I suppose that integrity and conscientiousness become central to the single-trait approach by employment agencies just in the same way as they act as “models,” scientifically speaking. For an example of models as such, we might come up with an example of a miniature car for a physical simulation. When using this car for the simulation, what we only need to build for this miniature is the basic external form of the car and the four wheels accompanied by a motor. It would be completely redundant, to say the least, if we were to make small cup holders and car audio for this model, as these elements are irrelevant to the purpose of the simulation. As much as this is the case, models for the process of simulation in general are structurally reduced to the purpose of the simulation itself – I suppose that the same reduction is also taking place when employment agencies take a single-trait approach for the personality assessment, and hence the reason why conscientiousness becomes the central build for their model, so to speak. In fact, to come up with a more generalized hypothesis myself, this context of reduction within models to the purpose of their simulation is the reason why single-trait approaches in general are still in use in the world of personality psychology.
“Self-Monitoring” was actually the English word I was looking for, as much as I once wrote a short thesis on the Korean concept of “Nunchi,” which I had not found the exact English phrase to describe this foreign concept, other than being too descriptive as to come up with “Tacit Social Pressure.” Yet, it was great to discover that a more integral English word to describe this concept actually existed.
As for this short thesis I wrote, its topic was on the possibility that the phenomenon of self-monitoring and the environment in which self-monitoring is taken for granted might become a hazard against the democracy of that specific society. To be completely honest, my prediction was that it can be a good deal of hazard against democracy. However, in order to prove it, I had to wait until the result pops up from the simulation I ran with a Turing Machine. The result actually was…. that self-monitoring has no relevance to the subject of democracy. It was actually disappointing to see that my prediction could not be proven. That’s why I eventually concluded my thesis with the statement that a “Turing Machine might not be a great tool for simulating social environments, as it is completely linear while real-life societies are not actually polynomial at all.”
This part of the book on narcissism reminded me of the Freudian concept of “Narcissistic Rage.” It is widely known that this concept of Narcissistic Rage is a very important concept in the Freudian psychology, but I have been wondering a lot on this subject because I have yet to see the sources that illustrate the reason why this concept had to be important for Freud when he comes up with his theories. Therefore, I think I will eventually address this question during the class meeting on Tuesday.
The California Q-Set
Upon this part of the book, I actually began to wonder how much proportion of the total amount of I-Data in use actually belong to the California Q-Set, as much as this seems to be a very traditional way to assess personality, while I did hear that the field of psychiatry tends to be quite conservative. Therefore, to be completely honest, regardless of how conventional this method has been, I would not be too surprised even if psychiatrists were to still use it extensively for personality assessment. However, as much as I am not allowed to generalize without crosschecks, I wish I could make sure with the specific number of proportion and the California Q-Set is still in charge among the total amount of I-Data in use as of the present.
Delay of Gratification
As I am having a project on the topic of addiction counseling for my counseling class this semester, this part of the book made me wonder if the concepts of ego control and ego resiliency are really related to the subject of impulse-controls, as it is stated in the textbook. In fact, I am quite dubious on if the concept of ego really has a relation towards the subject of impulse-controls, because, as far as I learned, even existential therapy, which is known for its strong emphasis on the theme of personal responsibility, still admits that it’s not the pathological activity itself that is conducted by free will, but the very first occasion where a pathological activity has become a person’s subject of interest that is carried out by free will, all the while impulse-control disorders are pretty much a field of Pavlovian conditioning. For a real-life example, even in family counseling centers, where the counselors usually suggest a client to endure the preexistent marriage in almost all other occasions, still admit that a divorce is the only real solution available when the problem boils down to a spouse having a gambling disorder. In this broader context, it makes me very dubious if the concept of ego control is really related to the subject of impulse-controls or if the naming of “ego control” itself should be deemed theoretically misguided, in fact.
As I crosscheck this part of the book with one of the other textbooks I have used at Hood College, I actually notice a significant difference in the descriptions between the two. According to V. Mark Durand and David H. Barlow, it is stated that it is the psychoaffective substances that cause a great deal of influence on someone’s personality, not the other way around. To be completely honest, I wonder if Funder’s textbook has enough evidence to claim that a certain personality might lead to a substance disorder, while substances themselves must have already had a great deal of neurological influence on the subjects of observation or experiment, in the first place, hence the considerable possibility that the data from these observations or experiments themselves may not be pure enough to support a generalized statement of causation.
To be honest, I wonder if introducing the subject of political orientation itself for personality assessment is appropriate, primarily because I am against the binary classification of the Left and the Right as a valid way of conceptualization, in the first place. The problem is that, according to Sarita Gregory, who teaches Democratic Theory in Vassar College, the Left can be defined as emphasizing the concept of “Class Warfare” while the Right can be defined as emphasizing the concept of “Frontier Warfare,” hence the potential criticism that this binary classification is just too simplistic, as much as both sides within the classification are focusing on the theme of conflicts, after all. This also becomes problematic as it ignores the existence of yet another school of thought called “Functionalism” where it is claimed that a society has to be studied in the scope of how it functions for its own good, rather than in the scope of its conflicts. In fact, it is quite easy to notice that, even in our textbook itself, the topic for this part of the book gradually moves its focus from the subject of the Left vs Right to the problem of authoritarianism, briefly after it mentions the case of Modern Romania, in which a certain group of population turned out to follow authoritarianism as their true tenet of importance, regardless of other elements within their political parties of choice.
Reducing the Many to a Few: Theoretical and Factor Analytic Approaches
Upon this part of the book, as much as I graduated my Bachelors from a cognitive science department in Vassar College, which was dominated by the professors being passionate supporters of dynamic systems theory, it made me feel dubious when this part of the book strongly emphasized the importance of the brain structure even as to suggest heritability of essential personality traits. (Dynamic systems theory focuses on the organic body as a whole, opposed to the strong emphasis on the organ of a brain per se.) It makes me wonder if it is appropriate to claim that a brain is fully in charge of someone’s personality, while the phenomenon of a personality can be also explained in the scope of dynamic systems theory and behaviorism combined, in which it is actually a trait of experience that is “carved” upon someone’s biological circuit, primarily as the result of conditioning processes in the past.