What Makes You The Way You Are

Book - 2007
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Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why do some people seem good at empathising, and others at controlling? What is the best personality to have; a bold one or a shy one, an aggressive one or a meek one? And are you stuck with your personality, or can you change it? Daniel Nettle takes the reader on a tour through the science of human personality, using an unusual combination of individual life stories and scientific research. Every disposition brings both advantages and disadvantages. Life is partly the business of finding a niche where your personal characteristics work for you. Full of human as well as scientific insight, this book will enable you to understand the perils and potentials of your personality to the full.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9780199211425
Characteristics: 298 p. ; 18 cm.


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Dec 17, 2017

The best introductory book on personality psychology that I have read. Very well-written. Nettle presents the five-factor model in a clear but accurate manner and gives illustrating real-life examples of all the factors. Most importantly, this is a true popular science book in the sense that all the claims are backed up by solid evidence. Nettle does not present his own opinions nor hypotheses but merely reviews the current scientific consensus.

Jul 07, 2014

I agree this book was well written and easy to read. The thorough discussion of each of the five factors is the strong point of this book, in my opinion. Scientific studies and neurological surveys add credence to its conclusions. Reading the book's explanation of the neurological reason for extroversion was a high point, a real "Aha!" moment for me.

I found the book's coverage of "how does this affect my life and the choices I should make?" less satisfying. /Personality/ left me wanting more answers, and more significantly, a second opinion. I've been comparing the five factors of this book with the four-factor Keirsey/Myers Briggs Temperament types, and I see strong correlations that lead me to believe the latter, simpler system makes more sense and elucidates personality variations every bit as well with one less factor.

There's a lot of room for expansion on the core concepts in this book. In all, I think it's a good basic discussion of the very complicated, but temptingly codifiable phenomenon which we call temperament or personality.

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