kitchen table math, the sequel: The H-factor

Friday, July 3, 2015

The H-factor

Explains all.

Here's a useful article about the "HEXACO" model of personality structure in the Telegraph: How Machiavellian Are You?

When we hire the next superintendent, assuming I still live here, I'm going to push the board hard to select for high honesty and high humility ("H Factor").

Honesty and humility are the opposite of what we have now.

The H-Factor of Personality by Kibeom Lee and Michael C. Ashton is terrific. The most helpful revelations so far:
  • Honesty and humility track together... to the degree that, while the authors don't say this, the two qualities seem almost to be different facets of the same quality
  • High-H people like and associate with High-H people; Low-H people like and associate with low-H people. 
These propositions probably sound obvious to many, but they weren't to me. 

For instance, whenever I suspect a pretentious administrator of lying, I feel guilty. I feel I'm being harsh, and I set my suspicions aside.

From now on, I'm going to simply assume that pretentious administrators are lying, as a matter of statistical likelihood. That's going to save time and put me in touch with reality to boot.

As to assortative friending and mating, that High-H people like other High-H people is obvious (to me), but I've always been mystified by the fact that dishonest, pretentious people seem perfectly content in the company of other dishonest, pretentious people. I'm still mystified, but at least now I know I'm not hallucinating. Obnoxious people like obnoxious people, and they don't like people who aren't obnoxious. 

So there's no winning them over. Not via honesty and humility, at any rate.

(I'm becoming more Machiavellian by the moment.)

Another implication: wealthy suburban school districts are going to be a magnet for low-H individuals. Low-H people are more motivated by money than any of the other personality types, and they tend to have more of it as a result. So they're not moving to Yonkers. They're moving here.

Worse yet, low-H people are also motivated by status, which means they run the PTSA and the school board and the technology committees and the fundraising NGOs, and on and on.

(So good luck persuading a school board in an affluent suburb to hire an honest, non-pretentious superintendent.)

I was talking to Ed about wanting to live in a place where High-H dominates Low-H.

Ed said: That's easy.

Move somewhere with a bad school system.

A bad school system people know is bad.

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