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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Most of what we call personality is subjectively determined at present. We don't base our understanding of how people think and behave on their inner thought processes, but on our subjective evaluation of their outward presentation.
    There is a difference between being unable to see and unable to imagine.

    We only see the outward appearance of people's bodies, but we know more goes on inside. After years of trying to understand, we understand a lot more about human bodies. In fact, it is the imagined processes of the cells and chemicals in the human body that turned out to be more real and fundamental than the color of our skin, the shapes of our skulls or whatever other outwardly measured trait you want to pick.

    IMO, this is also true in personality. To give up on figuring out the internals of human personality is obscurantist and a choice to be ignorant on purpose. Chosen ignorance is far worse than natural ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    We don't understand the mechanics of human thought and behavior well enough to describe them in a purely objective fashion. We only vaguely and tentatively grasp them as an idea or pattern. I would certainly like a better system, I just don't think we have the ability to create anything better.
    That is exactly why differnt and varied means to explore personality are needed. This hackneyed lexical approach is not going to give us much more of value.

    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    What do you propose in terms of creating an objectively defined personality system?
    I already proposed something. In fact, so did you. The things you suggested are already being explored for things like intelligence, sprituality, and consiousness. I think personality research can follow suite.

    Even a large percentage of our communication is non-verbal (and tone-of voice, etc. are non-lexical even if verbal).

    Very little of human dynamics happens in text.

    Also, Athenian200. I have no clue what tone I am projecting in writing, so please give me the benefit of the doubt in this respect.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I already proposed something. In fact, so did you. The things you suggested are already being explored for things like intelligence, spirituality, and consciousness. I think personality research can follow suite.

    Even a large percentage of our communication is non-verbal (and tone-of voice, etc. are non-lexical even if verbal).

    Very little of human dynamics happens in text.

    Also, Athenian200. I have no clue what tone I am projecting in writing, so please give me the benefit of the doubt in this respect.
    Oh, you come across well. Don't worry.

    I guess what I'm really asking is, what can you or I do about it? I don't have a laboratory or the prerequisite equipment, I don't have test subjects, I don't have colleagues, I don't have money, and I don't have a Ph. D, nor do I have the time or money to obtain one. That's what it would take to create a better understanding.

    All I can do is anxiously wait for the researchers to come out with something. But for me, it's still as vague as ever, and now I know there's nothing I can really do about it, nothing I can learn that will ever straighten it all out. I guess that's what's frustrating me... you reminded me of what I didn't want to face.

    What do I do? Give up thinking about personality for now, until they have a better basis for their theories?

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Oh, you come across well. Don't worry.

    I guess what I'm really asking is, what can you or I do about it? I don't have a laboratory or the prerequisite equipment, I don't have test subjects, I don't have colleagues, I don't have money, and I don't have a Ph. D, nor do I have the time or money to obtain one. That's what it would take to create a better understanding.

    All I can do is anxiously wait for the researchers to come out with something. But for me, it's still as vague as ever, and now I know there's nothing I can really do about it, nothing I can learn that will ever straighten it all out. I guess that's what's frustrating me... you reminded me of what I didn't want to face.

    What do I do? Give up thinking about personality for now, until they have a better basis for their theories?

    Have you heard of NLP?
    I looked into it a while back, but I never checked out the assumptions behind their theories or what sort of testing they did. I was just absorbing various theories.

    It seems to me that to justify their ideas of the various modes and states (and corresponding eye positions, postures, voice tonality, etc.), there needs to have been some physiological work done.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #14
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    Language is used to express information - and descriptive words are to differentiate two same objects by some aspect (height, weight, etc). Because personality is self information and not accessible in the same way height or weight are, lexical analysis is an incomplete but valid way to find variables in which we can differentiate one person's behavior from another.

    I think it is important to remember that Goldbderg himself cautioned that lexical hypothesis based theories are to be descriptive and not explanatory. That is to say, not to show causal properties or traits, but observed attributes. The lexical approach does not set to explain why attributes are observed, merely to show correlation between different sets of attributes. An explanatory theory coupled with a lexical theory would make a more complete fit.

    It would of course be nice if there were mathematical ways to figure it out, but then it would be slightly less interesting.

    The lexical approach had gained traction in the thirties and forties, but situationism knocked it out of the game for a decade or two. It was when this approach to personality included the ambiguity that situations can provide (or the strength they have to override personality) that they quickly regained prominence in scientific research.

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