Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

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by Daniel Nettle
     
 

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It is one of the great mysteries of human nature. Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why are some people so easy-going and laid-back, while others are always looking for a fight?
Written by Daniel Nettle—author of the popular book Happiness—this brief volume takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of what modern science can tell us

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Overview

It is one of the great mysteries of human nature. Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why are some people so easy-going and laid-back, while others are always looking for a fight?
Written by Daniel Nettle—author of the popular book Happiness—this brief volume takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of what modern science can tell us about human personality. Revealing that our personalities stem from our biological makeup, Nettle looks at the latest findings from genetics and brain science, and considers the evolutionary origins and consequences of different personalities. The heart of the book sheds light on the "big five": Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientious, Agreeableness, and Openness. Using a stimulating blend of true-life stories and scientific research, Nettle explains why we have something deep and consistent within us that determines the choices we make and situations we bring about. He addresses such questions as why members of the same family differ so markedly in their natures? 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? Life, Nettle concludes, is partly the business of finding a niche where your personality works for you. "It is a question of choosing the right pond," he notes, "and being mindful of the dangers." There is no ideal personality to have. Every disposition brings both advantages and disadvantages.
Full of human wisdom as well as scientific insight, this book illuminates the pluses and minuses of personality, offering practical advice about living with the nature you were born with. It even includes a questionnaire so that you can assess yourself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

British psychologist Nettle (Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile) defines personality as a grouping of traits, partly genetically inherited, that remain stable throughout one's life. Drawing on his own research and others', he explores what he sees as the five dimensions of personality: extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience. This last, Nettle admits, is the most elusive; while it involves creativity, it also may include "restless unconventionality, supernatural beliefs and psychosis-like experiences"-exemplified by Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl. Nettle also delves into evolutionary biology, showing how certain traits that were adaptive in one environment might become nonadaptive in another (e.g., the fight-or-flight response that was necessary for prehistoric humans facing predators is less desirable when manifested as road rage). In emphasizing the genetic component of personality, Nettle concludes, based on twin studies, that within normal families (with no violence or abuse) parenting "cannot have any measurable effect on child personality." But overall, this is a well-researched, accessible, informative and sometimes (in its use of personal anecdotes) entertaining book that ends on a hopeful note: Nettle says that while our basic personalities don't change significantly after childhood, our behavior can. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
"The author unearths a few everyday characteristics shared by people who say they are happy, including good health, a feeling of autonomy, and social correctiveness. To that list, one might add browsing through this thought-provoking book."—O: The Oprah Magazine, on Happiness

"Excellent survey of the subject-a lucid, intelligent, and thoughtful essay."—Lancet

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199211425
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 4.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Nettle teaches psychology at the University of Newcastle. With degress in both psychology and anthropology, he has written on many aspects of human nature and culture. His previous books include Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile, Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature and (with Suzanne Romaine) Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages.

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Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Personality Reality! So fudging catchy! XD -Midnight
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(You already know that everypony wants to be in it. Nitro you are in this chapter!)We woke up and started up on the path again. When we were walking somepony started running for their lives. I noticed that somepony was NITRO!"What's happening,Nitro?",I asked. Nitro was exchausted that he couldn't speak."Uh guys there is something going on at that basketball court.",Sweet Death said."This filly named Diamond Crown is destroying Duke's game!",Nitro exclaimed. I was getting mad."Personality Reality.",I said."My name is Blazin&star.",I said. Everypony was amazed.