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  • So we're going to discuss some very rough things today.

  • Um, maybe you're somewhat accustomed to that already.

  • But this is particularly brutal.

  • I think, Um, I'm going to tell it, Talk to you about a body of research that's being produced over about the last 10 years, and I think it's perhaps it's It's a body of research that might outline some of the most important things that psychologists have ever discovered.

  • It's really changed my view, for example, on what happened in Nazi Germany, which we're going to talk about a lot today.

  • And you know, we've already talked a fair bit about the temperamental determinants of political belief, right?

  • And I've made a case for you that people who are liberal or lean to the left tend to be high and trade, openness and low and trade.

  • Conscientiousness, especially orderliness and people on the right tend to be low and openness and high and conscientiousness, especially orderliness.

  • And the effect is not trivial.

  • If you look at just voting behavior, then you get the typical sort of effect sizes that are characteristic of personality.

  • Research points to two point for something like that.

  • Correlations.

  • But if you start to analyze people's political beliefs in detail.

  • So you get your measurement up to the point where it's nice and reliable and nice and valid.

  • Then temperament, uh, accounts for substantial, a substantially higher proportion of the variance.

  • And so a lot of what people seem to do is one thing you could think of is that they they they politicized their temperament by constructing post Hawk arguments about the way the world is.

  • But it's deeper than that, you see, because we already know that you have to use filtering mechanisms in order to orient yourself in the world right, because the world is just too complicated for you to orient yourself without using filtering mechanisms.

  • And the question is, well, what are the filtering mechanisms and two large degree there?

  • You're temperamental Proclivities because they set up your value structure, for example, and that sets up your perceptual frame.

  • And so what that means is that you screen the world at the level of the facts that display themselves to you because, you know, you could say, Well, you're a dispassionate observer of the universe of facts and that you extract out the conclusions that a reasonable person would extract out from that body of fact.

  • But unfortunately, that's not the case, because your perceptions are biased by your temperament.

  • And they have to be because, well, because you have to screen things.

  • And so you screen things in accordance with your temperament.

  • You know you're oriented towards certain things in the world certain values, for example.

  • And that's a perfectly That's perfectly reasonable, because you can't do everything at once anyways, so there's no reason for you not to be directional.

  • The question is, what are the pathology is associated with directionality Now.

  • Conscientiousness is a very interesting trait in relationship to that, because there are obvious benefits to being conscientious, right?

  • I mean, it's the best long term predictor of job performance, for example, and all out, like some other data that might be more associated with industriousness than orderliness.

  • But there's utility to orderliness, is well and will cover that in detail today.

  • The question is no.

  • The issue is that you never get a benefit without a price, and so you can see that with agreeableness.

  • If you're agreeable, Hyatt agreeableness than your compassionate and polite and your empathic, and you could work well in teams.

  • But the price you pay for that is that you don't negotiate very well on your own behalf and that you could be easily taken advantage of.

  • And then if you're very low on agreeableness, well, then you're more competitive and more out to win, I would say, But the price you pay for that is that if you become too disagreeable than you're likely to be sufficiently anti social, let's say so, that you might end up in prison so you don't get it cost without a benefit.

  • You don't get a benefit without a cost.

  • So then the question might be, Well, what's up with conscientiousness?

  • Because it seems all things considered that it would be a good thing to be conscientious.

  • Now I can think of some exceptions to that.

  • So conscientious people are dutiful, industrious, orderly, that sort of thing, and they tend to sacrifice the present for the future.

  • And that's a good thing.

  • So you you save up.

  • Let's say you save up wealth, you save up labor and effort for the future.

  • You know I don't live for today.

  • Don't be impulsive, work hard and all that data crew you success over the long run.

  • The downside of that is the long run has to be stable in order for that to be a reasonable strategy.

  • And so conscientiousness is not a good strategy, at least under some conditions in situations that are radically unstable because in situations that are radically unstable, you might as well get what you can now.

  • Or that's one way of looking at it anyways.

  • The other thing about being conscientious.

  • If you store up wealth, say as a consequence of hard work, then that could make you targets for people who would like to come and take your wealth.

  • And so it's also one of the things that happened to many people in the 20th century, most recently in Venezuela.

  • Is that let's say you're conscientious and you save money Well, what happens in the period of hyperinflation while your money is wiped out?

  • And so you know this happened to Germany, say, in the 19 twenties, and you gotta understand what hyperinflation does to a society because what hyperinflation does is destroy the people who work hardest to construct this society because they're the people who have been prudent and careful and sacrificed and so forth.

  • And then when a period of high inflation comes along, poof, everything, they have disappears.

  • Not happened in Germany during the 19 twenties.

  • Now there was a bunch of reasons for that.

  • But so Germany was very unstable in the 19 twenties, right, because of the war had just ended.

  • They they had being subjected to diversify treaty, which was a very punitive treaty aimed against Germany, that it's not like the L.

  • A's had lacked reasons to impose a punitive treaty.

  • But nonetheless they did.

  • Germany lost a lot of territory, including their industrial, including their industrial areas.

  • Germany was flooded by man who were brutalized in the trenches in World War.

  • I mean, you could hardly imagine how terrible trench warfare is, and you can't imagine what you'd be like after a month of that day of that, let alone a couple of years of that and then Germany underwent a period of hyperinflation at the same time in the Soviet Union, the common Communist revolution had had being successful, and so there was tremendous political upheaval in Germany during the 19 twenties as well, and I want to just set the stage for that and so, But the hyperinflation wiped out all the people that were prudent and saved and left him with a terrible sense that the entire system had betrayed them.

  • Which is, of course, exactly what had happened.

  • So all right, so anyways, conscientiousness is a bit of a mystery.

  • You know, we've looked at plasticity, right?

  • And already, um, that's a combination of extroversion, openness.

  • I just want to walk you through again, where conscientiousness is located in the Big Five space.

  • So plasticity is a combination of extra version and openness, and then stability is a combination of conscientiousness, emotional stability and agreeableness and conscientiousness is made out of industriousness and order leaders.

  • Now here's Here's some markers for for conscientiousness.

  • So here's what you're like.

  • If your order or if your industrious you carry out your plans, you don't waste time.

  • You don't find it difficult to get down to work.

  • You don't mess things up.

  • You finish what you start.

  • You put your mind on the task at hand.

  • You get things done quickly.

  • You know what you're doing.

  • You don't postpone decisions, and you're not easily distracted.

  • That's what an industrious person is like.

  • We don't know anything about industrious people.

  • We cannot figure out why they're industrious.

  • If you read the neuro psychological literature, you might assume that people who have highly functioning prefrontal cortex is might be more conscientious because people associate the prefrontal cortex with such things as the capacity to plan.

  • The problem with that is that we've, for example, tested now thousands of people using tests of dorsal lateral prefrontal cognitive ability, which are basically cognitive tests.

  • And, as you know, from being in this class, if you take a battery of cognitive tests and you subject them to a factor analysis, you could extract out a first factor.

  • And that's fluid intelligence.

  • And the correlation between fluid intelligence and conscientiousness is zero right?

  • So So that's That's very, very strange, because you would tend to think that people who were smarter might be better at planning, and maybe they are.

  • But they're not necessarily better at implementing and that we don't understand the difference between planning and implementation.

  • We don't know what that is.

  • Um, you got to think about it this way, too, though just because you're better at planning wouldn't necessarily imply that you're better at implementing because Actually, one of the prerequisites for thinking abstract Lee is that you can detach your plans from your action right, because otherwise you just automatically act out everything you planned.

  • But that isn't what people do.

  • They separate out there thinking so that they can work in an abstract space that's divorced from their action and so they can lay out multiple plans without necessarily acting them out.

  • But then that introduces Theoden.

  • Little complication of having to implement and industrious people seem to be good at implementation.

  • But we don't know why we've done all sorts of laboratory studies trying to see if we could get some sort of laboratory task that industrious people would do better in the lab.

  • The non industrious people.

  • God, you'd think that would be a snap way.

  • Probably tested 50 things and have never got anything.

  • Differences in language uses as close as we've got.

  • You can extract out estimates of people's conscientiousness or their industriousness from the way they use language, but that's not a lot different than using self report personality skills.

  • It's different, but it's not a lot different.

  • So we've done things, for example, like imagine, we present people with a row of H is ends, EMS and use row after row of letters.

  • Small type, you say.

  • Go through and circle all the use Well, obviously, you would think that that would be a task that would require diligence and industriousness.

  • You could time how long it took people to do it.

  • You could see how accurate they were.

  • Correlation with conscientiousness.

  • Nothing.

  • Zero.

  • It's an I Q task, as it turns out, and so the best we've been able to do so far, maybe with industrious this is and this is so vague.

  • It's embarrassing.

  • Um, is that we think that maybe industrious people find in activity aversive.

  • So because they're not motivated by enthusiasm right for the task, that would be an extrovert, and they're not motivated by intrinsic interest in the task.

  • That would be someone who was open.

  • And they're not motivated by the desire to decrease anxiety or emotional pain because that would be someone who is high in neuroticism pride.

  • And they're not motivated by the desire to foster affiliative relationships or to compete because that looks like it loads on agreeableness.

  • It's something else.

  • It does a good job of predicting military prowess.

  • For example, we tested a number of people who worked in the U.

  • S.

  • Military in the number of different places.

  • Conscientiousness was a deadly predictor of, of ranking in military performance in schools like the U.

  • S.

  • Naval Academy, for example, and also on on military basis themselves.

  • And then kind of makes sense.

  • I mean, the military is a conservative place.

  • You'd expect people who are conscientious and dutiful to do better in a place like that.

  • But so they're good, they're good and implementation.

  • They're good at following orders.

  • They're good at doing their duty.

  • Now.

  • We're starting to understand a little bit about the value concerns that conscientious people would have to.

  • And so let's go through orderliness so you could decide whether your orderly or disorderly leave your belongings along around that you're disorderly.

  • Obviously, if you do that like order, well, that's a That's a no brainer.

  • Keep things tidy.

  • Follow a schedule, is bothered, is bothered by messy people, wants everything to be just right, is bothered by disorder, likes routine, sees that rules are observed and wants every detail taken care off.

  • You can imagine all sorts of occupations where that would be useful accounting.

  • For example, Who are there people who go around and check, you know, natural gas fittings and that sort of thing by a checklist.

  • You know you want someone like that every in any position where careful attention to detail is absolutely vital.

  • The question is, as we said before, what what's the potential downside?

  • So with industriousness, we don't know anything about it.

  • Here's the problem with conscientiousness.

  • Okay, broadly speaking, there's no theoretical bottle.

  • Nobody has any idea why people are conscientious.

  • Except for the few things that I've told you.

  • There's no neuro psychological model, because the prediction would be something like people who are higher in prefrontal cortical ability.

  • Cause that's associate with planning would be more conscientious.

  • That's not true.

  • There's no psychological model.

  • That's partly because conscientiousness, as a trait, was extracted out of the linguistic pools that we described by factor.

  • Analytic process is nobody predicted that that would emerge as a fundamental trade.

  • It just came out of the statistics, so there was no there's no model surrounding it, really.

  • And there's no pharmacological model.

  • We don't know how to make people more conscientious with the possible exception of drugs like Ritalin, amphetamines, you know that that seemed to be able to make people focus in Maur.

  • And so maybe there's an association to some degree between conscientiousness and the ability to pay attention.

  • But when we've used attentional tasks in the lab, first of all, they load on fluid intelligence.

  • And second, they don't correlate with conscientiousness.

  • There's another dead end very, very difficult to for It's a real mystery to me because we don't have that many good predictors of life outcome like you.

  • That's a good one, conscientiousness.

  • That's a good one.

  • Well, what's conscientiousness?

  • Well, we don't know.

  • We don't know anything about it.

  • With the exception of the things I told you, I'm going to describe some of the other things that we found out more recently.

  • So okay, so what else is useful about conscientiousness?

  • Well, it's strongly related to life satisfaction and happiness.

  • Actually, if you look at the Big Five, if you look at the traits that are most correlated within the Big Five, conscientiousness and neuroticism are negatively correlated.

  • Make sure I got that right.

  • The more conscientious you are, the less likely you are to suffer from anxiety and emotional pain, and I think the reason for that.

  • But I don't know.

  • But I think the reason for that is that by being conscientious, you stabilize your environment, right, Because everything becomes more predictable, more scheduled, more routine.

  • You're more likely to be successful.

  • So if things aren't going wrong around you all the time, then you're gonna be less anxious and in less emotional pain.

  • So I don't think that there's a direct relationship between being more conscientious and less neurotic.

  • But I think there's one that's mediated by the environment, and this is very interesting, you see, because you'll hear all sorts of social psychologists tell you and that conservatives are more likely to be high, a negative emotion there, more threat, sensitive, say that liberals.

  • But the weird thing about that is, is that the conservatives are not hiring neuroticism.

  • The liberals, actually, the contrary happens to be true.

  • The liberals are slightly more neurotic than the conservatives, and so if conservatives are threats sensitive because that's supposed to be the theory, then why the hell don't they show up?

  • Is being higher and trade neuroticism and you could say, Well, they're so effective at their conservatism that they've reduced their neuroticism by organizing their environment.

  • And to some degree, that's true.

  • But Jesus, if your theory predicts one thing and the opposite happens to be true, you can't just Post Hawk say, Well, there's some other reasons we didn't pay any attention to.

  • To account for that like it's really bothered me because it does seem to be the case that the political landscape is shaped to some degree by some sort of negative emotion that's broadcast at the people who are on the other side of the political spectrum.

  • But the evidence that it's anxiety related seems to be very, very thin.

  • So the question is, What?

  • What else might there be?

  • So well, Conscientiousness is related to depression on guilt.

  • There's ah, researcher named Fayard, who looked to show used to Maddon Alice to show that conscientiousness was associated with specific emotions and overall negative emotion but was most strongly associated with guilt.

  • It was most it was, negatively related to guilt experience, but positively related to guilt, proneness.

  • And so maybe guilt is the emotion that you feel when you don't do your duty, something like that, and that's partly why we were thinking as well.

  • It's part of It's not exactly why we were thinking that conscientiousness is motivated by, ah inability to tolerate in activity, but it's it's a finding that's along.

  • The same sort of theoretical lays out the same sort of theoretical territory.

  • So you must know people, maybe that maybe the person is your mother.

  • Or perhaps it's your father.

  • They come over to your place or you go over there and they're just working all the time.

  • They can't sit down and relax.

  • They just work all the time.

  • And they say They'll tell you if you ask them while I can't stand sitting around, I have to be doing something you can imagine, too, how that might have been selected for across the evolutionary time span.

  • I mean, if you're living in a situation where resources air somewhat limited, like we pretty much all do you're going to want, you're going to demand of the people around you that they at least pull their fair share of the weight right?

  • And so you could imagine that the people who were likely to feel a negative emotion of some sort for not chipping in and doing their share or more than their share, which would be in its way of indicating their value to the community, were more likely to be well less likely to be less likely to be selected as mates and also perhaps more likely to be severely punished from time to time.

  • Now, you might say, Well, how do people get away with not being conscientious then and well, the answer to that would be There are other things that you can offer the community that are, ah, value that aren't associated with dutiful nous.

  • And I think comedians are a good example of that.

  • I don't believe that comedians are particularly conscientious because it's not the kind of lifestyle you would pick if you were conscientious person or people who go out on the road and play music, for example, because that's such an erratic lifestyle and so unlikely to be stable across any reasonable amount of time.

  • So maybe you could be valuable to the community by being amusing.

  • An extrovert would do that, or or by by helping ensure six security and safety, and maybe someone high neuroticism would do that.

  • Or maybe you would be useful because you're really good at developing affiliative relationships.

  • That would be someone who was agreeable or your creative.

  • But the conscientious person demonstrates their value by working hard and being dutiful and contributing to the broader community and and following rules and all that sort of thing.

  • And there may be other things they do as well.

  • So now here's the downside to being conscientious.

  • If you're working in a big company, say, and there's mass layoffs and you happen to be affected <