of being labelled guilty even if innocent, and a small-to-moderate chance of being labelled innocent even if guilty. The strategy I report prevents me being wrongly labelled guilty, but gives me a chance of being wrongly labelled innocent.
    We shouldn't hijack the thread, so I'll say no more on the matter - my view of polygraphs is accurately reflected here,with some useful references. Polygraphs are neither popular nor well-regarded in Europe.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2018-Nov-08 at 06:08 PM. Reason: The strategy doesn't "minimize" anything
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Polygraphs are neither popular nor well-regarded in Europe.
    We Americans are a simple people, who like simple things. Such as binary value judgements. Lie/truth, works/doesn't work, Type A/Type B.

    Spectrum? Feh. A spectrum is a rainbow, and rainbows are for children. And we're all grown-up. 240 is a grownup country. We are, don't you dare try to tell us different!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Given the poor performance of polygraphs, I'd say an innocent person has as much reason to refuse a polygraph as a guilty one does. I'd certainly refuse to undergo such a test if I were innocent, and would agree if I were guilty.
    If you were being interviewed for a job you would be shown the door regardless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    If you were being interviewed for a job you would be shown the door regardless.
    Are polygraph tests used commonly for employment interviews in US ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    Are polygraph tests used commonly for employment interviews in US ??
    Not a lot, but for certain types of jobs, they are part of the process.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    If you were being interviewed for a job you would be shown the door regardless.
    Not in my part of the world. For reasons already given.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Not a lot, but for certain types of jobs, they are part of the process.
    As are dodgy personality tests like Meyer/Briggs. And drug tests.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    Are polygraph tests used commonly for employment interviews in US ??
    11 US Federal agencies use it.

    https://www.nap.edu/read/10420/chapter/9#194
    The 11 federal agencies that use polygraph testing for employee screening purposes differ in the test formats they use, the transgressions they ask about in the polygraph examination, the ways they combine information from the polygraph examination with other security-relevant information on an examinee, and the decision rules they use to take personnel actions on the basis of the screening information available. Despite these differences, many of the agencies have put in place quality control programs, following guidance from the U.S. Department of Defense Polygraph Institute (DoDPI), that are designed to ensure that all polygraph exams given in a particular agency follow approved testing procedures and practices, as do the reading and interpretation of polygraph charts.

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    A surprising number of people think leadership is defined by having "Type A" traits. Someone takes on those behaviors regardless of results and thinks they are doing well. A running gag in The Office TV show (more in the US copy) and real life for people who work in offices.

    Personally, I like TBBT's take on it where Bernie does and says all kinds of twisted Type A things, the worst of which are polite and sweet sounding but completely evil and wrong.
    Solfe

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    Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    Are polygraph tests used commonly for employment interviews in US ??
    Personally, back in 1977 I was required to take a polygraph for what I considered to be a simple job, delivery driver for a records/stereo store (6 in the local chain). They had been robbed in the past and didn't want to take chances, it is nerve wracking experience but I passed, worked for 6 months there before my final destination in Lab work. The coolest part of the job was unpacking the new LPs and latest stereo equipment of that time. I was on the delivery route when over the radio Elvis's death was reported., but I digress...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Personally, back in 1977 I was required to take a polygraph for what I considered to be a simple job, delivery driver for a records/stereo store (6 in the local chain).
    Now illegal.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Thanks Grant, that was interesting.

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    Back in the 1990s, I had to be bonded for my job. No polygraph, but I had to say I'd take one if the need arose. And this statement was non-revokable. I was a teenager and didn't know what it was all about. Fine, take my picture and my finger prints. Sure.

    My job was to accept faxes of grants, enter numbers into a computer then file the documents appropriately. After a year on the job, my team got an award for processing several billion dollars in record time. At that point, it all made sense.

    I am not exactly sure how I could have stolen anything because these were legal documents, but I guess that means I am a lousy criminal. I suppose the threat could be the other way, such as throwing stuff away or identity theft causing loss to everyone.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Now illegal.

    Grant Hutchison
    Not quite, from your link below.

    https://www.dol.gov/whd/polygraph/
    Subject to restrictions, the Act also permits polygraph testing of certain employees of private firms who are reasonably suspected of involvement in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in specific economic loss or injury to the employer. Where polygraph examinations are allowed, they are subject to strict standards for the conduct of the test, including the pretest, testing and post-testing phases. An examiner must be licensed and bonded or have professional liability coverage. The Act strictly limits the disclosure of information obtained during a polygraph test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Not quite, from your link below.
    The specific instance under discussion, of Spacedude having to undergo a polygraph test administered as a condition of employment by a private firm with no reason to suspect wrong-doing on his/her part, is now illegal in the USA, as my link made clear.

    Grant Hutchison
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

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