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  1. #1

    Default Clusters in Big Five data

    There may already be a thread on the research done last year on clusters in the big 5 data, but here is the link to their research: Are you average, reserved, self-centered or a role model? - Northwestern Now
    What is your take on the 4 clusters they found?
    What is your take on how they were labeled?
    What is your take on the fact that naive methods originally found 16 clusters?
    I personally don't like the labels, but the fact that the "role model" personality is the particular group of traits that it has confirmed to me that in the Big 5, the researchers certainly make a distinction between "good" and "bad" personalities. What is good shouldn't be surprising.
    There is no Lie Scale on Big 5 tests, and it wouldn't surprise me if a large portion of those who self report in the role model cluster would be in the average cluster if they answered honestly.
    Beyond that, my recent experience in a negotiations class exposed me to another group that almost assuredly self report as "role models" but would likely be characterized by others as "self centered"? I have a politically charged name for such people, but I have come to realize they are much more common than I realized, especially in the business world.

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  2. #2
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    There may already be a thread on the research done last year on clusters in the big 5 data, but here is the link to their research: Are you average, reserved, self-centered or a role model? - Northwestern Now
    What is your take on the 4 clusters they found?
    What is your take on how they were labeled?
    What is your take on the fact that naive methods originally found 16 clusters?
    I personally don't like the labels, but the fact that the "role model" personality is the particular group of traits that it has confirmed to me that in the Big 5, the researchers certainly make a distinction between "good" and "bad" personalities. What is good shouldn't be surprising.
    There is no Lie Scale on Big 5 tests, and it wouldn't surprise me if a large portion of those who self report in the role model cluster would be in the average cluster if they answered honestly.
    Beyond that, my recent experience in a negotiations class exposed me to another group that almost assuredly self report as "role models" but would likely be characterized by others as "self centered"? I have a politically charged name for such people, but I have come to realize they are much more common than I realized, especially in the business world.
    What's the correlation between self reporting and the particular group from the class and the Big 5, was testing involved in the negotiations?
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    I don't like the labels, either, they shouldn't be labeled good or bad, basically. I would like to see the questions used to determine this and more details on the study.

    I don't fit in any of the groups.
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    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Yeah Big 5 has issues but data is data. It shows some sort of existence of forms which people have a tendency to move towards.

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    but i thought separating people into personality types was unscientific because people don't fit into the boxes.

    According to that 538 test, my strongest trait was Openness to New Experiences. I believe I'm average in extraversion, concietiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism (well, this one might be low, I can't remember. ) So, I don't fit into any of those types. Therefore, the model is invalid, because it's a fact that at least some people don't fit.



    Regarding self-centered vs. role models, while it's possible that people can lie, I don't think it makes sense to conclude that people like that are rare to the extent that the majority of the people who got that must be lying.
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    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julius_Van_Der_Beak
    the concept of personality types is flawed because people fit into a continuum rather than as discreet types.
    Clustering and continuum are compatible concepts.
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    What I find somewhat strange about the clusters is that the only 'type' the introvert can fit into is the Reserved type. The other three all indicate high levels of extroversion.

    Was there something different about the way extroversion was determined in the questions? ie it would seem the majority of the population is then extroverted. I suppose if you factor in that most people are in fact 'ambiverts' on the continuum (ie there aren't THAT many hardcore extroverts or hardcore introverts -- most people fall somewhat in the middle of the spectrum), this might make sense if all the middling non-extreme people are considered 'extroverts' in this cluster data?

    Anyway, the labels are obviously odd choices, since some are inherently perceived as negative. That said, the labels are probably 'accurate' in the sense that there ARE a lot of people out there who ARE self centered and would be characterized as such by everyone else (per what you said in the OP) -- so the issue as always is self reporting.

    Re good/bad? Well imo good/bad labels or traits only become a problem when people are trying to self report/type --- the reality is that the world is chock full of people with shitty personality traits / unappealing aspects of themselves - so in that sense yah, there's reality there. There ARE warm, positive, encouraging, role model oriented folks reaching out/giving to others, just as there are folks who are just out for themselves and who think they are the next best thing, etc etc. The labels just aren't going to be of any use for self reporting, thus most people will always want to identify with the positive-oriented traits.
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    “The data came back, and they kept coming up with the same four clusters at higher densities than you’d expect by chance, and you can show by replication that this is statistically unlikely." Revelle said. "The methodology is the main part of the paper’s contribution to science."
    So basically there DO exist four clusters, but it sounds like there are a lot of outliers. I'm not really sure at what point of density you'd "drop out of a particular cluster" either.

    I guess I identify most with the Reserved and Role Model types, but it's not a clean fit at all. (mid-low extraversion, average neuroticism and conscientiousness and agreeableness, very high openness, etc.) I have trouble viewing something entirely behaviorally because I see motivation/inclination as well. Some of my traits have shifted, mainly through experience / life change. (I'm more conscientious due to the nature of simply working for pay, daily, and it's part of my job to be such even if it's not a natural inclination.)
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  9. #9

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    Average
    Average people are high in neuroticism and extraversion, while low in openness. This is the most common personality type.
    Neurotic ES types.

    Reserved
    The Reserved type is emotionally stable but not open or neurotic. They are not particularly extraverted but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious.
    Calm ISfjs.

    Role models
    Role models score low in neuroticism and high in all the other traits. They are good leaders, dependable and open to new ideas.
    Calm ENFJs.

    Self-centered
    Self-Centered people score very high in extraversion and below average in openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
    Self-centered ESTPs.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by phobik View Post
    What's the correlation between self reporting and the particular group from the class and the Big 5, was testing involved in the negotiations?
    There was testing involved in the negotiations class, and they were generally more extroverted, calm, agreeable, open, and conscientious than most of the population. Going by the results we'd have a class of 70% role models. Beyond that the class had more self-aggrandizing, self-important posters than any online class that I have ever taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
    I don't like the labels, either, they shouldn't be labeled good or bad, basically. I would like to see the questions used to determine this and more details on the study.

    I don't fit in any of the groups.
    I don't like the labels either. I fit in the reserved group (for the most part).

    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    Yeah Big 5 has issues but data is data. It shows some sort of existence of forms which people have a tendency to move towards.
    True enough, but I have always maintained that on of the strong biases in Big Five research is the researchers own strong affinity for their own perceived personalities. I'm sure we've all seen the narcissistic tendencies of professors, and I am convinced most narcisists would report themselves as "role models" even if that phrase is never used because the "correct" answers to a personality test are obvious and narcissism will tend to make people answer that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    Clustering and continuum are compatible concepts.
    Agreed. These "types" are different from the sorted types of the traditional MBTI. But what do you make of the fact that their naive clustering attempts first lead to 16 clusters?

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    What I find somewhat strange about the clusters is that the only 'type' the introvert can fit into is the Reserved type. The other three all indicate high levels of extroversion.

    Was there something different about the way extroversion was determined in the questions? ie it would seem the majority of the population is then extroverted. I suppose if you factor in that most people are in fact 'ambiverts' on the continuum (ie there aren't THAT many hardcore extroverts or hardcore introverts -- most people fall somewhat in the middle of the spectrum), this might make sense if all the middling non-extreme people are considered 'extroverts' in this cluster data?

    Anyway, the labels are obviously odd choices, since some are inherently perceived as negative. That said, the labels are probably 'accurate' in the sense that there ARE a lot of people out there who ARE self centered and would be characterized as such by everyone else (per what you said in the OP) -- so the issue as always is self reporting.

    Re good/bad? Well imo good/bad labels or traits only become a problem when people are trying to self report/type --- the reality is that the world is chock full of people with shitty personality traits / unappealing aspects of themselves - so in that sense yah, there's reality there. There ARE warm, positive, encouraging, role model oriented folks reaching out/giving to others, just as there are folks who are just out for themselves and who think they are the next best thing, etc etc. The labels just aren't going to be of any use for self reporting, thus most people will always want to identify with the positive-oriented traits.
    Agree, on all points.

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    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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