Manasa prakrti inventory A pilot survey study based tool to evaluate personality

  • By Dr A Arhanth Kumar
  • March 13, 2018
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Abstract

Background: Science is not a mere conglomeration of facts, but the systematic arrangement of facts ascertained through observations and interpretations. Surveys are based on observation which helps in the comprehensive examination of an area or population for a particular purpose. Surveys help in the evaluation and revalidation of existing facts or principles and also in finding out new facts. Ayurveda, the time-tested medical system of India also expanded the horizon of its knowledge by means of keen observation and surveys. Ayurveda visualizes health and disease through a psychosomatic approach. Doṣa prakṛti mentioned in Ayurveda incorporates both somatic as well as psychic features. Thus, it represents the total psychosomatic constitution of the person. Besides, physical, sensual, intellectual, or moral characteristics and attributes can be understood under the broad heading of Triguṇa. Ayurveda has elaborated the psychic dispositions of a person based on Mānasa prakṛti. Hence, each and every person has all the three qualities of mind all the time, but there is a relative variation of these in different persons and this determines the three separate Mānasa prakṛti, namely, SātvikaRājasika, and Tāmasika which is also known as MahāprakṛtiAim: This article aims at an overview on the formation of an inventory for the gross assessment of Mānasa prakrtiMethods and Materials: Initially Mānasa prakṛti inventory comprising of fifty statements has been developed based on literature. The inventory was later subjected for face validation method. There after it was used for pilot survey study. Results: One hundred volunteers were easily categorized underSatva- Rājasādhika (32%), Rājasa- Tāmasādhika (24%), Satva- Tāmasādhika (24%), Rājasādhika (18%), Tāmasādhika ( 4%) andSātvika Prakṛti (2%). Conclusion:Hence, this Mānasa prakṛti inventory was effective as an effective applicable test to assess psychic disposition of an individual.

1. Introduction

Prakrti (constitution) is the status of idiosyncrasy between Sharira (body) and Manas (mind).[1] The natural specificity of mental disposition which exists since the conjunction of Sukra (semen), Shonita (ovum), and Atma (soul) is known as Mānasa Prakṛti (MP) (psychic expression or constitution).[2] Body is composed of Pancha Mahabhoota and Tridosha and constitutes Sharirik Prakṛti. Whereas mind is characterized by SatvaRajas, and Tamas and constitutes MP.[3] Personality of all individuals is depending on these two Prakṛti. Among these two, Ṣarīrika Prakṛti(bodily constitution) is easily analyzed and interpreted through direct perception. However, it becomes herculean task to assess MP because of many technical reasons. They are (i) lack of clarity in the MP concept at present. In the classical literatures, concepts regarding MP are given, but it needs to be improvised and understood systematically. Many Sanskrit technical terms should be translated which is familiar and known. (ii) Lack of standard and validated inventory. In psychiatry and psychology, many validated inventories are developed and available to assess personality of the individual such as big-five factor personality test, Neo Personality Inventory, 16PF test, Personality Assessment Inventory test, Myers–Briggs Type Indicator personality test, Rorschach test, Personality and Preference Inventory test, etc.[4] However, in Ayurveda, no such tests are available. (iii) Presence of multiple variables in relation with MP. Age, sex, occupation, family status, society, culture, situation, environment, etc., variables decide personality of an individual. Consideation of these variables are also very important. The presence of many variables lessens the output. (iv) Lack of supportive research works. Very less research works are carried out in relation with concept, assessment, and application of MP. Therefore, it becomes very difficult to know and examine the constitution.

Personality refers to the individual differences in characteristic patterns of behaviour, thinking, and emotion.[5] Personality traits are distinguishable characteristics that represent the psychic status of the individual. They are also habitual patterns of behavior, temperament, and emotion. It is a very strenuous job to estimate the personality due to the presence of diversified influencing components such as nature, habit, status of society and family, beliefs, motivation, and perception. These existing variables are the reason for the development of many personality assessment tests in psychiatry and psychology. Most of these tests are in questionnaire format. Method of development of these questionnaires could be a guide for developing new personality inventory in relation with MP, as there are very less obtainable, convenient, handy inventories in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, fraternity scope is always present to develop MP assessment tool, and lot more opportunities are there to develop individual personality-based MP assessment tool according to age group, profession, condition, etc.[6]

Medical survey studies are the most effective method to assess the status of the population or sample. MP can be easily known within short period, and it is cost effective also. It is a superlative method that could be used to prove many concepts of Ayurveda which are concealed. Hence, proceeding with all these facts and interims about the concept, applicability, and practicality of MP, the present piece of work “Mānasa Prakṛti inventory” – pilot survey study-based tool to evaluate personality has been taken up.

Aims and objectives

  • To develop an MP inventory

  • To validate developed MP inventory

  • To evaluate MP in healthy individuals with the use of developed inventory.

2. Material and Methods

Development of Mānasa Prakrti inventory

To build the inventory on MP, all major treatises of Ayurveda was consulted. Different translated text books and dictionaries were also referred. Compiled books on MP were also taken as focal aid. Firstly, compilation and proper organization of data regarding MP available in classical literatures was made. Subsequently, with the help of dictionaries and translated texts, each trait, i.e. Sātvika, Rājasika, and Tāmasika traits was defined. Mānasa Prakrti inventory was developed based on these Sātvika, Rājasika, and Tāmasika traits described in the compositions of Ayurveda. As the study aims at gross assessment of Manasa Prakrti, the description available in the classical literatures based on Brāhma kāya, Ārṣa kāya, etc., and Sātvika, Rājasika, and Tāmasika kāyās are not included in this study. The development of MP inventory includes three phases. They are as follows:

MP inventory in the form of self-evaluation statements was prepared. All statements were framed based on a situation, and they were closed ended in nature. Each statement was directing toward specific type of trait. A total of 50 self-explanatory statements was framed. All statements were framed in such a way that they are direct, simple, and do not imply more than one meaning.

 

Verification and validation

After developing MP inventory, it has been checked whether it can be followed and understood easily. For this, it was subjected for the process of validation. Face validity test was adopted to validate the inventory. One hundred individuals of different classes in relation with age and profession factor were taken. Later, the data was collected and statistical tests were applied. Finally, the inventory was confirmed as “applicable inventory.”

Pilot survey study

As this study was intended to develop the inventory, initially, a pilot survey study has been planned. Successive independent sample pilot survey study design was projected. For this, 100 healthy volunteers were selected as per random sampling technique for the current pilot survey study. Samples were selected irrespective of sex, religion, and occupation from Mysore, Karnataka. Healthy volunteers above 20 years of age were selected for the study (for the obvious reason of being able to self-understand questionnaire. During this age, the matured cognitive development and crystallized intelligence based on knowledge and experience were observed. This helps in understanding the questionnaire better).

Statistical methodology

The obtained data was analyzed and interpreted after subjecting it for simple statistical calculations (percentile calculations). Percentage of Satvika, Rajasika, and Tamasika traits was calculated separately for each Prakrti and then dominant Prakrti was assigned.

For example:

  • If 75% of traits are in favor of Sātvika Prakrti, then it is considered as Satvādhika Prakrti and similar rule is applied for Rājasādhika and Tāmasādhika Prakrti

  • If both Satvika and Rajasika traits are almost equal (e.g., Satva - 52% and Rajas - 48%), then it is considered as Satva-rajasadhika Prakrti. The same rule was applied for Rajas-tamasādhika and Satva–tāmasādhika Prakrti

  • If all the 3 traits are almost eaval, then it was considered as Satva, Rājasika, Tāmasādhika Prakrti.

Essentials of Mānasa Prakṛti

As a whole, all attributes existent in this cosmos, i.e. physical or sensual or intellectual or moral characteristics and attributes can be comprehended beneath the broad-ranging of Triguṇa or Mahāguṇa (Satva: balancing attribute, Rajas: stimulating attribute, and Tamas: decaying attribute).[7] MP (psychic dispositions of a person) is also not deviated from this. Hence, each and every individual has all three attributes of mind. However, there will be relative variation of these in different persons at different situations.
Mānasa Prakṛti has been classified based on the dominance of one or the other attribute. In Ashtanga sangrahaMānasa Prakrti is classified into seven types such as Sātvika, Rājasika, Tāmasika, Satvaraja, Rajatama, Satvatama, and Samaguṇa Prakrti.[8] In Caraka samhita and Suśruta samhita, it is classified into sixteen types based on the predominance of Triguna.[9],[10] In Kāsyapa samhita, two more types are added to make it 18 in number.[11] To prepare questionnaire, general and common description given in major treatises is taken into consideration. To understand each technical term mentioned under MP easily, they are translated into English.

Sātvika traits

  1. Ānṛśamsya: It implies the compassion or mercy toward fellow beings

  2. Saṁvibhāga rucitā: It is the willingness to share or divide properly

  3. Titikṣā: It signifies endurance or ability to forbear difficulties

  4. Satyam: Genuine or real words which are beneficial to the world or the words devoid of aversion or craving for enjoyment

  5. Dharma: Dharma designates those virtues or the prescribed code of conducts of body, word, and mind which are essential for the maintenance of the natural order of things

  6. Āstikyam: Āstikyam means belief in sacred tradition which includes Dharma, Moksha, existence of Paraloka, etc.

  7. Jṅānam: Advanced degree of competence or proficiency acquired through training is called as Jnana

  8. Buddhi: It represents comprehensive knowledge, proper judgment capacity, and consciousness

  9. Medhā: It represents intelligence and the capacity to retain knowledge or information with ease

  10. Smrti: It denotes good remembrance or the power of recalling past experiences

  11. Dhṛti: It represents perfect restraint or concentration. Self-command and firm in decisions is Dhruti

  12. Anabhiṣaṅga: Performing duties properly without expecting anything in return is Anabhishanga. There will be nonconnectedness or detachment from worldly pleasures

  13. Souca: It denotes the purity of body, word and mind

  14. Kṛtajñatā: Gratefulness or expressing the gratitude is Krtajnata

  15. Dakṣiṇyam: Having the quality of politeness, civility, and courtesy

  16. Vyavasāya: It represents determination and willingness to do effort

  17. Ṣouryam: Devoid of fear is Ṣourya. Presence of great valor and strength

  18. Gambhīryam: Presence of intellectual depth, penetrating knowledge, and keen insight

  19. Bhakti: It denotes devotion, faithfulness, and attachment with spirituality.

Rājasika traits

  1. Dukhabahulatā: State of unhappiness of body, word, and mind

  2. ṭana śīlatā: Roaming or wandering in nature. Fluctuation in action and thought

  3. Adhṛti: Lack of self-command and firmness in decisions

  4. Ahankāra: Self-conceited or over-proud about self

  5. Anṛtikatva: Untruthful or not genuine in words of self

  6. Akāruṇya: Lacking compassion toward fellow beings

  7. Dambha: Deceiving in nature or intend to injure others

  8. Māna: Self-conceit or a wounded sense of honor

  9. Harśa: Presence of highly elated state of mind or exultation

  10. Kāma: Having desire for sensual enjoyments

  11. Krodha: It represents state of anger or wrath. It is expressed through harm done to others

  12. Durupacāra: State of lack or absence of external display of courtesy

  13. Anāryam: Due to bad activities, there is no respect in society which is perceived by the individual

  14. Ṣouryam: Devoid of fear. There will be presence of great valor and strength and is ferocious in nature

  15. Mātsaryam: Jealous and intolerant to other gains is defined as Matsarya

  16. Amitabhāśitā: Uncontrolled speech

  17. Lolupatvam: Greedy and desirous.

Tāmasika traits

  1. Viṣāditva: Always feeling sad

  2. Nāstikyam: Not believing in sacred tradition which includes Dharma, Moksha, existence of Paraloka, etc.

  3. Adharmaśīlatā: Lack of Virtues or the prescribed code of conducts of body, word and mind and is unrighteous

  4. Buddhernirodha: Restraint from comprehensive knowledge and proper judgment capacity

  5. Ajñānam: Lack of proficiency acquired through training and shows spiritual ignorance

  6. Durmedhastvam: Crookedness and foolishness

  7. Akarmaśīlatā: Lack of interest in doing activities

  8. Nidrālutva: Sleepy in nature always

  9. Pramada: Signifies carelessness and inattention aspect of individual

  10. Ālasya: Idle or apathetic nature of individual

  11. Kṣut: Always desirous of taking food

  12. Tṛṣṇa: Always desirous of taking fluids

  13. Ṣoka: Always having sorrow or grief

  14. Mātsaryam: Jealous and intolerant to other gains

  15. Vipratipatti: Having wrong or opposite knowledge of facts

  16. Paratisandhana: Opposing or discouraging other activities.

These 19 Sātvika traits, 17 Rājasika traits, and 16 Tāmasika traits are utilized to develop questionnaire. One question is framed using each and every attribute.

Development of Mānasa Prakṛti inventory

An itemized catalog or list of intangible attributes is called as an inventory. It contains total 50 statements. Each statement and attribute is given specific sequential and serial codes. All Sātvika traits, Rājasika traits, and Tāmasika attributes are given specific code starts from “S,” “R,” and “T” respectively [Table 1]. All statements are shuffled to randomize the items so that the effect of the set is controlled. Each statement was rated on a four-point scale. Four-point scale is used rather than an odd number point scale to control midpoint rating.

Table 1: Manasa Prakriti Trait Code


The scoring pattern is mentioned as follows:

  • 0 = never true, 1 = sometimes true, 2 = often true, 3 = always true

  • for example, “I like white dress.”

Put a '√' below:
0 = It is never true that you like white dress
1 = It is sometimes true that you like white dress
2 = It is often true that you like white dress
3 = It is always true that you like white dress.

Questionnaire pro forma (Mānasa Prakṛti inventory)
T1 = I feel happy to be inactive - 0 1 2 3
S2 = I have control over mind and I can retain the knowledge for prolonged period - 0 1 2 3
R3 = I like adventure - 0 1 2 3
T4 = I enjoy sleeping a lot - 0 1 2 3
R5 = I like to derive immediate happiness from whatever i do and i am not bothered about its long-term consequences - 0 1 2 3
R6 = I won't tell truth - 0 1 2 3
T7 = I have difficulty in differentiation - 0 1 2 3
R8 = I have too much lust - 0 1 2 3
S9 = I have got very good grasping power - 0 1 2 3
R10 = I don't mind killing animals - 0 1 2 3
T11 = I postpone doing things - 0 1 2 3
T12 = I can live in a detached way - 0 1 2 3
R13 = I become angry easily - 0 1 2 3
S14 = I can recollect things easily - 0 1 2 3
T15 = I feel very much depressed over little things - 0 1 2 3
T16 = I don't believe God and Spiritual sciences - 0 1 2 3
S17 = I don't want to injure anybody - 0 1 2 3
R18 = I do things to harm others - 0 1 2 3
R19 = I feel what i do is always correct and i like to command others - 0 1 2 3
S20 = I have got self-realization capacity - 0 1 2 3
R21 = I don't care for cheating others - 0 1 2 3
R22 = I worship in a matter of fact without faith in it - 0 1 2 3
S23 = I follow the ritual duties - 0 1 2 3
T24 = I were get upset very soon and I feel sad often - 0 1 2 3
T25 = I consume food often without knowing its advantages - 0 1 2 3
R26 = I am very talkative - 0 1 2 3
R27 = I do not care much more about society - 0 1 2 3
T28 = I feel very much thirsty - 0 1 2 3
T29 = I feel envy towards successful people - 0 1 2 3
S30 = I have got powerful retention capacity of knowledge and have good grasping power too - 0 1 2 3
T31 = I cannot realize regarding self as well as others - 0 1 2 3
T32 = I had the habit of backbiting - 0 1 2 3
S33 = I believe God and spiritual sciences - 0 1 2 3
T34 = I oppose the opinion of others during conversation - 0 1 2 3
S35 = I can make clear distinction between different things - 0 1 2 3
S36 = I am truthful to my words - 0 1 2 3
S37 = I have endurance to a maximum extent - 0 1 2 3
R38 = I feel I am superior and what I do is always correct - 0 1 2 3
T39 = I follow unritual duties - 0 1 2 3
S40 = I feel happy to do good works for me and for others and I am not bothered about the outcome - 0 1 2 3
T41 = I have been seen by others as a person who cannot perceive things in their real way - 0 1 2 3
R42 = I am always in grief - 0 1 2 3
R43 = I cannot keep the track during conversation and I experience swings in mood - 0 1 2 3
R44 = I won't have control over negative feelings - 0 1 2 3
S45 = I have got devotion in my work as well as in God - 0 1 2 3
S46 = I always maintain decency and dignity in public - 0 1 2 3
S47 = I always maintain cleanliness - 0 1 2 3
S48 = I always pay gratitude to my helpers - 0 1 2 3
S49 = I cannot say “no” if somebody ask me to do their work - 0 1 2 3
S50 = I always follow my duties and regimens without bothering about others - 0 1 2 3.

Administration of Mānasa Prakṛti-inventory
Method of answering was guided. Volunteers were advised to read each statement carefully. They were asked to mark by a '√' (Right mark) against the appropriate judgment on a scale of 0–3. If they are not sure, they were advised to put a '√' against the number closest to what they think best. They were asked to respond to all the questions.

Validation of inventory
Face validation method was used to validate the inventory. Inventory was given to 100 volunteers belonging to different categories and was asked to specify whether inventory is easy to follow or not. They were asked to specify one among three options given, namely,

  1. Yes, inventory is easy to follow

  2. Inventory can be followed moderately

  3. No, inventory cannot be followed.

Volunteers were categorized under five groups; they were, namely,

  1. Volunteers belonging to the age group of 10–20 years

  2. Volunteers belonging to the age group of 21–50 years (literate)

  3. Volunteers belonging to the age group of 21–50 years (illiterate)

  4. Volunteers belonging to the age group of 51–70 years.

  5. Volunteers belonging to medical profession (Ayurveda, psychiatry, and medicine).

Volunteers were selected from different groups just to verify the “understandability of the inventory.” All varieties of groups, especially illiterates, were included to ensure that the inventory is transparent and relevant in all contexts. If illiterates are not included, then it may suggest the improper selection of sample for validation, thus fail to assess what the inventory intended to assess. For each group, 20 volunteers were selected. They were asked to read the inventory in total and mark any one option given for it. After preliminary data analysis, the inventory was considered as the “applicable test” and subjected for further analysis.

Pilot survey study

After getting confirmation from face validation test, inventory was employed for pilot survey study. Here, successive independent sample pilot survey study design was planned. According to this pilot survey method, data was procured only once from the samples belonging to the same population. The same guidance was given for individual similar to face validation test administration. It was carried out in 100 samples. The inventory filled by volunteers was kept confidential.

Validation results

The data of 100 volunteers were expressed in percentage and tabulated [Table 2]. Among 100 samples, total 81%, 15%, and 4% samples revealed that the test is easily understandable, moderately understandable, and not understandable, respectively. About 75%, 80%, 70%, 80%, and 100% of respective five groups revealed that the inventory is easily understandable. This showed the applicability of the inventory.

Table 2: Validation of inventory

Pilot survey results

Among the 100 volunteers of this pilot survey, a maximum number of volunteers were belonging to Satva-rājasādhika (32%) followed by Rājasa-tāmasādhika (24%) and Satva–tāmasādhika (20%). About 18% of persons belonged to Rājasādhika prakṛti while 4% of persons belonged to tāmasādhika and 2% belonged to Satvadhika prakṛti respectively [Table 3].

Table 3: Results of survey study

 

3. Discussion

Preparatory phase

SatvaRaja, and Tama are base to understand the psyche of the individual. Thorough screening of texts of Ayurveda provided 19 features for Satva guna, 17 features for Rajo guna and 16 features for Tamo guna. Different Vyakhyas provided clarification, explanation, and information regarding each feature or trait. Keeping these points in mind, an effort has been made to give appropriate meaning to each feature in this study. Maximum clarity has been provided for each trait excluding confusion and controversy. As there was no much variation among the number of each attribute (Satva 19, Rajas 17, and Tamas 16), all are treated the same weightage without considering other statistical methods.

Action phase

In this phase of study, inventory to assess Mānasa prakṛti was developed based on the literature gathered and clarified. Keeping all difficulties in mind such as individual variations, variations in perception and understanding, textual–geographical-application diversities, socio economical-cultural influences, an effort has been made to develop the inventory. The main target of developing inventory was to have a simple, effective, appropriate method to assess an individual. Thus, multipoint scale (0–3) gross self-assessment Mānasa prakṛti inventory was developed.

To check its validity, five groups of volunteers belonging to different age groups including technical-nontechnical, literate-illiterate were selected. For illiterate people, the inventory was conveyed exactly as it is constructed. Inventory was more applicable and understandable and this task has been carried out.

In total, 81% of volunteers stated that all components of MP are inventory and are understandable. Fifteen percent of volunteers said that it is moderately understandable, whereas 4% of volunteers told that it is not understandable. Even though various other statistical methods are available to validate the inventory, simple percentage method based on observation is incorporated in the present study to make the study more simple and clear.

Application phase

Thus, prepared MP inventory is used to assess MP in 100 volunteers.

 

4. Conclusion

MP is the psychic disposition of an individual. Assessment of MP is a challenging task and there is lot of scope to develop new tool. Thorough review of the text reveals many attributes and characteristic feature of MP pertaining to Satva, Raja, and Tama. Based on this, MP inventory has been framed. Fifty statements probing toward Satva, Raja, and Tama are framed. It is processed and validated under face validation method. After validating, it is subjected and utilized for pilot survey study without any difficulties. Hence, this MP inventory is an effective applicable test to assess psychic disposition an individual.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.
Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

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About Author & Address for correspondence: A Arhanth Kumar (Department of Samhita and Siddhantha, S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Udupi, Karnataka, India), Shreevathsa Manjunath, (Department of Samhita and Siddhantha, Government Ayurveda Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India), Arun Jainer (Department of Panchakarma, S.D.M. College of Ayurveda, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. For correspondence Dr. A Arhanth Kumar at address referred to in this para.

Article available online/offline on: AYU, Vol. 37, Issue-3, July-December 2016, Page no.215-221, for more details please visit: www.ayujournal.org

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