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IDANET  April 2012

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Subject:

Re: Personality traits as neurophysiological structures

From:

George Hammond <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

IDANET (Individual Differences and Assessment Network)

Date:

Thu, 5 Apr 2012 02:39:12 +0100

Content-Type:

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Personal Note:  IDANET has been devoid of conversation for some time.
               surely there must be someone interested in this (rare) mainline discussion
               of basic Psychometry.  Supposedly there are 200 people on this list.
                  Surely someone must have something to say!  Please speak up,
               its getting lonely up here!


[Barrett]
George,
Cattell proposed 16 surface traits ... show me the clear evidence for the neurophysiological structures for one (including morphology and connection networks) and I'll retract my statement.

How many traits are in the NEO-PIR? Is Honesty-Humility a trait in the HEXACO? Where is the evidence for a "neurophysiological structure" for whatever it is?

[Hammond]
   Oh come on Paul!  The 16PF is composed of 1st Order Factors while NEO-PI and HEXACO are composed of 2nd Order Factors.  You can’t compare 1st to 2nd order factors!  That’s like comparing Kleptomania to Neurosis.  Don’t be ridiculous.
   It is now universally agreed (Gray, Eysenck, Cattell and hundreds of others) that the long sought for STRUCTURAL MODEL OF PERSONALITY exists at the 2nd Order and in fact Hammond (1994) has shown that the 2nd Order factors are caused by primary brain cleavage/lateralization (Sperry, Bell-Magendie, McClean).  Obviously low grade 1st order behaviors such as Kleptomania, cigarette smoking, stuttering etc, etc. are neurological syndromes peculiar to the broader neurological bases (I.e. brain cleavage/lateralization) which cause E, N and P and the other 2nd Orders.

[Barrett]
Extraversion, Anxiety, Impulsivity seem (to me) to be more associated with temperament .. and do possess some biological and experimental evidence for their causal foundation. But, as I tried to show via the RST theorizing, once you look at how biology might be causal for specific individual behaviors, or specific ‘behavioral’ traits, you run into difficulties of explanation.

[Hammond]
  Trying to explain the neurophysiology of Kleptomania or other 1st Order behaviors is a long ways in the future.  But that doesn’t mean we have to IGNORE the fact that the biological basis of the 2nd Order Factors HAS BEEN DISCOVERED, PROVEN AND PUBLISHED.

[Barrett]
A point addressed (in part) recently by an "in press" article in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science ..

Harré, R. (2012) The brain can be thought of as a tool. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science (http://www.springerlink.com/content/r8m0174w62818m85/ ), , , 1-8.
Abstract
In this paper I argue that the recent tendency to elevate neuropsychology to the status of the one true scientific core of studies of people thinking, feeling, acting and perceiving is not best understood as a simple mereological fallacy, that is the fallacy of ascribing certain properties of wholes to their parts, in particular mental concepts to the material brain as a part of a person. In defending Svend Brinkmann’s way of undermining the claims of neuroscience against the criticism offered by Gaeto and Cornejo of the cognitive task—brain as tool proposal, I argue that a person’s brain is part of the body of that person, but that the body is not a part of a person. Hence the use of person-concepts to describe brain activity is not a mereological fallacy. Rather human bodies are sites for people. Material tools can be fashioned or found at such sites. It is a fallacy to present neuroscience as the core of psychology but it is the error of deriving an `ought’ from an ‘is’ as identified by David Hume. Where to look for a positive guide to a philosophically respectable psychology, that is a study program that does justice to the phenomena of human thinking, feeling, acting and perceiving, without falling into logical and semantic traps. I show how to adapt Aristotle’s schema for ‘complete explanation’ to this role.

[Hammond]
   Paul, to continue ignoring a fundamental structural-neurophysiological explanation of the Structural Model of Personality (Hammond 1994) which:

1. Identifies the neurophysiologic basis of ENP
2. Identifies  the neurophysiologic basis of the Big-5
3. Identifies  the neurophysiologic basis of EVERY 2nd Order Psychmetric model ever published
     See:  http://webspace.webring.com/people/eg/george_hammond/5X7C0193.jpg
4. Identifies the neurophysiologic basis of Cattell’s 13  2nd Order Factors.

and simply continue to publish endless streams of philosophical and metaphysical fluff such as the above paper
is a disgrace to Science and a veritable assassination of Psychometry  and the hard won victories of people like Pearson, Thurstone, Cattell, Eysenck, Gray and hundreds of others.
 
[Barrett]
So, I'm not being 'premature' .. but very specific in terms of requiring hard evidence of specific trait 'causal neurophysiological structures'. I don't think these exist at all. 

[Hammond]
   They certainly do exist, they have been discovered, proven and published by me right here:
Hammond G.E (1994) The Cartesian Theory, in 
  New Ideas In Psychology, Vol 12(2) 153-167 
  Pergamon Press.  Online copy of peer/published
     paper is posted at:
http://webspace.webring.com/people/eg/george_hammond/cart.html

And an even snappier explanation is given here in an illustrated 2 page letter to the Heyman’s Institute in Holland:
http://tinyurl.com/2b86k7e  This letter is a real godsend to the confused amateur…. Don’t leave home without it!

[Barrett]
Rather, I see traits as convenient, but fuzzily defined linguistic descriptors of people's behaviors. That's where our taxonomies originate from.

What causes someone to be "Guilt Prone" or "Conscientious" is likely to be a complex mix of attributes, in which motivation and situational features will also play a role.

[Hammond]
   The Buck stops with Hammond 1994.  All 13 2nd Order Factors in Personality Psychometry have been discovered to have a major, clear and robust neurophysiologic causation.  The paper is cited above.
   Of course this does not mean that the more specific behaviors described by the 1st Order Factors are now neurologically explained……. but I don’t think we should allow people to ignore the known by citing the unknown which appears to be the strategy you are intent on promoting.

[Barrett]
But, we don't even have a specific technical definition of either (as we might have for temperature, mass, density etc.), just some broadly understood and interpreted conceptual frameworks. The point made precisely by Mike Maraun .. Maraun, M.D. (1998) Measurement as a Normative Practice: Implications of Wittgenstein's Philosophy for Measurement in Psychology. Theory & Psychology, 8, 4, 435-461.

[Hammond]
   Such jaded objections have been the fare of tedious critics of Psychometry for a hundred years…. But as I have said… the halcyon days of diversionary Psychometry critics is about to come to a close with a bang…. The biological basis of the Structural Model of Personality has AT LAST BEEN DISCOVERED, PR0VEN AND PUBLISHED.
All the critics can do now is attempt to evade it, ignore it, suppress it, or talk over it.  But the handwriting on the wall is clear….. The age of boring, tautological and longwinded Psychometry Criticism (such as Mischel) is over!

[Barrett]
This question of 'what causes the behaviors we denote as personality behaviors' is still so difficult to answer. Snappy evidence-free phrases as definitions do nothing to help us.

[Hammond]
   Guess again.  The Structural Model has been discovered to have a CLEAR, ROBUST AND “SNAPPY” neurological basis!

[Barrett]
But, that's just me. And I know I'm in a minority!

[Hammond]
   And that minority is destined to become far smaller than you think in view of the discovery of the biological basis of the Structural Model.

Regards .. Paul

Likewise I’m sure… George Hammond, M.S. Physics   Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

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