Chapter 2 Reflection

Chapter two reveals the link between conscientiousness and longevity.  This makes sense as those who are disciplined in their lives attempt to accomplish the goals that they have made. It is interesting to see how the personality trait changes in a person over time. I think it would be fascinating to research more about which changes made to one’s life would affect conscientious the most…or does it depend on other personal or environmental factors? In the case of James, he gradually became more conscientious but was it his enjoyment for his work or social relationships that increased his score? Is it even possible to dissect his behaviors to see what helped him develop this trait?

After taking the survey and then asking my roommates (I’ve known them since freshmen year) to score me, there were inconsistencies in the scores.  I gave myself lenient ratings for “I get my chores done on time” and “I often forget the original place of things” while they gave me a harsher, probably more realistic, rating. However, we were looking at this from different point of views. I focused on my academics and extracurriculars as “chores” since they have to be completed and I feel confident that I get my assignments done for them. However, my roommates all focused on the literal meaning as in chores around the house (ie vacuuming or cleaning my room). While I may not be diligent in my house chores, I am in my schoolwork. Thus, this could also be an inconsistency in the ratings for teachers and parents; having a different focus on what the child may or may not show great diligence.

A small critique that I have for this book so far is that it lacks the empirical evidence needed for us to accurately assess the extent to which the findings in this book are important. For example, the results may be significant but may have a small effect. I understand that as a pop culture book, people may be more interested in the findings and not the numerical content. However, as a psychology student, I am interested in both.

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1 Response to Chapter 2 Reflection

  1. Eve Gilles says:

    I agree that it is important to consider whether individuals become more conscientious as a result of genetics, environmental factors, or interplay between the two. If environment is a significant factor in changing one’s conscientiousness, it is important to reinforce conscientiousness in children by rewarding hard work and responsibility, as being social and outgoing is often more socially valued than being prudent.
    I also think it is interesting that you and your roommates rated your conscientiousness differently, speaking to discrepancy between how individuals see themselves and others perceive them. As well, it is possible that especially conscientious individuals (as rated by other people) would not rate themselves as conscientious because they hold themselves to such a high standard.

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