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Understanding

Human Nature and


Behaviour

Presented by
Muhammad Iqbal Malik
2007-2008 LetsStartThinking.org. All rights reserved.

Todays Objectives
To develop an understanding about human
nature and its influence on behaviour
Becoming more self-aware and have a
deeper understanding about others
To develop an appreciation for diversity

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We will cover:
What is personality?
What makes us what we are?
What are the key elements of personality?
Are there generic types or classes?
Is this personality good or bad?
Is diversity a curse or a blessing?
Application of what we have learnt
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Why Bother?

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Know thyself
The unexamined life is
not worth living!

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Self-awareness
People are the most important
organizational resource
Improving predictability and selfconfidence
Building relationships
Effective utilization of human resources
Avoiding or managing conflicts
Improving the quality of life and work
environment
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Reflection
Have you ever faced a person whom you
failed to understand?
Have you ever been misunderstood (as a
person)?
Have you ever been frustrated by people
who looked, behaved, thought or felt very
different than you?
Have you ever looked down on someone
who behaved, thought or felt differently?
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What is Personality?

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Personality
Every man is in certain respects like all
other men, like some other men, like no
other man
Kluckhohn & Murray

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Personality
Personality describes the character of
emotion, thought, and behavior patterns
unique to a person
It is a particular pattern of behaviour and
thinking prevailing across time and
situations that differentiates one person
from another
Personality is the sum total of ways in
which an individual react and interacts
with others
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Personality
Personality is that which permits a
prediction of what a person will do in a
given situation
It explains how each individual is unique
Personality is one of the key determinants
of human behaviour but there are also
other factors of behaviour e.g. situation,
attitude, cognition, motivation, belief etc.

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What makes us what


we are?
How do we become
us?
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The Development of
Personality
Nature vs. Nurture
Heredity and biology - genes, nervous

system, endocrine system and other systems

Environment and life experiences


Identical twins share the same template
but have different states
Twins raised in different families have
often demonstrated similar tastes,
choosing the same profession and even
using the same brands of products
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The Development of
Personality
Some traits may be more strongly linked
to heredity than others

The initial few years are critical in the


formation of personality
Plaster vs. Plasticity hypothesis
Set like plaster
Changes throughout adulthood

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Views on Personality
Trait Theories personality is a set of mental

structures/systems, different for each individual,


resulting in characteristic responses to situations

Humanist Theories difficult to predict

behaviour lives are not scripted personalities


are defined by their own different perceptions and
experiences

Behavioural Theories Personality is the

constantly changing set of learned behaviour,


influenced by reinforcements

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Interactionism
Human behaviour is influenced by:
Personality traits
The situation
The interaction between personality
and situation
How one perceives or defines a situation is
a critical factor of behaviour

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CASE
Doctors report that the child would never
be able to play any physically exerting
sport the child grows to be the fittest
athlete in the world
How did the parents define the situation?
How did the child define the situation?
How did it influence their behaviour?

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Other Attributes
Locus of Control (internal/external)

The degree to which people believe they are in


control of their own fate

Self-Esteem - Feelings of self-worth stemming


from the individual's positive or negative beliefs
about being valuable and capable

Self-awareness - being aware of oneself,

including one's traits, feelings, behaviours and


limitations

Risk Taking - a persons willingness to take


chances or risks
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Personality Models

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Is this Personality Good or


Bad?
Before we examine various types of
personalities we should remember:

There is no right, wrong, good or bad


type
Each type has strengths and weaknesses
A personality may however be more suitable
for a given role or situation
Personality traits may shift over time
Behaviour/performance is not dependent on
personality alone
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Personality Models
The Big Five
Cattells 16 Primary Factors
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

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The Big Five


Neuroticism
Anxiety
Angry hostility
Depression
Self-consciousness
Impulsiveness
Vulnerability

Extraversion
Warmth & Sociability
Assertiveness
Activity
Positive emotions
Talkativeness
Boldness
Spontaneity
Adventure & Enthusiasm

Agreeableness
Trust
Straightforwardness
Altruism
Compliance
Modesty
Tender-mindedness

Conscientiousness
Competence
Order
Dutifulness
Achievement striving
Self-discipline
Deliberation (reflection)

Openness
Fantasy
Aesthetics
Feelings
Actions
Ideas
Values

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Cattells 16 Primary Factors


Factor

Low

High

Warmth

Reserved, impersonal,
cool, detached, formal

Warm, outgoing, kindly,


easygoing, participating,
likes people

Reasoning

Concrete-thinking, less
intelligent

Abstract-thinking, more
intelligent, bright, fast
learner

Emotional
Stability

Emotionally stable,
Reactive, emotionally less
adaptive, mature, faces
stable, easily upset
reality, calm

Dominance

Respectful, humble,
cooperative, avoids
conflict, obedient

Dominant, assertive,
aggressive, competitive,
stubborn, bossy

Liveliness

Serious, restrained,
prudent, thoughtful,
silent

Lively, spontaneous,
enthusiastic, cheerful,
expressive, impulsive
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Cattells 16 Primary Factors


Factor

Low

High

RuleConsciousness

Expedient,
nonconforming,
disregards rules

Rule-conscious, dutiful,
conscientious, moralistic,
rule-bound

Social Boldness

Shy, threat-sensitive,
timid, hesitant,
intimidated

Socially bold,
venturesome, thickskinned, uninhibited

Sensitivity

Utilitarian, objective,
unsentimental, toughminded, rough

Sensitive, aesthetic,
sentimental, tenderminded, intuitive, refined

Vigilance

Trusting, accepting,
unconditional, easy

Vigilant, suspicious,
skeptical, distrustful,
oppositional

Abstractedness

Grounded, practical,
solution-oriented,
steady, conventional

Abstracted, imaginative,
absent-minded, absorbed
in ideas, impractical,
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Cattells 16 Primary Factors


Factor

Low

High

Privateness

Straightforward,
genuine, open, naive

Private, tactful, nondisclosing, shrewd, worldly,


diplomatic

Apprehension

unworried, secure,
complacent, free of
guilt, confident

Apprehensive, selfdoubting, worried, guiltprone, insecure, selfblaming

Openness to
Change

Traditional, attached to
familiar, conservative

Open to change,
experimenting, liberal,
analytical, flexible

Self-Reliance

Group-oriented,
affiliative, follower,
dependent

Self-reliant, solitary,
individualistic, self-sufficient

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Cattells 16 Primary Factors


Factor

Low

High

Perfectionism

Tolerates disorder,
flexible, careless,
impulsive

Perfectionist, organized,
compulsive, self-disciplined

Tension

Relaxed, easy going,


calm, lazy, patient, low
drive

Tense, high energy,


impatient, frustrated, high
drive, time-driven

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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator


(MBTI)
4 Scales
Extraversion - Introversion
Sensing Intuition
Thinking Feeling
Judging - Perceiving

16 Types

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MBTI Scales
Extraversion
Outer world
People/Things
Active
Breadth of Interest
Live, then understand
Interaction
Outgoing
Sensing
Facts
Data
Details
Reality based
Actuality
Here and now
Utility/Purpose

Introversion
Inner World
Thoughts/Concepts
Reflective
Depth of Interest
Understand, then live
Concentration
Inwardly directed
Intuition
Meanings
Associations
Possibilities
Hunches/Speculations
Theoretical
Future
Fantasy
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MBTI Scales
Thinking
Analysis
Objective
Logic
Impersonal
Critique
Reason
Criteria
Judging
Organized
Settled
Planned
Decisive
Control own life
Set goals
Systematic

Feeling
Sympathy
Subjective
Humane
Personal
Appreciate
Values
Circumstances
Perceiving
Pending
Flexible
Spontaneous
Tentative
Let life happen
Undaunted by surprise
Open to change
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MBTI 16 Personality Types


ISTJ

ISTP

Serious and quiet, interested in security


and peaceful living. Extremely thorough,
responsible, and dependable. Welldeveloped powers of concentration.
Usually interested in supporting and
promoting traditions and establishments.
Well-organized and hard working, they
work steadily towards identified goals.
They can usually accomplish any task
once they have set their mind to it.

Quiet and reserved, interested in how and


why things work. Excellent skills with
mechanical things. Risk-takers who they live
for the moment. Usually interested in and
talented at extreme sports. Uncomplicated in
their desires. Loyal to their peers and to their
internal value systems, but not overly
concerned with respecting laws and rules if
they get in the way of getting something
done. Detached and analytical, they excel at
finding solutions to practical problems.

ISFJ

ISFP

Quiet, kind, and conscientious. Can be


depended on to follow through. Usually
puts the needs of others above their own
needs. Stable and practical, they value
security and traditions. Well-developed
sense of space and function. Rich inner
world of observations about people.
Extremely perceptive of other's feelings.
Interested in serving others.

Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Do not like


conflict, and not likely to do things which may
generate conflict. Loyal and faithful.
Extremely well-developed senses, and
aesthetic appreciation for beauty. Not
interested in leading or controlling others.
Flexible and open-minded. Likely to be
original and creative. Enjoy the present
moment.
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MBTI 16 Personality Types


INFJ

INFP

Quietly forceful, original, and sensitive.


Tend to stick to things until they are
done. Extremely intuitive about people,
and concerned for their feelings. Welldeveloped value systems which they
strictly adhere to. Well-respected for
their perserverence in doing the right
thing. Likely to be individualistic, rather
than leading or following.

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in


serving humanity. Well-developed value
system, which they strive to live in
accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable
and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is
threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally
quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested
in understanding and helping people.

INTJ

INTP

Independent, original, analytical, and


determined. Have an exceptional ability
to turn theories into solid plans of action.
Highly value knowledge, competence,
and structure. Driven to derive meaning
from their visions. Long-range thinkers.
Have very high standards for their
performance, and the performance of
others. Natural leaders, but will follow if
they trust existing leaders.

Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can


become very excited about theories and
ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to
turn theories into clear understandings.
Highly value knowledge, competence and
logic. Quiet and reserved, hard to get to know
well. Individualistic, having no interest in
leading or following others.

2007-2008 LetsStartThinking.org. All rights reserved.

MBTI 16 Personality Types


ESTP

ESTJ

Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented.


"Doers" who are focused on immediate
results. Living in the here-and-now,
they're risk-takers who live fast-paced
lifestyles. Impatient with long
explanations. Extremely loyal to their
peers, but not usually respectful of laws
and rules if they get in the way of getting
things done. Great people skills.

Practical, traditional, and organized. Likely to


be athletic. Not interested in theory or
abstraction unless they see the practical
application. Have clear visions of the way
things should be. Loyal and hard-working.
Like to be in charge. Exceptionally capable in
organizing and running activities. "Good
citizens" who value security and peaceful
living.

ESFP

ESFJ

People-oriented and fun-loving, they


make things more fun for others by their
enjoyment. Living for the moment, they
love new experiences. They dislike theory
and impersonal analysis. Interested in
serving others. Likely to be the center of
attention in social situations. Welldeveloped common sense and practical
ability.

Warm-hearted, popular, and conscientious.


Tend to put the needs of others over their
own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility
and duty. Value traditions and security.
Interested in serving others. Need positive
reinforcement to feel good about themselves.
Well-developed sense of space and function.

2007-2008 LetsStartThinking.org. All rights reserved.

MBTI 16 Personality Types


ENFP

ENFJ

Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative. Able


to do almost anything that interests
them. Great people skills. Need to live
life in accordance with their inner values.
Excited by new ideas, but bored with
details. Open-minded and flexible, with a
broad range of interests and abilities.

Popular and sensitive, with outstanding


people skills. Externally focused, with real
concern for how others think and feel. Usually
dislike being alone. They see everything from
the human angle, and dislike impersonal
analysis. Very effective at managing people
issues, and leading group discussions.
Interested in serving others, and probably
place the needs of others over their own
needs.

ENTP

ENTJ

Creative, resourceful, and intellectually


quick. Good at a broad range of things.
Enjoy debating issues, and may be into
"one-up-manship". They get very excited
about new ideas and projects, but may
neglect the more routine aspects of life.
Generally outspoken and assertive. They
enjoy people and are stimulating
company. Excellent ability to understand
concepts and apply logic to find solutions.

Assertive and outspoken - they are driven to


lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult
organizational problems and create solid
solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they
usually excel at public speaking. They value
knowledge and competence, and usually have
little patience with inefficiency or
disorganization.

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Application
Self-management
Understand strengths, weaknesses and
preferences
Predict, plan and avoid failures
Self-optimize, excel and adapt

Managing relationships
Understand strengths, weaknesses and
preferences
Predict, plan and avoid conflict and failures
Adapt and support
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Application
Try to accommodate type mismatch
Remember, type mismatch is unavoidable
Remember, 50% of the mismatch is caused by
you
Do not blame the person for something s/he
hasnt done
Do not forget that the perceived weakness
could be a real advantage in a different
situation

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Application
Diversity
Recognizing differences as natural
Appreciating diversity
Developing complementary work teams
Expertise and task assignment
Caution: other components of behaviour +
development of others

Synergy
n1 + n2 = k x (n1 + n2)
where k > 1

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Application: Other
Considerations
For those traits that are not dominant
Avoid over exposure and over commitment
Understand the consequences
Cognition (thinking)
Self-monitoring
Positive attitude
Learning and practice
Changes in socio-technical environment

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Exercise: Trait Recognition


Can you visualize someone who:
would panic under stress, is a frequent worrier or
would be intensely tense on slightest criticism
is very open to change, new idea or suggestion
would do all it takes to get the job done, on time,
even if it involves taking on enormous stress
Enjoys parties and gatherings, is talkative even
with strangers, is adventurous and is action
oriented
Is very considerate and sympathetic, and works
hard to ensure that others feelings are not hurt
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Exercise: Undesirable
Traits
Identify a trait that you perceive as a

weakness, then think of a situation


where it could be utilized as a strength

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Afterthoughts
Awareness and recognition is the first step
towards change
After self-evaluating your personality,
observe other available templates and see
how that may help you in adapting into a
new person or adopting a different
response set
If no traits are absolutely bad, then
recognize that differences, perspectives
and conflicts are actually opportunities to
broaden our thinking and prospects
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Final Word
While dealing with people, lose your
spectacle and put on their glasses try to
understand first before being understood

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Thank you

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Q&A

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Further Reading
http://www.personalitypathways.com/MBTI_intro.html
http://www.personalitypathways.com/MBTI_geyer-2.html
http://www.jungtype.com/types/infp.htm
http://changingminds.org/explanations/personality/personality.htm
http://www.apa.org/releases/personality.html
http://www.centacs.com/quickstart.htm
What Color is Your Personality, by Carol Ritberger

2007-2008 LetsStartThinking.org. All rights reserved.