Cybernetics and the Science of Personality with Colin DeYoung

April 3, 2018

Today I’m really excited to have Colin DeYoung on the podcast. Dr. DeYoung is associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in personality psychology but is especially interested in personality neuroscience. Besides being a prolific academic and researcher, I am also honored to count him as a dear friend and collaborator.

In this episode we discussed a wide-range of topics relating to personality, including:

  • The modern day personality hierarchy
  • The “Big Two”: Stability and Plasticity
  • How Carl Jung developed his theory of introversion
  • The latest science of introversion
  • The scientific validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Dopamine as the “neuromodulator of exploration”
  • The two major dopamingeric pathways
  • Why personality variation evolved
  • The neuroscience of conscientiousness
  • The link between compassion and imagination
  • The neuroscience of anxiety
  • The cybernetics of personality
  • Rethinking psychopathology
  • The effects of therapy on personality change


Personality Neuroscience and the Five-Factor Model

Cybernetic Big Five Theory

The neuromodulator of exploration: A unifying theory of the role of dopamine in personality

Personality neuroscience and the biology of traits

C.G. Jung’s Collective Unconscious: An Evaluation of an Historically Contingent Scientific Theory

Opening up openness to experience: A four-factor model and relations to creative achievement in the arts and sciences

The neuroscience of anxiety 

The evolution of personality variation in humans and other animals

Image credit: Valentine Cadieux

One Response to “Cybernetics and the Science of Personality with Colin DeYoung”

  1. Patricia says:

    Great podcast!
    The observation that introverts in the Susan Cain movement might not be a representative sample of introverts (maybe due to their curiosity and openness) somehow made me think of this subset of people worried about low IQ results: “Help, I got a low IQ score, I’ve double-checked the standard deviation of all of my subscores and found some slight discrepancy but I’m not sure if that counts as evidence that the global value is erroneous”. More often than not we have to look beyond our traditional understanding of those categories.

Join the Discussion