Herald’s Mark Smith: Class Test on Personality Theory: 14% FAIL

I always give 14% just for completing the task.

Mark Smith, BA Journalism, Year 1, has chosen to base his answer on the First Minister. He’s failing her on his own personality test and, in particular, her lack of humility even borderline arrogance.

This is the woman described even by people like Sarah Smith and Andrew Marr as ‘a world-class politician’ and an unimpressive wee man like Smith thinks himself able to judge her personality to be failing in some way.

I did two years of pyschology, as recently as 1976 and I remember that personality theories were considered the weakest, least scientific of psychological theories. I came out in one as a typical commando…..female! Even as a student I wore underwear so it wasn’t that.

Anyhow, the first and kind of fundamental problem with Smith’s answer is that he doesn’t seem to know what a personality test typically entails.

OpennessConscientiousnessAgreeablenessExtraversion, Neuroticism.

Smith opens with ‘performance’ or ‘good at speaking, before going on to ‘competence’ and then ‘trust.’ As evidence he parrots, Baillie, Mitchell and Cole-Hamilton. These are ‘tests’ of communication skills, competence and trust in government not personality.

To be fair, he has a go at humility/arrogance with this:

So, a personality test for a politician being accused of actions she denies requires her to be humble at all times? She cannot even roll her eyes or fold her arms? Has Smith watched how Johnson or Hancock react to even a tiny fraction of the interrogation Sturgeon faced?

It’s not quite arrogance? In the context of the same admissions of mistakes and forgetting he condemns earlier, isn’t it an all-too-rare example of the kind of openness and integrity we wish for in politicians?

That Smith detects a lack of humility in the First Minister reminds me of another psychological theory, more reliable than even agreed personality tests – projection.

Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics they find unacceptable in themselves to another person. For example, a husband who has a hostile nature might attribute this hostility to his wife and say she has an anger management problem. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/projection

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7 thoughts on “Herald’s Mark Smith: Class Test on Personality Theory: 14% FAIL

  1. So BritNats still on the character assassination of the FM. It must have taken all weekend for the wee guy to read a couple of chapters of a psychology book.
    Definitely projection, the whole of the BritNat media suffer from that affliction it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He almost makes me wish that David Torrance would come back. At least there was some – not a lot mind you – intellectual content in his stuff. His problem was a tendency to start from his conclusion – usually independence is a bad idea – and work back to some contrived starting point, torturing the evidence on the way.

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    1. Many of us wrote our university essays by that method!!!!!

      And, since we have a ‘don’ producing this site, maybe he can enlighten us on how they actually assigned ‘marks’ to essays and tasks. I still suspect that they used the method of standing at the top of a flight of steps, throwing the pile of essays into the air and then grading them according to the steps on which they landed – near the top high mark, given a patina of ‘respectability’ by scoring it 86.5. Let’s have the truth “Professor”!!!!!!!

      Like

  3. Mark Smith; the cub reporter who continues to prove his lack of ability a decade or so after I thought. “this useless ****’s faither must kno’ sumbiddy at The Herald”…

    Like

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