“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.“
Corporations are infamous for giving out in-depth personality tests like Tony Robbin’s world-famous DISC test to prospective employees in hopes of weeding out the unfavorable candidates. But do these personality tests accurately portray what an individual is capable of doing or performing within the organization? Most psychologists would argue that they don’t —however if you learn how to read an individual’s childhood, then it’s quite clear.
Predicting The Future Of A Child
Psychologist Susan Engel conducted a series of research experiments at Williams College where she wrote her book, “Red Flags or Red Herrings? Predicting Who Your Child Will Become”. In her book, Engel explains that there are six major components to personality that predict future behavior in children: intelligence, drive, sociability, capacity for intimacy, happiness, and goodness. Each one of these domains shows up early in life and remain stable throughout a person’s entire life.
Predicting Intelligence And Who Are The Lucky Ones
What people are truly interested in, however, is how intelligent their child is or will be. With good reason because intelligence is the trait with the highest percentage and possibility of living a fulfilling and successful life. And as you might imagine, everyone wants to know how to accurately predict intelligence.
Psychologists are finally shedding light on the tell-tale signs of intelligence and the markers that explain the intellectual capabilities of a future employee or romantic partner.
Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explains that there are two different types of intelligence: spontaneous and controlled. Neither one of the two types of intelligence is better than the other, both are necessary for higher cognitive functioning. The one that is most often measured on IQ tests, for example, is the controlled intelligence. Primarily because it deals with the ability for your brain to focus on complex problems and memory-related tasks.
Whereas spontaneous intelligence is the ability for your brain to absorb information automatically, essentially your cognitive unconscious mind.
Kaufman goes on to say, “It’s the ability to be open to possibilities that may not be obviously relevant to the task at hand“—like having a sudden creative insight without deliberately working on a problem.
Psychologist Susan Engel also explains that another major marker of intelligence is whether or not a person can tell the difference from how they feel and what they think. The majority of the U.S. population has a difficult time discerning their immediate emotions and what they are thinking and the relationship between the two. Being capable of discerning the two with great accuracy, allows an individual to produce clear and accurate decisions.
One of the most important pillars and clues to intelligence is how a person thinks. Paying close attention to how a person formulates an idea or argument is often a strong predictor of leadership. Cognitive Psychologist Barry Lubetkin explains that when a person can identify the pros and cons of a situation with ease and then continue to make a decision based off of the analysis, they’re often more right than wrong.
So What About Personality Tests
IQ tests measure intellect but what about the other factors that play into personality and how a person is bound to react in a moment of great adversity or dilemma? One of the most researched and supported personality tests is the Meyers – Briggs test. Developed by psychologists Katherine Cook Briggs and daughter Isabel Briggs Meyers. The two dynamic psychologists based their model after world renowned psychologist Carl Jung’s four psychological functions that his research demonstrated lasted all throughout life. Carl Jung believed that our brains perceive the world through sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking.
Based off of Jung’s four principles, the Briggs designed a system with 16 different types of personality combination. They created 8 specific dichotomies to create their personality test after:
From those 8 dichotomies, an individual’s personality is then a four letter combination that demonstrates how one personally perceives the world (i.e., ENFJ)
And so if you find yourself in need of predicting your future or simply yearning to understand why you do what you do and why you prefer one on one conversations to parties, take a second to take the Meyers-Briggs test. The more you know about yourself, the more psychologists can better understand the complex phenomenon that is the personality.