…personality goes a long way.

staffan at the eponymous staffan’s personality blog has had a couple of very interesting posts lately (and has a very interesting blog in general, btw!):

“The Personality of Tribalism”

“… Given this, I think it’s reasonable to view tribalism as new personality trait. It doesn’t correlate strongly to any of the Big Five and there is no obvious reason to believe that it would be interchangeable with any traits outside this model, such as Honesty/humility, Sensation Seeking or ‘dark’ traits like Narcissism or Psychopathy either. Like other personality traits, it’s highly inheritable and is not influenced much by upbringing, culture or other shared environmental factors. And although it’s most definitely seems more common among conservatives, it can easily be found among liberals too, so it’s not just a political attitude. So by all accounts this is a new trait that needs to be conceptualized, measured and researched. …”

– and –

“The Corrupt Person – Just Like You and Me?”

“… So, based on these figures, who is he, the corrupt person? An Average Joe? The data from Lynn suggests that it might be a completely average person, or maybe someone who is a little more extraverted, emotionally unstable and…well psychopathic (it may not sound like it but it is a dimensional trait like the others). But hardly anything that would strike anyone as out of the ordinary. His most conspicuous trait would be his low intelligence, and living in a country with a low average IQ even that would not be conspicuous to his fellow countrymen. ….”

read the entire posts there! (^_^)

(btw – regularly scheduled blogging will resume later this week….)

(note: comments do not require an email. dog’s got personality…)

setting the stage?

what if the degree/type of relatedness between the members of a society affects the selection pressures on those individuals?

what i’m thinking is: if my little hypothesis is correct that europeans quit being tribal because we started (and continued) outbreeding, what then? which individuals will do well (and succeed reproductively) in the new environment as opposed to the old?

the old, tribal social environment was one in which family/clan units were tightly knit and social stuff (like who gets to punish a lawbreaker, for instance) was based on the family/clans.

the new, corporate social environment is one in which clan units disappeared to be replaced with individuals/nuclear families as the basic units in society, and social stuff (like who gets to punish a lawbreaker) is based on the corporate groupings of a bunch of individuals (in the case of enforcing the law, the state).

so, who’s going to do well in such a society? what, for instance, personality traits might be selected for (or against, for that matter)? one possible example i thought of: might the “genes for” reciprocal altruism (whatever they might be) be more frequent in a corporate society than in a tribal one? makes sense to me. conversely, maybe the “genes for” altruism towards family members (whatever they might be) are more frequent in a tribal society.

just some thoughts.

previously: and so my next question naturally is…

(note: comments do not require an email. happy monday morning!)