Genes, Temperament and Personality Disorders

Just occasionally you come to believe it has all been worthwhile.

A recent blog, Many of the same genes that influence our personality also affect our mental health, by Christian Jarrett, Editor of BPS Research Digest, cheered me up immensely.

For those of you unaware of my credo it can be summarised as follows:

  • People drive performance, emotions drive people, temperament drives emotions.
  • Temperament is the genetic emotional predisposition in our personality.
  • The best and most practical model for understanding temperament is the Seven Motivational Temperament Factors or 7MTF.
  • Each factor in the 7MTF follows the Normal Distribution and is associated with a particular psychological disorder. For example, we all have some Autism in our temperament, but people who are positioned more than two standard deviations (2.5% of population) may suffer from the psychological disorder: Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • The seven psychological disorders are neuroticism, mania, depression, autism, paranoia, psychopathology, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Understanding the 7MTF will dramatically lift your emotional intelligence and it takes less than a day to learn it.

The blog states that the researchers analysed the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people and discovered substantial genetic correlations between personality and psychiatric disorders – that is, many of the genetic influences on personality are also implicated in the risk of developing various mental health disorders.

The researchers said that overall their results are consistent with the idea that “maladaptive or extreme variants of personality may contribute to the persistence of, or vulnerability to, psychiatric disorders and comorbidity”.

My conclusion is the opposite: “Vulnerability to psychiatric disorders is a major cause of variance in our personality.”

If you are interested in learning more about the 7MTF I am delivering a paper introducing the 7MTF at the Sixth Biannual Conference on Emotional Intelligence being held in Oporto in July 2017. You can download the paper here and watch the 15 minute presentation here.


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Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

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