The Endogenous personality is the ‘inner’ Man; a person whose outlook on life is ‘inward.’ He is inner-directed, inner-driven, inner-motivated; one who uses inner modes of thinking, inner evaluations, in-tuition; one who is to a high degree autonomous, self-sufficient; one who is relatively indifferent to social pressures, influences and inducements.
He stands in stark contrast to the Exogenous personality; that is, to most people. The Exogenous Personality is orientated toward the environment, particularly the social environment. These are people who want more than anything else social (including sexual) status, worldly success; people whose perceptions are directed outwards and who try to align their behaviour with group norms.
In short, the endogenous personality is resistant to traditional punishment and reward. They are driven primarily by Daniel Pink’s “intrinsic motivators”: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Low extraversion is necessary because extraversion is defined, biologically, as the tendency to feel positive feelings more strongly. An extraverted person is therefore more motivated by extrinsic reward structures like money bonuses, status, partying, good food, exciting experiences, etc.
Low neuroticism is necessary because neuroticism is defined, biologically, as the tendency to feel negative feelings more strongly. A neurotic person is therefore more anxious about potential punishments, and if their anxiety is specifically *social* anxiety (as in k-selected populations such as NE Asians) then avoiding social punishment is a primary motivation. Empirically, what we actually see is that artistic geniuses are above average in neuroticism while scientific geniuses (or more to the point, geniuses in g-loaded professions) are below average in neuroticism. In my model of genius as two complementary addictions, the artistic personality (the addiction to communicating the essence of big, important things) is understood as being necessary but not sufficient for genius.
Last, high openness is necessary because 1) it predicts intrinsic motives such as intellectual curiosity and artistic achievement, 2) it’s strongly correlated with high ability, and 3) it’s associated with having a growth mindset (as opposed to the fixed mindset of low openness personalities). I’m speculating about the latter, but it seems very sensible.
Scanning through The Genius Famine, it looks like Charlton already covered the connection to high introversion:
There are, however, problems in measuring some of these traits when it comes to genius. In general, it would be expected that the genius ought to be high in the Introversion trait – in the sense that introverts are inner-stimulated and autonomous of their environment, in contrast with extraverts who depend on external stimulus to maintain a state of arousal or alertness.
But the self-rating scales for measuring Introversion focus on behaviours and not psychological mechanisms, focus on outcomes not processes – therefore those scoring high in Introversion will include people who are simply anhedonic (unable to experience pleasure), inactive; who lack motivation and drive – and these attributes would be fatal to the prospects of a genius accomplishing anything significant.
In other words, true, underlying Introversion would be a characteristic of genius, but a high score on the Introversion rating scale would also contain under-motivated people – thereby blurring the measurement by misclassification error.
Thus, a genius needs to be a genuine Introvert; but people with various pathologies might lead to ‘‘false positive’’ measures of high Introversion. This may explain the counter-intuitive finding that creative scientists are high in Extraversion – since geniuses are very rare, most of the high Introversion scores are contributed by those suffering from pathology.
The other sections on personality aren’t very satisfying.
To make the connection between endogenous personality and ADHD-I, I’ll compare Charlton’s descriptions with the diagnostic criteria and the phenomenon of “hyperfocus”, i.e. superhuman focus on subjects of intrinsic interest.
If the individual presents six or more (five for adults) of the following symptoms of inattention for at least six months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:
-Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
-Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
-Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
-Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
-Often has trouble organizing activities.
-Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period (such as schoolwork or homework).
-Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
-Is often easily distracted.
-Is often forgetful in daily activities.
An ADHD diagnosis is contingent upon the symptoms of impairment presenting themselves in two or more settings (e.g., at school or work and at home). There must also be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
When described in such terms, the Endogenous personality might appear anti-social, uncooperative, a dreamer, not the kind of person we might wish to have to deal with on a regular basis. We would probably be accurate in perceiving the Endogenous Personality in this negative way. We probably wouldn’t want to go for a drink with him, let alone be friends with him.
Usually personality and intelligence are almost distinct and little-correlated; but the brain of a genius is differently wired from a normal brain: it is a specialized and purposive brain, a lop-sided brain, a brain in which some circuits usually used for social intelligence and reproductive success are co-opted to serving a creative purpose.
As a result of the above trends, the most intelligent and the most creative people are nowadays dispersed among variously ranked institutions (and no-institutions-at-all); and typically have sub-optimal – sometimes frankly bad – academic and employment records. The Endogenous personalities are very seldom to be found in the most prestigious, best-funded, or fashionable subjects (unless they were the original founders of the field, or perhaps at a low level or in a marginal capacity) – since a genius is stubbornly self-motivated, and will work only where his destiny leads him (and he may refuse or neglect work that interferes with his destiny). The fields in which genius is questing are as various as the people with genius; and will often strike other people as futile or absurd; nonetheless, ‘eccentricity’ is intrinsic to the necessary autonomy of genius.
It could be explained here at some length that being an unreasonable, irresponsible, derelict POS is usually due to reasons other than genius, but I’ll simply point it out and leave it at that. Re: hyperfocus,
In ADHD, formulation and thinking can be slower than in neurotypical people (though this is not universal), and may be “long winded or tangential”. These inattentive symptoms occur dually with what has been termed “hyperfocus” by the 2019 European Consensus Statement on Adult ADHD. The over-concentration or hyperfocus often occurs if the person finds something “very interesting and/or provide(s) instant gratification, such as computer games or online chatting. For such activities, concentration may last for hours on end, in a very focused manner.”
Some types of ADHD are a difficulty in directing one’s attention (an executive function of the frontal lobe), not a lack of attention. ”
This is consistent with the low impulse control seen in the endogenous personality. Ironically, I don’t feel the need to go point-by-point to prove endogenous = ADHD-I. It’s obvious once you look for it and make the connection between hyperfocus and intrinsic motivation. Maybe someone more conscientious and with better executive function will feel the need to prove the gaps. 🙂
There looks to be strong overlap, I suppose the relevant counterpoints would be A) the differences in behavior/wiring between ‘Normal” ADHD and endogenous personality and B) whether ADHD exists at all or a suite of behaviors tied to low IQ
To my mind, there’s a pretty distinct split in what people mean when they say “ADHD”, as it relates to black people in general, alienated and unmotivated white boys, and high-IQ INTPs. A bit of discrimination would not be amiss. We can distinguish between these with a 2×2: high vs. low libido, and high vs. low intelligence.
Blacks generally = high libido, low intelligence.
White boys = low libido, varied intelligence
INTP dreamers = varied levels of libido, high intelligence
The latter would be your “predominantly inattentive” subtype with no hyperactivity symptoms.
Can I use this as part of my Tinder bio haha? Jk jk.
On a speculative note I have a bit of disagreement with your assertion that low neuroticism would spare the scientists of high anxiety. It seems as though scientists also are neurotic and so are people who are heavily g loaded. I dont have a particular reason I to believe this other than observation but my speculation is it happens because of existential anxiety moreso even than artistic types.
Also really enjoyed your distinctions between different ADHD subtypes as I’ve found it interesting to meet a variety of people who characterize themselves as ADHD or see the appeal in being diagnosed as ADHD.
I think its trendy nowadays to say that one has ADHD. It comes from appearing to have a more hunter brain, a possibly more masculine brain, and being a risk-taker who doesnt comply with social norms.
This trend appears amongst Gen Zers quite predominantly and is very sad since it is only a pathway to antisocial behavior being accepted by society.
Aeoli, Why do people with ADHD talk like that^?