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2016 Personality Lecture 12: Conscientiousness: Industriousness and Orderliness

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Conscientiousness is the best predictor of long-term life success across multiple domains (including academic and managerial/administrative performance). It breaks down into two aspects: industriousness and orderliness. Industrious people are hard-working, attentive and focused. Orderly people like things where they belong, and are concerned with preserving the integrity of the borders between things. We don’t know much about the psychological basis of industriousness. Orderliness, however, appears to be associated with disgust sensitivity, with the “behavioral immune system,” and is in all probability elevated in geographical locales where infectious disease is prevalent. It is also a good predictor of political conservatism. When disgust sensitivity gets out of hand, too much cleansing (ethnic and otherwise) becomes increasingly possible.

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Robert Dunfee