Do you look trustworthy? Lazy? Enthusiastic? When it comes to snap judgments, your body shape affects other’s first impressions of your personality. Researchers at the University of Texas in Dallas tested their theory that body-shape and personality-trait stereotypes affect how we judge and interact with people we haven’t met before. The Body Shape Study […]

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Truth About Lies

By John M. Oldham, MD For $99.95, anyone can purchase a lie detector from Walmart. Who buys a polygraph test? Who uses it? Who relies on the results? These are questions I can’t answer, and I was surprised to find one being marketed to the public, since even in expert hands, lie detection results are […]

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Want to know why casting headlines as “fake news” gets traction with so many people? The strategy, say psychologists, is “plausible deniability,” meaning the claim cannot be proven wrong in the moment. The strategy is often put to use by overly confident politicians and business leaders among others, say researchers at the University of Notre […]

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Healthy Self-Confidence or Narcissistic Personality?

There is a lot in the air these days about the narcissistic personality of prominent people. But what is narcissism, really?  Is having narcissistic traits good or bad?  How much is healthy narcissism and how much is a true narcissistic personality disorder? Scholars of behavior have described healthy narcissism as a plus, a useful personality […]

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Comparing Personality Tests

There’s a lot of buzz lately about The Personality Brokers, a new book by Merve Emre about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the mother-daughter team that came up with it 75 years ago.   Now that we’ve launched The New Personality Self-Portrait 25 online, we’ve  been fielding a lot of questions about how the two […]

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Do you fall into the “liking gap” when meeting someone new?

That’s what researchers at Cornell, Harvard and Yale call the certainty that a new acquaintance doesn’t think much of us as soon as we open our mouths. In a series of five studies of strangers engaged in a 5-minute, ice-breaker conversation, psychologists found people typically liked their partner more than they thought their partner liked […]

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