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Nov 20, 2014
The Analytical Personality Filter
Offered by David Apollo

multiple filters picture

There are number of "Personality Filters." For the purposes of this section, a Personality Filter is an aspect or trait or feature in the way that we are made that influences how we interpret or perceive the world, how we communicate or interact with it, and how we behave or act within it generally.

These Filters, like many of the other features that combined make up an individual, ultimately have a biological foundation.

As this is one of the first Filters to be discussed, some elaboration on the above declaration needs to be made. After all, the Nature / Nurture debate is an old one. Click here.

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While the declaration that our personality filters have an organic, genetic basis is out of the way ... some further clarification of this thesis is still in order.

While in this section, for example, we will discuss the Analytical Personality Filter (more precisely, the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter) and its organic (genetic) basis, by no means should it be construed or implied that this phenotype spectrum is the result of a single gene.

Rather, an ensemble of biological parts are necessary to be expressed and put together just right so that a person's individual place on the Analytical Spectrum is determined.

We can use the example of a car, its features, and the multiple parts that together are responsible for those features. Click here.

So let's dive into the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter (aka the Analytical Filter).

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Importantly, we must be careful to define what we mean by "Analytical" when we are discussing the Analytical Filter. It is here that the English language doesn't serve us very well. There are only so many terms that can be used. And, these very same terms can and have been used legitimately to mean subtly different things. Not only this, since you (the reader) and I (the writer) also come with different filter sets, we are likely going to approach the term "Analytical" differently.

If I were to choose an alternate term, I might instead refer to the Analytical Filter and the Dissecting Filter, as this personality trait actively seeks to break things down and verify what is actually present or meant in order to understand a thing.

What is important to remember, in the abstract, is that this section is attempting to define and discuss a trait or phenotype that IT IS CALLING the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter. Perhaps the label isn't ideal. If a better one is found, then we'll change it. Since you are reading it as is, it follows that a better term hasn't yet been found. Let's use the "Analytical" label for the sake of discussion and illustration. If you have a better term, please suggest it in the comments you make to this article.

As will often be the case, we will use extremes to define our personality filters. Since people exist along a spectrum with regard to the expression of these filters, it will be rare to find someone who fits all descriptions of the extreme case. And, other filters may be present and expressed sufficiently that they may mask a filter that is being only partially expressed. Agreeing that we will not over-generalize the extent of a filter when suspected to be significantly present, let's define the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter in terms of what we might see when it is dialed up to 80% or so in an individual.

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We would see in an 80% (approx) dialed up individual (strong Analytical Personality Filter) the following tendencies:
  • the desire for evidence-based confirmation of what is being presented (as compared to "acceptance on faith")

  • the urge to dissect what is being observed or explained, to understand what makes it work, to make sense of it in the context of everything else relevant that is already understood

  • a comfortable reliance on relevant data (and an aversion or suspicion of narratives or platitudes offered without data) as a good faith supplement to support an assertion

  • a very quick recognition of non-sequitered communication (communication that states something that is not relevant to or does not follow rationally from the topic being discussed)

  • an appreciation of the disciplined meaning of the terms "rationality or reason" and "logical" as terms that are not simply synonymous with "thinking" or "feels-right"
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It is here that, depending on the expressing filter sets, there might be confusion with our readership here. Almost everyone asserts that they analyze things or are thinking things through rationally and logically. I'm absolutely sure that they feel that way.
  • For some, they are rational and logical in the sense that the Analytical Filter urges one.
  • For others, they may have the Analytical Filter firing, but other Filter instincts are also present that may be interfering.
  • For still others, they are generally not instinctively Analytical in the sense defined above, even though under other circumstances they could be compelled to behave that way.
  • Finally, for still others, their spectrum setting for the Analytical Filter is low enough that they cannot be truly analytical. Even though, in their activities of preference choosing and decision making they may believe that they are being analytical because they are "thinking about" a topic, in the end, they are usually being reactive.

A strong Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter setting is generally rarer in mosts groups than is a weak setting, although some notable exceptions can certainly be found. It is for this reason that consumer marketing works so well from the perspective of large group effects. Or, for that matter, the political advertising we generally consume and are influenced by.

None of this is to say that folks who are not using a strong Analytical Filter to make decisions are somehow making inferior decisions, or that folks using their strong Analytical filter are making better ones. Rather, this Filter definition is simply endeavoring to define HOW someone with a strong Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter approaches, interprets, and behaves within his or her world.

For an example of how someone without a strong Analytical Filter might define the behaviors of someone with a strong filter, click here.

There are a few other personality filters that are relevant to (work together with to enhance or diminish) the Analytical phenotype. Links will be provided as they are defined. These are:
  • The Emotional Appeal Personality Filter (also in need of another name) - when strong, the emotional appeal aspect of an issue becomes the compelling interest of a particular topic.

  • The Skepticism Personality Filter - when strong, is focused on Truth, and the general need to verify what is being stated as truth.

  • The Faith Personality Filter - when strong, tends to believe without additional rational confirmation.

  • The Intelligence Personality Filter - when strong, the general ability to learn material and retain it.

  • The Imaginative (or Creative) Personality Filter - when strong, the ability to craft novel explanations or proposals from learned material that is different from the explanations given generally or by an authority figure.

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Now, each one of the filters above are possessed by most. However, since they, like the Analytical, are also Spectrum Filters, each of us expresses their phenotypes to greater or lesser degrees. As discussed elsewhere, each individual has its own spectrum setting for each behavioral or perceptive phenotype.

This leads to a recognition conundrum.

We could take any Filter as an example, but since this is a chapter on the Analytical, lets elaborate on this difficulty with the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter. And, while a number of other Spectrum Filters impact the perception of the Analytical, we'll choose one for illustration - the Emotional Appeal Filter.
It is often said (usually by those who do not possess a strong Analytical Filter) that those with a strong Analytical Filter do not have a strong Emotional Appeal filter. (Recall our example that we linked to above.) While that may occasionally be accurate, the general truth of the matter is that the situation is marginally more complex. Often, individuals with a strong Analytical filter are VERY much aware of the Emotionally Appealing aspects of an issue. Their Analytical filter, however, confounds the recognition of their operating Emotional Appeal Filter by people who have a strong Emotional Appeal Filter but a lower Analytical Filter expression.

Folks without a strong Analytical Filter cannot appreciate the importance of its influence because they cannot see it. When they see someone supercede the instinctive urge of the Emotional Appeal Filter with the instinctive (and helpful) urge of the Analytical Filter, they simply see the diminishment of the Emotional. They have little ability to appreciate that the reason the Analytical has been allowed to supercede the Emotional is because in that instance it is perceived by the individual with the strong Analytical Filter as being more helpful in getting to an outcome with even greater EMOTIONAL APPEAL!

This has been a rather analytically oriented discussion, which I suppose is appropriate for a chapter which is elaborating on the Analytical Spectrum Personality Filter!

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