PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes A Brief Theory of Bad Character Vigilant Vices

Sensitive Character

Irrational Need
(False Good)
Irrational Need to Avoid
(False Bad)
Idealized Image
(Oldham, pp. 180-81)
Personality Disorder
Avoidant
acceptance; exclusive interpersonal contact with familiars criticism, disapproval, rejection; significant interpersonal contact with non-familiars unconditionally accepted; familiar: prefer the known to the unknown; comfortable with and inspired by habit, repetition, and routine fears criticism, disapproval, or rejection; avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact
to be liked being disliked well-liked; concerned: care deeply what other people think of them unwilling to get involved unless certain of being liked
to be restrained in intimate relations attempts to shame or ridicule them circumspect: behave with deliberate discretion; don't make hasty judgments or jump in before they know what is appropriate fears being shamed or ridiculed; shows restraint within intimate relationships
for the familiar; habit, repetition, routine new interpersonal situations politely reserved, courteous, self-restrained feelings of inadequacy; inhibited in new interpersonal situations
to be socially adept and personally appealing being seen as socially inept or personally unappealing socially adept, personally appealing views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior
familiar, routine activities new activities and personal risk; being embarrassed plays their role well; does what is expected of them is reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may be embarrassing
approval and acceptance in social situations being criticized or rejected in social situations socially approved and accepted preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations


A vice is a firmly held false belief of the value of something. Vices dispose us to value as good or bad things not in our power, things external to our moral character. But it is irrational and prideful to desire, or to desire to avoid, to fear, externals. The irrational needs, or vices, of the Sensitive type are based on particular false values.

All of the vices are rooted in pride, that firmly held false belief that we can provide ourselves with happiness by obtaining certain external 'goods' (cf. DeYoung, pp. 38-39).

If we are in the habit of making false value-judgments of particular externals, we should learn to bear the things falsely valued as bad, things for which we have an "irrational need to avoid," and forbear the things falsely valued as good, things for which we have an "irrational need." "Bear and Forbear" - Epictetus


Irrational Strategies for Obtaining Happiness

A Brief Theory of Bad Character



Rebecca DeYoung (2009). Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.

John M. Oldham and Lois B. Morris (1995). The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love and Act the Way You Do. New York: Bantam. Oldham and Morris list the key characteristics not of an idealized image, but of a style of normal functioning.





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