Personality traits academic achievement requires

In order to calmly debate all ideas, you need to put emotion aside.

Similarly, new ideas, or being contradicted, will likely upset some people. But, in the pursuit of academic debate, you have to ignore this and calmly present both sides. Low in Conscientiousness (“rule-following”) and high in intellectual curiosity are useful personality ingredients. This means being better able to understand that the truth is ever more closely reached by being non-conformist—by questioning the current “truth.”

Academic achievement requires a combination of  high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness. This means being clever enough to solve a difficult problem, but also low in rule-following, while also being able to “think outside the box”. And, being low in Agreeableness, not caring about offending people, which original ideas always do.

An aspect of Agreeableness is empathy—being concerned with the feelings of others and being able to guess what they might be. People who are high in “systematizing” (with systematizing being vital to problem solving) tend to be low in empathy.

Universities, traditionally, have in essence been about giving geniuses a place in which they can attempt to solve their problems, working at their chosen problems for years on end.

Genius breakthroughs are only made, ultimately, by causing offence.

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