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

Vigilant Character

Irrational Need
(False Good)
Irrational Need to Avoid
(False Bad)
Idealized Image
(Oldham, pp. 157-58)
Personality Disorder
Paranoid
autonomy being subordinated, exploited, harmed, or deceived by others autonomous, independent; keep their own counsel, require no outside reassurance or advice; make decisions easily, and take care of themselves suspects that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving them
loyalty of others the disloyalty or untrustworthiness of friends or associates loyal and trustworthy unjustified doubts about loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
having information confided to others used against them cautious; careful in their dealings with others, preferring to size up a person before entering a relationship reluctance to confide in others because of fear that the information will be used maliciously against them
demeaning or threatening remarks or events perceptive; good listener, with an ear for subtlety, tone, and multiple levels of communication fears hidden demeaning or threatening meanings in benign remarks or events
insults, injuries, slights, and attacks on their character or reputation able to defend self; feisty and do not hesitate to stand up for themselves, especially when they are under attack bears grudges; is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights; perceived attacks on their character not apparent to others; is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
fidelity of their spouse or sexual partner the infidelity of their spouse or sexual partner faithful and loyal has suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse, or sexual partner


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 Vigilant 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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