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The NPA theory of personality was developed by Anthony M. Benis on the basis of concepts presented by psychiatrist Karen Horney (1885-1952). The model posits three major behavioral traits underlying personality: narcissism (N), perfectionism (P) and aggression (A), leading to the formulation of discrete character types. Each trait is based on a major pleiotropic gene (a gene determining several related characteristics) that follows the rules of Mendelian genetics.

The NPA model proposes that the character traits A and N are indispensable to human development, being related to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, respectively. The trait P is also assumed to function at the level of the central nervous system and to act as a modifier of the expression of traits A and N. The NPA model proposes to clarify the genetic bases of known personality disorders, diseases related to behavioral factors ("psychosomatic diseases") and mental illnesses. An online NPA personality test is available in English and French versions.

NPAtheory1

Venn diagram of dominant character types of NPA theory. Character types having the trait of aggression A may be reduced, reversibly, to a subdued or subjugated state A-.

What is personality?Edit

Personality is a collection of emotional, thought and behavioral patterns unique to a person that is consistent over time. Although many investigators have proposed various theories of personality, no objectively testable model has emerged. The NPA model falls into the category of a trait theory of personality, its unique approach being that it is biologically based on classical human genetics.

NPA model based on three genetic traitsEdit

Genetics and environmentEdit

Although it is universally accepted that both genetic and environmental factors (or "nature and nurture") comprise personality, the relevant genes have yet to be identified.[1] Studies of the heritability of personality factors conducted with identical and fraternal twins emphasize the importance of genetics in behavior.[2] The NPA model acknowledges the possible importance of environment and culture in personality but emphasizes that it is the genetic, or structural, factors that first need to be identified.

The NPA model acknowledges that the genetic bases of personality are themselves complex. It assumes at least four tiers to this genetic basis:

  • male or female gender
  • character type based on the three NPA traits
  • temperament, or the degree of activity or excitability of an individual in the pavlovian sense
  • other facets of personality, such as Raymond Cattell's 16 Personality Factors, Hans Eysenck's P-E-N model of personality, or the life style approaches of enneagram theory.

The NPA model, thus, focuses on only the second of these four tiers, acknowledging that temperament and other facets of personality may involve a large number of genes.

Traits of narcissism (N), perfectionism (P) and aggression (A)Edit

Karen Horney advanced the concept that at maturity there exist at least three expansive character types, namely the "narcissistic", the "perfectionistic" and the "arrogant-vindictive".[3] Extending these ideas, the NPA model posits that the human character rests primarily on the existence of three major traits: narcissism (N), perfectionism (P) and aggression (A). Each of these traits is assumed to exist as the expression of a single major pleiotropic gene. Horney considered that the traits have environmental origins, being the result of an individual's desperate search for dominance in the context of a stifling upbringing.[4] The NPA model -- in ascribing the traits to genetic origins -- emphasizes biological attributes associated with the traits.

AggressionEdit

The behavioral trait of aggression is acknowledged to be the most labile of the three.[5] The stereotypic acts associated with this trait involve body posturing, gestures, and eye contact of intimidation and deference, with individuals having this trait continually competing with each other on a scale of dominance and submission. The trait of aggression corresponds to a striving for power over one's environment, hence it is one main component of competitiveness in social relations, or ambition. In a pejorative connotation the trait may reveal itself in the context of sadism or sadomasochism. The facial expression is non-sanguine, i.e., tending toward sallowness or pallor in individuals of light skin color. The hallmark of the trait of aggression is a mass discharge of the sympathetic nervous system: the "fight or flight" response or the aggressive-vindictive rage. During the expression of this rage, the facial complexion of pallor is accentuated.

NarcissismEdit

The trait of narcissism is noted to be less labile than that of aggression (where individuals may be constantly altering their character states on a scale of dominance and submission).[5] The stereotypic acts associated with the trait include self-flaunting body posturing, expansive arm gestures, bowing, instinctive self-adornment, and a natural attraction to the limelight of personal recognition. Individuals having only this trait (of the three) are competitive but non-aggressive in their strivings for recognition. The trait corresponds to a striving for glory in one's environment, representing the second main component of human ambition. In a pejorative connotation, the unbridled trait of narcissism may reveal itself in the context of conceit, exhibitionism, vanity or messianism. An associated facial expression includes the radiant gingival smile (broadly exposing the gums and teeth). The facial complexion in individuals of light skin color tends toward blood-red or ruddy. Hallmarks of the trait include blushing, flushing, and a mass discharge of the parasympathetic nervous system: the narcissistic rage of defense and withdrawal. During expression of this rage the normally sanguine complexion becomes even more florid.

PerfectionismEdit

The trait of perfectionism in the NPA model is not a basic drive of ambition and is not associated with a rage reaction.[5] Rather it is a mediator of the unbridled drives of aggression and/or narcissism. The stereotypic acts associated with the trait of perfectionism are obsessiveness, compulsiveness, repetition, and the maintenance of neatness, order and symmetry. A clue to the nature of the trait lies in the compulsive, repetitive mannerisms of autistic children and some adult schizophrenic individuals. The behavioral pattern is often ritualistic and the speech characterized by echolalia. It is posited that such autistic and schizophrenic individuals are those in whom the two components of ambition, i.e. aggression and narcissism, have been suppressed by genetic or environmental factors, either congenitally, in childhood, or after maturity, thus revealing in the individual a primitive state of perfectionism.

Character typesEdit

The notion that humans exhibit only a limited number of discrete character types can be traced back to the time of the ancient Greeks, in particular to the theory of humors (blood, black bile, yellow bile and phlegm). The NPA model attempts to relate genetic NPA types to these character types of antiquity, as well as to the classic personality disorders of modern psychiatry.

Dominance: dominant character typesEdit

In dominant types the traits A and N, if present at all, are fully expressed.[5] The NPA model generates the following dominant character types:

N typeEdit

The narcissistic (N) type is found in the writings of Karen Horney[6] and others who have developed the classic psychiatric views of narcissism. In the NPA model this type is the equivalent of the sanguine character type described by the ancients. The important attributes of this type are: expansiveness but unaggressiveness, non-perfectionism, a tendency to flamboyant self-adornment, a natural attraction to the limelight, the gingival smile of recognition and the florid narcissistic rage. In extreme forms this type appears as a self-anointed visionary, a proselytizing evangelist or a messianic personality.

A typeEdit

The aggressive (A) type corresponds to Horney's arrogant-vindictive type and to her concept of "moving against people".[7] In the NPA model this is the classic choleric character type of antiquity. The main attributes of this type are: unbridled arrogance, instinctual vindictiveness, non-perfectionism, no tendency to self-adornment, a wry or sardonic grin in place of a gingival smile, and the pallid-complexioned ag'ressive-vindictive rage. In extreme forms this type appears as a sadistic personality, as an extroverted paranoid personality, or as the so-called antisocial or sociopathic personality.

NA typeEdit

The gnarcissistic-aggressive (NA)' type is regarded to be a composite of the previously described narcissistic and aggressive types. Horney described the essence of this character type, in the female, in an article, "The overvaluation of love: a study of a common present day type".[8] The main attributes of this type are: a sanguine complexion, synergistic merging of unbridled narcissism and aggression, hyperactivity, non-perfectionism, a tendency toward extreme self-adornment, exhibitionism in the limelight, a "flashy" extroverted smile, a tendency toward hypersexuality, and the capacity to exhibit the narcissistic, aggressive-vindictive or combined narcissistic-aggressive rages. In extreme forms this character type appears as the hypomanic, histrionic or hysterical personality.

NP typeEdit

The attributes of the narcissistic-perfectionist (NP) type were described by Horney in her exposition of the "perfectionist type".[3] In the NPA model this encompasses the classic phlegmatic type known to the ancients. The main qualities of this type are: a tendency toward a sanguine complexion, industriousness, orderliness, an intense sense of duty, unaggressiveness, stubbornness, negativism, a tendency to ruminate, perfectionistic rather than unbridled self-adornment, an uncommonly seen gingival smile of recognition, and the capacity to exhibit the florid narcissistic rage. In extreme forms this character appears as the obsessive-compulsive personality.

PA typeEdit

The perfectionistic-aggressive (PA) type is alluded to by Horney in her mention of aggressive types who function in the capacity of a "power behind the throne",[7] that is, personages who utilize intellectual qualities and planning rather than overt aggression to achieve their aims. In the NPA model this is the classic non-sanguine, austere melancholic personality of the ancients. The principal qualities of this type are: a non-sanguine complexion, passive aggressiveness, dour perfectionism, vigilance, manipulativeness, a proud bearing, haughty reservedness, a calculated vindictiveness, a lack of an innate tendency to self-adornment, a sardonic grin, and the pallid-complexioned aggressive-vindictive rage. In extreme forms this is the passive-aggressive, rebellious-distrustful, or ruminating paranoid personality.

NPA typeEdit

The narcissistic-perfectionistic-aggressive (NPA) type was not explicitly described by Horney, although she did note that the three traits can coexist in the same individual.[9] The main attributes of this type are: a sanguine complexion, a loud voice, dynamism with a tendency to be overbearing, bombastic garrulity, intense eye contact, a strong sense of duty, a bent toward conventional values, unpretentious self-adornment, an outgoing smile of moderate intensity, and the capacity to exhibit the narcissistic, aggressive, or explosive narcissistic-aggressive rages. In the extreme cases this individual is the managerial-autocratic or explosive personality.

Submission: submissive character typesEdit

In submissive types the trait of aggression is not fully expressed.[5] The NPA model defines two gradations of submission: non-compliance, in which the individual is basically submissive but is easily activated to an energetic state of aggression, and compliance, in which the individual tends to remain in a profound state of submission.

In the model the state of submission most often has a genetic basis, the result of a congenital, inherited, incomplete expression of the gene for the trait A. However, the model also allows for environmental causes, the state of submission being induced during the juvenile period on the basis of environmental constraints to character development. That is, phenocopies (based on environmental factors) of a genetically disposed submissive state may exist. Also, like dominant types having full expression of the trait A, submissive types may exhibit the aggressive-vindictive rage.

Non-compliant typesEdit

The model denotes the state of non-compliance by A-, obtaining the following non-compliant submissive phenotypes:

  • Aggressive (A-)
  • Perfectionistic-aggressive (PA-)
  • Narcissistic (NA-)
  • Narcissistic-perfectionistic (NPA-)

Compliant typesEdit

The model denotes the state of compliance by A=, obtaining the following compliant submissive phenotypes:

  • Aggressive (A=)
  • Perfectionistic-aggressive (PA=)
  • Narcissistic (NA=)
  • Narcissistic-perfectionistic (NPA=)

The NPA- non-compliant type above corresponds to active, motivated, non-confrontational individuals whose baseline personality tends toward submissiveness, as described by Horney in her discussion of inverted sadistic behavior.[10] In the therapeutic setting, these individuals are found over the spectrum of "type A", dependent, and phobic-anxious personality. The NA- type is a non-perfectionistic, active individual exhibiting pronounced narcissistic behavior. In the therapeutic setting this is a cyclothymic or dependent histrionic personality.

The compliant types NA= and NPA= above correspond to more profoundly submissive individuals, having more pronounced tendencies toward masochistic behavior.[11] They correspond to Karen Horney's compliant "self-effacing" personality and to her concept of "moving toward people".[12]

Resignation: resigned character typesEdit

In the character state of resignation the trait of aggression is stunted after maturity because of environmental constraints.[5] Unlike submissive types who readily involve themselves in the relative competition of dominance and submission (and sometimes sadomasochism), resigned types remain relatively detached from such activities and only with difficulty can be stressed to a state of active aggression. However, like submissive types, resigned types can be induced into the aggressive-vindictive rage.

The model denotes the state of resignation by -A, obtaining the following resigned phenotypes:

  • Aggressive (-A)
  • Perfectionistic-aggressive (P-A)
  • Narcissistic (N-A)
  • Narcissistic-perfectionistic (NP-A)

The resigned types having the narcissistic trait correspond to detached individuals, as described by Karen Horney. She considered that "moving away from people" was a maladaptive response that could develop as a growing individual struggled toward maturity.[13] The NP-A type would tend to have strong perfectionistic tendencies, while the N-A type would be more labile.

Borderline types and mental illnessEdit

In the NPA model borderline types possess only one of the traits of ambition (N or A) and it is only partially expressed, while types in which both the traits (N and A) are profoundly suppressed fall into categories of mental illness, in particular schizophrenia.[5] Thus, NPA theory predicts that the categories of borderline personality and schizophrenia are heterogeneous, depending on the underlying NPA character structure. Examples of borderline types would be A- or PA- above. Types falling into the categories of mental illness would be A= or PA=.

One aspect of the model focuses on the dominant types N and NP, which lack the trait A.[5] In analogy with partial expression of the trait A, the theory identifies states of incomplete expression of the trait N, denoted as N- N=, and -N. Examples of borderline types would be N- or N-P above. Types falling into the categories of mental illness would be N= or N=P, the latter being a perfectionistic, autistic individual.

Dominance and submissionEdit

In the NPA model dominant character types having the trait A have the potential of being reduced to a subdued state acutely or to a subjugated state chronically (see figure at the head of this page). Similarly, submissive types have the potential of being activated to an energetic A+ state resembling dominance, usually for short periods of time. Thus, the model emphasizes the potential lability of trait A in social relations, with dominant and submissive types continually altering their behavior in competitive interactions with other individuals and in the context of mating. In the extreme, some of these relationships fall into the category of sadomasochism.[14] Resigned types, in their detachment from social interactions, usually avoid dominance-submission relationships and, in particular, hierarchal structures where “pecking orders” predominate.

Mendelian transmission of NPA traitsEdit

On the basis of archetypal examples, the model assumes that in their full expression the NPA traits are transmitted by autosomal genes, with traits A and N being recessive and trait P being transmitted in the dominant mode.[5] The alleles corresponding to full expression and total suppression of the trait A are denoted by a and a~, respectively, and the corresponding alleles for the trait N are denoted by n and n~. For the trait P two alleles p and p~ are posited, corresponding to full expression or total absence of the trait P, on the assumption that the trait is always transmitted with complete penetrance. This scheme of inheritance is consistent with the notion that the alleles a~ and n~ control the production of inhibitors of the traits A and N at the level of the central nervous system, with alleles a~ and n~ being dominant with respect to a and n. This scheme of inheritance of the NPA traits leads directly to the table below, showing the possible phenotypes of children according to the phenotypes of the parents:


Possible phenotypes of children according to the phenotypes of the parents. The phenotypes of the father and mother are shown along the axes of the table. P and null (0) phenotypes by the model (shown in red) are non-viable and would result in miscarriage, stillbirth or an infant who fails to thrive.
N N -- --
NA -- --
-- -- --
" " " " "
A N -- --
NA -- --
0 A
-- -- --
NA -- --
-- A
" " " "
NP N NP --
NA NPA --
-- --
N NP P
NA NPA PA
0 A
N NP --
NA NPA --
-- --
" " "
NA N -- --
NA -- --
-- --
-- -- --
NA -- --
-- A
N NP --
NA NPA --
-- --
-- -- --
NA -- --
-- --
" "
PA N NP P
NA NPA PA
0 A
-- -- --
NA NPA PA
-- A
N NP P
NA NPA PA
0 A
-- -- --
NA NPA PA
-- A
-- -- --
NA NPA PA
-- A
"
NPA N NP --
NA NPA --
-- --
-- -- --
NA NPA PA
-- A
N NP --
NA NPA --
-- --
-- -- --
NA NPA --
-- --
-- -- --
NA NPA PA
-- A
-- -- --
NA NPA --
-- --
FATHER OR
MOTHER
N A NP NA PA NPA

The table shows:

  • N and A individuals need not have N or A parents. Such individuals can arise de novo so long as at least one of the parents is an NP and PA individual, respectively.
  • PA individuals must have at least one parent who is of either the PA or A type.
  • NP individuals must have at least one parent who is of either the NP or N type.
  • NA individuals can arise de novo from any combination of phenotypes.
  • The mating of two NA types can yield progeny of only NA types.
  • The mating of an NPA type with an NA type can yield progeny of only NPA or NA types.
  • Certain combinations of parental genotypes may lead to zygotes having only the P trait (P phenotype) or lacking all three traits (null phenotype, denoted by 0). According to NPA theory, zygotes of P or null phenotype would be non-viable. Thus, the model predicts partial or complete infertility in some combinations of parental phenotypes, these being N×A, N×PA, NP×A and NP×PA.

Implications of a trait theory based on geneticsEdit

Population geneticsEdit

A trait theory based on genetics would imply that the personality structure of a population could be expressed in definitive mathematical terms. The NPA model is amenable to the Hardy-Weinberg approach to quantify the distribution of NPA character types in a given subpopulation.[15] With the usual assumptions of gene frequencies n, p and a and random mating, expressions for the relative incidences of dominant character types are given in the table below. Because of the occurrence of non-viable P and null (0) phenotypes, the assumptions of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium would not hold, the incidences below representing the phenotypes of the first generation only.

Relative incidence of phenotypes on basis of gene frequencies n, p and a
Relative incidences of phenotypes for the first generation. The incidence for each phenotype is the product of three probabilities, corresponding to the presence or absence of the three traits N, P and A. The P and null types are non-viable and contribute neither to parentage nor issue.
phenotype</U>
N
A
NP
NA
PA
NPA
P
null (0)</B> </td>
<B><U>relative incidence</B></U>
n2 • (1-p)2 • (1-a2)
(1-n2) • (1-p)2 • a2
n2 • p(2-p) • (1-a2)
n2 • (1-p)2 • a2
(1-n2) • p(2-p) • a2
n2 • p(2-p) • a2
2n(1-n) • p(2-p) • 2a(1-a)
2n(1-n) • (1-p)2 • 2a(1-a)
</td>

</tr> </table>


The assumption of numerical values for the three gene frequencies n, p and a generates a hypothetical subpopulation, or habitancy:[15]

HABITANCY
Frequencies of phenotypes in six habitancies (per 100 zygotes, or pregnancies). The non-viable P and null (0) phenotypes are shown in red. Non-viable types arise when the zygote has neither trait N nor A. The above analysis is confined to dominant character types on the assumption of two alleles for each NPA gene.
phenotype Balanced Punctilious Sublime Demonstrative Authoritarian Militant
N 7 3 77 2 1 1
A 3 <1 <1 2 17 34
NP 22 78 18 7 2 1
NA 13 <1 3 20 6 11
PA 9 2 <1 7 52 35
NPA 39 8 1 61 17 12
P 4</td> 8</td> <1</td> 1</td> 4</td> 2</td>
null (0)</td> 1</td> <1</td> 1</td> <1</td> 1</td> 2</td>

</tr>

gene
frequencies
</td>
n = 0.90
p = 0.50
a = 0.80
</td>
n = 0.90
p = 0.80
a = 0.30
</td>
n = 0.99
p = 0.10
a = 0.20
</td>
n = 0.95
p = 0.50
a = 0.95
</td>
n = 0.50
p = 0.50
a = 0.95
</td>
n = 0.50
p = 0.30
a = 0.95
</td>

</tr> </tr> </table>


In the table above six habitancies are given with descriptive labels: Balanced, Punctilious, Sublime, Demonstrative, Authoritarian and Militant. The intent of the labels is to emphasize the very different tenors of each of the distributions of character types.

The table demonstrates that:

  • Relatively small changes in gene frequencies could cause large changes in the phenotype frequencies.
  • The frequencies of non-viable P and null types are low for these habitancies, on the order of 0 to 8 percent.

Other hypothetical distributions of dominant NPA character types, for any combination of gene frequencies, may be calculated here.

Evolutionary origins of NPA traitsEdit

The assumption of a genetic basis to the traits N, P and A implies that their origins reside in the evolution of humans from precursor species, and in particular, that the traits are likely to be found in primates other than homo sapiens. As examples, the model leads to proposed character types as follows:

  • The omnivorous, hierarchal, unsmiling baboon, known for its lengthy grooming rituals, would be a likely perfectionist-aggressive PA type.
  • The herbivorous, aloof, phlegmatic orangutan and gorilla, capable of gingival smiles, would be likely NP types.
  • Akin to humans, the omnivorous, promiscuous chimpanzee, also capable of the gingival smile, would likely have a heterogeneous distribution of types, with NA and NPA types predominating.

Predictive aspects of NPA modelEdit

The model would have the potential to be predictive in the following categories:

  • The possible genetic character types of children could be deduced from the character types of parents.
  • Relations could be defined between genetic character type and susceptibility to certain physical and mental diseases
  • Combinations of parental character types prone to infertility problems (miscarriage and stillbirth) could be identified, these combinations being ones which permit the occurrence of a fetus lacking in both traits N and A
  • Allele frequencies for the NPA traits, as well as the resultant distributions of NPA character types, in various societies could be analyzed on the basis of well-known principles of population genetics.
  • Studies with primates could confirm a biological basis for behavior in the areas of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology.

Criticism and controversyEdit

Controversy has always followed past positions taken by the scientific community relating human behaviour to inheritance, as in Arthur Jensen’s theories of intelligence, Herrnstein and Murray’s “The Bell Curve”, or Lewontin and colleagues’ “Not in Our Genes”; the NPA personality theory is not exempt. The result of the “nature versus nurture” debate has been that a gauntlet had been thrown to those who espouse genetic underpinnings to behaviour: "show us the relevant genes".

The slow progress of unraveling of the genetic basis of personality is the subject of a recent review article by Jang and colleagues.[1] They point out the lack of any genetic framework in the classification of the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of American psychiatry, and the pressing need to identify “genetically crisp” characteristics – or genetic traits of behaviour that are independent of competing genetic and environmental influences.

The NPA model posits narcissism to be a genetic trait, being related to the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, just as aggression is classically related to the sympathetic branch. This concept of narcissism, and the associated narcissistic rage, is not found in any branch of classical medicine or psychiatry and remains a key point requiring validation. Of note is the recent study by Livesley and colleagues[2] with identical and fraternal twins. They found that of a total of eighteen dimensions of personality it was narcissism that clearly had the highest heritability.

The manuscript of the NPA model was published in book form in 1985[16] and in a peer-reviewed journal in 1990[5]. A revised electronic edition in PDF format was released in 2004 and the online NPA personality test in 2005. Studies are in progress utilizing the NPA personality test in obstetric and gynecological patients.[17] The number of subjects taking and submitting the online test, for personal reasons, exceeds ten thousand per year.

Although the NPA model is several decades old, it has not been validated in the sense of withstanding scrutiny by the scientific method – as is true of all other theories of personality as well. Given the recent advances in deciphering the human genome, such scrutiny may soon be possible. The ideas of Karen Horney have been resilient over time, and the validity of her observations that form the basis of the NPA model awaits the relevant studies in the realm of behavioral genetics.

ReferencesEdit

  • Benis, Anthony M. Toward Self and Sanity: On the genetic origins of the human character, Psychological Dimensions, New York, 1985. ISBN 0-88437-074-7 [eBook, revised 2004]
  • Benis, Anthony M. and Jacob H. Rand (1986). "A model of human personality based on Mendelian genetics" (abstract). Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Publication 86-5, 124.
  • Benis, Anthony M. (1990). "A theory of personality traits leads to a genetic model for borderline types and schizophrenia". Speculations in Science and Technology 13 (3), 167-175.
  • Freud, Sigmund. "Heredity and the aetiology of the neuroses", in Early Psycho-analytic Publications, Hogarth, London, [1896] 1962.
  • Horney, Karen. Neurosis and Human Growth, Norton, 1950. ISBN 0-393-00135-0
  • Horney, Karen. Our Inner Conflicts, Norton, 1945. ISBN 0-393-00133-4
  • Horney, Karen. New Ways in Psychoanalysis, Norton, 1939. ISBN 0-393-00132-6
  • Horney, Karen. Feminine Psychology, Norton, [1922 to 1937] 1967. ISBN 0-393-00686-7
  • Jang, Kerry L., Vernon, Philip A. and W. John Livesley (2001). "Behavioural-genetic perspectives on personality function". Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 46, 234-244.
  • Livesley, W.J., Jang, K.L., Jackson, D.N. and P.A. Vernon (1993). “Genetic and environmental contributions to dimensions of personality disorder”. American Journal of Psychiatry 150, 1826-1831.
  • Stone, Michael H. The Borderline Syndromes, McGraw-Hill, 1980. ISBN 0-07-061685-X

References as NotedEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jang et al. (2001). "Behavioural-genetic perspectives”. See online Accessed June 6, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Livesley et al. (1993). "Genetic and environmental contributions”. Abstract online. Accessed June 6, 2006.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth, Chapter 8: The expansive solutions: the appeal of mastery.
  4. Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth, Chapter 4: Neurotic pride.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Benis (1990). "Theory of personality traits leads to genetic model". See online Accessed June 6, 2006.
  6. Horney, New Ways in Psychoanalysis, Chapter 5: The concept of narcissism.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Horney, Our Inner Conflicts, Chapter 4: Moving against people.
  8. Horney, Feminine Psychology, pp. 182-213.
  9. Horney, New Ways in Psychoanalysis, p. 97.
  10. Horney, Our Inner Conflicts, Chapter 12: Sadistic trends.
  11. Horney, New Ways in Psychoanalysis, Chapter 15: Masochistic phenomena.
  12. Horney, Our Inner Conflicts, Chapter 3: Moving toward people.
  13. Horney, Our Inner Conflicts, Chapter 5: Moving away from people.
  14. Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth, Chapter 10: Morbid dependency.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Benis, Toward Self and Sanity, Chapter 10: Genetics.
  16. Benis, Toward Self and Sanity.
  17. by Donna Hobgood, Clinical attending physician, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

LinksEdit



Discussion on how to best categorize Benis's book

CHANGING CATEGORIZATION OF ARTICLEEdit

  • Mediation is needed. This article may be better placed under a psychiatry or neurology section of Wikipedia. The theory's underpinnings are all solid medical science. Here's a quote from Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Ninth Edition, p. 152. The neurologist assigns to it (emotion) a more precise definition-a complex state of the organism comprised of a mental component of fear, anger, love, or hate in association with certain visceral changes that are mainly under the control of the autonomic nervous system and lead to a certain pattern of motor expression." And a paragraph later: "Cannon and Bard and their associates studied the ways in which the two parts of the autonomic nervous system participate in the emotional state-the parasympathetic mediating trophotropic, restorative and reproductive functions, viz., the general homeostatic functions; and the sympathetic (including the adrenal glands) mediating self-protective or ergotropic functions. Hess and Bard localized the central control mechanisms in the hypothalamus which are ideally situated to send impulses via descending tracts to the parasympathetic and sympathetic segmental apparatus and via releasing factors to the pituitary-adrenal-thyroid system." Donna K. Hobgood, M.D.Donnamd@pol.net 05:47, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
    • When you talk of a different "section", I think you're referring to the article's (articles'?) categorization. If you think it's miscategorized, you're free to change the categories and to announce here that you have done so. (The AfD template at the top of the article invites editors to improve it.) As for the rest of your comment, you seem to be arguing for the validity of NPA. This is a bit odd, but very understandable in view of the way it has been referred to above as pseudoscientific (or at least redolent of pseudoscience). Still, your task as somebody who thinks the article is worthwhile is not to persuade people here that the theory (its subject matter) is worthwhile but instead to persuade them/us that the theory has made some sort of mark in the psychiatric, neurological or other community. Is it used? Is it even discussed? If not, fine, but was it a stepping-stone toward a theory that is used or discussed? If not -- then I regret that this suggestion may irritate you, but still -- can it be shown to have been a significant part of what later turned out to have been a noteworthy blind alley? Can you name a reference book in which it's mentioned? (It wouldn't need its own article; an entry in the index would be a start.) "My" library is not strong for psychiatry or neurology, but I imagine that others here have access to libraries that are better. -- Hoary 06:20, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
      • Hello, Dr Hobgood. I agree with you that psychology was a bad placement, but I don't think that psychitry or neurology are any better. Temperment inheritence under genetics would be the best. For centuries, for thousands of years, mankind has selectively bred animals on the basis of personality characteristics. Cattle, horses and dogs are probably the best represented.
      • And cattle, horses and dogs all have different characteristics that are present and can be manipulated by selective breeding. For dogs, it is territoriality, dominance and affiliation. For man, it might very well be these other three. But it IS in animal science that this type of genetics is best recognized, understood and accepted. Also, considering the huge explosion in primate studies over the past 20 years, it might have TREMENDOUS acceptance with primatologist and primatology.
      • Personally, I think the research has tremendous validity. It is just that, as personality theories go, it's currently dead in the water (even if it proves eventually to have been revolutionary and ground-breaking).. But there are other venues where it could easily go. And if he were to look up the contact info for various primate behaviorists and primate study centers, he might find a lot of researchers eager to examine what he has to say. He could upload his entire book to WikiBooks...
      • The world is still a far way from admitting that we are a whole lot more like dogs and apes than we are like gods. We like to think that how we act and how we think and how we react comes from something a little more fancy that "breeding." But how at home we were not all that far back when people placed such a high value on "breeding", using it to explain all sorts of human success and failure. After Freud, however, and all who came after, and the ridiculous theory of the infant born as a blank slate.

So yes, I more than think his theory has a place - just not in psychiatry or psychology. Maybe in a few more years. --A green Kiwi in learning mode 09:36, 1 November 2006 (UTC)


Talk PageEdit

pasted from where I saved it..


Contents [hide] 1 GA Promotion 2 Comment 3 Rating 4 Discussion 4.1 Copying last comment in discussion to new discussion 5 Self Published 6 Consensus for mid-importance? Based on what?


GA Promotion I have recently reviewed this article & found that it meets the criterion for being a good article. So I have promoted it to GA status. My congratulations to all the contributors for doing a fine job.

Cheers

Srikeit(talk ¦ ✉) 10:20, 29 May 2006 (UTC)


Comment The article NPA personality theory adds honor to the Wikipedia. The article currently is listed as a Good Article after having been voted down for Featured Article based on lack of comments from experts in this field to validate its assertions.

This reasoning is sound as far as it goes, but there is no validation by experts in this field of any theory of personality, so the reader is invited to take the evidence presented by this article and the experts cited as sufficient for the experts cited are of high quality.

The rating I would like to give this article for quality is Featured Article quality: 5 The rating is based on its logical organization, its engrossing, orderly progression from the known to the new. For what it aims to cover, the article hits broadly and sufficiently deeply the basic principles of the genetics of human personality.

The nature of this subject is speculative, almost akin to subatomic particles, we can only approximate and see to it that all the observed facts of the subject are consistent with the theory. As such, the NPA theory is analogous to Darwin's Theory of Evolution in that it frames the complete context of knowledge of biologic beings in a new and startling and even dazzling light.

And after several years of studying this theory, I can attest to that.

The importance of this article is of the top designation. There is no subject in the Wikipedia that could be of more importance to address than the human personality.

We are devoting every energy to furthering knowledge of this theory. We invite your attention to this article as every fact in it has been carefully and meticulously researched.

Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Donnamd@pol.net (talk • contribs) .

I should like to add a few points of information. The article was submitted to Wikipedia at the request of one of the editors. The original version was shorter and without illustrations. It was expanded and citations added, again at the request of the editors and peer review critics. I am familiar with Dr. Hobgood’s research. She has a data base of over two thousand patients and, with the use of the NPA personality test, is attempting to correlate personality factors with disease entities. -– A.Benis Bienek 15:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Credit goes to D-Katana for spotting the NPA website and recognizing its importance. And he has stated the case for Featured Article status succinctly. As he has pointed out, it is unlike any other theory or explanation of human behavior. Thus it should be read with a different mindset.

One point I would like to make is that the theory is not only completely logically consistent but it is unrefuted. Further, we are collecting daily more evidence to validate the theory. And the use of the test is very helpful to patients in their understanding of their emotions and feelings and of personality and its role in genetic succeptibility to some illnesses and conditions.

But the most stunning support for the theory is the meticulously collected genealogies of European royalty (and other celebrity families). Not a single historian or biographer has refuted one iota of this information. And Wikipedia readers are encouraged to dig into it and try to refute it or validate it.

The family genealogies and categorization as to NPA status is almost evidence enough for the NPA theories assertions. And the general reader can follow this information and profit from it. Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Donnamd@pol.net (talk • contribs) .


Rating As per previous comments, the NPA personality theory article has been rated. A rating of "FA" has been given on the merit of prior comments and discourse; the article, apparantly, meets the WP:FA criteria. However, subjectivity comes into play regards the notability of the theory itself; though traffic and interest in the NPA website has risen somewhat since its prolifigation on Wikipedia. An importance rating of "High" has been given. - D-Katana 12:50, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed your ratings. I looked at the FAC discussion. That discussion consisted of two strong objections and no support except from the nominator. It clearly failed the featured article nomination, which is why the facfailed tag is at the top of this page. I would also question its rating of high importance. --Cswrye 16:05, 29 September 2006 (UTC) Can you provide reasoning as to the question of the importance of this article? We are experienced editors; is it perhaps wise to hold a wider vote and discussion regards this article? -- D-Katana 22:50, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTICLE

If the assessment of importance is based on universal agreement on the contents of the article, then one can understand the rating of lesser importance of this article. However, if the importance rating is based on the importance of the topic and the broaching of new and high quality knowledge, then the article should be studied long and hard before dismissing it out of hand. This article is the only comprehensive and scientifically based theory of inheritance of behavior that is currently in the Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia. If editors have occasion to study the article, it is highly unlikely that they will dismiss its importance. To use the comparison with Darwin's Theory of Evolution, many, many, many scholars still dismiss its importance and validily. It stands as the most important theory of all time for one reason: it is logically plausible, consistent, explains the facts of experience, has stood the test of time, and predicts phenomenon which can be traced and validated. The NPA personality theory, while narrower in scope than Darwin's Evolution Theory, is similar also in the following way: When it is further validated with medical research findings, just as Darwin's Theory of Evolution did, it will change humanity's concept of who we are. It will show why we are different from each other and why we are alike. It will dispell racism by showing that similar behavior is seen in racial groups only as a manifestation of the NPA types prevalent in those groups, and the theory will also demonstrate the same behavioral types in all racial and ethnic groups. If the editors of Wikipedia truly believe that the theory has insufficient plausibility and the authorities and experts cited insufficient credentials, that will reflect much on the quality of the editors as well as the question of the importance of the article. Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Donnamd@pol.net (talk • contribs) .

Thank you for starting this discussion. Keep in mind that our assessment of the importance of the theory should not be based on our beliefs of the validity or plausibility of the theory. That constitutes original research. Nor should it be based on whether or not we believe it will become more valuable in the future because Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. My issue with the rating of this article is that the theory currently does not appear to be regarded as important to the field of psychology by the profession itself as evidenced by the small number of reliable sources that mention the theory. I looked through several undergraduate- and graduate-level textbooks on psychology, personality, and personality testing and did not see a single mention of NPA personality theory. My Master's thesis dealt with personality, and I never saw the theory mentioned in any of the articles that I read. I do not have PsychINFO or a similar psychology publication database with me to search at this moment for me to look for other mentions of the theory, but the article itself only references very few authors with the vast majority of references coming only a couple. I am not questioning the credentials of those authors, but many, many psychological theories are put forth by knowledgeable, credible authors; not all of those theories are important to the general field of psychology. The Psychology WikiProject currently does not have an assessment scale to aid in the evaluation of psychology ariticles, but generally, the assessment of imporance is a relative assessment. That is, how important is this article in comparison to other articles in the project? In comparison, I will point out that the article on the Big Five personality traits is marked as mid-importance. This concept in psychology can be found in virtually every textbook on psychology or personality, and it has been studied, written about, and critiqued by numerous psychologists and other experts. There is not nearly as much information published about NPA theory as the Big Five. The assessment of high-importance is generally reserved for well-known and well-published articles in a field, such as personality psychology, schizophrenia, Sigmund Freud, and so on. Again, this is not a criticism of the theory itself, as that's not what Wikipedia is about. Rather, I am pointing out that theory is currently not regarded as highly important by most professionals in the field itself. Perhaps it will become regarded as important in the future, but it is premature to indicate it as such right now. —Cswrye 14:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC) How do you suggest we rate the article? -- D-Katana 18:04, 2 October 2006 (UTC) The lack of peer-reviewed sources apart from Dr. Benis (who developed the theory) concerns me the most. I also did a Google search for "npa personality theory" and found about 2,400 hits, which is relatively low compared to most similar articles. I'd probably rate it as A-quality and Low-importance. I'd be willing to compromise with a Mid-importance assessment though. --Cswrye 20:12, 2 October 2006 (UTC) In terms of cross-referencing and sociological contnet, does this article possess depth? -- D-Katana 13:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC) If it did, I think that it would get more recognition from the psychological community, so no, I don't think it does. --Cswrye 14:38, 3 October 2006 (UTC) Would contacting some members of the psychological community regards this article assist the pending assessment? - D-Katana 21:18, 3 October 2006 (UTC) I do think that it would be good to get input from others regarding the importance of this article, but how do you propose doing that? --Cswrye 21:28, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussion The proposed ratings are currently : A- (Quality). Low, Mid, or High (Importance). Greater detail regards the theory available at the NPA parent website. Suggestions, comments, insight and views appreciated regards and possible improvements in terms of sub-articles, sources and so on. Thanks everyone! :) -- D-Katana 14:28, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Although Wikipedia, like all encyclopedias, would recognize, more routinely, peer-reviewed journals' weighing in on any theory> Is this correct? Isn't it also true that peer reviewed psychology journals are unlikely to champion a theory that departs so radically from the conventional wisdom of psychology.

This is the situation for the NPA theory of personality. Instead, interest and further research is likely to emanate from "pop psychology" before the academic community of psychologists digs in and does prospective controlled and double blind clinical studies and the neurogeneticists get the loci identified. I would think that Dr. Phil, for example would be very likely to feature this work in some way. And the show from which he spun off , Oprah, likewise is likely to be open to it. Something as simple as sending the book to the Oprah folks for review may be more likely to get some traction going for the NPA personality theory. Why would Wikipedia be affected? Wikipedia both shows its support for the work in this theory by its positive attention and evaluations. And, in turn, Wikipedia has the honor of the recognition for championing the theory before any other group of scholars took it on for further development and propagation. Hobgood —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Donnamd@pol.net (talk • contribs) .

That's a problem. Wikipedia is not supposed to be championing any theories. That would be a violation of the original research policy. Wikipedia summarizes information from reliable sources; it reports published information, but it should not be used to establish recognition for a topic. Doing so could be considered a violation of the vanity guidelines. —Cswrye 02:31, 5 October 2006 (UTC) As per your requests and the points previously raised, shall we go with A (Quality) and a "Low" (Importance) rating? -- D-Katana 14:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC) In the absence of any additional discussion, that's what I would support. I put up an RFC for this just in case. —Cswrye 14:36, 11 October 2006 (UTC) I have just spent some time looking at the kind of articles that are in each category of importance. Can I suggest that you take a look at the kind of articles that are here [1] (Mid Importance)? Because it seems to me that NPA Theory is a far better fit with them, than with the articles here [2] (Low Importance). It seems to me that most of those are stubs on obscure subjects, whereas this is a very comprehensive and beautifully presented article. I really do not think the article should be penalised on account of the hypothetical, potential preferences of the "pop psychology" brigade. It isn't about "championing" the theory, it is about presenting it objectively and accurately, and, as such, if the NPA theory is correct it is central to human psychology not "peripheral knowledge to the field of psychology and possibly trivial but still notable" (the criteria for classifying articles of low importance). The only thing disqualifying the article from high importance, "Subject contributes a depth of knowledge to the field of psychology." (the criteria for classifying articles of high importance), is the current lack of academic recognition for the theory. So may I suggest you consider "Mid Importance"? --Zeraeph 00:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC) Since Benis' page already mentions his theroy and has three links to his website, that seems enough, don't you think? - given that this is not even research, but a "creative" way of looking at physical traits in the body and pairing it with Horney's theorectical work on what SHE believed of personality structural division into 3 traits that determined the totality of human behavior. And there have been many other theories of personality development. All, from first to last, merely theories. Thank goodness there is more and more sound science spearheading the understanding of personality. Frankly, I agreed with the removal of his section on the narcissism and npd topics. It's even "self-published" for that matter - shudder. Original "thinking" (not even research except his completely creative retrospective diagnosing of historical figures. Remote diagnosis is totally out of line in anything purporting to be serious work. It's cartoons and coloring books -- I am Kiwi 02:39, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I am sorry, I can't quite follow your comments regarding retrospective diagnosis. Perhaps if you read the article itself more carefully you will realise that NPA theory is not about diagnosis AT ALL but about identifying and quantifying three personality traits which, according to the theory, define all personality. It is a totally different usage of the term "narcissism" to the usage in clinical psychology and psychoanalysis (much of the reason why the section was included in the generic Narcissism article, not Narcissism (psychology)). The article does not present NPA theory as any more than a theory presented by an impeccably accredited academic and medical practitioner. If, for example, the article were to (just to give a ridiculous example) present the relevant aspects of NPA theory as, the definition of an established concept like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it would be a quite different matter, and absolutely unaccceptable, if you can follow that? --Zeraeph 11:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC) PS - I missed this - to clear up an obvious misunderstanding, where on earth did "self published" come from? As the article states, "NPA Theory" was published in 1985 by a reputable New York academic publisher called "Psychological Dimensions" who had a pretty impressive booklist to their credit (see [3]). --Zeraeph 21:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC) I think that what this person means is that since the developer of the source material (Anthony M. Benis) is the same person who wrote most of this Wikipedia article (User:ABenis), a conflict of interest exists. While situations like this usually are frowned upon because a person cannot evaluate his or her own work objectively, they do not violate any rules as long as they conform to the NPOV, no original research and verifiability policies. —Cswrye 21:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC) Not sure that's what the editor means (see bottom of page) but it's a valid point. However, as a theory formally published in 1985 it satisfies WP:OR and WP:V. The formal academic style of the article seems, to me, to satisfy WP:NPOV rather better than many articles, hard to see what could be changed to make it more so? So that shouldn't be a problem? --Zeraeph 22:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC) Comment to Zeraeph - Keep in mind that an article's importance is independent of its quality. A stub could still be rating as high importance if it covers a core area of psychology. Likewise, a featured article could still have a low importance if it covers an obscure topic. It is not our place on Wikipedia to decide whether NPA theory is "correct" as that would be original research. We only summarize other research. There are many, many personality theories out there, and this theory has yet to be recognized by the psychological community as standing out among them. I wouldn't contest a mid-importance assessment, but I'm still convinced that as things stand now, this topic falls too far among the fringes of pschological research to deserve more than a low-importance assessment. —Cswrye 03:15, 17 October 2006 (UTC) Comment to Cswrye - those factors of importance are absolutely the qualities I was determined to base my opinion on. But beyond that I looked at the actual articles in the different categories as examples. I am not convinced that NPA theory IS correct. I am, however, convinced by Dr Benis credentials (which are impeccable, his Education being largely Ivy League, and a teaching position in Cambridge England, along with years as a qualified medical practitioner, are not to be ignored), the care with which he has presented and argued it, and the methodology of his research (which though a little unconventional in it's historical approach seems to me as valid as any other, though there are possibilities of error, where are there not in any research into human psychology?), that NPA theory is a valid theory. Beyond that, either the theory is disproven, in which case it becomes simply "a mistake", or it is an hypothesis concerning factors that are central, rather than peripheral, to psychology. The categories do get a little tricky, because they rather combine this element of importance with "degree of recognition" ,which two factors are actually quite independent, so that the theory would have mid to high importance on how central it is to the concept of psychology, but low importance in terms of recognition. However, it seems the precedent is, when in doubt, the higher category is chosen unless the article is a stub. So you can see that I put a lot of careful thought into suggesting "mid importance". --Zeraeph 11:34, 17 October 2006 (UTC) Again, what you're proposing qualifies as original research. It is not our place to decide whether or not this is a valid theory. We should only base our evaluations on what has been reported by reliable sources, and to that end, a topic's importance is related to its degree of recognition in its applicable field. Thus far, there has been only one published article on this theory, and it has not been widely recognized. I am not questioning the credentials of Dr. Benis, but keep in mind that many credentialed scientists develop theories, models, and research that never make an impact on their discipline. One way of looking at the importance of a topic is this: Would someone in this field of study be knowledgeable of this topic? In this case, I doubt that most people who have done in-depth studies of personality would have heard of NPA personality theory, let alone be familiar with it. If this really is an important theory, it will attract the attention of other personality researchers and undergo further development. If that happens, the importance should be raised, but I don't think that it's there yet. I'm still convinced that this is currently a low-importance article. —Cswrye 14:17, 17 October 2006 (UTC) Sorry, I must have put myself very badly, what I mean is that, as an hypothesis, NPA Theory is valid, in the sense of being properly presented on valid premise. In many other contexts I would agree with you that the importance of a theory relates entirely to it's degree of recognition in an appropriate field BUT the criteria for Psychology importance scale Wikipedia:WikiProject Psychology/Assessment are at variance with that clearly stating: High-importanceSubject contributes a depth of knowledge to the field of psychology. Most experts in psychology will be familiar with the topic. The subject can be found in most academic studies of psychology, and a significant amount of published research exists for it. Example: Schizophrenia


Mid-importanceSubject fills in more minor details but is still important to the field of psychology. Many psychologists are knowledgeable of the topic. Published research from a variety of sources exists for the subject. Example: Big Five personality traits Low-importanceSubject is peripheral knowledge to the field of psychology and possibly trivial but still notable. There may be limited research on the topic, or most professionals in psychology have not yet taken note of it. Example: Liberation psychology This clearly shows the dual criteria of: The scope of the article with regard to the field of psychology The degree of recognition which the subject of the article has received. I do think this is a very unfortunate choice of two criteria that are frequently totally independent of each other, and in terms of individual articles may often place the same article at different ends of the importance scale with regard to the two seperate criteria, but, for now, those are the criteria for selection. That being so, the scope of NPA theory is at the core of psychology, and clearly qualifies as mid to high on the criteria as they stand, though I agree, the recognition qualifies as low. Mid seemed the obvious compromise to me. Personally I think it may be time to discuss using not two, but three, criteria for the Psychology importance scale, such as "quality", "scope", and "importance"?--Zeraeph 15:04, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I would disagree with you on both counts. Within the context of Wikipedia, we have no basis for determining the depth of a topic within its field except through the published research that has been done on it. Otherwise, we would be doing original research. Because of this, I disagree about this theory being at the core of psychology. As I mentioned before, many new psychological theories are developed all the time, and all of them are an attempt to add depth to the field, but most of them make little to no long-term impact on the discipline. The lack of published research on this topic clearly shows that it has not yet established any significance to the field of Psychology. Will it make an impact in the future? Quite possibly, but that's not for Wikipedia to decide. I still think that this is a clear example of a low-importance article, but if there's no additional discussion, I'm willing to compromise with a mid-importance rating. As for the criteria, it's based on the criteria established by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team, and it's really there for that group's purposes. I believe that the team uses the importance scale to prioritize which articles to develop so that they will be put into version 1.0. There's nothing stopping us from adding more criteria, but I don't think it would serve any relevant purpose. You can still propose it there or at WikiProject Psychology if you want. I'll also point out a bias on my part--I'm the one who customized the generic Version 1.0 Editorial Team importance scale into the one we're using for WikiProject Psychology. —Cswrye 16:44, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I didn't say the theory was at the core of psychology, it couldn't possibly be without considerable recognition, I said the scope of the theory (defining the personality) was at the core of psychology, which is a very different statement. As you customised the criteria I feel bound to point out that, from what you are saying here, it genuinely seems to me that there may be considerable difference between what you intend the criteria to communicate and what they actually say at present, which could use a little attention? Thanks for the compromise on mid-importance. --Zeraeph 17:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I apologize for the misunderstanding about the "scope" of the theory. I'm still not sure that I understand what you mean by it. The importance scale mentions "depth" but not "scope", and while "scope" is certainly one aspect of "depth", I don't think that they are equivalent. From the way that you define importance, it seems that every personality theory is important, regardless of how obscure it might be, simply because it has to do with personality. The importance scale probably does need work. I did have one person (the person who set up the scale on the Psychology WikiProject in the first place) look at it, and he approved of the descriptions, although he did suggest adding more examples. I would actually appreciate any input you could have into it. Unfortunately, the Psychology WikiProject isn't as active as I would like it to be. The Version 1.0 Editorial Team uses the importance of an article as a rough estimate of whether or not it should be included in a print encyclopedia if one is made. For example, top-rated articles are absolutely essential for any encyclopedia, while low-rated articles are optional and probably would not be included in most encyclopedias. Top- and high-rated articles tend to be broad general areas or well-known topics, such as those that would be covered in an entry-level class on the subject. Here is a general description of how I interpreted the importance levels, which I believe are inline with the Version 1.0 team's purposes: Top-importance is for core topics that are so vital that an encyclopedia could not even be considered for printing without it. These tend to be broad, general areas that are critical to any further studies of psychology. High-importance articles are foundational topics that would probably be covered in your average undergraduate-level Psychology 101 class, so anyone with a basic knowlege of psychology would have heard about it. Mid-importance articles probably would not be covered in an introductory class, but they probably would be covered in other undergraduate classes. It would be considered basic knowledge for most people with an undergraduate degree in psychology but probably not for the average person. Low-importance articles deal with issues that probably would only be known to people who have performed detailed studies of a topic and may deal with issues that even most pscyhologists would not know about unless they have chosen to specifically study that topic. I think that this would include topics that would not be covered until one reaches a Master's level education or higher, unless you had a special interest in that topic. These articles are probably too obscure for a printed general-interest encyclopedia, although they might be found in a printed encyclopedia of psychology. That's why I think that this article deserves a low-importance rating. I doubt that the average psychologist has ever heard of this theory. In fact, considering that there hasn't been any additional research on it, I doubt that the average psychologist who focuses on personality has heard of this theory. This currently falls in the periphery of personality research, and until more studies on it are done, it is not an essential element to the field of psychology. —Cswrye 19:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I really have been putting myself badly...what I mean by "scope" is the fact that the scope of the article's topic is defining the *overview* of human personality, if that makes sense? That kind of scope is on par with Freud's id, ego and superego, in the sense that if the theory is recognised and proven beyond doubt it must be a foundation of all human psychology.

I relate this relative importance to the fact that articles like "sleep" and "love" are considereed to be concepts of top level importance to psychology when there are many who would argue that those topics aren't really part of psychology at all.

Can we shift much of this discussion over to the project because it isn't relevant here, but it seems very important?

I am going to copy your definitions above, my list of existing definitions and put a link to this discussion if I may? --Zeraeph 19:27, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a great idea to shift this discussion to the WikiProject. Feel free to link to this discussion. I'd much rather see this get input from a variety of people, and maybe we can use it to trigger more activity on the WikiProject. I think that I'm getting a better understanding of what you mean by "importance", and I'd like to talk about that more on the other discussion. —Cswrye 19:52, 17 October 2006 (UTC) All copied over ;o) (hope I put it in right place?)--Zeraeph 20:25, 17 October 2006 (UTC) I've heard some people interpret consensus as a decision that everyone can live with. I still think that this article should be listed as low-importance, and some other editors think it should be listed as high, but all of us seem to be okay with a mid-importance assessment. How about if we go ahead and mark this as A-class, mid-importance and bring the discussion to a close? —Cswrye 15:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Copying last comment in discussion to new discussion Cawrye's last comment duplicated to this link, new discussion begun so it can be more easily found by others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:NPA_personality_theory#Consensus_for_mid-importance.3F__Based_on_what.3F


Self Published Benis is self published. For several years, he would wait until someone sent him a modest payment to cover the cost of his printing and binding he would do at that time. Even years later, you will not find his book at Amazon or any other bookseller I can find. Here is the only way to currently purchase his book - from the author. http://narcissism.homestead.com/orderbook.html The only review I found was by laymen on webpage. The only link to a book regarding the theory in a search of Google Scholar Search seems to be this: AM Benis - "A theory of personality traits leads to a genetic model for borderline types and schizophrenia" in Speculations in Science and Technology, 1990 and the only citation of this is in Benis' later book regarding certain primates, gorillas and man. - --I am Kiwi 21:45, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Not self-published

Greetings --

We have received an email from Zeraeph requesting comment regarding the above statements.

We are extremely reluctant to intrude into the work of experienced Wikipedia editors who are trying their best to rate this article, but we are happy to correct some misstatements.

The book in question Toward Self & Sanity: on the genetic origins of the human character was published in hard cover in 1985 by Psychological Dimensions, Inc., a reputable publisher, and one of four who were willing to publish the manuscript. Following is the publisher’s statement, from page xxi:

PUBLISHER'S STATEMENT

The publisher is personally proud to have had his firm selected as the publisher of this landmark book by Dr. Benis. Even on a cursory examination, the reader will notice its unusual format, the striking originality of its ideas, and the very broad relevance of these ideas. The questions that Dr. Benis considers are ones that must eventually be faced if we are to progress in our basic under¬standing of human behavior. Everyone connected with this project believes the author's views merit the most serious consideration by scientists and laypersons alike.

The timeliness of Dr. Benis' work could hardly be more apt. It comes at a time when Darwin's theory of evolution is being questioned by those who espouse "Creationism," and it comes at a time when the mere mention of the term "sociobiology" arouses con¬troversy. It comes at a time when the field of psychiatry is searching for new directions. And it comes at a time when communications between anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists range from the most dismal to the non-existent, even though they are studying virtually the same behavioral phenomena.

In this book the author develops a theory of human per¬sonality that is the most quantitative I have seen to date, and I have been responsible for the publication of many books in personality and related fields. What makes this book especially exciting is that the theory it presents is testable under rigorous laboratory condi¬tions. Certainly the time has come for a new interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of behavioral traits, which makes me en¬thusiastic about the potential implications this theory has for all of science.

It is important to note that Dr. Benis' book is one that in¬spires optimism. It cuts across sexual, racial and ethnic boundaries. And more than ever, it reemphasizes that whatever the differences in the fine details of our lives, we are all part of the family of humankind.

If you would like to obtain more information regarding this theory, or if you wish to contribute research to the development of this theory, or if you simply wish to be considered a participant for future research on this theory, you may contact the author.

In conclusion, my staff and I are committed to making fur¬ther contributions to the dissemination of information in this field. It may be in the form of books, journals, tests, computer information retrieval systems, newsletters, or whatever other format may be best suited for accessing information in behavioral genetics to selected au¬diences of either pure scientists, applied scientists, medical practi¬tioners, medical researchers, pharmaceutical researchers, industrial managers, scientific administrators, or simply laypersons.

I hope this book generates new insights and new ideas for you, just as the insights and ideas the readers of the manuscript had when they practically "demanded" that this book be published by us.

Robert W. Wesner, President & Publisher

July 1, 1984

Although the book is long out of print and the publishing house defunct, second-hand copies can be purchased at Amazon here.

Other books published by the House can be retrieved by conducting an internet search on "Psychological Dimensions, Inc.".

The article cited was in the peer-reviewed journal, Speculations in Science and Technology. We had no previous connection with this journal, although we were later asked to serve on its editorial board.

The reference to “printing and binding” must refer to bound photocopies of the book that we would send to interested individuals, mainly students, long after the book was out of print and before the electronic version was available.

Finally, we have had no “later book”. The comment must refer to our web site on social behavior in primates.

The field of personality is a diffuse one and still in its infancy, and there is no consensus as to what is the best approach. No theory has yet been validated according to accepted standards of the scientific method.

Our thanks to D-Katana, Zeraeph and others for their constructive criticism. If the article has received good grades for its form, it is because of their efforts: the article as originally submitted at their request was short and without illustrations.

Respectfully, ABenis Bienek 00:56, 19 October 2006 (UTC)



I extend my apologies to you, Dr Benis. I had searched at Amazon for your name and the title as given elsewhere, not for this title, Toward Self & Sanity: on the genetic origins of the human character." Perhaps it has been "renamed" by some and somewhere. The web is not always a highly accurate place. You really should, given the excitement on this page, seek for a new publisher. I would look for a totally different popular kind of publishing house. The best way to choose is to spend time in a bookstore, taking note of what publishing books like yours to a lay audience for popular reading, rather than to a publishing house directed to scientists or psychologists. --I am Kiwi 06:04, 19 October 2006 (UTC) Now that seems to be cleared up I hope we can all move on. --Zeraeph 09:36, 19 October 2006 (UTC)



Consensus for mid-importance? Based on what? (in reference to the discussion above - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:NPA_personality_theory#Discussion)

I've heard some people interpret consensus as a decision that everyone can live with. I still think that this article should be listed as low-importance, and some other editors think it should be listed as high, but all of us seem to be okay with a mid-importance assessment. How about if we go ahead and mark this as A-class, mid-importance and bring the discussion to a close? —Cswrye 15:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Mid importance works for me...it isn't perfect, but what is? Lets DO it. --Zeraeph 19:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Higher up on the page, you stated that you had "googled" "NPA Personality Theory" and come up with well over 2,000 hits. However, I just now did a google search, came up with only 80 unique hits, tediously clicked through on all of them. I discovered that except for Benis' own synopsis of his paper that he keeps online at Geocities, there was little else. :-- that all of the rest of the links were on bogus sites. Such as the kind that consist of nothing but a page of paid for links - the kind that suggest you try looking for "NPA Personality Theory" at ebay.com. Such as websites consisting of nothing but lists of links - the kind that pairs your website for your theory with gardening websites and those for games and puzzles. Such as About.com Such as sites that merely copy this wiki topic Such as the kind where you nominate your own site And finally, where the much maligned and discredited Sam Vaknin has mentioned Benis's theory. True, were also a number of links to Benis' royalty discussion forum and a couple of mentions on chat sites. I didn't think this constituted "moderate importance", but I decided to check Google Scholoar before drawing a conclusion. Google Scholar came up with only 3 documents. Two by Benis. Only citation on either was Benis citing his own book. And the third? Sam's NPDQuotes again. I was more than a little astonished that you should indicate that you are deciding on a "consensus" where 4 people recommended Low Importance and Zeraeph only campaigned for High Importance. How does one person's enthusiasm force a psychologist to make such poor leap in judgement? I would suggest that, to prevent extreme embarrassment to the Wikipedia Psychology Portal, that this discussion be placed SOMEWHERE ELSE where those with more expertise can contribute to the evaluation of importance of this topic. --A green Kiwi in learning mode 19:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC) I think you misunderstood...I suggested mid importance, as a compromise between the fact that the scope of the theory (being central to human psychology) belonged in "high", but the limited recognition belonged in "low", so "mid" seemed the best fit particularly taking into account the other articles listed as "mid"...I think it was D-Katana who wanted high importance? --Zeraeph 19:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC) In accord with the discussion and comprimise therein, the article has been rated at A- (Quality) and Mid (Importance). - D-Katana 13:09, 24 October 2006 (UTC) On Wikipedia, the reality is that consensus depends on the people who are involved in a discussion, so if only four people discuss something, their decision is consensus. Here's how things stand now. D-Katana and Donnamd@pol.net both support high-importance, and although he hasn't said so directly, I assume that ABenis does as well. Zeraeph supports mid-importance. I support low importance, and I assume that A Kiwi does too. That's three votes for high, one for mid, and two for low. I've mentioned this debate on WP:RFC, WP:PSY, and WP:1.0, and no one from those places commented here. I'd love to see some more expert opinion on this topic, but I'm at a loss about how to reach anyone else. In the meantime, a mid-importance assessment seems like a reasonable compromise. —Cswrye 23:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)




   == GA Promotion ==

I have recently reviewed this article & found that it meets the criterion for being a good article. So I have promoted it to GA status. My congratulations to all the contributors for doing a fine job.

Cheers

Srikeit(talk ¦ ) 10:20, 29 May 2006 (UTC)


CommentEdit

The article NPA personality theory adds honor to the Wikipedia. The article currently is listed as a Good Article after having been voted down for Featured Article based on lack of comments from experts in this field to validate its assertions.

This reasoning is sound as far as it goes, but there is no validation by experts in this field of any theory of personality, so the reader is invited to take the evidence presented by this article and the experts cited as sufficient for the experts cited are of high quality.

The rating I would like to give this article for quality is Featured Article quality: 5 The rating is based on its logical organization, its engrossing, orderly progression from the known to the new. For what it aims to cover, the article hits broadly and sufficiently deeply the basic principles of the genetics of human personality.

The nature of this subject is speculative, almost akin to subatomic particles, we can only approximate and see to it that all the observed facts of the subject are consistent with the theory. As such, the NPA theory is analogous to Darwin's Theory of Evolution in that it frames the complete context of knowledge of biologic beings in a new and startling and even dazzling light.

And after several years of studying this theory, I can attest to that.

The importance of this article is of the top designation. There is no subject in the Wikipedia that could be of more importance to address than the human personality.

We are devoting every energy to furthering knowledge of this theory. We invite your attention to this article as every fact in it has been carefully and meticulously researched.

Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnamd@pol.net (talkcontribs)


I should like to add a few points of information. The article was submitted to Wikipedia at the request of one of the editors. The original version was shorter and without illustrations. It was expanded and citations added, again at the request of the editors and peer review critics. I am familiar with Dr. Hobgood’s research. She has a data base of over two thousand patients and, with the use of the NPA personality test, is attempting to correlate personality factors with disease entities. -– A.Benis Bienek 15:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Credit goes to D-Katana for spotting the NPA website and recognizing its importance. And he has stated the case for Featured Article status succinctly. As he has pointed out, it is unlike any other theory or explanation of human behavior. Thus it should be read with a different mindset.

One point I would like to make is that the theory is not only completely logically consistent but it is unrefuted. Further, we are collecting daily more evidence to validate the theory. And the use of the test is very helpful to patients in their understanding of their emotions and feelings and of personality and its role in genetic succeptibility to some illnesses and conditions.

But the most stunning support for the theory is the meticulously collected genealogies of European royalty (and other celebrity families). Not a single historian or biographer has refuted one iota of this information. And Wikipedia readers are encouraged to dig into it and try to refute it or validate it.

The family genealogies and categorization as to NPA status is almost evidence enough for the NPA theories assertions. And the general reader can follow this information and profit from it. Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnamd@pol.net (talkcontribs)



Rating Edit

As per previous comments, the NPA personality theory article has been rated. A rating of "FA" has been given on the merit of prior comments and discourse; the article, apparantly, meets the WP:FA criteria. However, subjectivity comes into play regards the notability of the theory itself; though traffic and interest in the NPA website has risen somewhat since its prolifigation on Wikipedia. An importance rating of "High" has been given. - D-Katana 12:50, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I removed your ratings. I looked at the FAC discussion. That discussion consisted of two strong objections and no support except from the nominator. It clearly failed the featured article nomination, which is why the nowiki facfailed nowiki tag is at the top of this page. I would also question its rating of high importance. --Cswrye 16:05, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Can you provide reasoning as to the question of the importance of this article? We are experienced editors; is it perhaps wise to hold a wider vote and discussion regards this article? -- D-Katana 22:50, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTICLE

If the assessment of importance is based on universal agreement on the contents of the article, then one can understand the rating of lesser importance of this article. However, if the importance rating is based on the importance of the topic and the broaching of new and high quality knowledge, then the article should be studied long and hard before dismissing it out of hand. This article is the only comprehensive and scientifically based theory of inheritance of behavior that is currently in the Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia. If editors have occasion to study the article, it is highly unlikely that they will dismiss its importance. To use the comparison with Darwin's Theory of Evolution, many, many, many scholars still dismiss its importance and validily. It stands as the most important theory of all time for one reason: it is logically plausible, consistent, explains the facts of experience, has stood the test of time, and predicts phenomenon which can be traced and validated. The NPA personality theory, while narrower in scope than Darwin's Evolution Theory, is similar also in the following way: When it is further validated with medical research findings, just as Darwin's Theory of Evolution did, it will change humanity's concept of who we are. It will show why we are different from each other and why we are alike. It will dispell racism by showing that similar behavior is seen in racial groups only as a manifestation of the NPA types prevalent in those groups, and the theory will also demonstrate the same behavioral types in all racial and ethnic groups. If the editors of Wikipedia truly believe that the theory has insufficient plausibility and the authorities and experts cited insufficient credentials, that will reflect much on the quality of the editors as well as the question of the importance of the article. Donna K. Hobgood, M.D. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnamd@pol.net (talkcontribs)


  • Thank you for starting this discussion. Keep in mind that our assessment of the importance of the theory should not be based on our beliefs of the validity or plausibility of the theory. That constitutes original research. Nor should it be based on whether or not we believe it will become more valuable in the future because Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. My issue with the rating of this article is that the theory currently does not appear to be regarded as important to the field of psychology by the profession itself as evidenced by the small number of reliable sources that mention the theory. I looked through several undergraduate- and graduate-level textbooks on psychology, personality, and personality testing and did not see a single mention of NPA personality theory. My Master's thesis dealt with personality, and I never saw the theory mentioned in any of the articles that I read. I do not have PsychINFO or a similar psychology publication database with me to search at this moment for me to look for other mentions of the theory, but the article itself only references very few authors with the vast majority of references coming only a couple. I am not questioning the credentials of those authors, but many, many psychological theories are put forth by knowledgeable, credible authors; not all of those theories are important to the general field of psychology. The Psychology WikiProject currently does not have an assessment scale to aid in the evaluation of psychology ariticles, but generally, the assessment of imporance is a relative assessment. That is, how important is this article in comparison to other articles in the project? In comparison, I will point out that the article on the Big Five personality traits is marked as mid-importance. This concept in psychology can be found in virtually every textbook on psychology or personality, and it has been studied, written about, and critiqued by numerous psychologists and other experts. There is not nearly as much information published about NPA theory as the Big Five. The assessment of high-importance is generally reserved for well-known and well-published articles in a field, such as personality psychology, schizophrenia, Sigmund Freud, and so on. Again, this is not a criticism of the theory itself, as that's not what Wikipedia is about. Rather, I am pointing out that theory is currently not regarded as highly important by most professionals in the field itself. Perhaps it will become regarded as important in the future, but it is premature to indicate it as such right now. —Cswrye 14:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
    • How do you suggest we rate the article? -- D-Katana 18:04, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
      • The lack of peer-reviewed sources apart from Dr. Benis (who developed the theory) concerns me the most. I also did a Google search for "npa personality theory" and found about 2,400 hits, which is relatively low compared to most similar articles. I'd probably rate it as A-quality and Low-importance. I'd be willing to compromise with a Mid-importance assessment though. --Cswrye 20:12, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
        • In terms of cross-referencing and sociological contnet, does this article possess depth? -- D-Katana 13:15, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
          • If it did, I think that it would get more recognition from the psychological community, so no, I don't think it does. --Cswrye 14:38, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
            • Would contacting some members of the psychological community regards this article assist the pending assessment? - D-Katana 21:18, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
              • I do think that it would be good to get input from others regarding the importance of this article, but how do you propose doing that? --Cswrye 21:28, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Discussion Edit

The proposed ratings are currently : A- (Quality). Low, Mid, or High (Importance). Greater detail regards the theory available at the NPA parent website. Suggestions, comments, insight and views appreciated regards and possible improvements in terms of sub-articles, sources and so on. Thanks everyone! :) -- D-Katana 14:28, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Although Wikipedia, like all encyclopedias, would recognize, more routinely, peer-reviewed journals' weighing in on any theory> Is this correct? Isn't it also true that peer reviewed psychology journals are unlikely to champion a theory that departs so radically from the conventional wisdom of psychology.

This is the situation for the NPA theory of personality. Instead, interest and further research is likely to emanate from "pop psychology" before the academic community of psychologists digs in and does prospective controlled and double blind clinical studies and the neurogeneticists get the loci identified. I would think that Dr. Phil, for example would be very likely to feature this work in some way. And the show from which he spun off , Oprah, likewise is likely to be open to it. Something as simple as sending the book to the Oprah folks for review may be more likely to get some traction going for the NPA personality theory. Why would Wikipedia be affected? Wikipedia both shows its support for the work in this theory by its positive attention and evaluations. And, in turn, Wikipedia has the honor of the recognition for championing the theory before any other group of scholars took it on for further development and propagation. Hobgood —Preceding unsigned comment added by Donnamd@pol.net (talkcontribs)


That's a problem. Wikipedia is not supposed to be championing any theories. That would be a violation of the original research policy. Wikipedia summarizes information from reliable sources; it reports published information, but it should not be used to establish recognition for a topic. Doing so could be considered a violation of the vanity guidelines. —Cswrye 02:31, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
As per your requests and the points previously raised, shall we go with A (Quality) and a "Low" (Importance) rating? -- D-Katana 14:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
In the absence of any additional discussion, that's what I would support. I put up an RFC for this just in case. —Cswrye 14:36, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I have just spent some time looking at the kind of articles that are in each category of importance. Can I suggest that you take a look at the kind of articles that are here [1] (Mid Importance)? Because it seems to me that NPA Theory is a far better fit with them, than with the articles here [2] (Low Importance). It seems to me that most of those are stubs on obscure subjects, whereas this is a very comprehensive and beautifully presented article.
I really do not think the article should be penalised on account of the hypothetical, potential preferences of the "pop psychology" brigade. It isn't about "championing" the theory, it is about presenting it objectively and accurately, and, as such, if the NPA theory is correct it is central to human psychology not "peripheral knowledge to the field of psychology and possibly trivial but still notable" (the criteria for classifying articles of low importance). The only thing disqualifying the article from high importance, "Subject contributes a depth of knowledge to the field of psychology." (the criteria for classifying articles of high importance), is the current lack of academic recognition for the theory.
So may I suggest you consider "Mid Importance"? --Zeraeph 00:23, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Since Benis' page already mentions his theroy and has three links to his website, that seems enough, don't you think? - given that this is not even research, but a "creative" way of looking at physical traits in the body and pairing it with Horney's theorectical work on what SHE believed of personality structural division into 3 traits that determined the totality of human behavior. And there have been many other theories of personality development. All, from first to last, merely theories. Thank goodness there is more and more sound science spearheading the understanding of personality. Frankly, I agreed with the removal of his section on the narcissism and npd topics. It's even "self-published" for that matter - shudder. Original "thinking" (not even research except his completely creative retrospective diagnosing of historical figures. Remote diagnosis is totally out of line in anything purporting to be serious work. It's cartoons and coloring books -- I am Kiwi 02:39, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry, I can't quite follow your comments regarding retrospective diagnosis. Perhaps if you read the article itself more carefully you will realise that NPA theory is not about diagnosis AT ALL but about identifying and quantifying three personality traits which, according to the theory, define all personality. It is a totally different usage of the term "narcissism" to the usage in clinical psychology and psychoanalysis (much of the reason why the section was included in the generic Narcissism article, not Narcissism (psychology)).
The article does not present NPA theory as any more than a theory presented by an impeccably accredited academic and medical practitioner. If, for example, the article were to (just to give a ridiculous example) present the relevant aspects of NPA theory as, the definition of an established concept like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it would be a quite different matter, and absolutely unaccceptable, if you can follow that? --Zeraeph 11:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
PS - I missed this - to clear up an obvious misunderstanding, where on earth did "self published" come from? As the article states, "NPA Theory" was published in 1985 by a reputable New York academic publisher called "Psychological Dimensions" who had a pretty impressive booklist to their credit (see [3]). --Zeraeph 21:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I think that what this person means is that since the developer of the source material (Anthony M. Benis) is the same person who wrote most of this Wikipedia article (User:ABenis), a conflict of interest exists. While situations like this usually are frowned upon because a person cannot evaluate his or her own work objectively, they do not violate any rules as long as they conform to the NPOV, no original research and verifiability policies. —Cswrye 21:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Not sure that's what the editor means (see bottom of page) but it's a valid point. However, as a theory formally published in 1985 it satisfies WP:OR and WP:V. The formal academic style of the article seems, to me, to satisfy WP:NPOV rather better than many articles, hard to see what could be changed to make it more so? So that shouldn't be a problem? --Zeraeph 22:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Comment to Zeraeph - Keep in mind that an article's importance is independent of its quality. A stub could still be rating as high importance if it covers a core area of psychology. Likewise, a featured article could still have a low importance if it covers an obscure topic. It is not our place on Wikipedia to decide whether NPA theory is "correct" as that would be original research. We only summarize other research. There are many, many personality theories out there, and this theory has yet to be recognized by the psychological community as standing out among them. I wouldn't contest a mid-importance assessment, but I'm still convinced that as things stand now, this topic falls too far among the fringes of pschological research to deserve more than a low-importance assessment. —Cswrye 03:15, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Comment to Cswrye - those factors of importance are absolutely the qualities I was determined to base my opinion on. But beyond that I looked at the actual articles in the different categories as examples.
I am not convinced that NPA theory IS correct. I am, however, convinced by Dr Benis credentials (which are impeccable, his Education being largely Ivy League, and a teaching position in Cambridge England, along with years as a qualified medical practitioner, are not to be ignored), the care with which he has presented and argued it, and the methodology of his research (which though a little unconventional in it's historical approach seems to me as valid as any other, though there are possibilities of error, where are there not in any research into human psychology?), that NPA theory is a valid theory.
Beyond that, either the theory is disproven, in which case it becomes simply "a mistake", or it is an hypothesis concerning factors that are central, rather than peripheral, to psychology. The categories do get a little tricky, because they rather combine this element of importance with "degree of recognition" ,which two factors are actually quite independent, so that the theory would have mid to high importance on how central it is to the concept of psychology, but low importance in terms of recognition. However, it seems the precedent is, when in doubt, the higher category is chosen unless the article is a stub. So you can see that I put a lot of careful thought into suggesting "mid importance". --Zeraeph 11:34, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Again, what you're proposing qualifies as original research. It is not our place to decide whether or not this is a valid theory. We should only base our evaluations on what has been reported by reliable sources, and to that end, a topic's importance is related to its degree of recognition in its applicable field. Thus far, there has been only one published article on this theory, and it has not been widely recognized. I am not questioning the credentials of Dr. Benis, but keep in mind that many credentialed scientists develop theories, models, and research that never make an impact on their discipline. One way of looking at the importance of a topic is this: Would someone in this field of study be knowledgeable of this topic? In this case, I doubt that most people who have done in-depth studies of personality would have heard of NPA personality theory, let alone be familiar with it. If this really is an important theory, it will attract the attention of other personality researchers and undergo further development. If that happens, the importance should be raised, but I don't think that it's there yet. I'm still convinced that this is currently a low-importance article. —Cswrye 14:17, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I must have put myself very badly, what I mean is that, as an hypothesis, NPA Theory is valid, in the sense of being properly presented on valid premise.
In many other contexts I would agree with you that the importance of a theory relates entirely to it's degree of recognition in an appropriate field BUT the criteria for Psychology importance scale Wikipedia:WikiProject Psychology/Assessment are at variance with that clearly stating:
  • High-importanceSubject contributes a depth of knowledge to the field of psychology. Most experts in psychology will be familiar with the topic. The subject can be found in most academic studies of psychology, and a significant amount of published research exists for it. Example: Schizophrenia


  • Mid-importanceSubject fills in more minor details but is still important to the field of psychology. Many psychologists are knowledgeable of the topic. Published research from a variety of sources exists for the subject. Example: Big Five personality traits
  • Low-importanceSubject is peripheral knowledge to the field of psychology and possibly trivial but still notable. There may be limited research on the topic, or most professionals in psychology have not yet taken note of it. Example: Liberation psychology
This clearly shows the dual criteria of:
  • The scope of the article with regard to the field of psychology
  • The degree of recognition which the subject of the article has received.
I do think this is a very unfortunate choice of two criteria that are frequently totally independent of each other, and in terms of individual articles may often place the same article at different ends of the importance scale with regard to the two seperate criteria, but, for now, those are the criteria for selection.
That being so, the scope of NPA theory is at the core of psychology, and clearly qualifies as mid to high on the criteria as they stand, though I agree, the recognition qualifies as low. Mid seemed the obvious compromise to me.
Personally I think it may be time to discuss using not two, but three, criteria for the Psychology importance scale, such as "quality", "scope", and "importance"?--Zeraeph 15:04, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I would disagree with you on both counts. Within the context of Wikipedia, we have no basis for determining the depth of a topic within its field except through the published research that has been done on it. Otherwise, we would be doing original research. Because of this, I disagree about this theory being at the core of psychology. As I mentioned before, many new psychological theories are developed all the time, and all of them are an attempt to add depth to the field, but most of them make little to no long-term impact on the discipline. The lack of published research on this topic clearly shows that it has not yet established any significance to the field of Psychology. Will it make an impact in the future? Quite possibly, but that's not for Wikipedia to decide. I still think that this is a clear example of a low-importance article, but if there's no additional discussion, I'm willing to compromise with a mid-importance rating.
As for the criteria, it's based on the criteria established by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team, and it's really there for that group's purposes. I believe that the team uses the importance scale to prioritize which articles to develop so that they will be put into version 1.0. There's nothing stopping us from adding more criteria, but I don't think it would serve any relevant purpose. You can still propose it there or at WikiProject Psychology if you want. I'll also point out a bias on my part--I'm the one who customized the generic Version 1.0 Editorial Team importance scale into the one we're using for WikiProject Psychology. —Cswrye 16:44, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say the theory was at the core of psychology, it couldn't possibly be without considerable recognition, I said the scope of the theory (defining the personality) was at the core of psychology, which is a very different statement.
As you customised the criteria I feel bound to point out that, from what you are saying here, it genuinely seems to me that there may be considerable difference between what you intend the criteria to communicate and what they actually say at present, which could use a little attention?
Thanks for the compromise on mid-importance. --Zeraeph 17:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for the misunderstanding about the "scope" of the theory. I'm still not sure that I understand what you mean by it. The importance scale mentions "depth" but not "scope", and while "scope" is certainly one aspect of "depth", I don't think that they are equivalent. From the way that you define importance, it seems that every personality theory is important, regardless of how obscure it might be, simply because it has to do with personality.
The importance scale probably does need work. I did have one person (the person who set up the scale on the Psychology WikiProject in the first place) look at it, and he approved of the descriptions, although he did suggest adding more examples. I would actually appreciate any input you could have into it. Unfortunately, the Psychology WikiProject isn't as active as I would like it to be.
The Version 1.0 Editorial Team uses the importance of an article as a rough estimate of whether or not it should be included in a print encyclopedia if one is made. For example, top-rated articles are absolutely essential for any encyclopedia, while low-rated articles are optional and probably would not be included in most encyclopedias. Top- and high-rated articles tend to be broad general areas or well-known topics, such as those that would be covered in an entry-level class on the subject. Here is a general description of how I interpreted the importance levels, which I believe are inline with the Version 1.0 team's purposes:
  • Top-importance is for core topics that are so vital that an encyclopedia could not even be considered for printing without it. These tend to be broad, general areas that are critical to any further studies of psychology.
  • High-importance articles are foundational topics that would probably be covered in your average undergraduate-level Psychology 101 class, so anyone with a basic knowlege of psychology would have heard about it.
  • Mid-importance articles probably would not be covered in an introductory class, but they probably would be covered in other undergraduate classes. It would be considered basic knowledge for most people with an undergraduate degree in psychology but probably not for the average person.
  • Low-importance articles deal with issues that probably would only be known to people who have performed detailed studies of a topic and may deal with issues that even most pscyhologists would not know about unless they have chosen to specifically study that topic. I think that this would include topics that would not be covered until one reaches a Master's level education or higher, unless you had a special interest in that topic. These articles are probably too obscure for a printed general-interest encyclopedia, although they might be found in a printed encyclopedia of psychology.
That's why I think that this article deserves a low-importance rating. I doubt that the average psychologist has ever heard of this theory. In fact, considering that there hasn't been any additional research on it, I doubt that the average psychologist who focuses on personality has heard of this theory. This currently falls in the periphery of personality research, and until more studies on it are done, it is not an essential element to the field of psychology. —Cswrye 19:01, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I really have been putting myself badly...what I mean by "scope" is the fact that the scope of the article's topic is defining the *overview* of human personality, if that makes sense? That kind of scope is on par with Freud's id, ego and superego, in the sense that if the theory is recognised and proven beyond doubt it must be a foundation of all human psychology.

I relate this relative importance to the fact that articles like "sleep" and "love" are considereed to be concepts of top level importance to psychology when there are many who would argue that those topics aren't really part of psychology at all.

Can we shift much of this discussion over to the project because it isn't relevant here, but it seems very important?

I am going to copy your definitions above, my list of existing definitions and put a link to this discussion if I may? --Zeraeph 19:27, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a great idea to shift this discussion to the WikiProject. Feel free to link to this discussion. I'd much rather see this get input from a variety of people, and maybe we can use it to trigger more activity on the WikiProject. I think that I'm getting a better understanding of what you mean by "importance", and I'd like to talk about that more on the other discussion. —Cswrye 19:52, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
All copied over ;o) (hope I put it in right place?)--Zeraeph 20:25, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I've heard some people interpret consensus as a decision that everyone can live with. I still think that this article should be listed as low-importance, and some other editors think it should be listed as high, but all of us seem to be okay with a mid-importance assessment. How about if we go ahead and mark this as A-class, mid-importance and bring the discussion to a close? —Cswrye 15:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Copying last comment in discussion to new discussionEdit

Cawrye's last comment duplicated to this link, new discussion begun so it can be more easily found by others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:NPA_personality_theory#Consensus_for_mid-importance.3F__Based_on_what.3F

Self PublishedEdit

Benis is self published. For several years, he would wait until someone sent him a modest payment to cover the cost of his printing and binding he would do at that time. Even years later, you will not find his book at Amazon or any other bookseller I can find. Here is the only way to currently purchase his book - from the author. http://narcissism.homestead.com/orderbook.html The only review I found was by laymen on webpage. The only link to a book regarding the theory in a search of Google Scholar Search seems to be this: AM Benis - "A theory of personality traits leads to a genetic model for borderline types and schizophrenia" in Speculations in Science and Technology, 1990 and the only citation of this is in Benis' later book regarding certain primates, gorillas and man. - --I am Kiwi 21:45, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Not self-published

Greetings --

We have received an email from Zeraeph requesting comment regarding the above statements.

We are extremely reluctant to intrude into the work of experienced Wikipedia editors who are trying their best to rate this article, but we are happy to correct some misstatements.

The book in question Toward Self & Sanity: on the genetic origins of the human character was published in hard cover in 1985 by Psychological Dimensions, Inc., a reputable publisher, and one of four who were willing to publish the manuscript. Following is the publisher’s statement, from page xxi:

PUBLISHER'S STATEMENT

The publisher is personally proud to have had his firm selected as the publisher of this landmark book by Dr. Benis. Even on a cursory examination, the reader will notice its unusual format, the striking originality of its ideas, and the very broad relevance of these ideas. The questions that Dr. Benis considers are ones that must eventually be faced if we are to progress in our basic under¬standing of human behavior. Everyone connected with this project believes the author's views merit the most serious consideration by scientists and laypersons alike.

The timeliness of Dr. Benis' work could hardly be more apt. It comes at a time when Darwin's theory of evolution is being questioned by those who espouse "Creationism," and it comes at a time when the mere mention of the term "sociobiology" arouses con¬troversy. It comes at a time when the field of psychiatry is searching for new directions. And it comes at a time when communications between anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists range from the most dismal to the non-existent, even though they are studying virtually the same behavioral phenomena.

In this book the author develops a theory of human per¬sonality that is the most quantitative I have seen to date, and I have been responsible for the publication of many books in personality and related fields. What makes this book especially exciting is that the theory it presents is testable under rigorous laboratory condi¬tions. Certainly the time has come for a new interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of behavioral traits, which makes me en¬thusiastic about the potential implications this theory has for all of science.

It is important to note that Dr. Benis' book is one that in¬spires optimism. It cuts across sexual, racial and ethnic boundaries. And more than ever, it reemphasizes that whatever the differences in the fine details of our lives, we are all part of the family of humankind.

If you would like to obtain more information regarding this theory, or if you wish to contribute research to the development of this theory, or if you simply wish to be considered a participant for future research on this theory, you may contact the author.

In conclusion, my staff and I are committed to making fur¬ther contributions to the dissemination of information in this field. It may be in the form of books, journals, tests, computer information retrieval systems, newsletters, or whatever other format may be best suited for accessing information in behavioral genetics to selected au¬diences of either pure scientists, applied scientists, medical practi¬tioners, medical researchers, pharmaceutical researchers, industrial managers, scientific administrators, or simply laypersons.

I hope this book generates new insights and new ideas for you, just as the insights and ideas the readers of the manuscript had when they practically "demanded" that this book be published by us.

Robert W. Wesner, President & Publisher

July 1, 1984

Although the book is long out of print and the publishing house defunct, second-hand copies can be purchased at Amazon here.

Other books published by the House can be retrieved by conducting an internet search on "Psychological Dimensions, Inc.".

The article cited was in the peer-reviewed journal, Speculations in Science and Technology. We had no previous connection with this journal, although we were later asked to serve on its editorial board.

The reference to “printing and binding” must refer to bound photocopies of the book that we would send to interested individuals, mainly students, long after the book was out of print and before the electronic version was available.

Finally, we have had no “later book”. The comment must refer to our web site on social behavior in primates.

The field of personality is a diffuse one and still in its infancy, and there is no consensus as to what is the best approach. No theory has yet been validated according to accepted standards of the scientific method.

Our thanks to D-Katana, Zeraeph and others for their constructive criticism. If the article has received good grades for its form, it is because of their efforts: the article as originally submitted at their request was short and without illustrations.

Respectfully, ABenis Bienek 00:56, 19 October 2006 (UTC)


I extend my apologies to you, Dr Benis. I had searched at Amazon for your name and the title as given elsewhere, not for this title, Toward Self & Sanity: on the genetic origins of the human character." Perhaps it has been "renamed" by some and somewhere. The web is not always a highly accurate place.
You really should, given the excitement on this page, seek for a new publisher. I would look for a totally different popular kind of publishing house. The best way to choose is to spend time in a bookstore, taking note of what publishing books like yours to a lay audience for popular reading, rather than to a publishing house directed to scientists or psychologists. --I am Kiwi 06:04, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Now that seems to be cleared up I hope we can all move on. --Zeraeph 09:36, 19 October 2006 (UTC)


Consensus for mid-importance? Based on what?Edit

(in reference to the discussion above - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:NPA_personality_theory#Discussion)

I've heard some people interpret consensus as a decision that everyone can live with. I still think that this article should be listed as low-importance, and some other editors think it should be listed as high, but all of us seem to be okay with a mid-importance assessment. How about if we go ahead and mark this as A-class, mid-importance and bring the discussion to a close? —Cswrye 15:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Mid importance works for me...it isn't perfect, but what is? Lets DO it. --Zeraeph 19:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Higher up on the page, you stated that you had "googled" "NPA Personality Theory" and come up with well over 2,000 hits. However, I just now did a google search, came up with only 80 unique hits, tediously clicked through on all of them. I discovered that except for Benis' own synopsis of his paper that he keeps online at Geocities, there was little else. :-- that all of the rest of the links were on bogus sites.
Such as the kind that consist of nothing but a page of paid for links - the kind that suggest you try looking for "NPA Personality Theory" at ebay.com.
Such as websites consisting of nothing but lists of links - the kind that pairs your website for your theory with gardening websites and those for games and puzzles.
Such as About.com
Such as sites that merely copy this wiki topic
Such as the kind where you nominate your own site
And finally, where the much maligned and discredited Sam Vaknin has mentioned Benis's theory.
True, were also a number of links to Benis' royalty discussion forum and a couple of mentions on chat sites.
I didn't think this constituted "moderate importance", but I decided to check Google Scholoar before drawing a conclusion. Google Scholar came up with only 3 documents. Two by Benis. Only citation on either was Benis citing his own book. And the third? Sam's NPDQuotes again.
I was more than a little astonished that you should indicate that you are deciding on a "consensus" where 4 people recommended Low Importance and Zeraeph only campaigned for High Importance. How does one person's enthusiasm force a psychologist to make such poor leap in judgement?
I would suggest that, to prevent extreme embarrassment to the Wikipedia Psychology Portal, that this discussion be placed SOMEWHERE ELSE where those with more expertise can contribute to the evaluation of importance of this topic. --A green Kiwi in learning mode 19:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood...I suggested mid importance, as a compromise between the fact that the scope of the theory (being central to human psychology) belonged in "high", but the limited recognition belonged in "low", so "mid" seemed the best fit particularly taking into account the other articles listed as "mid"...I think it was D-Katana who wanted high importance? --Zeraeph 19:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
In accord with the discussion and comprimise therein, the article has been rated at A- (Quality) and Mid (Importance). - D-Katana 13:09, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, the reality is that consensus depends on the people who are involved in a discussion, so if only four people discuss something, their decision is consensus. Here's how things stand now. D-Katana and Donnamd@pol.net both support high-importance, and although he hasn't said so directly, I assume that ABenis does as well. Zeraeph supports mid-importance. I support low importance, and I assume that A Kiwi does too. That's three votes for high, one for mid, and two for low. I've mentioned this debate on WP:RFC, WP:PSY, and WP:1.0, and no one from those places commented here. I'd love to see some more expert opinion on this topic, but I'm at a loss about how to reach anyone else. In the meantime, a mid-importance assessment seems like a reasonable compromise. —Cswrye 23:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

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