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How personality and gender may relate to individual attitudes toward caring for and about others.

When we first tackled the issue of global caring--empathy, altruism altruism (ăl`trĭz`əm), concept in philosophy and psychology that holds that the interests of others, rather than of the self, can motivate an individual. , and moral development--among gifted children, we wished to investigate whether there are identifiable innate differences beyond high intelligence among people who do or do not experience empathy empathy

Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing.
 and feelings of altruism toward people in need. In order to develop effective strategies for increasing empathy or altruism in students, for example, we need to see whether there are ways to identify those who are already more likely to inherently possess such proclivities.

The article is divided into two specific author responsibilities. As first author, I introduce the literature and goals, and the second author introduces the methodology and statistical interpretation of results. A private consultant and specialist in high intelligence, with a primary interest in gifted children, I read in my early studies of gifted children that altruism and empathy were more prevalent and more developed in highly intelligent children. Numerous researchers have written that some children, especially intellectually gifted children and adolescents, manifest sensitivity and concern for others quite early in their lives as compared to nongifted peers. My coauthor co·au·thor or co-au·thor  
A collaborating or joint author.

tr.v. co·au·thored, co·au·thor·ing, co·au·thors
To be a collaborating or joint author of: "He and a colleague . . .
 is a university statistician with considerable experience working with social scientists. His experience makes it possible to help nonstatisticians to frame and analyze their ideas and findings.

Dabrowski (1964), for example, suggested that a propensity for advanced moral development comes from a base of particular response patterns within the highly intelligent. A significant aspect of the my personal experience--i.e., rearing three highly gifted sons who did not show high degrees of empathy toward global issues--led me to consider the possibility that some gifted children and adults are more predisposed pre·dis·pose  
v. pre·dis·posed, pre·dis·pos·ing, pre·dis·pos·es
a. To make (someone) inclined to something in advance:
 to such "caring" behaviors and concerns than others who are equally intelligent. Perhaps high intellectual level is important, but perhaps additional personal characteristics are necessary for a caring, altruistic al·tru·ism  
1. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.

2. Zoology Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species.
, or empathic em·path·ic  
Of, relating to, or characterized by empathy.

Adj. 1. empathic - showing empathy or ready comprehension of others' states; "a sensitive and empathetic school counselor"
 approach to the needs of others.

Additional experiences have contributed to my interest in the current topic. As I worked in the field of giftedness, I noticed that many people in the field assumed that high intelligence and altruism go hand in hand, that it is part of the moral sensitivity that the gifted share (Dabrowski, 1964; Gross, 1993; Hollingworth, 1942; Lind, 2000; Lovecky, 1997; Piechowski, 2006; Renzulli, 2002; Silverman, 1993; Terman, 1925; Von Karolyi, 2006; Webb, Meckstroth, & Tolan, 1982). O'Leary (2005) summarized this common viewpoint as follows:
   Silverman (1993) suggests "the cognitive complexity and
   certain personality traits of the gifted create unique
   experiences and awareness that separate them from others.
   A central feature of the gifted experience is their moral
   sensitivity, which is essential to the welfare of the entire

      Moral reasoning as an indicator of giftedness and the
   advanced moral reasoning noted by researchers in the field
   of gifted education (Gross, 1993; Hollingworth, 1942;
   Kohlberg, 1964; Silverman, 1993a; Southern, 1993) suggest
   that those students who demonstrate advanced levels need a
   curriculum and counseling which also address this area of
   development. Gifted programs and those working with
   gifted students must be aware of the affective traits and
   needs associated with these children and be aware of the
   necessity for counseling. (p. 52)

I became concerned that some parents and teachers might actually conclude that advanced moral reasoning Moral reasoning is a study in psychology that overlaps with moral philosophy. It is also called Moral development. Prominent contributors to theory include Lawrence Kohlberg and Elliot Turiel.  as described in some of the gifted literature was a required, constant factor within those people who were identified as gifted. This article questions that assumption and uncovers other factors that may mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power.  the expression of advanced moral reasoning and feelings of empathy and altruism. We considered the possibility that some people show their caring in different ways, and that the empathy that leads to altruism may not necessarily look the same for all gifted individuals.

Where does caring for others begin? Is a tendency toward global caring a natural part of some people's character--something one is born with--or is it something that can be instilled and nurtured? Do a person's expressions of concern necessarily reflect the actions they take to remedy perceived problems? Are some people--due to their gender, personality type, or intellectual level--inherently likely to care more than others about different cultures and global interdependence? In order to raise these questions about possible differences in global caring--e.g., empathy, altruism, and moral development--we surveyed a highly intelligent population sample about their thoughts and examined how gender and personality are related to different manifestations of global caring, expressed concern, and reported actions.


A number of projects over the years have led to interest in the current study. I wrote my doctoral dissertation dis·ser·ta·tion  
A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.


, which consists of 41 case studies of highly gifted adults, with the original objective of ascertaining how highly intelligent people can turn out so differently from one another (Ruf, 1998). I was curious about their childhoods and the effects of their families and schools on their development. James Rest James Rest was a professor with the Department of Educational Psychology for the University of Minnesota. In 1982 he helped formally establish the Center for the Study of Ethical Development along with colleagues Muriel Bebeau, Darcia Narvaez and Steve Thoma.  was a member of my original thesis committee This article or section may deal primarily with the U.S. and may not present a worldwide view.  and was replaced by Darcia Narvaez, when he became ill in the mid-1990s. I became interested in Rest's Defining Issues Test The Defining Issues Test or the DIT is a component model of moral development devised by James Rest in 1979.[1] The University of Minnesota formally established the Center for the Study of Ethical Development as a vehicle for research around this test in 1982.  (DIT; Rest, 1986). This test is a paper-and-pencil assessment of moral reasoning and is based on various questions relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 five moral dilemmas and follows and builds upon the original work by Rest's friend and colleague, Kohlberg (1984). Rest offered the materials to me for use with my highly gifted study participants. Ten years later, I decided to use the original version (of the DIT) rather than the newer edition (Rest, 1999) with the 50 families who were participants in my first book, which looks at levels of giftedness. I chose the original version because my interpretation of the results would be more consistent (Ruf, 2005). Longitudinal lon·gi·tu·di·nal
Running in the direction of the long axis of the body or any of its parts.
 research by Gross (1993) with exceptionally gifted children used the 1986 version and influenced my decision to include it in my own analyses of gifted children and their parents because fairly direct comparisons were possible. All of this direct experience with the 1986 version of the DIT and with its author gave me multiple opportunities to formulate my own interpretations and theories as to what the DIT actually measured.

Rest (1988) believed, and later published an article showing (as well as told me directly) that subjects earned higher DIT scores after they participated in moral reasoning classes. He also told me that educational level was correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 with DIT results. As a result, he and his colleagues developed curricula to teach moral reasoning. As a high intelligence specialist, however, I know that educational level is often used as a proxy for intelligence levels (Roid, 2003) because higher levels of education are often self-selected; i.e., people who are good at and enjoy school tend to stay in school longer than those who have less academic ability. If this is the case, are higher levels of moral reasoning more related to actual education, or intelligence level, or perhaps even something else? These questions prompted my decision to study the issue further.

Whether or not people learn to care about global issues--that is, the welfare of others who may be known to them personally or not--is a form of moral reasoning, and many assert that it is related to human development (Dabrowski, 1964; Kohlberg, 1984; Piechowski, 1975, 1981; Rest, 1986). There is more than one way to view moral development. For some, it is seen principally as the ability to reason about universal principles of justice and fairness; i.e., moral judgment (Kohlberg, 1973; Rest, 1979). For others, it is a matter of ability to empathize em·pa·thize
To feel empathy in relation to another person.
 with and act to alleviate others' suffering, i.e., compassion (Gilligan, as cited in Jorgensen, 2006; Jorgensen; Hoffman, 1981, 1990). Some believe that both reasoning and compassion are necessary in formulating moral actions; however, it is the relative importance of each that distinguishes different theories (Lovecky, 1997)., Not everyone is equally concerned about the welfare of others (Dabrowski, 1984; Hoffman, 2001; Piechowski, 1991). The issues of global awareness and global caring are probably both part of the normal course of emotional and human development, in that most people show, for example, more empathy for others as they mature. As Hoffman (1990) explained, empathic reactions to others' pain moves from a global distress of shared discomfort to a more specific awareness of how other people are affected, for example, by political decisions. Piaget (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969) originally posited that emotional development follows specific stages of development much in the same way as intellectual development is primarily stage-based.

Kohlberg (1984) and Gilligan (1982), two leaders in moral development theory, express somewhat different viewpoints from one another. Each conceptualized a stage theory in which people develop from one stage to the next as they grow in their ability to make complex judgments. Kohlberg's theory focuses on the use of reason to draw conclusions about what ought to be done to achieve justice and fairness in a particular situation--his are principles of justice. In his view, the moral reasoner is one who knows that a moral decision is required, understands that principles need to be applied universally, thinks of the greatest good for the most people, and then makes a decision based on abstract principles of justice and fairness. Kohlberg's theory follows Piaget's and Inhelder's (1969) thinking about the stages of mental development.

Gilligan, a former colleague of Kohlberg's, felt that women are motivated more by a "care" perspective that empathizes with the needs of others and that personal caring is a stronger motivator for some individuals than a simple "justice" imperative. Gilligan's research was designed to counter, even supplement, Kohlberg's model because she saw his as favoring the male viewpoint--its stages of moral development had at first been normed on a male sample-and that Kohlberg's interview protocol would minimize and give lower scores to the female viewpoint. Kohlberg took note of the objections and changed some of the scoring to allow for female viewpoints. Rest (1986), building on Kohlberg's work, designed the DIT and gave credit for caring about others even when the choice might be objectively illegal, as in the Heinz dilemma The Heinz dilemma is a frequently used example in many ethics and morality classes. One well-known version of the dilemma, used in Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development, is stated as follows:

A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer.
 (i.e., whether or not to steal a drug that would save a loved one's life). For both Kohlberg and Rest, however, actions motivated by caring still scored lower than actions motivated by justice if caring meant anarchy ANARCHY. The absence of all political government; by extension, it signifies confusion in government.  or law-breaking. To Gilligan, strict adherence to the letter of the law is sometimes--in some situations--a demonstration of a lower order moral decision.

The DIT was standardized by using an answer rating scale that weighted the choices examinees selected and was normed on thousands of people during the ensuing en·sue  
intr.v. en·sued, en·su·ing, en·sues
1. To follow as a consequence or result. See Synonyms at follow.

2. To take place subsequently.
 years; it was updated in 1999 with more current dilemmas. From its initial use, average group scores on the DIT rose with educational level; e.g., people who went to college scored higher on average than those who did not. A primary objective of the DIT was to use it as a pre- and post-test for ethics training among professionals. Because the trend showed higher scores after instruction, Rest (1986) concluded that higher levels of education, and specifically training in ethics and moral reasoning, would improve moral reasoning in people.

Because Kohlberg's (1984) theory requires the ability to reason abstractly, young children are seen as being not yet able to reason about moral issues; they are premoral. Rest's DIT is written at a seventh-grade reading level and was not normed below that age level. But researchers who worked with gifted populations, populations whose reading levels are generally advanced for their age, wanted to investigate whether or not younger gifted children could, in fact, reason abstractly about moral and ethical issues at younger ages than some assumed. Using the DIT, Janos and Robinson (1985) compared the scores of a group of radically accelerated college students (gifted students who were skipped multiple grades and started college younger than the usual age of 18), two groups of highly gifted high-school students, and a group of typical undergraduate college students. They found that the three groups of highly gifted students scored higher on the DIT than the more typical undergraduate student group. Following this same conclusion that higher DIT scores meant higher levels of moral reasoning, Howard-Hamilton (1994) used the DIT with gifted high-school students, who scored well above the norm for age-mates on the DIT. These results indicate that the average scores for the gifted samples were higher than the average score for the nongifted samples, but no attempts were made to explain any exceptions within the groups. Gross (1993) found that 2 of the 15 exceptionally gifted students from her longitudinal study longitudinal study

a chronological study in epidemiology which attempts to establish a relationship between an antecedent cause and a subsequent effect. See also cohort study.
, at age 12, scored above the levels of college students on the DIT. From this, we know that these highly gifted youngsters can reason abstractly and solve moral dilemmas of the sort presented on the DIT, but does the ability to solve dilemmas necessary reflect actions? Although Rest includes a description of moral action as the final step in his Four Component model (1983), action is not part of the DIT itself.

Some have studied why it is that different people react quite differently to the same set of circumstances (Dabrowski, 1964; Hoffman, 1994; Weiss, Boyer, Lombardo, & Stich STICH Cardiology A clinical trial–Surgical Treatment for IntraCerebral Hemorrhage , 1973). Dabrowski was a Polish psychiatrist psychiatrist /psy·chi·a·trist/ (si-ki´ah-trist) a physician who specializes in psychiatry.

A physician who specializes in psychiatry.
 who witnessed the terrible effects of both World Wars. Through his observation of the self-sacrifice and noble behavior of some people alongside inconceivable inhumanity in·hu·man·i·ty  
n. pl. in·hu·man·i·ties
1. Lack of pity or compassion.

2. An inhuman or cruel act.


pl -ties

 on the part of others, he began to study how these behaviors could coexist co·ex·ist  
intr.v. co·ex·ist·ed, co·ex·ist·ing, co·ex·ists
1. To exist together, at the same time, or in the same place.

 in society (Dabrowski, as explained in Piechowski, 1975). Dabrowski's theory focused on adolescents and adults, and he suggested that both life experience and the ability to evaluate concepts were necessary in order for people to develop further in emotional and moral complexity (Piechowski, 1986). Like the theories of Kohlberg (1984) and Gilligan (1982), Dabrowski's theory describes stages of development, with growth toward an ideal of self-actualization in the final stage, a stage realized by few.

Dabrowski said that past explanations from behaviorism behaviorism, school of psychology which seeks to explain animal and human behavior entirely in terms of observable and measurable responses to environmental stimuli. Behaviorism was introduced (1913) by the American psychologist John B.  and Freudianism cannot adequately explain the course of human behavior and the differing outcomes among people who appear to be experiencing similarly handicapping life conditions. He concluded that some individuals must be born with a higher ability to transcend life's difficulties and thus grow into more mature, wiser, "evolved" human beings than other people. For a summary of both Kohlberg's and Dabrowski's Levels of Development, and a general comparison of each to DIT score results, see Table 1.

Interested in high intelligence in general, I was especially interested in how intelligence may affect both moral development and self-actualization. I believed that Rest's interpretation that education improved DIT scores--rather than being simply correlated with higher scores--gave too much credit to education and not enough to intelligence (Rest, 1986). For my doctoral dissertation study, the DIT seemed a useful tool for testing whether highly intelligent people, all with a score of at least 99th percentile on IQ tests and all at least graduates of 4-year universities, would show a relatively wide or narrow range of DIT scores. Due to the results of others' earlier studies, I already expected a higher average score than for the general adult-population average. I administered the DIT with its justice-based interpretations (Rest, 1986) as a factor in positioning 41 case study adult subjects along a continuum of emotional development toward self-actualization and concluded that there was a similar pattern of growth between those attaining high levels of inner emotional development and those reaching high levels of moral reasoning (Ruf, 1998).

My results from the DIT showed a considerably higher score advantage for the women despite the fact that responders receive higher scores for "justice" rather than "caring" responses. In my experience, the DIT does capture Kohlberg's justice-based intent, one that Gilligan (1982) noted may not be reflective of women's care orientation. The more interesting result, however, is that all of the subjects--not a random sample--are at the 99th percentile intellectually, are older than 40 years and are well-educated, and yet their range of scores on the DIT is wide, nearly as wide as the general population despite their apparent intellectual and educational advantages. The average score for the group is higher for the highly gifted, highly educated group than the general public, 57.67 compared to 40, which correlates with the usual findings of generally higher scores among highly intelligent, educated subjects. It appears that something more than education or high intellect A natural language query program for IBM mainframes developed by Artificial Intelligence Corporation. The company was later acquired by Trinzic Corporation, which was acquired by Platinum, which was acquired by Computer Associates.  is at work if there are still people from this group who score below the national mean. In my dissertation study, all of the highly intelligent adults who scored below 40 reported physical, sexual, or emotional abuse as children (Ruf, 1998). Though none of the 41 subjects completed any moral reasoning training--this was not a comparison between those who did or did not take moral reasoning classes--it seems perhaps that high intelligence and educational levels are not by themselves enough for high moral reasoning as measured by an instrument like the DIT. This is one of the reasons that the most recent investigation reported here uses a college-educated population sample in order to hold intelligence as a fairly constant factor while we more specifically explored the issues of personality and gender (see Table 2 for summary).

I coupled my earlier research with my later professional experience working with families as a high intelligence consultant to ask this question: Is there a correlation between gender or personality type relevant to how gifted people show their sensitivity to global issues and caring for others? Perhaps this could be explained by the reality that a self-selected patient or client population is not a random sample of the gifted population. My question became, is there a pattern related to personality--either the parents' or the children's--as to why certain parents bring certain children in for testing and guidance?

In the year 2000, I started to administer personality assessments to parents and their gifted children as part of my consulting and advising work because the information would be helpful in guiding my clients' parenting strategies. Shortly thereafter, I began my research on levels of giftedness for my first book and added the DIT instrument (Rest, 1986) to the personality assessments of the people I used as subjects (Ruf, 2005). Although those results are not in the book, the process was part of an investigation of moral reasoning in gifted children and adults with the goal of seeing what I might learn from the family constellation Constellation, ship
Constellation (kŏnstĭlā`shən), U.S. frigate, launched in 1797. It was named by President Washington for the constellation of 15 stars in the U.S. flag of that time.
 of personality types, the behaviors of the parents toward their children, and the behavior of the children at home and at school. I gathered the personality type profiles for all family members with the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children@ and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Definition

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widely-used personality inventory, or test, employed in vocational, educational, and psychotherapy settings to evaluate personality type in adolescents and adults age 14
@ for adults. All subject parents previously sought professional guidance for the education and parenting of their bright children, so they were a self-selected sample in that regard. Results indicate that the children who were considered most in need of help came from several distinct personality profiles, suggesting the possibility that other practitioners and theorists had been describing the characteristics of particular personality types that raise parental concern rather than a general attribute of giftedness (Ruf, 2002).

The following summary refers to the factors from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, often referred to as the MBTI MBTI Myers-Briggs Type Indicator @. For a description of the factors and the letter coding used by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, see Table 3.

The national rate of P (perceivers) in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  is about 43.9% (Myers, McCaulley, Quenk, & Hammer, 1998). In the earliest client sample, 93.5% of gifted children who were brought for professional help were P's. Most of these children were NFPs, highly intuitive, flexible, open-ended, theoretical learners (Ruf, 2002). In a more recent, larger sample (Ruf & Guilbault, 2006), 89% of client children were P's, Ask yourself what would drive a parent to seek professional assessment and guidance. Consider the possibility that these children do not fit neatly into the world of predominantly ESFJ ESFJ Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging (Myers-Briggs personality type indicator)  teachers who operate with deadlines and sequential learning plans (Piirto, 1998).

Approximately 55% of the presenting parents--that is, the parent who decides the child needs help and makes the appointment--have a J (judging) factor in their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile. This is near the national average of 56.1%. Individuals with a J preference generally believe in deadlines and thus often might think that a child who does not do and turn in all assignments must be helped, if indeed not doomed to failure. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, the gifted child perceived as needing special guidance and the presenting parent often have highly conflicting personality profiles. For the accompanying parent, not the appointment-maker, the percentage of J's is only 25.9%, a relationship that is probably more representative of gifted people in general considering that high intelligence certainly does run in families.

When parents bring their gifted children for evaluation, they often report that their children are very sensitive, worry about the welfare of others, have strongly felt values, and seem "out of sync Out of Sync: A Memoir is the upcoming autobiography of American pop singer Lance Bass, set to be published on October 23, 2007. It features an introduction by Marc Eliot, a New York Times " with classmates Classmates can refer to either:
  •, a social networking website.
  • Classmates (film), a 2006 Malayalam blockbuster directed by Lal Jose, starring Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Indragith, Sunil, Jagathy, Kavya Madhavan, Balachandra Menon, ...
. Many of the writings and conclusions about moral reasoning and sensitivity in gifted children have been done by specialists who have possibly viewed their own patient-client samples as representative of gifted children in general. Also, does being highly sensitive Adj. 1. highly sensitive - readily affected by various agents; "a highly sensitive explosive is easily exploded by a shock"; "a sensitive colloid is readily coagulated"  and easily bothered by events in the world necessarily translate into compassionate com·pas·sion·ate  
1. Feeling or showing compassion; sympathetic. See Synonyms at humane.

2. Granted to an individual because of an emergency or other unusual circumstances:
 behaviors? It is generally accepted that high intelligence makes abstract reasoning and early awareness more likely expressed in a young person, but it should not assume that all highly intelligent people, both adults and children, will manifest global caring in the same ways. Certainly, Ruf's (1998) study of highly gifted adults showed that being highly intelligent did not lead all smart adults to solve moral dilemmas in a manner earning high scores on the DIT. When highly intelligent adults claim to behave in ways that show global caring, how do they show it?

With this background, the present study was designed to investigate the following two questions: (a) Is either the gender or the personality type preference of the respondents significantly related to how they feel; that is, their expressed sensitivity? (b) What do they claim to do when concerned about global issues?


The study draws from a convenience sample of 320 adults who were initially contacted via my consulting business's e-mailed newsletter and asked to consider participating in an online survey seeking their thoughts about global awareness and caring. The mailing list An automated e-mail system on the Internet, which is maintained by subject matter. There are thousands of such lists that reach millions of individuals and businesses. New users generally subscribe by sending an e-mail with the word "subscribe" in it and subsequently receive all new  consists of clients, friends, relatives, colleagues, and others who ask to be added via the Educational Options business Web site.

Responses to questionnaire questions were gathered through an online survey using The Web survey asked for the personal characteristics of each respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests.  and their self-reported Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile. Most of the adults knew their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator profile, and the adults who did not were asked to take the brief version of it on line at, although that version is not an official version and reduces the reliability of the results. The goal was to do a broad exploratory study to determine whether further study is warranted. The survey assessed how people say they feel about different global issues and how they have tended to act when confronted with issues that are important to them. Each respondent completed a personal section that asked for their age within a given range, whether they were male or female, and their MBTI preference. They could list more than one type preference if their type straddled a factor pair; this exception was found with 6 of the respondents. Noting MBTI preference and gender was required in order for the survey to be included for analysis. Respondents indicated their relationship to the investigator.

The survey was piloted with 10 individuals who were then invited to participate after the recommended revisions were made. Nine of the questions allowed for open-ended feedback from the respondents; highly intelligent adults often wish to give multiple answers or add nuance nu·ance  
1. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.

2. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone:
. For this reason, not all questions yielded clearly differentiated answers; only those items showing clear findings of interest were analyzed and presented here.

The survey questions were designed to measure their level of concern about global issues, how bothered they were about catastrophic events, and how they tended to respond when others were in need or their own values were violated vi·o·late  
tr.v. vi·o·lat·ed, vi·o·lat·ing, vi·o·lates
1. To break or disregard (a law or promise, for example).

2. To assault (a person) sexually.

 or threatened. Table 4 gives an annotated version of the four questions used, the scale name, and the method used to construct the scale.

The survey items were used to create four scales. The scales, Concern About Global Issues Scale, Bothered by Catastrophe Scale, Problem Action Scale, and Company Action Scale, were transformed so that each scale score ranged from 100 to 0, with higher values indicating the more the attribute measured. All analysis was performed using the SAS System (1) Originally called the "Statistical Analysis System," it is an integrated set of data management and decision support tools from SAS that runs on platforms from PCs to mainframes. [TM] statistical software. T-tests were used for bivariate bi·var·i·ate  
Mathematics Having two variables: bivariate binomial distribution.

Adj. 1.
 analysis. We used t-tests to test for the relationship between each of the personality types as a continuous variable and gender as a categorical That which is unqualified or unconditional.

A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.

Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people.
 variable. For the multivariate analysis, we used the PROC (language) PROC - The job control language used in the Pick operating system.

["Exploring the Pick Operating System", J.E. Sisk et al, Hayden 1986].
 REG procedures from version 9 of the SASTM operating system operating system (OS)

Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs.
. This procedure handles multiple regression models enabling testing of the linear and multivariate hypothesis. In the multivariate analysis, we separately regressed each of the four scales on personality types and gender.


One hundred twenty-four individuals responded to the Web survey (response rate = 37.5%). Although respondents came from all over the United States, the majority lived in the upper Midwest The Upper Midwest is a region of the United States with no universally agreed-upon boundary, but it almost always lies within the US Census Bureau's definition of the Midwest and includes the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as at least the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. . The sample demographic was primarily college educated, middle class, and Caucasian, with few exceptions. Due to the selective sampling method chosen-i.e., of those who receive the consultancy business newsletter--we know that only seven people on the original list do not have college degrees, and the average intelligence of participants is assumed to be at the bright to gifted range. Bright to gifted is further assumed because the consultancy specializes in and draws its client base from highly to profoundly gifted people. The characteristics of those responding to the Web survey are shown in Table 5. Slightly over two thirds were female (66.9%); nearly one half (49.2%) were between the ages of 35 to 44 years.

Prior to our multivariate analysis, we screened personality types and gender for a bivariate association with each of the four scale scores. In our tests for bivariate associations, females had statistically significantly higher scores than men for Bothered by Catastrophe ([M.sub.F-M] = 10.7, where F is mean score for female and M is the mean score for male) and Problem Action ([M.sub.F-M] = 11.6 points) scales. The relationship between personality types and our outcomes was less clear. Extroverts had statistically significantly higher scores on the Concern about Global Issues Scale than introverts ([M.sub.E-1] = 6.6 points, where E is the mean score for extroverts and I is the mean score for introverts), whereas FP personality types showed statistically significantly higher scores on the Bothered by Catastrophe Scale ([M.sub.FP-TJ] = 16.5 points, where FP is the mean score for the PF personality type and TJ is the mean score for the TJ personality type).

For the multivariate adjusted analysis, we examined the relationship between gender, personality type (FP versus TJ and Introverts versus Extroverts), and each of the four scales. The results from this analysis are presented in Tables 6 and 7. The multivariate adjustment tests for the independent effects of gender and personality type for each of the outcomes. In a separate analysis (not shown), we tested for an interaction between gender and personality type. No interaction was found. The tables give the multivariate adjusted means for each of the scales testing for independent effects of gender and personality type.

The analysis is summarized in Table 6 shows a strong, statistically significant association between female gender and PF personality type on Bothered by Catastrophe (p = .02 and p < .01, respectively). Table 4 shows women statistically significantly higher on the Problem Action Scale than men (p = .02). Our analysis showed extroverts higher on all the scores compared with introverts.

Overall, women tended to be more likely to report taking actions than men; in addition, women were more bothered by catastrophic events than the men. Except for the FP personality type and Bothered by Catastrophes, extroverts were more likely than the introverts to be concerned about global issues.

The Teaching of Values

As we inspected the results of the survey, it became clear that some of the items were not written in a way that made them amendable to statistical analysis. One such question asked whether it is important to teach values to children through direct instruction. A full 96.5% agreed that it is moderately to very important that adults should do that. The subsequent item asked how likely is it that values will be acquired by children through direct instruction; 13.6% said "Not likely," and 53.1% said, "Moderately likely." Indeed, the adults in our sample, adults who knew ahead of time that the survey was about values and global caring issues, believe that it is important to share their values with the younger generation even while sensing that it takes more than that to actually instill in·still
To pour in drop by drop.

instil·lation n.
 values effectively.

Low Response Rate from the Sensing Types

Very few "Sensing-S" types responded, 20 out of the 124 participants, but one cannot draw any real conclusions from this without knowing--and we do not know--how many S-types were among the original 320 who were contacted. Perhaps S's are very differently motivated from N's as regards completing online surveys, but there is currently no literature to support or refute re·fute  
tr.v. re·fut·ed, re·fut·ing, re·futes
1. To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.

 this idea (please refer to Table 3 for letter coding).


Most would agree that global awareness and a concern about others are important. We considered these questions in preparation for our study: Is a concern for others innate within all of us? Is a tendency toward global caring a natural part of a person's character--something he or she is born with--or is it something that can be instilled in him or her and nurtured? Do a person's expressions of concern necessarily reflect the actions they take to remedy perceived problems? Are some people--due to their gender, personality type, or intellectual level--inherently likely to care more than others about different cultures and global interdependence? We sought to answer the question about possible differences of attitudes related to personality type and gender. The survey's sample selection process partially controlled for intellectual level in that the participants represented a majority bright, college-educated adult population. The statistically significant results showed that females in the study sample expressed emotional feelings (bothered by disasters) to a greater extent than the males and that females expressed a higher rate of supporting their convictions with potentially helpful actions.

Regarding responses by personality variables, extroverts gave answers that "showed" their concerns and feelings more than introverts, although there was not a significant difference in action--What do you tend to do?--responses. As to the TJ/FP dichotomy di·chot·o·my  
n. pl. di·chot·o·mies
1. Division into two usually contradictory parts or opinions: "the dichotomy of the one and the many" Louis Auchincloss.
, the primary significant difference between them was in their emotional response levels on the Bothered by Disasters Scale. The difference in how they say they would help is not significant.

In conclusion, this preliminary look at the different ways highly intelligent adults react to similar global situations suggests that personality type and gender are factors to consider, and it leads us to recommend further research in this area. Awareness of the possible relationship between gender, personality, and the topics of ethics and global caring might be useful to those who would educate others on such issues so that they can recognize when their instruction has been effective. Finally, as advocates for gifted children, we must not overlook the children whose sensitivities--and apparent global caring--are less obvious.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) A method of applying a persistent name to documents, publications and other resources on the Internet rather than using a URL, which can change over time. : 10.1080/02783190903177572


I am grateful to Larry Kuusisto, PhD, my husband, for his unending patience, guidance, encouragement, introduction to Dr. Radosevich, and editing help. I gratefully acknowledge the editing help of Janet Gore and Jim Webb, whose input always makes me a better writer. I am unendingly surprised and thankful for my wonderful friends, colleagues, and client families for all the assistance they send my way whenever I ask for help and input.

Received 15 January 2007: accepted 3 March 2008.


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Relating to or marked by interpretation; explanatory.

in·terpre·tive·ly adv.
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Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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 in full Basic Input/Output System

Computer program that is typically stored in EPROM and used by the CPU to perform start-up procedures when the computer is turned on.

Deborah L. Rut rut

the period of increased sexual activity occurring in the autumn (fall) in some male mammals, especially deer and elephants. It is accompanied by increased testicular activity, especially spermatogenesis, and in deer by shedding of the antlers and a marked increase in vocalizing
, PhD, specialist in gifted assessment, test interpretation, and guidance for the gifted, was the National Gifted Children Program Coordinator from 2003 to 2008. Her book, 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind), summarizes "levels of intelligence" and highlights exceptionally to profoundly gifted children. E-mail:

David M. Radosevich is epidemiologist epidemiologist

an expert in epidemiology.
 and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. In addition, Dr. Radosevich serves as the deputy director of the Clinical Outcomes Research Center (CORC CORC - CORnell Compiler. Simple language for student math problems.

["The Cornell Computing Language", R.W. Conway et al, CACM 6(6):317-320 (Jun 1963) Sammet 1969, p.294-296].
) at the University of Minnesota and the director of Transplant Information Services See Information Systems.  (TIS). He teaches health outcomes research and conducts outcomes studies within the Academic Health Center at the University. E-mail:

Address correspondence to Deborah Ruf, Educational Options. 4500 Heathbrooke Circle, Golden Valley, MN 55422. E-mail:
Moral and Emotional Development Schemes

Kohlberg's levels        Approximate moral development
of moral development     levels by DIT p-score

Preconventional:         Low: Subjects who are
  (typically               described as fitting this
  attainable               study's first levels of
  between ages 7-11+)      emotional development
  Stage l : Fear of        generally scored below 40
  punishment   Stage       (40 is the average score for
  2: Self-                 American adults) on the DIT
  aggrandizement           P-score (a)

Conventional:            Medium: Scores between 40 and
  (typically               65 were found among subjects
  attainable between       who fit the study's
  ages 11 to adult)        description of conventional or
  Stage 3: Desire for      stereotypical normal adult
  approval Stage 4:        development (57.67 is the
  Maintains social         average for the current
  order                    study's subjects)

Postconventional         High: Scores of approximately
  (ages 21+, not           65 (the average score for
  typically attained       moral and political science
  by most adults)          students in the DIT normative
  Stage 5: Democratic      tables is 65.2) and higher
  values Stage 6:          coincided with the study
  Universal                subjects whose viewpoints, as
  ethicsStage 7:           found in their case study
  Cosmic consciousness     writing, corresponded most
                           with high scorers on the DIT,
                           moral philosophers

                         Theoretically, scores would
                           close in on 100 points

Kohlberg's levels        Dabrowski's levels of
of moral development     emotional development (b)

Preconventional:         Level I: Self-interest, self-
  (typically               preservation (characterized by
  attainable               egocentrism, desire for
  between ages 7-11+)      material gains, goals of
  Stage l : Fear of        success, power, fame,
  punishment   Stage       competitive with others,
  2: Self-                 external conflicts, little
  aggrandizement           self-reflection, lack of
                           empathy, rigid psychological

Conventional:            Level II: Stereotypical roles
  (typically               (highly influenced by others,
  attainable between       values introjected from
  ages 11 to adult)        parents, church, etc.,
  Stage 3: Desire for      relativistic, situational
  approval Stage 4:        values, conflicted feelings,
  Maintains social         contradictory actions, desire
  order                    for acceptance, feelings of
                           inadequacy compared to others,
                           lack of hierarchy of values)

Postconventional         Level III: Personality
  (ages 21+, not           transformation (inner
  typically attained       conflict, hierarchy of values,
  by most adults)          positive maladjustments,
  Stage 5: Democratic      inferiority toward one's
  values Stage 6:          ideals, feelings of guilt and
  Universal                shame, independent thinker,
  ethicsStage 7:           moral framework believed but
  Cosmic consciousness     inconsistently applied)

                         Level IV: Self-actualization
                           (conscious direction of
                           development, commitment to
                           one's values, acceptance,
                           objectivity, responsibility
                           and service to others,
                           philosophical, unhostile sense
                           of humor)

                         Level V: Attainment of the
                           personality ideal (inner peace
                           and harmony, altruism,
                           universal compassion, devotion
                           to service)

(a) From Moral development in the professions (p. 14),
edited by J. R. Rest and D. Narvaez, 1994, Hillsdale, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum. Used with permission.

(b) From Dabrowski's theory of emotional development and
its implications for the gifted. Fourth annual workshop by
the Institute for Advanced Develop-ment. Lake Geneva campus
of George Williams College, Williams Bay, WI, June 25-27,
1993. Used with permission.

Highly Gifted Study DIT Summary

39 of 41 subjects with valid DIT scores

Range 30 to 83.3           6 Women below the sample
                             average, 13 above
Average 57.67              13 Men below the sample average,
                             6 above
Median 56.7                1 Transgendered male to female
                             above the sample average
Standard Deviation 13.78   5 Subjects scored below 40

40 Is the population average p-score for American adults.

p = Principled.

From Environmental, familial, and personal factors that
affect the self-actualization of highly gifted adults: Case
studies, by D. L. Rut, 1998, Unpublished doctoral
dissertation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator[R]

E-I Dichotomy                 E Extroversion
Where you like to             You prefer to focus
  focus your attention          on the outer world
                                of people and things

S-N Dichotomy                 S Sensing
The way you like to           You tend to focus on
  look at things                the present and on
                                concrete information
                                gained from your

T-F Dichotomy                 T Thinking
The way you like to           You tend to base your
  go about deciding             decisions primarily
  things                        on logic and on
                                objective analysis
                                of cause and effect

J-P Dichotomy                 J Judging
How you deal with             You like a planned
  the outer world               and organized
                                approach to life and
                                prefer to have things

E-I Dichotomy                 I Introversion
Where you like to             You prefer to focus
  focus your attention          on the inner world
                                of ideas and

S-N Dichotomy                 N Intuition
The way you like to           You tend to focus on
  look at things                the future, with a
                                view toward patterns
                                and possibilities

T-F Dichotomy                 Feeling
The way you like to           You tend to base your
  go about deciding             decisions primarily
  things                        on values and subjective
                                evaluation of
                                person-centered concerns

J-P Dichotomy                 P Perceiving
How you deal with             You like a flexible and
  the outer world               spontaneous approach to
                                life and prefer
                                to keep your options

From the MBTI[R] Step I Report Form M.

Study Scales, Annotated Questions Used to Construct the Scale,
and Method for Constructing the Scale

Scale name        Annotated question     Scaling method

Concern About     Concern with global    Rating far more
  Global Issues     issues compared to     than most to far
  Scale             the general public     less than most

Bothered by       How deeply bothered    Rating far more than
  Catastrophe       when there is a        most to far less
  Scale             catastrophe or         than most

Problem Action    Action taken to        Number of actions
  Scale           resolve a problem        taken
                  or issue important
                  to them or their

Company Action    Reaction to a          Refuse to buy from
  Scale             company that           the company or write
                    violates or shows      a letter of
                    no concerns for        complaint compared
                    their values           with all other

Personal Characteristics of Individuals Responding
to the Web Survey

Characteristic                  Count   Percentage

  Female                         83        66.9
  Male                           41        33.1
Age (group)
  20-24                           1         0.8
  25-34                           9         7.3
  35-44                          61        49.2
  45-59                          44        35.4
  60 and over                     9         7.3
Connection to researcher
  Client                         70        50.5
  Family or friend               18        14.5
  Mensa connection               18        14.5
  Professional colleague          2         1.6
  Other                          16        12.9
Myers-Briggs Personality Type
  ENFJ                            7         5.7
  ENFP                           14        12.3
  ENTJ                           16        12.9
  ENTP                           10         8.1
  ESFJ                            1         0.8
  ESFP                            2         1.6
  ESTJ                            3         2.4
  ESTP                            1         0.8
  INFJ                            8         6.5
  INFP                           14        11.3
  INTJ                           19        15.3
  INTP                           16        12.9
  ISFJ                            1         0.8
  ISTJ                           10         8.1
  ISTP                            2         1.6

Multivariate Adjusted Relationship Between Gender,
Personality Type (FP Versus TJ), and the Study Outcomes

Scale                         mean (a)    Effect                F

Concern About Global Issues
  Female                        71.6      Gender               0.06
  Male                          72.8
  FP personality type           74.4      Personality type     0.89
  TJ personality type           70.0
Bothered by Catastrophe
  Female                        69.8      Gender               5.81
  Male                          55.2
  FP personality type           75.0      Personality type     8.79
  TJ personality type           58.5
Problem Action
  Female                        68.3      Gender               2.70
  Male                          57.9
  FP personality type           67.3      Personality type     Q.46
  TJ personality type           62.1
Company Action
  Female                        95.7      Gender               1.14
  Male                          88.5
  FP personality type           94.4      Personality type     0.47
  TJ personality type           89.8

Scale                          df      p     size (b)

Concern About Global Issues
  Female                      1,69   0.810     0.03
  FP personality type         1,69   0.350     0.22
  TJ personality type
Bothered by Catastrophe
  Female                      1,69   0.019     0.69
  FP personality type         1,69   0.004     0.78
  TJ personality type
Problem Action
  Female                      1,75   0.105     0.39
  FP personality type         1,75   0.500     O.19
  TJ personality type
Company Action
  Female                      1,64   0.290     0.27
  FP personality type         1,64   0.497     0.22
  TJ personality type

(a) Multivariate adjusted mean for gender and personality type.

(b) Cohen's effect size.

Multivariate Adjusted Relationship Between Gender,
Personality Type (Introversion Versus Extroversion), and the
Study Outcomes

Scale                     mean (a)   Effect              F

Concern about
   Global Issues
  Female                    71.8     Gender             0.46
  Male                      75.0
    personality type        69.9     Personality type   3.69
    personality type        76.5
Bothered by Catastrophe
  Female                    66.9     Gender             7.62
  Male                      56.3
    personality type        61.3     Personality type   2.73
    personality type        66.5
Problem Action
  Female                    67.2     Gender             6.02
  Male                      55.6
    personality type        62.3     Personality type   0.78
    personality type        64.8
Company Action
  Female                    95.0     Gender             2.70
  Male                      85.5
    personality type        87.8     Personality type   0.81
    personality type        92.7

Scale                      df       p     size (b)

Concern about
   Global Issues
  Female                  1,111   0.498     0.18
    personality type      1,111   0.057     0.39
    personality type
Bothered by Catastrophe
  Female                  1,111   0.007     0.51
    personality type      1,111   0.101     0.24
    personality type
Problem Action
  Female                  1,121   0.016     0.45
    personality type      1,121   0.378     0.10
    personality type
Company Action
  Female                  1,104   0.104     0.26
    personality type      1,104   0.370     0.17
    personality type

(a) Multivariate adjusted mean for gender and
personality type.

(b) Cohen's effect size.
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Author:Ruf, Deborah L.; Radosevich, David M.
Publication:Roeper Review
Article Type:Survey
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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