PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Main Interests of the Personality Types Self-Sacrificing Type

Serious Personality Type

The interests of the Serious Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 366):

  • suffering no illusions
  • seeing things as they are
  • not expecting to be popular
  • carrying on in even the worst of circumstances
  • being able to endure in a "harsh climate"
  • having strength in hard times

Main Interests of the Serious Personality Type

  1. maintaining a sober demeanor; being solemn and refraining from emotional expression

  2. being realistically aware of your own capabilities; being aware of your own limitations; not being tempted by vanity or self-importance

  3. holding yourself responsible for your actions; not soft pedaling your own faults; not letting yourself off the hook

  4. being a thinker, analyzer, evaluator, ruminator; always playing things over in your own mind before you act

  5. anticipating problems; when the worst happens, being prepared to deal with it

  6. being contrite when you realize you've been thoughtless or impolite to others

Characteristic Traits and Behaviors

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Serious personality style. The following seven characteristic traits and behaviors are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  1. Straight face. Individuals with the Serious personality style maintain a sober demeanor. They are solemn and not given to emotional expression.

  2. No pretentions. They are realistically aware of their own capabilities, but they are also aware of their own limitations; they are not tempted by vanity or self-importance.

  3. Accountability. Serious people hold themselves responsible for their actions. They will not soft-pedal their own faults and do not let themselves off the hook.

  4. Cogitation. They're thinkers, analyzers, evaluators, ruminators: They'll always play things over in their minds before they act.

  5. Nobody's fool. Men and women with Serious personality style are sharp appraises of others. In their ability to critique other people, they are as unhesitating as in their own self-evaluation.

  6. No surprises. They anticipate problems and when the worst happens, they're prepared to deal with it.

  7. Contrition. Serious people suffer greatly when they realize they've been thoughtless or impolite to others.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.


Serious: "1. Grave in character, quality, or mien; sober. 2. Said or done in earnest; sincere." (AHD)

Synonyms: "grave, solemn, somber, sedate, staid, sober, earnest"

"Serious, grave, solemn, somber, sedate, staid, sober, earnest may be applied to persons, their looks, or their acts with the meaning not light or frivolous but actually or seemingly weighed down by deep thought, heavy cares, or purposive or important work. Serious implies absorption in work rather than in play, or concern for what matters rather than for what merely amuses ... Grave implies both seriousness and dignity but it usually implies also an expression or attitude that reflects the pressure or weighty interests or responsibilities ... Grave is more likely than serious... to be used when a mere appearance is to be implied ... and it may be used of things with qualities suggestive of human gravity ... Solemn usually heightens the suggestion of impressiveness or awesomeness often implicit in grave ... Somber applies to a melancholy or depressing gravity, completely lacking in color, light, or cheer ... Sedate implies composure and decorous seriousness in character or speech and often a conscious avoidance of lightness or frivolity ... Staid implies a settled sedateness, often a prim self-restraint, and an even stronger negation of volatility or frivolity than sedate ... Sober sometimes stresses seriousness of purpose ... but it more often suggests gravity that proceeds from control over or subdual of one's emotions or passions ... Earnest implies seriousness of purpose as well as sincerity and, often, zealousness and enthusiasm ... "

Analogous: "austere, stern, severe, ascetic: thoughtful, reflective, contemplative, meditative: deep, profound"

Antonyms: "light, flippant"

Contrasted: "frivolous, flighty, volatile ... " (MW, 725-26)

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1981, c.1969). William Morris, Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Merriam-Webster (1984). Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms: A Dictionary of Discriminated Synonyms with Antonyms and Analogous and Contrasted Words. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Noteworthy Examples of the Serious Personality Type

Noteworthy examples of the Serious Personality Type are: Index of noteworthy examples

Tori Amos | Jane Austen |Larry Bird | Lily Briscoe | Dorothea Brooke | William S.Burroughs | Laura Bush | Erskine Caldwell | Rosalynn Carter | Steve Case | Miguel de Cervantes | Raymond Chandler | Prince Charles, Prince of Wales | Eric Clapton | Walter Cronkite | Clarissa Dalloway | John Dewey | Celine Dion | Don Quixote | Theodore Dreiser | George Eliot | T.S. Eliot | Elizabeth II | Ralph Waldo Emerson | Carly Fiorina | Henry Fonda | Ford Madox Ford | Henry Ford | E. M. Forster | Anna Freud | Martha Freud | Hugh Grant | John Hersey | "Holden Caulfield" | Mike Huckabee | Andrew Jackson | Samuel Johnson | Garrison Keillor | Grace Kelly | Caroline Kennedy | Rose Kennedy | John Kerry | Peter D. Kramer | Jay Leno | Abraham Lincoln | Marilyn Manson | Philip Marlowe | Silas Marner | Arthur Miller | Jim Nabors | Barack Obama | Fanny Price | Gomer Pyle | Norman Rockwell | Paul Ryan | J.D. Salinger | John Steinbeck | Jimmy Stewart | Alfred Lord Tennyson | William Makepeace Thackeray | Henry David Thoreau | Pierre Teilhard de Chardin | Paul Tillich | Joran van der Sloot | Sherwood Anderson | Maggie Tolliver | Sam Waterston | E. B. White | Vanna White | Virginia Woolf | Frank Lloyd Wright

The Serious Personality Type is derived from Depressive personality disorder.



Summary - Personality Disorders
Copyright © 2014 Dave Kelly

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