Personality Theory and the Neurotypical
In personality theory there are many ways to describe the majority “Social Minds” and the “Peripheral Minds”. Dr. Helen Fisher describes temperament personalities and the subsequent neurology. For the Peripheral Minds I would suggest the personalities would be; the Negotiator, the Director, the Explorer and to a small extent or the extreme version of the Builder. Whereas the typical or average Builder, Dr. Fisher says the predominate personality (42% of the population), would be that of the Social Mind, or as described by the Autism community, a Neurotypical.
My favorite depictions are from Dr. Michael Lessor. He refers to his character types as; the Star, the Lover, the Dreamer, the Warrior and the Guardian, these would be the “Peripheral Minds”. Whereas the Stoic, which he says makes up 40-60% of the population, are the “salt of the earth” or the Neurotypical. These personality profiles are derivatives of the Big Factor Five. Which are accepted personality traits with suggested correlates in estrogen, testosterone, dopamine, serotonin, other substrates, brain structures and biological basis.
Here is a condensed description of these Character Types described by Michael Lesser*:
| (#1) THE STOIC
I am…Consistent, dependable, even-keeled, considerate, I’m typically able to tell what others are thinking/feeling, don’t complain, I have trouble saying “no”, I don’t show my emotions or get worked up about things, I go with the flow in life, people can count on me. I can get depressed, but I wouldn’t want to show it. I try to avoid conflict.
|#2) THE GUARDIAN
I am…Safety-conscious, organized, reliable, efficient & serious, vigilant, other-directed, I put a premium on intelligence, rationality and accepted knowledge, I live by my principles. I am very careful & neat, a homebody…but I can be a worry-wart and control freak at times.
|(#3) THE WARRIOR
I am…Spontaneous, risk taker, dedicated, fun-loving, persuasive, honest, uninhibited, I’m more of a doer but I like to think, I like having direction and being on a mission, nothing gets in my way…but I can be impulsive, aggressive and even hot tempered.
(#4) THE STAR
I am…The eternal optimist, very talkative, active, lots of energy, fun to be around, I’m comfortable being the center of attention, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I can be intense and passionate, my moods can direct who I am at the time, intuitive, I’m comfortable in a leadership role…I can be melodramatic and grandiose.
|(#5) THE DREAMER
I am…Introverted, sensitive, high morals, good at what I do, curious nature, easily lost in thoughts or a book, more a thinker than a doer, material things and sometimes social pressures don’t really motivate me, introspective, I avoid anger at all costs but can be very passionate about truth and doing the right thing, I enjoy debate and new information…I can feel insecure, unappreciated and lonely.
|(#6) THE LOVER
I am….Outgoing, live life to the fullest, affectionate, attractive, passionate, emotionally expressive, fickle, “in touch” with emotions, flirtatious, other people are drawn to me, a “people person”, live for love, I can be manipulative when needed, but can be easily manipulated as well, I can overreact or emotionally shut-down or act out.
Dr. Helen Fisher also has personalities that relate to brain chemistry. She breaks them down by 4 main types, her Online Test.
Simon Baron-Cohen describes Systemizers and Empathizers
And Temple Grandin Describes Word, Picture and Pattern Thinkers. Pattern Thinkers tend to be Dreamers. Picture Thinkers Stars and Lovers, and Word Thinkers Guardians and Warriors. Temple Grandin discusses these thinking types in depth in her article “Different Thinking Types in Autism“. (descriptions below)
From, Fisher, Grandin, Cohen and Lesser these thinking types and personalities may overlap like so:
Dr. Lessor: Guardian-Warriors
Dr. Fisher: Negotiator-Builder
Dr. Cohen: An Estrogen or Female Brain (High Empathizers)
Dr. Lessor: Dreamers
Dr. Fisher: Directors
Dr. Cohen: The Testosterone or Male Brain (High Systemizers)
Dr. Lessor: Star-Lovers
Dr. Fisher: Explorers
Dr. Cohen: The Balanced Brain (equally systemizing and empathizing)
Temple Grandin’s Thinking Types
1. Visual thinking
2. Music and Math thinking
3. Verbal logic thinking
These children often love art and building blocks, such as Legos. They get easily immersed in projects. Math concepts such as adding and subtracting need to be taught starting with concrete objects the child can touch. Drawing and other art skills should be encouraged. If a child only draws one thing, such as airplanes, encourage him to draw other related objects, such as the airport runways, or the hangers, or cars going to the airport. Broadening emerging skills helps the child to be more flexible in his thinking patterns. Keep in mind that verbal responses can take longer to form, as each request has to be translated from words to pictures before it can be processed, and then the response needs to be translated from pictures into words before it is spoken.
MUSIC AND MATH THINKERS
Patterns instead of pictures dominate the thinking processes of these children. Both music and math is a world of patterns, and children who think this way can have strong associative abilities. They like finding relationships between numbers or musical notes; some children may have savant-type calculation skills or be able to play a piece of music after hearing it just once. Musical talent often emerges without formal instruction. Many of these children can teach themselves if keyboards and other instruments are available.
VERBAL LOGIC THINKERS
These children love lists and numbers. Often they will memorize bus timetables and events in history. Interest areas often include history, geography, weather and sports statistics. Parents and teachers can use these interests and talents as motivation for learning less-interesting parts of academics. Some verbal logic thinkers are whizzes at learning many different foreign languages.