The Right Personality for Grad School

Posted on February 11, 2010 by

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I was just reading a NY Times Article on  medical school and they are talking about the best way to determine success.

Shockingly, it’s not through the dreaded MCAT.

According to a recent study in The Journal of Applied Psychology, there is another kind of exam that may be more predictive of how successful students will be in medicine: personality testing.

….Neuroticism, or an individual’s likelihood of becoming emotionally upset, was a constant predictor of a student’s poor academic performance and even attrition. Being conscientious, on the other hand, was a particularly important predictor of success throughout medical school. And the importance of openness and agreeableness increased over time, though neither did as significantly as extraversion.

Well, just in case admissions committees are out there are reviewing my grad school applications right at this moment, have read my numerous references to this website, and would like to submit to the above-Medical School rubric, here’s my personality.

I like to write, and argue on paper against a bunch of things.  I feel like I can pick any argument apart, based on gut instinct.  This is something I’ve realized from over 10 years of furious message board posting.  I know what it takes to have attained an “expertise” in something, and that’s following the Chicago Bulls.

As a result of this message boarding experience, I like to think about things a lot particularly language use, semantics, and memory. I’m interested in how people acquire points of view, the language they use to describe that point of view, and how they make decisions from that language.

I feel like I’ve got a burst of ideas and I really want to communicate them with people via writing, which I do here, at the Examiner, and on message boards.  I’d prefer that I get paid just enough to sustain a lifestyle of mental exploration, revelation, and community-building.

I feel like if people could see and understand what I see and understand, they would adopt progressive views that try to be outside of the self and seek to bridge understanding in between peoples and places.

I feel like anything could be understood, it’s just a matter of adopting the language and the pictures that experts have in mind and see when they describe whatever it is they are expert at.

Running the LA Marathon made me believe that anything was possible, and so I’ve been brooding over the many possibilities of professions and knowledges to acquire.

I don’t tend to make impulse decisions and can keep thinking pros/cons of almost anything.

I know I overthink purely social situations unless with true friends.  In certain contexts unless I’m trying  to engage in pointed and objective-oriented conversations (i.e. teaching), I’ve got some issues with spontaneous verbal communication with acquaintances and people I don’t know much.

Once I get to know people, I’ll let you in and ingratiate you with the jokes.  I want to let people in, but seems like my humor naturally filters out people to the folks I need to know.

So I might be slightly introverted, but I can round up people and play the role of extrovert.

I know how to get shit done, probably more than I’ll let on.  I think  living my life dressed in baggy clothes kinda fools people, but I’d like to represent that type of hip-hop habitus in as many settings as that permits.   It’s sad that style of clothing can prevent you from having a voice, one of my aims is to give that style a voice in the academic context.

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