Recluse No More: New Study Reveals The Many Sides Of Individualists

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A new study by reveals that individualists are not reticent loners. They take pride in being self-reliant, but they are also more creative, open-minded, and self-confident than conformists.

Being an individualist in the modern world takes a strong desire for independence, but also confidence, resilience, and the willingness to be authentic

Individualists are independent and self-reliant, but also curious, creative, and confident.

Individualists are more comfortable being themselves than conformists are and a little more willing to self-disclose to others.

The term “individualist” may bring to mind many associations which are likely to be more negative than positive. Perhaps a recluse who doesn’t talk to anyone, and who most people would assume is bitter, angry, and not to be trifled with. Or maybe a revolutionary agitator, with extreme ideas and a penchant for trouble. While this may describe a few individualists (and even conformists), research from PsychTests reveals that modern day individualists are unique and multifaceted.

Reviewing data from 1,542 people who took their Big Five Personality Test, researchers at PsychTests split the sample into two groups: Individualists and Conformists. According to PsychTests’ study, Individualists are more likely to:

  • Take pride in being different.
  • Have a broad range of interests and hobbies.
  • Think outside the box.
  • Add a personal touch to everything they do.
  • Be self-starters and create their own opportunities.
  • Recognize they are special and unique.
  • Be outspoken about their ideas and opinions.
  • Feel stifled by stringent rules and codes of conduct.

So how does this play out in the 21st century? Individualists outscored Conformists on a number of traits and skills, include the following:


  • Score for Individualists: 77 (on a scale from 0 to 100)
  • Score for Conformists: 50 (on a scale from 0 to 100)


  • Score for Individualists: 83
  • Score for Conformists: 61


  • Score for Individualists: 79
  • Score for Conformists: 55


  • Score for Individualists: 83
  • Score for Conformists: 53


  • Score for Individualists: 76
  • Score for Conformists: 50


  • Score for Individualists: 65
  • Score for Conformists: 52


  • Score for Individualists: 62
  • Score for Conformists: 47


  • Score for Individualists: 74
  • Score for Conformists: 53


  • Score for Individualists: 63
  • Score for Conformists: 40


  • Score for Individualists: 72
  • Score for Conformists: 59


  • Score for Individualists: 53
  • Score for Conformists: 43


  • Score for Individualists: 69
  • Score for Conformists: 42

“There is more to an individualist than simply a desire to be different from the crowd,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “What we see in this study is a need to pave their own path, to explore the world, and to broaden their horizons. Individualists have an almost innate yearning to leave their mark on the world, and if their lifestyle or choices make them stand out or rub people the wrong way, they won’t let it bother them. Individualists are living their life to the fullest. Moreover, the belief that individualists are more likely to be reclusive and perhaps even standoffish is not necessarily the case…or at least not exclusive to these personality types. They are more comfortable being themselves than conformists are and a little more willing to self-disclose to others. Our study also reveals individualists consider themselves quite popular, are very happy with their lives, and are nearly on par with conformists in terms of how many close friends they have. These are not hermits or loners; these are people who will not allow anyone to dictate how they should think, feel, behave, and live.”

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About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see Profile). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
+1 514-745-3189 Ext: 112
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