There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality

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There's No Such Thing As An Addictive Personality

Whether it's your fourth cookie, shoe purchase, or cigarette, it's common to pass off a moment of weak willpower as being caused by an addictive personality. But according to research, there's no such thing. Sure, there are personality traits that are associated with addictive behavior: neuroticism, for example, or impulsiveness. But those are just traits. Just because scientific evidence shows that most people with addictions are neurotic doesn't mean that neuroticism makes you prone to addiction—there are plenty of neurotic people who aren't addicted to anything. Likewise, research shows that having one addiction makes you more likely to have another, but plenty of addicts stick to a single vice. Different vices also fulfill different personal needs for different people: we've all heard of the depressed alcoholic who drinks to numb the pain and the party-animal alcoholic who drinks to make life more exciting. Same drug, two different personalities.

08:01

from SciShow

Key Facts to Know

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    Some factors that can make you more likely to develop a problem with addiction and some personalities are more common among addicts, but those things don't combine to create an addictive personality. 0:42

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    In the 1980s, Dr. Alan Lang published a chapter on the personality factors that could contribute to addiction. The media misreported on it, and the idea of an addictive personality stuck. 4:47

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    Technically, the idea of an addictive personality disorder is wrong, but the way that personality and addiction come together is tricky. 6:47

Sharks Have Personalities, Too

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Sharks Have Personalities, Too

People have personalities, and most would say our pets do too. But what about wild animals? In two studies, scientists sought to figure out whether sharks all behave the same, or if they exhibit quirks unique to each individual. Researchers from the University of Exeter in the U.K. watched groups of catsharks interact in three different habitats. Even though the sizes of the groups changed, the scientists noticed that the same "well-connected" sharks stayed in their social cliques and less-social sharks hid by themselves regardless of the habitat. In 2015, a study was published in the Journal of Fish Biology that looked at other shark personality traits in two tests. For the first test, the researchers put Port Jackson sharks in a cramped underwater enclosure and timed how long it took each shark to peek out at its surroundings, then finally swim into the open. For the second test researchers stressed each shark by holding it out of the water for 60 seconds, then determined its anxiety level by recording how many times per minute it beat its tail once it got back in the water. In both tests, sharks behaved in many different ways. Some showed boldness by emerging from the box in a matter of seconds while others were hesitant for up to 20 minutes, and their tendencies toward anxiety also ran the gamut. Knowing more about shark behavior may help scientists better understand everything from species evolution to environmental conservation.

06:17

Key Facts to Know

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    Our oceans contain three types of fish: jawless fish, bony fish, and cartilaginous fish. Sharks are cartilaginous fish. 0:38

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    Sawsharks are smaller than sawfish, which can be massive. Sawfish have gills on the undersides of their bodies whereas sawsharks have gills on the sides. 3:40

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    The biggest manta ray every recorded was 30 feet (9 meters) across 4:51

What Getting Chills From Music Says About Your Personality

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What Getting Chills From Music Says About Your Personality

Does a great song give you the chills? If so, you're part of the population that experiences something called frisson, or what some researchers call a "skin orgasm." Approximately two-thirds of people get this sensation, usually from especially stirring music. According to research published in the journal Psychology of Music, the ability to experience frisson may mean you're a more emotional and open person. In the study, results from a personality test showed that participants who experienced frisson showed a higher "openness to experience," extremely active imaginations, an appreciation for beauty and nature. They were also especially introspective.

This Form Of Synesthesia Gives Numbers And Letters Personalities

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This Form Of Synesthesia Gives Numbers And Letters Personalities

Ordinal linguistic personification, or OLP, is a form of synesthesia that has only recently been studied, and was formally named in 2007. People with OLP associate personalities with ordered sequences, such as numbers, letters, or days of the week. The 2007 case study of this condition recorded a synesthete's perceived "characters" for different sequences, noting that she thought of the number 7 as an insecure, masculine number, and June as a conceited, feminine month. The different parts of the sequences also had relationships with their neighbors: 8 was dating 9, and M often gossiped with N. The study concluded that this was indeed a form synesthesia due to the long-term consistency of the personalities described, and the involuntary way they always occurred to the synesthete.

04:20

from DNews

Key Facts to Know

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    1 in 23 people have a form of synesthesia. 0:26

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    Synesthesia can manifest in several ways, affecting the senses of sight, smell, taste, and hearing. 2:02

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    View a representation of what a synesthete sees across the night sky: 2:53

Does Your Birth Rank Determine Your Personality?

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Does Your Birth Rank Determine Your Personality?

Much psychology research has been done on the significance of birth order, and what your birth rank might mean about your personality. Researchers analyzed 200 birth order studies to find that some personality traits were consistent with birth rank. Research shows that a person's personality is not dictated by being the youngest or oldest innately, but rather more by the roles, responsibilities and relationships to others in the family. This means that just because you're the first born, you're not guaranteed to be the smartest. However, because you're the oldest in comparison to your siblings, you've had more time to acquire knowledge. Similarly, the youngest of the pack may garner a reputation for being sheltered or having difficulty succeeding in certain areas like school or the job market-not because they're incapable, but because of the expectations put forth by older siblings.