For years, self-help gurus and mindfulness experts have been preaching a simple mantra; if you want to improve your life, you have to change the way you think. Dream big and you will have success. Visualize yourself rolling in dollars and you'll become a millionaire. Unfortunately, science suggests that positive thinking might not work. In fact, the opposite may actually be true - that if we act happy, we become happy, something psychologist Richard Wiseman calls the "as if" principle.
Whatever brand of personality test you take, the chances are you will be described as being one of two types - Extravert or Introvert. Broadly, we think of Extraverts as people who gain energy from others, whereas Introverts recharge by spending time alone. If you never refuse an invitation to the party, you're an Extravert. If you'd rather stay home and read a book, then you're probably an Introvert - or so the theory goes.
If you're an INFP, you will be horribly familiar with the concept of "overthinking." It's when your mind gets caught in a loop, and you go over and over (and over) the same thoughts again without ever deciding what to do. Sometimes the problem is so severe, you can procrastinate for years without ever reaching a resolution.
There's nothing wrong with thinking things through, but there's a fine line between ruminating and torturing yourself over details. Here are four tips to help you stop thinking and start making your ideas fly.
If you’ve been keeping up with this series, I hope you’re starting to feel like an expert in the theory of cognitive functions. At this point, you’ve learned the basics of the theory and the arguments supporting it. Supporters of the theory of cognitive functions argue that they allow you to understand why people act out of character in times of stress, and they can help you to determine which type you are.
Have you always believed in a higher spiritual power; a being who, for some reason we can’t really fathom, created and loves us and will provide a glorious home for our souls after we die? Perhaps you feel that you are seeing this being’s handiwork every time you look at an intricate flower or snowflake, or see breathtaking mountain scenery. To you it makes perfectly logical sense that the existence of such marvels in our world is evidence of a powerful, loving creator who is responsible for them.
While the theory of cognitive functions has no shortage of critics, it also has many adamant supporters. In the second part of this series, we’re looking at some of the arguments in favor of the theory of cognitive functions. And if you don’t know what these “cognitive functions” that I’m going on about are, you can check out the first post in this series, where I give a basic overview of the theory.
In the world of personality type enthusiasts, there are three main camps: those who believe that type dynamics are an essential part of understanding personality types, those who think type dynamics lack legitimate support, and those who are sitting there right now wondering “What in the heck are type dynamics?”
It makes sense that people with different personality traits would have measurable differences in their brains, right? The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is “probably," to a certain extent, but it’s hard to be sure because brains turn out to be pretty dang complicated.
Anecdotally, almost every parent has noticed the personality differences that arise in their children. How is it that Rachel, the firstborn, seems to have such different personality characteristics than her younger brother, raised in the same house by the same parents just two years apart?
The question of whether our genes influence our personality essentially boils down to nature versus nurture, one of the oldest debates in the history of psychology. It has dominated personality theory since Darwin noticed that survival meant passing on the most capable of our genes to the next generation.