Endogenous personality

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The endogenous personality is a concept coined by the former evolutionary psychology professor Bruce Charlton to describe a particular personality type he claims is associated with genius. In his writings on the topic, Charlton employs this personality type to explain why many historical geniuses (including Beethoven, Tesla, and Newton, to name a few) were socially and sexually unsuccessful throughout their lives (though Charlton would likely argue these individuals were voluntarily celibate rather than incel due to their high inward motivation). The endogenous (from a mix of the Greek and Latin, meaning 'produced from within') personality is claimed to be an extreme form of introversion whereby a person who has this personality type is highly inwardly motivated.

Charlton argues that individuals of this personality type do not care much for the typical motivations of most people (which he claims are primarily Darwinian in nature). In Charlton's view (at least at the time he coined the theory, his views have radically changed since) the ordinary person's motivations center around the desire to fit in with the group they belong to (and gain status within the group), the accrual of resources and the gaining of sexual opportunities. In contrast, individuals with this personality type instead focus solely and obsessively on their 'mission' to the exclusion of all other aspects of their lives (whatever it may be). This type of drive emanates strongly from within the genius and explains why the genius will stick to his chosen path to the bitter end, no matter what external barriers are placed in his way to prevent him from presenting his discoveries to the world. This type of obsessive focus is superficially similar to aspects of high functioning autism, leading many to claim that several prominent historical geniuses were autistics. Still, Charlton argues that autistics are not capable of 'true' genius due to what he claims is their lack of intuitive thinking, as Charlton asserts the ability to intuitively reason is a crucial aspect of genius that sets the genius apart from the 'typical' individual of very high intelligence.

The endogenous personality is an aspect what Charlton dubs the 'creative triad' (inner motivation, intuitive thinking and high ability). Thus, this personality type combined with outlier high intelligence and moderate or higher 'psychoticism' (a personality trait that essentially combines a general anti-social tendency with a proneness towards 'psychotic breaks' with reality) is, in Charlton's view, either a precondition of or a common trait of geniuses. Charlton ultimately draws on controversial group selectionist arguments to explain why the endogenous personality is ultimately adaptive (in an evolutionary sense) despite the individuals that have this personality type typically being socially-aloof (or ostracized) individuals who typically die virgins.

Charlton argues that from the standpoint of group selection, it as adaptive for a group to produce an optimal amount of these socially withdrawn eccentrics so that their innovations may ultimately improve the size or competitive ability of the group, drawing on the geniuses that produced the innovations that made the Industrial and Agricultural revolutions possible as an example (with these inventions resulting in a massive population explosion in the societies the inventors were a part of). Therefore, the genius passes on his genes indirectly, via kin selection, as opposed to individuals with superficially similar traits to the endogenous personality like those with Asperger's Syndrome, which Charlton argues are simply the maladaptive results of the build-up of deleterious mutations in the population.

In his book The Genius Famine (co-authored by Edward Dutton) Charlton argues that the highly politically correct, bureaucratic nature of modern academia together with the nature of the education system (which Charlton argues rewards conscientiousness, specifically defined here as the ability to focus and work hard on tasks that are mundane and uninteresting, which most of the coursework in the typical university would be to the genius) has resulted in a sharp decline in individuals of this personality type in the sphere of higher education. He argues this system effectively rewards the 'head girl' type, that is, (superficially) agreeable, hardworking individuals of above average intelligence, and these individuals are the ones that rise to the top in modern societies and monopolize high ranking academic positions. He argues this phenomena is strongly to the detriment of societal progress, and there needs to be strong efforts to screen out these genius types from an early age and guide them towards the fulfillment of their 'destiny'.