How healthy is your personality? Researchers have identified a healthy personality prototype in a recent study.
In general, the researchers from the University of California found that a healthy personality consists of low neuroticism along with high levels of openness to feelings, warmth, positive emotions and agreeable straightforwardness.
Neuroticism is one of the Big Five higher-order personality traits in the study of psychology. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry and fear.
Conversely, people who score high on neuroticism are more likely to be moody and respond worse to stressors. They may also have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification.
The study also found that individuals with healthy personality profiles tended to be better adjusted as indicated by higher self-esteem, self-concept clarity, and optimism. Individuals with healthy personality scores were also more likely to describe themselves as being able to resist impulses, regulate their behaviour, and focus their attention. They also described themselves as being low in aggression and antisocial behaviours.
Those with narcissistic traits that are maladaptive – who are often described as self-centred, arrogant, manipulative, selfish and demanding – did not score high on the healthy personality test.
Instead, people with healthy personalities tended to score lower in the maladaptive aspects of narcissism such as exploitativeness but relatively higher in the potentially adaptive aspects of grandiosity and self-sufficiency. In a similar vein, people with healthier personalities scored low on the maladaptive facets of psychopathy measures such as blame externalisation or disinhibition but relatively higher on the more adaptive facets of these scales such as stress immunity or boldness.