Personality


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Visitors take a selfie photograph in front of Girl with Peaches (1887), by Russian artist Valentin Serov at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Photo by Alexander Kurov/TASS/Getty

Essay/
Virtues and vices
Modesty means more, not less

True modesty is not to be timid or meek but a way of being in the world that means you don’t get in the way of your life

Nicolas Bommarito

Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum

Essay/
Personality
Spot the psychopath

Psychopaths have a reputation for cunning and ruthlessness. But they are more like you and me than we care to admit

Heidi Maibom

Fifteen-year-old Sangita stands in the remains of her room after the earthquake that struck central Nepal in April 2015. ‘I am lucky that I’m still alive... Our neighbours died, their bodies are still under the rubble.’ Photo by Vlad Sokhin/Panos

Essay/
Values and beliefs
The unreality of luck

Optimists believe in good luck, pessimists in bad. But if it’s all a matter of perspective, does luck even exist?

Steven Hales

Adolf Hitler addresses the audience at the Berlin Sportpalast in 1942. Photo by Ullstein Bild/AKG
Essay/
Personality
Why we love tyrants

Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth

David Livingstone Smith

Isabelle Dinoire photographed in Paris, May 2009, after her partial face transplant. Photo by Julien Chatelin/REX/Shutterstock
Essay/
Metaphysics
Changing faces

Face transplants expose deep-held prejudices about identity and wellbeing. Are these ideas ripe for a radical rethink?

Sharrona Pearl

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, 1988. Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum
Essay/
Personality
Indescribable you

Can novelists or psychologists better capture the strange multitude of realities in every human self?

Carlin Flora

Essay/
Ethics
Moral luck

Two people drive drunk at night: one kills a pedestrian, one doesn’t. Does the unlucky killer deserve more blame or not?

Robert J Hartman

Senator John F Kennedy shaking hands during his presidential campaign. Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty
Essay/
Personality
First impressions count

A judgment of competence is made in a tenth of a second on the basis of facial features. Thus political decisions are made

Alexander Todorov