In this interpretation of the many selves within the human mind, science and medical writer Carter (Mapping the Mind) offers a unique definition of multiple personalities in a functioning person, without the usual discussion of phobias or other psychological disorder. Carter sees personality as a cluster of related traits; for instance, ambition and related traits like drive and impatience could be one personality that would coexist with other personalities in one individual. She describes, for instance, a passive mother of two transforming into a powerful attorney in a high-powered firm; this "mental shape-shifting" leads the mother to display contradictory character traits at home, at work and at play. Contrasting what the author calls minor and major personality traits in thought and behavior, Carter explains: "Our inner landscape is constantly changing. Various personalities form, change, fade away, reform, merge, shrink and grow." She adds intriguing diagrams of memory and recall patterns illustrating how people "behave differently in different situations." Exercises provided in the second part of the book encourage the reader's family and work personalities to interact and communicate positively with each other. Carter is pushing the envelope on personality, and her book should spark debate on the flexibility of the human mind. (Mar.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Multiplicity: The New Science of Personality, Identity, and the Selfby Rita Carter
MULTIPLICITY presents an entirely new view of our selves. Instead of seeing each person as a single personality, Carter argues that we all consist of multiple characters, each one with its own viewpoint, emotions and ambitions. The mother who feeds breakfast to her children, for example, has quite different concerns and opinions from the woman taking part in a
MULTIPLICITY presents an entirely new view of our selves. Instead of seeing each person as a single personality, Carter argues that we all consist of multiple characters, each one with its own viewpoint, emotions and ambitions. The mother who feeds breakfast to her children, for example, has quite different concerns and opinions from the woman taking part in a boardroom discussion two hours later, and from the woman she will be with her husband that night. Yet all three may share the same body, and none is any more "authentic" than another.
Personality changes in a person are conventionally frowned upon, but Carter shows that in today's world our ability to switch from one personality to another according to what is demanded of us is a huge strength, providing one's personalities work together as a team rather than against each other. In addition to its groundbreaking scientific thesis, MULTIPLICITY contains extensive exercises designed to help readers achieve this harmony.
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Meet the Author
Rita Carter is an award-winning science and medical writer. She contributes to New Scientist and a wide range of other British magazines and newspapers. Before specializing in science Rita worked for six years as a TV news presenter and radio host and producer. She continues to appear and be heard regularly on TV and radio as a medical and science commentator, and gives frequent talks and lectures throughout Europe and the US.
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