Does Eliot Spitzer have a Normal Personality?

A New Way of Thinking About the Spitzer Scandal

Steven Reiss

To understand him, think: here is guy thinking about sex much more often than he lets on.

The Normal Personality I am a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University in Columbus who has been studying human motivation for a decade.

The media has been promoting a mostly inaccurate view of why someone would do what Gov. Spitzer did. Mr. Spitzer is not self-destructive. Actually, he has a personality opposite to someone who is self- destructive. Self-destruction is motivated by guilt, but people who practice infidelity often have no guilt because they think they are not doing anything wrong.

It is misleading to say that Mr. Spitzer was motivated by hubris. He may been self-confident and this might have become overconfidence after years of success, but I doubt he started with overconfidence or has a general tendency to think he can get away with things. If he did, he would have been caught a long time ago.

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TIME Magazine: The Science of Experience

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TIME Magazine sought the, well, expertise of Anders Ericsson, author of The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance for its recent cover article on experience. Ericsson is a professor at Florida State University and director of its Human Performance Laboratory.

Ericsson’s findings show that:

rather than mere experience or even raw talent, it is dedicated, slogging, generally solitary exertion — repeatedly practicing the most difficult physical tasks for an athlete, repeatedly performing new and highly intricate computations for a mathematician — that leads to first-rate performance.

That’s good news for us. Is everyone ready for the fun path to expertise?

Check out the article here.