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Security Investigations Archive

A Common Error That Kills Objectivity

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
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Bias is one of the most common problematic personality traits.

The inability to make impartial decisions blocks professional success, and destroys personal relationships. It ranks right up there with other atrocious red-flag personality traits such as indecisiveness, dishonesty, vanity, volatile emotions, lack of analytical ability, and lack of discretion.

Bias comes in many forms, and almost everyone possesses some degree of intolerance, but few seem to recognize one of the key factors in the problem with partiality: the subconscious mind.

Being ignorant of or refusing to acknowledge the power of your subconscious mind as it relates to objectivity is one of the most common errors that kill fair-mindedness.

Your perception of others is obscured by your subconscious fears and defenses. The stronger your unconscious fears and defenses, the more likely you are to misread someone upon first meeting, and the longer it will take you to perceive clearly the person’s authentic character, including strengths and challenges.

Examples of subconscious fears include fear of success, fear of abandonment, fear of losing control, fear of failure, perfectionism, conflict avoidance, and timidity. Examples of subconscious defense mechanisms include defiance, excessive secretiveness, domineering behavior, evasiveness, and self-deception.

Aside from distinguishing indisputable facts, no matter how keen your rapid cognitive function, you are likely to see the person as you are, not as they are. Prejudice (almost nobody is exempt), in varying degrees, is a ubiquitous subconscious fear, no matter what a person tells you otherwise. The truth is, most people simply aren’t familiar with the innate fears and defenses hidden in their subconscious mind, which distort their judgment.

Again, everyone is capable of exhibiting bias to some degree, but a severely prejudiced person can be a significant problem in your personal or professional life. Yet troublesome characteristics on the other side of the spectrum, such as lacking a sense of discernment, excessive naiveté, and gullibility can be equally harmful.

One way to get an idea about the level of innate bias a person may have is to ask his or her opinion about a well-known celebrity or politician. Even better, focus on specific personality traits; ask the person if he or she thinks the celebrity is untrustworthy, for example, if you suspect your new acquaintance may be. Those who lack self-awareness tend to project their flaws onto others. Just keep in mind that being objective about the facts, such as someone already having admitted to wrongdoing, or having been found overwhelmingly guilty in a court of law, is a different matter.

Always keeping in mind the potent influence of your subconscious mind goes a long way in dealing with strife and other interpersonal issues in everyday life.

Besides spending years getting to know someone, a way to uncover authentic personality, beyond the persona, is conventional security investigations (e.g., hiring a private detective). Unconventional security investigations, including those I offer, involving handwriting analysis, are a reliable alternative.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

Common Personality Traits That Kill Relationships

Sunday, November 5th, 2017
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Everyone has his or her own unique personality talents and flaws. My findings show the primary characteristics are inborn.

It’s unfortunate that unconventional appraisal methods aren’t universally part of every young person’s schooling to discover and understand his or her key strengths and weaknesses.

Currently, everyone must discover his or her own personality through trial and error, or through conventional evaluation methods, which typically fail to uncover the authentic personality.

Below I list typical relationship personality red flag traits that wreck personal and professional relationships. I readily identify all subconscious personality traits listed below in my exclusive analyses.

Lack of a reasonable sense of discernment and critical analysis skills translates into the inability to identify and understand personality and relationship issues, and possibly naiveté and gullibility. Combine it with lack of objectivity and the person is likely to avoid taking responsibility for his or her actions. Dishonesty also complicates matters.

Emotional immaturity and, or volatility shows a lack of emotional development and security. He or she will act on emotions (instead of reason), to his or her detriment.

Impulsiveness, lack of control over urges, and recklessness yield poor decision-making, among other challenges.

Self-esteem and ego strength relates to the amount of self-approval and the ability to cope with rejection. Vanity, arrogance, and narcissism are signs of an unhealthy ego. A “big ego” is actually a weak ego.

Conflict avoidance results from a fear of friction in relationships and a fear of not being liked. It’s due to any number of subconscious defense mechanisms such as disassociation, evasiveness, rationalization, secrecy, self-deceit, and vanity.

Suspiciousness, or a fear of trusting people, along with withdrawal or emotionally drawing back, makes relationships an uphill battle.

Other common relationship red flag traits include fear of intimacy, self-consciousness, and fear of sex (or excessive interest in sex).

Personality challenges are more easily recognized under less than ideal circumstances, such as when the person is under a lot of pressure. You’ll only see the persona until something triggers the subconscious fears and defenses.

Knowing a person’s authentic personality gives you understanding, which can ease conflict. It can also greatly limit your overall level of risk.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

Warning: Key Personality Traits Are Inborn

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017
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The age-old debate rages on: are you born with your personality traits, or do they develop, mostly due to environment?

Ask any parent with multiple children if his or her kids all possessed blank slate personalities from the beginning and you’ll get a look of disbelief and be told all his or her kids were different from the start.

My findings agree with that notion; you are born with your main character traits, both rewarding and challenging.

It may sound “void of promise” to the idealists, but embracing this notion will save you an enormous amount of time because attempts to change another person’s principal character are futile. The core of your personality is carved in stone. It won’t change much, no matter how much effort you put into reinventing yourself. You can, however, learn to maximize your strengths and tone down your weaknesses within the boundaries of your personal fate.

Granted, early abuse by parents or others, for example, may contribute to one’s personality, such as deepening inherent fears and defenses, but it doesn’t change the person’s overall character.

My contention is supported by comprehensive astrology and numerology (based on time of birth data), which relentlessly outlines personal fate, and handwriting analysis, which discerns subconscious personality. Time and time again the latter parallels the former; personality always develops according to predetermination.

You’ve never known someone to change so much that you didn’t recognize his or her unique character because it simply doesn’t happen.

Self-discipline can lead to gradual, small changes, such as quitting bad habits or learning a new skill, but overall personality remains the same.

You can’t transform a reclusive loner into a social butterfly, a Neanderthal thug into a scholar, or one that needs operational structure and supervision into a solo-entrepreneur. Your true nature is fixed and doesn’t change much.

Although most humans can be spontaneous and changeable, each individual’s larger, unique personality framework makes them largely predictable.

Be grateful for who you are, and make every effort to make the most of it. But avoid trying to change other people because it’s pointless.

Instead, learn as much as you can about another’s character because with understanding comes contentment, and possibly a great reduction in your overall level of risk if he or she possesses major, hidden red flag personality traits.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

The Hidden Cause of Success and Failure

Monday, June 5th, 2017
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Success is entirely attributed to hard work and luck. At least that’s what you’ve been conditioned to believe.

I always recommend setting realistic goals and working diligently, ceaselessly toward your aspirations. But my findings tell me the underpinnings of success are transcendent and have far less to do with mere personal qualities and luck than with forces beyond your control.

Before anyone accuses me of fatalism or recommending a passive, wallflower approach to life, allow me to explain my theory.

Fifty talented corporate executives all possess about the same level of intelligence, self-discipline, objectivity, logical thinking ability, decisiveness, analytical ability, discretion, and all are emotionally balanced and stable. In other words, they all lack red flag personality traits that typically lead to failure. All fifty exhibit strong leadership traits. Each one is a high-achiever and possesses the same ability to be an independent, successful business owner.

All fifty leave the corporate world at about the same time to be independent entrepreneurs. Ten years later, 25 are succeeding wildly, 15 are doing okay, and 10 failed miserably and returned to climbing the corporate ladder.

The successes and failures, in these instances, have nothing to do with market forces; all fifty entered growing industries, under various thriving economies around the world. All fifty are good decision-makers.

You may call it luck, but I refer to luck as personal fate disguised. No matter how resourceful, smart, quick thinking, intuitive, persuasive, or hard working you are, you can’t cheat fate. In other words, there’s a lot in life you have no control over, including the actions of other people. Unfortunately for those 10 washouts, their unique predestination dictated defeat in that area of their life.

Give credit where credit is due—the winners earned their triumphs. My findings show you are 100% responsible for your personal fate. Sudden opportunities and advantages, chance meetings, and similar circumstances aren’t arbitrary and undeserved. Call it cosmic payback, all part of the tapestry of predetermination.

Life’s rewards extend well beyond finances—family relations, friends, love life, and more. A person typically has wonderful predetermination in one or a few areas, but not all. It’s very rare that someone “has it all.” You can’t replicate personal fate, but you can have an equal playing field to seek the opportunities you desire. Life isn’t supposed to be fair, but you can make the most of it by doing your best. Please note: as we say in the above linked article, “It’s not always the case that a person is enduring karmic retribution for past life dark deeds; sometimes the terrible experience is for other reasons, such as to help bring awareness to the world, or stop it from happening to others in the future.”

Fatalism is the belief that you have no control over your life’s circumstances. While I believe at least 75% of your core life circumstances and events are predetermined, I’m not a fatalist; I’m a realist.

The belief that there is much in life you can’t control is a sign of humility. This belief, in conjunction with divination and personality and compatibility analysis, allows you to capitalize on the rewarding parts of life and more easily deal with life’s challenges.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

Identifying Weakness in Personality Strengths

Monday, May 8th, 2017
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Everyone’s personality strengths and weaknesses are unique and sometimes personality strengths can become detriments.

Under pressure, facades melt away and the true personality traits emerge; sometimes it takes months or even years to get to know an individual’s real flaws.

Since there isn’t a shortage of miscreants in this world, it’s perfectly acceptable to get to the heart of another person’s character; it’s wise to decrease your vulnerability and exposure to excessive risk by any ethical means possible.

You can’t control the actions of a potential business partner, romantic partner, associate, friend, or adversary, but you can get to know them well enough to minimize your risk.

Below I list five personality strengths and the frequently embedded personality challenges in those strengths.

  1. You can be confident an associate with a high degree of discretion won’t disclose confidential information. However, excessive secretiveness and a lack of transparency can derail even the most successful partnerships.
  2. It’s best if a commission-based salesperson, for example, is motivated mainly by money, but excessive acquisitiveness can be a heavy liability for any organization. Clearly, it can be a big problem in marriages or other partnerships too. It’s a fascinating dynamic of the human mind—people regularly give you pretend reasons for their actions, and even believe those reasons, while the actual motivations are hidden in their subconscious mind. Few things in a person’s core behavior are controlled by conscious motives.
  3. Strong attention to detail is praiseworthy in many professions, but excessive perfectionism makes one miss the bigger picture and impedes success.
  4. People who are easy-going and non-judgmental are usually well-liked. However, a lack of objectivity, and a deficient sense of discernment and critical thinking skills yields poor problem solving ability, thus hinders goal-attainment.
  5. Those with a strong sense of responsibility are appreciated, but in the extreme, a savior complex makes one act to his or her detriment.

Nobody is perfect, though it can save you a lot of time and money to look beyond personas to authentic personality, which can be discerned through various methods, including my unorthodox security investigations.

 Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

Secrecy—How to Know if You Can Trust Someone

Sunday, January 29th, 2017
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“If you wish another to keep your secret, first keep it to yourself.” Seneca

Everyone has secrets, ranging from inconsequential to momentous.

Secrecy is an integral part of the human experience, largely having to do with the mostly harmless natural defense mechanism to maintain your peace of mind and save face.

For example, you don’t announce to your Facebook friends the graphic details of your most recent red-hot fling to save yourself the embarrassment, even though such posts would be exceedingly entertaining and could make you a social media star.

Sometimes you’re required to share your secrets, such as within a business or investment partnership.

Secrecy is desirable in matters of confidentiality; discretion is necessary to protect proprietary information.

Although it’s feasible extreme secrecy can be a serious liability in partnerships, keeping one’s mouth shut is generally considered advantageous. As long as the intent isn’t to deceive, and extreme withholding doesn’t infringe on trust between associates, it won’t cause problems. 

Of all the personality traits I consider in my character analyses, secrecy is one of the most fascinating for me to examine. It’s very easy for some to keep secrets, but impossible for others.

Extremes are easy to discern, particularly involving people who can’t keep it zipped even if their life depended on it.

Other than my or another professional’s analyses to warn you ahead of time, a way to know if you can trust someone is to spend a lot of time with them. Unfortunately, you open yourself up to a lot of risk in doing so.

It’s okay to keep secrets. In fact, it’s necessary in many cases, such as guarding exclusive information or protecting someone’s safety.

Make sure you avoid trusting the wrong person, but also avoid unnecessary, extreme withholding.

Copyright © 2017 Scott Petullo

Handwriting Analysis—Variability in Script and Flexibility

Monday, October 17th, 2016
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Variability in script as discerned through handwriting analysis suggests a flexible personality.

I’ve been asked before if it’s possible to change your handwriting, and what it means if your handwriting varies a lot.

To the untrained eye, several handwriting samples by an adaptable individual, someone who prides herself on multiple writing styles for example, may appear to be written by several different people.

But due to the fact that everyone’s handwriting is unique as their personality and fingerprints, and many handwriting analysis factors don’t vary much no matter how changeable the person is, the well-trained analyst will recognize the samples as having been written by one person.

It’s extremely difficult to fake variations in pressure, movement, organization, rhythm, contraction and expansiveness, zonal balance, and more; the sample would have signs of affectation. It’s also impossible to replicate someone’s handwriting.

As with any handwriting analysis trait, excess variability, or the opposite, can be a red flag. Moderate variability in middle zone size, slant, connectivity, originality, speed, pressure, angularity, and letter spacing, for instance, can suggest a versatile individual. In the extreme it can equate to an erratic and inconsistent personality. Very little can represent stubbornness.

An evaluation consists of over 300 handwriting analysis factors and the symbolism of any single factor, such as slant, is supported or mitigated by the collective force of the other factors. The handwriting sample is deconstructed in the analysis and then put back together to symbolize a subject’s strengths, weaknesses, fears, and defenses.

While variability throughout a handwriting sample is a good sign, too much or too little isn’t.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo

Digital Lie Detector Detects Dishonesty On-line

Monday, July 25th, 2016
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A group of four academics claims to have developed a digital lie detector that is 70% accurate. Evidently, it can be used to scan social media, e-mail and text communications, and more.

The group developed a text analytic algorithm that involves word usage, in part, to detect fraud and dishonesty: “We found that individuals who lie generally use fewer personal pronouns, such as I, you, and he/she, and more adjectives, such as brilliant, fearless, and sublime. They also use fewer first-person singular pronouns, such as I, me, mine, with discrepancy words, such as could, should, would, as well as more second-person pronouns (you, your) with achievement words (earn, hero, win).”

Several types of dishonesty exist, ranging from innocuous white lies to intentional fraud. Everyone fibs a little, but extreme dishonesty is a serious red flag personality trait.

Testing the lie detector technology on dating apps could be entertaining–ask the person what they think of already-involved people secretly using dating apps (42% of people using the most popular dating app already have a partner).

Although a 30% error rate doesn’t sound great, I’d expect the group to recommend the lie detector technology as a supplement to existing systems rather than a stand-alone mode of detecting dishonesty.

Various forms of assessment comprise my systems of analysis and I recommend clients use a range of evaluations. As I say on my handwriting sample forms, “Decisions will not be made based only on the results of the graphological analysis, but in conjunction with the interview process, decision-maker observations, and other information.”

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo

Face Analyzing Technology Possibly Identifies Terrorists

Monday, July 11th, 2016
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A facial personality profiling technology company claims to be able to evaluate specific personality traits with 80% accuracy, including those that help to identify terrorists.

They allegedly identified nine of the eleven Paris (11-13-2015 attack) terrorists “after the fact as potential terrorists with no prior knowledge,” while only three of the eleven terrorists had a previous record.

The science behind face analysis involves genetic predisposition, the face being a reflection of DNA.

Behavioral geneticists contend that DNA predetermines a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological nature to a great extent.

I agree that key elements of a person’s character are predetermined, despite it being a politically incorrect view. Though I believe it ultimately has to do with personal fate, and DNA is merely a reflection of that.

It seems logical to me that select personality traits can be identified through face analysis, considering a thorough enough analysis involving extensive empirical research.

Physiognomy, including astrological physiognomy, has existed for over 2000 years (only superficial forms of it have been “discredited”). I regularly witness how extreme patterns represent distinct characteristics, such as saturnine temperament and, or appearance, symbolized by Saturn playing a key role in the person’s comprehensive astrology charts.

Instead of saying facial analysis can be used to “…predict a person’s personality and behavior,” I’d say it identifies personality traits.

By itself, at 80% accuracy (which is good for any single form of analysis), means twenty percent of travelers could be falsely identified as terrorists. But security experts (at least those whose hands aren’t tied by political correctness) use body language, high-tech anxiety measuring devices, sophisticated data tracking systems, and a host of other means to ferret out terrorists. Thus, people shouldn’t be concerned about being falsely labeled a criminal through facial analysis.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo

Revealed: Handwriting Analysis Measures Perfectionism

Monday, June 20th, 2016
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Perfectionism, or the need to be perfect, can be an immobilizing personality trait in excess and handwriting analysis effectively measures it.

A modest amount of this trait won’t hurt your productivity and keep you from reaching success, but according to this article, “The all-or-nothing, impossibly high standards perfectionists set for themselves often mean that they’re not happy even when they’ve achieved success. And research has suggested that anxiety over making mistakes may ultimately be holding some perfectionists back from ever achieving success in the first place…”

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
Leo Tolstoy

Although it’s easy to tell someone to stop trying to be perfect, perfectionism can reflect a serious anxiety disorder; it’s just not possible for some to relax and turn off the compulsion to get it exactly right all the time.

Extreme perfectionists are never happy, and this personality trait severely limits their ability to deal with pressure and stress.

A higher than average amount of perfectionism may assist a watchmaker’s success, for example, but it only hinders the average person.

A slight tendency for perfectionism has helped many very successful people rise to the top of their field, but in excess it can be debilitating and handwriting analysis readily gauges it.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Petullo