Personality Traits

Published on: Aug 6, 2018
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Who’s Addicted To Social Media?

It’s not uncommon to hear people say they’re not on Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram); they’re just not into that whole thing. Then there are those who are on their social media accounts daily. While there are plenty of people in the middle – who just check their social media websites once in a while – it’s interesting to analyze people who land on either side of that middle ground.

At least scientists think so, especially because social media has become a real addiction for some people. Are there certain personality traits we possess that make us more prone to social media addiction?

One study looked into which personality traits of the “big five” – neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion and openness to experience – are more likely to send someone down the path of internet addiction. Interestingly, researchers found certain combinations of traits fit the bill. For example:1

  • Neuroticism + Conscientiousness – a person who is prone to feeling anxious and stressed combined with being vigilant and responsible tends to feel obligated to respond to friends and their posts.


  • Agreeableness + Conscientiousness – while having a similar sense of obligation, these folks are happy to respond with “likes” and comments and enjoy a sense of satisfaction in doing so.


  • Low levels of Agreeableness + low levels of Conscientiousness – contrary to what you might imagine, folks who aren’t driven to please others and can’t be bothered to try also tend to score high on the social media addiction scale.

It may be interesting to consider whether these combination traits apply to friends who don’t “do” social media. After all, scientists may not study non-internet addicts in this type of research. However, those who possess these vulnerable personality traits may be wise to stay off the medium, or use caution, given the likelihood of becoming addicted.

For those already suffering from social media addiction, this personality research may help identify the reasons they feel compelled to check in.

1 Tim Newman. Medical News Today. March 17, 2018. “Unlocking the personality of a social media addict.” Accessed July 30, 2018.


Money Saving Tips

Entrepreneurial Personality Traits

The lobby at Intel’s corporate headquarters features a quote from co-founder Robert Noyce: “Optimism is an essential ingredient of innovation.” Psychology appears to back up this theoretical claim.1

In fact, some psychologists believe that optimism is a primary personality trait among many inspiring leaders. Optimistic personalities may better embrace change and be less worried about maintaining security and the status quo. The trait also appears to be related to resilience, as optimistic people are less likely to become discouraged when things go awry and are better at recognizing new opportunities. Interestingly, positive people also tend to feel lucky more often.2

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, believes that positivity is not the same as blind optimism. Successful businesspeople recognize the importance of a realistic perspective; they just have greater belief in their ability to influence a situation for the better.3

In her spring 2018 commencement speech to MIT graduates, Sandberg referred to this trait as “clear-eyed optimism,” observing that particularly in the field of technology, practitioners are called upon to innovate untested changes. While they will often encounter resistance from others who claim it cannot be done, challenges should be met with “clear-eyed optimism” to be successful, she said.4

Another tech innovator, Bill Gates, is an avid reader and prime example of optimistic leadership. His favorite author, Steven Pinker, wrote a book titled “Enlightenment Now,” which describes how optimists have a natural competitive advantage in their willingness to take advantage of opportunities even when they come with risk. Fortunately, this personality trait elicits a snowball effect: Once a risk has been taken and success achieved, optimists gain confidence to continue taking risks. With experience comes more skill and wisdom in how to mitigate those risks, meaning they can pursue future opportunities with less exposure and achieve greater success.5

While optimism is an ideal trait for an entrepreneur, it is also something people would like to feel when working toward their personal goals, such as saving for their retirement income. Making informed decisions is important when working toward retirement as there are many strategies one could pursue such as investing or purchasing any of the different insurance products that are available.

Please let our office know if you would like to discuss your retirement goals and the possibility of applying any of these techniques.

1 Carmine Gallo. Inc. June 8, 2018. “The World’s Best Entrepreneurs Share 1 Key Personality Trait, Says Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.” Accessed July 9, 2018.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.


Planning Tip

Key Characteristics for Financial Success

Of the “Big Five” personality traits — conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness, extroversion and neuroticism — psychologists believe that conscientiousness is the most predictive of overall success. People who score high on conscientiousness tend to be highly reliable, persistent and long-term planners.1

Furthermore, in a five-year study of millionaires, nine out of 10 shared one particular trait: they avoided pessimistic people. Working with the theory that personality and habits are contagious, this research suggests that spending time with those who share a similarly optimistic outlook is more likely to breed success, and vice versa.2

1 David Van Rooy. Inc. June 4, 2018. “This Personality Trait Gets in the Way of Success and People With It Should Be Avoided, According to Millionaires.” Accessed July 9, 2018.
2 Ibid.

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