PDA

View Full Version : Personality of Students



what?
06-26-2014, 03:49 PM
There are three female students, one studies Medicine, the second Sociology, the third Law.

Drawing upon your prejudices and popular culture, which of these students will be able to ...

1. perform a medical operation
2. commit physical violence to help a victim
3. hold a radical political opinion
4. fall in love easily

Please give your answers by writing the field of study behind the number, if necessary adding a plus to show stronger applicability, e.g.:

1. Med++/Law
2. Soc

and so on.

Or is there a field of study that you would more readily associate with a positive answer to all questions?

Cath
06-26-2014, 05:23 PM
What is your goal asking this question?

what?
06-26-2014, 05:29 PM
What is your goal asking this question?
I'm trying to decide which college major my protagonist should study. These three majors best work with the story I want to write (for reasons not explaned in my opening post), but since we have some preconceived notions of what kind of person studies what major, certain behavior will come as a surprise to the reader, while other behavior is more in tune with those preconceptions and therefore more plausible.

jaksen
06-26-2014, 05:38 PM
If we have preconceived notions of what kind of person studies what kind of major, then why post this question in the first place?

Not trying to be rude or sarcastic here, but it seems you already know the answer to your question.

And me, being a simple reader, would be or could be surprised by any person with any 'major' who commits a crime. A person studying Library Science would surprise me, as would a Bio or Pre-med person. Or someone studying Physical Anthropology. It all would depend on how you write that character, independent of what field he or she is studying.

I'd suggest some research on criminals in general: what are their backgrounds, and among those with college degrees, what are those degrees in? I live near a major prison, the biggest in my state, and I know - among those incarcerated who have degrees - there is a very wide variety, from the humanities through to the sciences and business degrees, etc. Even have one with a Phd in philosophy.

Maryn
06-26-2014, 05:39 PM
This seems foolish. Why seek to know what preconceived notions people have about others instead of creating a unique character who seems real because she has strengths and weaknesses like actual humans do?

Maryn, not a fan of cookie-cutter people

JimmyB27
06-26-2014, 05:57 PM
Medical operation seems about the only one bound to a particular subject (medicine, in case that wasn't clear ;))

WeaselFire
06-26-2014, 06:02 PM
There are three female students, one studies Medicine, the second Sociology, the third Law....
Sorry, you lost me when they didn't walk into a bar.

Jeff

what?
06-26-2014, 06:08 PM
If we have preconceived notions of what kind of person studies what kind of major, then why post this question in the first place?
Because (a) I'm not a teenager anymore and might see the world from different eyes, (b) I live in a different country from you and might see the world from different eyes, and (c) there is nothing wrong with getting more than one opinion, because I might hold a minority opinion and want to learn what others think.


I'd suggest some research on criminals in general: what are their backgrounds, and among those with college degrees, what are those degrees in? I live near a major prison, the biggest in my state, and I know - among those incarcerated who have degrees - there is a very wide variety, from the humanities through to the sciences and business degrees, etc. Even have one with a Phd in philosophy.
I've done quite a lot of research at this point. The results are the following:

- people studying different majors differ in personality, at least on average (if they didn't, career guidance would be pointless and you could study anything and be happy with it)
- but the real personality does not match the perceived personality (e.g. a study shows that while psychology majors score high in neuroticism they are perceived as being most unneurotic)
- certain types of crime are more prevalent in students of different majors (in my case: politically motivated crime is commited most often by students with a humanities background, and almost never in the natural sciences)


This seems foolish. Why seek to know what preconceived notions people have about others instead of creating a unique character who seems real because she has strengths and weaknesses like actual humans do?
Because, when you read reviews, you will note that readers often complain about characters behaving in implausible ways. Why do movie makers give characters an occupation, even if you never see them performing it? Because it gives that character a certain personality and the viewers a certain expectation, that you can then either fulfill or break.


Medical operation seems about the only one bound to a particular subject (medicine, in case that wasn't clear ;))
Yes, but maybe the laywer personality (http://www.become-a-lawyer.com/how-to-become-a-lawyer.html) (read the section "tough skin") makes it easier for a lawyer to cut open a person, while the sociologist's empathy will hinder him.

Similarly, that tough skin, scepticism and independence (read the sections "Hyper Skeptical/Critical" and "Independent") will keep a lawyer from easily falling in love, while the warmhearted sociologist will fall more easily.

Cath
06-26-2014, 06:17 PM
Since this is Story Research, I'm going to discourage debating the answers. You asked a question to get feedback and you're getting feedback. There's no need to refute or contest the replies.

Thanks.

T Robinson
06-26-2014, 06:22 PM
There are three female students, one studies Medicine, the second Sociology, the third Law.

Drawing upon your prejudices and popular culture, which of these students will be able to ...

1. perform a medical operation
2. commit physical violence to help a victim
3. hold a radical political opinion
4. fall in love easily

Please give your answers by writing the field of study behind the number, if necessary adding a plus to show stronger applicability, e.g.:

1. Med++/Law
2. Soc

and so on.

Or is there a field of study that you would more readily associate with a positive answer to all questions?

No one here has prejudices.:sarcasm Popular culture changes all the time. You say you study psychology, apply that knowledge to your question.

Any of them could do any of it. It all depends on how you write it.

mirandashell
06-26-2014, 06:24 PM
Seeing as no-one has given you a real answer, OP, and with the caveat that readers like rounded characters, and going purely on the stereotypes and tropes, I will give it a shot.

Operation - the medical student, for obvious reasons.

Physical violence - the medical student. Used to blood and guts. The lawyer - only for personal benefit. The sociologist - for idealogical reasons.

Radical opinion - The sociologist for obvious reasons. The medical student - possibly, dependent on upbringing. The lawyer - no. Lawyers are taught not to have opinions, aren't they?

Hoplite
06-26-2014, 06:28 PM
Yes, but maybe the laywer personality (http://www.become-a-lawyer.com/how-to-become-a-lawyer.html) (read the section "tough skin") makes it easier for a lawyer to cut open a person, while the sociologist's empathy will hinder him.

Similarly, that tough skin, scepticism and independence (read the sections "Hyper Skeptical/Critical" and "Independent") will keep a lawyer from easily falling in love, while the warmhearted sociologist will fall more easily.

If I were writing about teenagers in another country I'd do a bit of research as well. However, you seem to be asking "What are the stereotypes associated with these three degrees", which is bad. Other than the medical student being the most likely to perform an operation any of your majors could be subject to what your asking. I agree that there are trends in people's personality and their chosen degree field but falling in love, committing violence and holding political positions can be extremely emotional decisions.

A lawyer might need tough skin to get through law school, but could otherwise be squeamish of blood. A sociologist might have more empathy, but is more determined to save the life of a dieing friend.

And Hollywood movies are notorious for falling into stereotypes, write interesting characters that we haven't seen before.

Real life examples: engineers are perceived (read stereotyped) to be smart, rational and good at math. I got my degree in engineering. I fell in love with my wife very easily. I hate math. And I knew lots of people in my department that displayed less than intelligent thought.

what?
06-26-2014, 06:31 PM
Since this is Story Research, I'm going to discourage debating the answers. You asked a question to get feedback and you're getting feedback. There's no need to refute or contest the replies.
The "feedback" is debating my question! Those are not answers.

Could you please discourage debating my question, too?

what?
06-26-2014, 06:33 PM
Seeing as no-one has given you a real answer, OP, and with the caveat that readers like rounded characters, and going purely on the stereotypes and tropes, I will give it a shot.

Operation - the medical student, for obvious reasons.

Physical violence - the medical student. Used to blood and guts. The lawyer - only for personal benefit. The sociologist - for idealogical reasons.

Radical opinion - The sociologist for obvious reasons. The medical student - possibly, dependent on upbringing. The lawyer - no. Lawyers are taught not to have opinions, aren't they?
Very helpful, thank you! :-)

Cath
06-26-2014, 06:39 PM
The "feedback" is debating my question! Those are not answers.

Could you please discourage debating my question, too?
Take a deep breath. You are getting valuable feedback here if you take the time to really read and reflect on what people are saying.

I have been watching the thread closely and I will absolutely step in if I feel folks are questioning your question more than they are answering it. As it stands right now, I don't.

veinglory
06-26-2014, 06:52 PM
You character may be more interesting if she is against type.

In terms of you question 1-3 are no brainers and 4 doesn't fit a type.

what?
06-26-2014, 06:57 PM
You are getting valuable feedback here if you take the time to really read and reflect on what people are saying.
No, I'm not, with the exception of the great answer by mirandashell (who, by the way, agrees with me that I'm not getting answers).

I have an idea, and I want to play it against other people's minds. But instead of helping me find inspiration, they keep telling me that my whole approach at writing is false, overlooking the fact that they don't even know how I work. Everyone is making assumptions based on their preconceptions, which shows how valid my question for preconceptions is, lol.


You character may be more interesting if she is against type.
Which is exactly what I mean. How do you know that is not the purpose of my question?!?

How do you know I will chose the person that fits best with these actions? How do you know if maybe something else is going on in my story that will contradict a fit with these four activities?

veinglory
06-26-2014, 07:04 PM
Which is exactly what I mean. How do you know that is not the purpose of my question?!?

How do you know I will chose the person that fits best with these actions? How do you know if maybe something else is going on in my story that will contradict a fit with these four activities?

I only read your first post where all you did is ask what would fit with type. So I made a suggestion and then answered your question.

I am sorry if that offended you and will be sure not to answer any more of your questions.

what?
06-26-2014, 07:13 PM
... and then answered your question.
I don't consider "no brainer" an answer but a refusal to give an answer.

T Robinson
06-26-2014, 07:14 PM
In direct answer to your question. I really think any of them could do any of it.

In my day job, I deal with people who have done all four things you mention. There is absolutely no way to tell what actions people will take, especially under pressure and/or conflict. There is nothing available to read their minds. They probably do not know themselves until the time arrives.

I suppose I was trying to answer your question in a way that did not offend. You were asking for a list of responses to categorize the possibility of each, with a Likert Scale (the numbers).

It would have been rude of me to say, "Why should we go to this much effort?" at the very beginning.

My opinion, which is the same, is that the possibilities reside in your creative processes and that any of the fields of study are almost meaningless, as compared to the total person, their background, their religion and many other factors.

To summarize, tell us what you want to happen and we can tell you if it is plausible in our minds. HTH

Cath
06-26-2014, 07:26 PM
No, I'm not, with the exception of the great answer by mirandashell (who, by the way, agrees with me that I'm not getting answers).

I have an idea, and I want to play it against other people's minds. But instead of helping me find inspiration, they keep telling me that my whole approach at writing is false, overlooking the fact that they don't even know how I work. Everyone is making assumptions based on their preconceptions, which shows how valid my question for preconceptions is, lol.


Which is exactly what I mean. How do you know that is not the purpose of my question?!?

How do you know I will chose the person that fits best with these actions? How do you know if maybe something else is going on in my story that will contradict a fit with these four activities?
No-one has said your 'whole approach at writing is false'. They are expressing concerns about the question being reductive in its approach to writing a fully rounded character. That in itself is a reply.

Secondly, since you haven't told us how you work, we can't be expected to know implicitly.

Respondents are, on the whole, responding to the question in a way that makes sense to them. You might find more value in trying to understand why people are responding the way they are instead of just dismissing it as not helpful because they don't fit your way of approaching this.

If you continue to challenge and complain about the responses you get people will simply stop responding. People like to be valued and valuable. Everyone here is trying to help you whether you realize it or not. Please respect and recognize that people are giving their time to help you and be gracious about it. No-one is obligated to reply at all.

what?
06-26-2014, 07:35 PM
Any of them could do any of it.
You just refuted feminism.

I agree with both of your posts. I do think that individuals can differ greatly from the average of their "category". Women beat their husbands. Women commit rape. Women kill their own children. Many women earn more than many men. And so on. Still, the readers of a popular book on men and women will have a certain perception of the world and therefore a certain expectation of how women and men act in this book. All I want is to learn what this expectation is. I don't want to learn about reality, but about the common misperception of reality. After that you can be certain that I will feel free to break this expectation, or not.

Hope that makes sense.

T Robinson
06-26-2014, 07:42 PM
Sorry, but I don't think that is refuting feminism (depending on one's definition), but that is a total derail of your thread to continue and I will say no more.

Cath
06-26-2014, 07:43 PM
I think we're going to take a short time-out here to let What? really look at the replies he's received and reflect on the replies before this escalates further.