Emails and articles by various authors. Posted by John Ray..
See also HERE and HERE.. 



Emails and articles of interest are posted here by John Ray to make them more widely available

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3

My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.

I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.

Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.

America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course

The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left

The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left.

Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.

Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.

The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here

Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies

The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.

Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful

The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses

Among well-informed people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists hate success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.

A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.

Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.

Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.

“Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics.” -- C.J. Keyser

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus


"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.

Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.

Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance

Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state – capitalism frees them.

MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate.

Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).

The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.

Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.

Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.

IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!

And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!

The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned

"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.

Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel

Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.

Conservatives, on the other hand could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.

Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists

The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.

Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable

A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931–2005: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama

The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges

The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.

The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload

A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here

Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16

People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average black adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.

Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.

Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?

The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.

Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?

Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable

I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.

As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.

I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.

The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"

UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.

Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide

I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.

I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address

Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.

"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit

I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.

It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.

If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.

COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.

My academic background

My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here

















Of Interest 3

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here

Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
China Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
Alt archives
Longer Academic Papers
Johnray links
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup
General Backup 2

Selected reading



Rightism defined
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Status Quo?
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism

Van Hiel
Pyszczynski et al.

Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies:

St. George bank
Bank of Qld.

(My frequent reads are starred)

10 o'clock scholar
11 Day Empire
50th Star
Aaron rants
Abercrombie Chick
About Politics
Across Atlantic
Albion's Seedling*
Also Canadian
Always Right
American Indian Movement
American Mind
American Outlook
American Thinker
American Realpolitik
Anal Philosopher*
Anthropology & Econ
Baby Troll
Bad Eagle
Beautiful Atrocities
Belmont Club*
Betsy's Page
Between Coasts
Bill Keezer
Bill Quick
Bits blog
Bleeding Brain
Blissful Knowledge
Blogs against Hillary
Blood & Guts
Bob McCarty
Booker Rising
Brian Leiter scrutinized
Brothers Judd*
Camp Katrina
Campus Newspaper Confab
Canadian Comment
Candle in dark
Chez Joel
Chomsky demolished
Civilian Gun Self defense
Classical Values
Clayton Cramer*
Climate audit
Climate science
Colby Cosh
Cold Fury
The Commons
Common-sense & Wonder*
Conservative Eyes
Conservative Grapevine
Conservative Philosopher
Conservative Pleasure
Conservative Voice
Conservatives Anonymous
Country Store
Critical Mass
Culture Battles
Daly Thoughts
Damian Penny
Dancing Dogs
Dean's World
Deinonychus antirrhopus
Dhimmi Watch
Dick List
Dick McDonald*
Discover the networks
Dodge Blog
Drink This
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Dr Sanity
Ed Driscoll
Eddy Rants
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Elephants in Academia
Enter Stage Right
Eugene Undergound
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Everything I Know
Fighting in the Shade
Fourth Rail
Free Patriot
Free Rain
Free Speech
Frizzen Sparks
Galvin Opinion
Gates of Vienna
Gay and Right
Gay Patriot
Gene Expression*
Ghost of Flea
Global warming & Climate
GM's Corner
One Good Turn
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GOP & The City
Grumpy Old Sod
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R. Hide MP
Hitler's Leftism
Hoosier Review
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Infinitely Prolonged
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Interested Participant
Jackson's Junction
Jim Kalb
Junk Food science
Junk Science
Just One Minute
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Kim Du Toit
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Little Green footballs
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R. Mandel
Market Center
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OC Register blog
On the Right Side
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Ron Hebron
Sayet Right
SCSU Scholars*
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Should Know
Silflay Hraka
Silent Running
Sine Qua Non
Smallest Minority
Spelled Sideways
Squander 2
Stephen Frank
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Stuart Buck
Talk Climate Change
Talking Head
Tim Worstall
Townhall C-log
Truth Laid Bear
Two-Four Net
Unca Dave
Urban Conservative
Vdare blog
Verbum Ipsum
Viking Pundit
Vodka Pundit
Voices in Head
Watt's up with that
Western Standard
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What If
Whym Rhymer
Winds of Change
World of Reason
Write Wing Warrior
You Big Mouth
Zero Intelligence

Education Blogs

Early Childhood Education
Education Wonks
Homeschool Blogger
Joanne Jacobs*
Marc Miyake*
No 2 Pencil
Weary Teacher

Economics Blogs

Adam Smith
Arnold Kling
Chicago Boyz
Cafe Hayek
Environmental Economics
Environmental Economics & Sust. Devel.
Innocents Abroad
Jane Galt
S. Karlson
D. Luskin
Marginal Revolution
Mises Inst.
Robert Musil
Truck & Barter

Australian Blogs

Aussie Political Report
Tim Blair
A E Brain
Brookes news
The Bunyip
Currency lad
Daily Constitutional
Emotional Rex
Evil Pundit
Fortress Australia
Kev Gillett
Hissink File
L. Hissink's Crazy World
Little Tin Soldier
M4 Monologues
M Jennings
Mangled Thoughts
Media Dragon
Oz Conservative
Rational Thoughts
Tao of Defiance
Voice of Pacific
Wog Blog
The Yobbo
Bastards Inc
Paul & Carl
It's A Matter of Opinion
Cyclone's Sketchblog
Niner Charlie
The Dog Blog
Welcome to the Asylum
Chris Berg


Anglo Austrian
Blithering Bunny
BNP and Me
Britain & America
British Interest
Burning our Money
Campaign Against Political Correctness
Campaign for English Parliament
Conservative Comment
Cynical Libertarian
Daily Ablution
England Project
EU Serf
Norm Geras
House of Dumb
Liberty Cadre
Limbic Nutrition
Majority Rights*
Melanie Phillips
NHS Doctor
Oliver Kamm
Mike Power
Right to be Free
Sean Gabb
Natalie Solent
Sterling Times
Walking the Streets
Wayne Smallman
Rich Webster
Englishman's Castle


Freedom & Whisky
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

How many dimensions of personality?

- The 'Big 5', the 'Gigantic 3' or the 'Comprehensive 6'?

Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh,
7, George Square,
Edinburgh EH8 9JZ.

From: Psychologica Belgica 4, 4, 257-275 (1994)


Eighteen criticisms of the 'Five Factor Model' of personality (FFM) are indicated : there is too much variation for comfort in the number and the nature of the personality dimensions that are currently recognized by researchers, whether in 'lexical' studies or in questionnaire data. It is suggested that there are actually six main dimensions of normally-distributed human psychological difference; and that each of the six psychometric dimensions is connected with a particular underlying difference in both ability and emotion. A comprehensive scheme representing major dimensions of personality, ability and emotion is outlined. However, psychometric fusion sometimes occurs within two pairs of the Comprehensive 6 dimensions - when testing methods are less sensitive or when testees are of lower sophistication or general intelligence (g); such lack of differentiation results in only four or five dimensions being seen. Additionally, three of the six dimensions (extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness) are particularly easily found in conventional questionnaire studies. These three resemble the three most familiar personality concepts of Freud (id, ~ego, superego) and Eysenck (Extraversion, Neuroticism, ~Psychoticism); anyhow, a 'Freudian' combination of short yet reliable ipsative versions of them yields correlations with sexual permissiveness and militarism/punitiveness. Like g itself, other dimensions of personality crystallize into differences in attainment and into attitudes regarding sex and aggression.

Keywords: personality; intelligence; differentiation; moods; id; ego; superego.
(in French): personnalité; intelligence; différentiation; humeurs; ça; moi; surmoi.


The past ten years have seen a 'converging consensus' among empirically oriented personality theorists. The 'Five Factor Model' (FFM) proposes five main constituent dimensions of personality: Openness (O), Conscientiousness (C), Extraversion (E), Agreeableness (A) and Neuroticism (N). These 'Big 5' ('OCEAN') factors are said to be the important, observable, uncorrelated ways in which people differ from each other in personality. The dimensions appear in ratings and questionnaires in several European languages. They have considerable statistical power - typically yielding a multiple correlation of around .60 with any sizeable factor from a traditional multi-scale test (McCrae et al., 1993; McCrae and Costa 1994). They are relatively 'real' - emerging rather more clearly when raters know ratees better (Wiggins and Pincus, 1992; Borkenau and Liebler, 1993). And something is known of their origins: twin studies have shown long-term causal influences on most of them from additive genetic factors, from genetic epistasis and from within-family environmental influences (see Brand, 1989). (Deary and Matthews (1993) and Goldberg (1993) provide helpful reviews of the FFM.)

The FFM has been a welcome arrival in differential psychology. It seems to provide a long-sought compromise in the titanic struggles of the great psychometrician-psychologists, R.B.Cattell, H.J.Eysenck and the late J.P.Guilford. It certainly provides a firm-looking reply to behaviourists, 'situationists', 'holists' and 'constructivists' who have doubted the importance of biologically based personality differences; and it has given rise to a new internationalism of theorizing, research and conferencing. However, the present paper points out eighteen weaknesses of the FFM and suggests an improvement. Four broad psychological dimensions of ability and emotion are suggested to provide the minimum number of dimensions recovered in adequate researches; but six independent dimensions should be expected in reasonably sophisticated testing of intelligent testees; and just three of these dimensions appear especially readily in questionnaires and resemble the three key personality concepts deployed in the writings of both Freud and Eysenck.

Eighteen problems for the Five-Factor Model (FFM)

1. In a matter as weighty as that of what are the major human personality variations, advocates of the FFM change their views with startling speed. McCrae and Costa (1983) offered "strong evidence for the validity of the proposed three-dimensional domain model of personality" (involving N, E, and O) and went on to publish a test of their own 'Big 3' dimensions. Yet soon afterwards McCrae and Costa (1987) announced the "validation of the five-factor model". Today, McCrae (1994) allows that six factors can easily be found - "the Big 5 plus general intelligence". Both of two 'integrative' studies are now said by McCrae to "support Brand's view (1984, 1995) that intelligence is an independent sixth factor". [By contrast, it took Freud twenty years to complement eros with thanatos; and it took Eysenck twenty years to add Psychoticism to his two dimensions of normal personality, Neuroticism and Extraversion. More rapid 'breakthroughs' suggest not only open-mindedness but a possible lack of depth, breadth and resilience in the personality theory or 'model' in question.]

2. Why had the previous forty years' work of differential and social psychologists failed to yield the correct number of dimensions? - Just what had Cattell (e.g. 1973), Eysenck (e.g. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985), Guilford (e.g. Guilford, Zimmerman and Guilford, 1976) and C.E.Osgood (1962; Goldberg, 1993) done wrong? [The question 'How many main dimensions are there?' has, after all, been central to differential psychology at least since the paths of Eysenck and Cattell diverged sharply around 1960.]

3. Most FFM studies examine differences occurring amongst relatively intelligent, young, healthy, law-abiding, higher-educated subjects. These testees are clearly chosen to suit the convenience of investigators as much as to examine the realities of human individual differences. [The virtual exclusion of the unskilled, the unemployed and the long-term low-waged is specially strange.]

4. Likewise, 'lexical' and 'taxonomic' studies (of how raters think adjectives in their own language overlap in meaning) usually involve university-educated, socio-culturally unrepresentative raters.

5. Beyond excluding very rare descriptors, lexical studies pay little heed to the frequency with which adjectives are actually used by modern native speakers, or to the objectivity with which adjectives can be applied to the same target by different raters. Such studies are thus not directly concerned with the person-describing schemes that are actually in regular use in the cultures from which raters are drawn.

6. Lexical studies usually omit adjectives on which ratees produce little variance. Adjectives related to intelligence are especially likely to be jettisoned because of: (i) the limited range of many of the 'targets' (often acquaintances of the raters); (ii) the day-to-day unfamiliarity of many university students with people who differ much from themselves in intelligence; and (iii) the unwillingness of many social science students to 'label' almost anyone at all as 'dense', 'dim', 'dull', 'simple', 'slow' or 'ignorant'. The major Dutch taxonomic programme for personality traits expressly omitted altogether "stable traits of capacity, ability, intelligence or skill" (Brokken, 1978; De Raad, Hendriks and Hofstee, 1992; McCrae, 1994). By contrast, when ability traits are included, a general Intellectance dimension subsumes variance from terms like 'creative' and 'imaginative' (Angleitner and Ostendorf, 1989; McCrae, 1994).

7. Perhaps because of the last four problems, general intelligence (g) has often had only a walk-on part - within the FFM's O dimension. (O has often seemed to involved Intellectance (as well as Extraversion and youthful 'anti-rule heterodoxy') (Johnson and Ostendorf, 1993); and it correlates at about .35 with g even in samples having restricted g range (Brand, 1994).) 8. The FFM is a static, non-dynamic model of personality. As presented, it seems to have little to do with the major human motivational systems that surely centre on sex (or procreation), aggression (or competition) and curiosity (or creativity); it does not concern itself with how such drives are expressed (or repressed); and it has no theory of the structure of the mind. (See Magnusson and Törestad, 1993; McAdams, 1992; Ozer and Reise, 1994; Pervin, 1994.) [Even Eysenck - no advocate of psychoanalysis - has talked of sex and aggression as basic to attitudinal differences (Eysenck, 1954) and of his Psychoticism as a 'superego' factor (Eysenck and Eysenck, 1976).]

9. The FFM does not connect its dimensions systematically even to any static underlying dimensions of emotions, sentiments, skills or abilities. There is systematic evasion of psychology here. [Notably, the FFM's A dimension envisages a bald opposition between love and hate, or between co-operation and competition. Many social and psychological theorists have rejected such simple dichotomy (see Brand, 1994,1995): for example, just as Freud added thanatos to eros in his theorizing, so Adler (moving in the opposite direction) had to add altruistic, affectionate 'social interest' to the force of antagonistic, competitive 'personal interest' with which his break from Freud had begun.]

10. Agreement on five as the correct number of dimensions (whether 'perceived' or 'real') is far from complete (Brand, 1984; Pervin, 1994). Twenty large, modern programmes of work report more than five independent factors - most commonly six . (See e.g. Linveh & Linveh, 1989; Brand & Egan, 1989; Shmelyov & Pokhilko, 1993; Deary & Matthews, 1993; Brand, Egan & Deary, 1993; Matthews & Oddy, 1993). [Deary (1995) further claims that the same six-factor structure is even found in the first-ever correlation matrix of reliable personality assessments - collected under Spearman's supervision in London (Webb, 1915).] On the other hand, numerous investigators have favoured recognizing just three or four super-factors. These are usually N, E, g and some version of C (e.g. 'anality', 'obsessionality', superego, 'solidity' or (social) conservatism vs impulsion and alienation) - e.g. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985; Kline, 1992; Bjorgvinsson & Thompson, 1994.

11. There are sometimes correlations as high as .40 amongst the scales of McCrae and Costa's NEO-PI and amongst other supposed indicators of the Big 5 (Caprara et al, 1993); and the 'facets' (i.e. oblique sub-factors) of the Big 5 sometimes have their highest loadings on unexpected dimensions (Church and Burke, 1994).

12. There is no precise agreement among researchers on when to halt factor extraction. The most reasonable modern procedures seem to yield six or more dimensions (Matthews and Oddy, 1993). Yet five factors are sometimes extracted by researchers even when six seem clearly indicated (e.g. by Zuckerman et al., 1993).

13. Despite investigators' optimistic naming of their factors, the factors called O, C, etc. (let alone other unnamed 'representatives of the Big 5') differ substantially in nature from one study to another (e.g. Hofstee, De Raad and Goldberg, 1992; Stumpf, 1993); and O can disappear altogether (e.g. fusing with Intellectance (Johnson and Ostendorf, 1993)) or correlate with any evaluatively positive traits, especially Agreeableness (Borkenau and Liebler, 1993).

14. Some psychometric batteries involve substantially more reliable variance than can be accounted for by OCEAN variables alone (e.g. Goh and Leong, 1993; Waller, 1995).

15. The temporal stability of OCEAN-type differences is only around .50 over a ten-year period (Whitborne, Zuschlag, Elliot and Waterman,1992) even though much longer (and thus more short-term-reliable) measures have been used than formerly in personality research.

16. The FFM takes no account of the fluctuating nature of personality 'superfactors'. For many years, Eysenck maintained that 'sociability' and 'impulsivity' correlated at >.40 and were both facets of a broad dimension of Extraversion on which criminals would have high scores; yet today it is generally agreed that E and C (vs impulsion) are independent factors. Likewise the rather broad and evaluatively loaded FFM A factor may split (with help from the non-g variance that is found on O, if g is removed as a separate factor) into two separate factors of dependence (vs will) and tender-mindedness (affection) vs realism. (This phenomenon was first observed in Cattell's tests by Royce and Powell (1983).) Such systematic changeability of superfactors and conflict of evidence requires theoretical integration, not neglect.

17. Though Eysenck's personological stance centres on his 'Gigantic 3', he has also classically recognised at least three or four more largely independent dimensions: g, social conservatism vs liberalism, tough-mindedness vs idealism, and 'Lie'/Conventionality. So the 'Big 5' do not embrace Eysenck's opus, let alone Cattell's.

18. Authors' theoretical approaches can be erratic and hard to understand. On finding that O correlated with IQ, McCrae and Costa (1987) at first maintained the unitariness of O and the adequacy of the FFM. Today, McCrae and Costa (see Deary & Matthews, 1993) claim to recover their O even when IQ is partialled out, but it is far from clear that this is possible in studies of the unselected, normal population (Brand, 1995). McCrae and Costa are only just beginning to acknowledge (McCrae, 1995) that, by implication, they must work with an explicit six-factor personology. They have yet to see much of what their factors look like when marker variables are regularly included in their studies to ensure that the g is adequately retrieved from correlation matrices. Reliable dimensional 'personality' differences are hard to identify in infants and young children, and personality is commonly said to be 'destroyed' when intelligence declines in Alzheimer's disease; yet the many of the latest generation of psychometrician-pyschologists have been trying to insulate their concepts (and the field of personality as a whole) from the central reality of the human condition - general intelligence (g).

Resolving the main problem: a theory.

There are probably important interaction effects between the major psychometric dimensions of general intelligence (g) and neuroticism (n). Neuroticism normally has a slight negative correlation with many forms of achievement (Francis, 1993); but higher levels of n often seem to yield higher artistic achievement in high-g people (Prentky, 1980). Again, Lienert (see Eysenck, 1994) has found that g itself can be markedly stronger (more unitary as a factor, accounting for more variance) among higher-n people. (This may occur because more specific abilities are just too unreliable to yield specific, non-g factors in more emotional, more variable, higher-n people.) Key psychometric correlations themselves thus differ across different ranges of g and n. Examination of such 'zonal' effects (McKenzie and Tindell, 1993) is probably the next big, general task of psychometric psychology.

Differences in g ranges may likewise help explain current variations in estimates of personality dimensions and structure. At around IQ 75, people differ from each other psychologically in rather few ways that are of socio-economic consequence: they show basic temperamental differences, but such variations will probably be of less practical importance to them than is their low level of g that they share. By contrast, at around IQ 125, some people are highly creative, hard-working and highly rewarded, while others are in prison, die early from drugs or AIDS, spend many hours daily watching TV, or give themselves to unremunerative charitable work. More independent dimensions of variation in ability and knowledge can sometimes be found in testees having higher g levels (Detterman and Daniel, 1989; Deary, Gibson, Egan, Brand and Kellaghan, 1996); and wider variance on personality tests has sometimes been observed in personality amongst higher-g people (Brand, Egan and Deary, 1993). Although no factor other than g makes a reliable appearance in factor analyses of ability data in the normal population (Brand, 1993), at higher g levels people specialize more obviously in some particular stratagems, skills and knowledge systems as opposed to others.

In the modern history of psychology, there are two psychometric ability contrasts that have notoriously proved to be more 'visible' at higher-g levels. These are (1) field-independence vs field dependence (Flexer & Roberge, 1983) and (2) creativity (vs clerical ability) (Hargreaves & Bolton, 1972). However, g-related differentiation probably occurs also for (3) short-term memory vs long-term memory (Miller and Vernon, 1983) and for (4) verbal vs performance / spatio-mechanical abilities (Detterman and Daniel, 1989). [Right- vs left-handedness is another psychometric dimension that is more clearly defined outwith low-g ranges - for the very young and the mentally handicapped show relatively mixed and unreliable hand preferences (Soper & Satz, 1987).]

The above four bipolar mental ability contrasts can all be argued to be related to familiar personality distinctions. (1) Witkin and Cattell held the analytic, logical perceptuo-cognitive style of field-independence to be related to specificity of response, lateralization of function and independence-of-mind as opposed to agreeableness (Witkin, Goodenough and Oltman, 1979); and the competitive, relatively interpersonally insensitive, field-independent personality presents a low-n version of the core of 'Type A' personality (Yarnold, Bryant and Litsas, 1989). (2) Abilities for close, vigilant attention and clerical work (as vs peripheral processing, imagery and creative abilities) correlate with obsessionality, judgement (vs perception), social conservatism, non-Psychoticism and age (Claridge, 1981; Katz and Pestell, 1989). (3) Relatively good integrative attention and short-term memory, but poorer long-term memory, seem to be broadly characteristic of extraverts (possibly related to cholinergic function) (Matthews, 1993; Logue and Byth, 1993). (4) Verbal (vs performance) shift is more common in non-psychopaths, in females, in more socially adjusted and responsible children and in arts-oriented adults (Smith, 1964; Flor-Henry, 1974).

Thus there is reason to expect that the non-g personality differences which can be observed and measured will themselves vary with g-level; and that the number of retrieved factorial dimensions in ratings and questionnaires will vary too. At lower g-levels, rather broad and general factors like Osgood's ACTIVITY (or Liveliness vs Inhibition) and POTENCY (or Forcefulness vs Agreeableness) could be expected. By contrast, at higher-g levels such global distinctions should differentiate: ACTIVITY into extraversion (e) vs introversion and, almost independently, into impulsivity vs conscientiousness (c) / inhibition; and POTENCY into will (w) / assertiveness vs deference and, independently, into hostility vs receptiveness / affection (a). Which of these dimensions are seen will also depend somewhat on the complexity and subtlety of the information available to the psychological researcher (Borkenau and Liebler, 1993; De Raad and Hofstee, 1993).

Such differentiation of personological phenomena at higher levels of intelligence and information-processing may also be hypothesized in the realm of emotional experience. Just like personality items, estimates of emotion quite often exhibit a crude, two-dimensional circumplex (Conte and Plutchik, 1981). This circumplex contrasts ACTIVE, action-ready states of Joy and Anticipation with those of Sadness and Surprise; and POTENT, antagonistic sates of Anger and Disgust with those of Acceptance and Fear. However, this two-dimensional model is itself a simplification of four independent dimensions of contrast in mood and emotion. The four basic emotional contrasts that are commonly recognised today are: (1) Anger vs Fear; (2) Surprise / attentiveness / alertness vs Anticipation / boredom; (3) Joy vs Sadness; and (4) Disgust / hostility / rejection vs Acceptance (Oatley & Jenkins,1992). Modern 'cognitive' theorists commonly hold that these mood variations differentiate further into the social emotions of guilt, shame, jealousy, love, contempt, etc., in so far as they are experienced as responses to particular, specifiable events in appropriate cognitive contexts (involving reasoned expectations). These four basic dimensions of emotion look likely candidates for having connections, respectively, with the personality dimensions of w, c, e and a. For example, self-rated attentiveness can be found correlated at .80 with conscientiousness, joviality at .84 with extraversion, and hostility at -.63 with Agreeableness (Watson and Clark, 1992).

In addition to the four dimensions of emotion that differentiate from the two-dimensional mood 'circumplex', empirical work usually allows identification of two further factors of mood. One is a dimension of Intensity vs Composure (Howarth, 1980; Daly, Lancee and Polivy, 1993). This looks intrinsic to n: for high-n is notoriously related to intense and more rapidly changing experience of many different moods (Williams, 1993). The other is a Clear-headedness vs Confusion factor (Howarth, 1980): this looks promising as a way of recognizing such (slight) temporal variability as is found in fluid g (gf) (Rauscher, Shaw and Ky, 1993).

Changes along these six dimensions of mood may yield cognitive shifts and temporarily changed approaches to problem-solving. Longer-term personality differences will presumably arise from underlying tendencies to differ from others, on average, in such affecto-cognitive states. A unifying structural scheme (see Table 1) would link six personality dimensions (g, n, e, c, w, and a) to the six dimensions of ability and mood indicated above, while noting at the same time the broader dimensions into which some of these six dimensions may collapse - yielding only four dimensions when less specific information is available.

Table 1: Variants of the 'Comprehensive 6' dimensions of personality.
6 6 6
Ability Personality Mood
dimensions dimensions dimensions
Global Global Contrasts Contrasts
* *

g(fluid) g Clear-
(crystallized) headedness
+ |Reason*
EVALUATION (classical) *
- |Passion*
Responsiveness n Uncertainty,
to reinforcement; Degree of emotional event memory. variability. NEGATIVE
Intensity of mood

Short-term memory e Joy
(vs Long-term memory) (vs Sadness)
+ |Liveliness * POSITIVE
ACTIVITY * * Activity
- |Inhibition *
Clerical c Alertness ATTENTIVE
(vs Creative) (vs Impulsion due to
low cerebral, 'upper' arousal)

Field-independence w Anger
(vs Field-dependence) (vs Fear)
+ |Forcefulness *
- |Agreeableness * *Pleasantness
Symbolic abilities, intuition a Acceptance
(versus spatio-mechanical) (vs Disgust)

_______________________ ___________________________
*CAPITALS = Osgood's terms. CAPITALS = Watson & Clark's* Italics = terms suggested in text (1992) terms
* for broad g vs n, e vs c and w vs a. Italics = Daly et al.'s (1983) terms*

g = general intelligence; n = neuroticism/emotionality; e = extraversion/energy;
c = conscientiousness; w = will/independence; a =affection/tendermindedness.

Such a structured scheme acknowledges that the number of visible personality dimensions will vary - depending on the intelligence of testees and on the sophistication of the approach adopted by testers. In contrast, the 'Big 5' personality dimensions provide an estimate of central tendency for what is actually a bimodal distribution of theoretical possibilities. The Comprehensive 6 can support a linkage of personality dimensions to all the main, empirically distinct, psychological dimensions of contrast for both moods and abilities. It handles many of the anomalies of the 'Big 5' - notably that the classic programmes of work with population samples by Eysenck, Cattell and Osgood never homed in on them. It spells out the 'inextricable intertwining' of affect and cognition, and the 'implacable logic' of the emotions that are such popular but minimally articulated ideas in cognitive psychology today (e.g. Oatley and Jenkins, 1992; Lazarus, 1993). And the relations between the six dimensions as g differentiates into four dimensions (e, c, w and a) on which n creates short-term variability can be conveniently illustrated as a 'double cone' (Brand, Egan and Deary, 1993).

Resolving a minor problem: a short measure of the readily measurable.

If there are truly six main super-factors of psychological variation, within and between people, which of these are the more important and readily measurable? In accounting for people's real-life, socio-economic outcomes, intelligence is undoubtedly the most important dimension (see Brand, 1987, 1993; Herrnstein & Murray, 1994); and it is readily and reliably measurable in thirty minutes of group-testing. However, people are often unaware of the population range of intelligence levels, and are therefore poor at rating their own. Moreover, because there is rather little daily variation in gf, people do not look to g to explain much of their own behaviour and experience. Finally, occupational selection by g means that, within many job contexts, the important personal differences between people will consist in factors other than g.

In research with students, adult volunteers and job candidates in Edinburgh and Birmingham, equal numbers of adjectives for each of the above 'Comprehensive 6' dimensions were used to form a 144-adjective ipsative test. A first factor of affection/neuroticism (strongly loaded by 'loving', 'tender-hearted', 'compassionate' and 'passionate' vs 'thick-skinned', 'composed', 'level-headed' and 'unsentimental') provided quite the largest component of self-ratings (both before and after scree-tested reduction and Varimax rotation of factors) (Brand & Egan, 1989). This factor seemed interpretable as one of emotionality / neuroticism / sensibility vs sluggishness / ego strength / sense - though it captured rather more of the positive and affectionate aspects of emotionality than is usual for neuroticism factors. The next two Varimax factors seemed to reflect surgency / extraversion / id strength vs stoicism / introversion; and scrupulosity / conscientiousness / superego strength vs spontaneity / impulsiveness. Recently, in 54 Edinburgh adults, Vincent Egan and I have observed that even mere eight-item packages assessing these three dimensions (using contrasted adjectives - see Brand and Egan, 1989, Table 2) have split-half reliabilities of around .70, and strong correlations with Eysenck's E (id, ~superego) and ~N (ego). These findings exemplify three now well recognised phenomena: (i) the general tendency for the three Big 5 dimensions of N, E and C to emerge especially clearly (as do the three corresponding mood dimensions of 'Negative', 'Positive' and 'Attentive / Constrained') (Tellegen, 1992; Watson and Clark, 1992; Wiggins and Pincus, 1993); (ii) for broad E dimensions of the original Eysenckian type to break up into independent components of e and c (as in Table 1); and (iii) for emotionality / neuroticism to be higher in women especially when the highest loading items for n are used (Francis, 1993).

The above three ego vs n, id / e and superego / c factors were combined to yield a crude operationalization of expressed eros (cf. Freud) as
[ id² - ( ego x superego)] (after eliminating zeros by adding 1 to all three scores). Analysis of data from twenty-four 2-adjective items given to 66 London University psychology students shows eros (or, more prosaically, spiritedness) to correlate significantly (p<.001, 2-tailed) with approval (in a very brief survey) of abortion, polygamy, pornography and prostitution. Similar operationalization of expressed thanatos (or strong-mindedness) as [ id x ego x superego] also showed a significant correlation (p<.01, 2-tailed) with a package of more 'aggressive' attitudes involving approval of hanging and Thatcherism and opposition to agnosticism and pacifism; and, in 69 Scottish adults, thanatos was related (p<.02) to favouring Nationalism as opposed to holding no party-political views. These explorations thus suggest ways of beginning to link dimensions of modern differential psychology at once to some of the basic and original concepts of Freudian theory and to the major attitudinal variables of permissiveness / hedonism and militarism / punitiveness.


It seems reasonable to say that the three most recognizable dimensions of personality in self-report data are presently e, n and c. These three dimensions are similar to Eysenck's 'Gigantic 3'; they have strong relations to general dimensions of mood and emotion as is increasingly demanded in post-cognitive psychology (Sutherland, 1994); and they could apparently bear some psychoanalytic interpretations. However, as the new surge of empirical work on personality has shown in the past decade, it is as well to acknowledge three additional dimensions. Two of these - the POTENCY dimensions of w and a - are less reliably retrieved, perhaps because they reflect rather deep aspects of personality (e.g. connected with motivations for - rather than restraints on - aggression and sex); and many of today's psychometrician-psychologists would shudder at the political incorrectness of admitting the intellectual dimension of g as fully part of personality variation. Yet psychologists need not be surprised that six dimensions are needed to describe personality even half-adequately: for European languages remind us that we can each be said to possess, to varying degrees and with varying qualifications, six key folk-psychological components of personhood - a mind (cf. g), a heart (n), a soul (a), a spirit (e), a will (w) and a conscience (c). After a century of psychology that has been largely dominated by empiricist and idealist opponents of realism (see Brand, Egan and Deary, 1994), it is perhaps time to admit something like the Comprehensive 6 as the state of the art for differential psychology, psychoanalysis, folk psychology and their many hoped-for interfaces in applied psychology - for all that the Freudian / Eysenckian 3 will long remain the best known and most widely used in settings where g variance is negligible.


My thanks to Greg Baird, Claude Charpentier, Vincent Egan and Adrian Furnham.


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