Cover image for Me, myself, and us : the science of personality and the art of well-being
Title:
Me, myself, and us : the science of personality and the art of well-being
Author:
Little, Brian R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, 2014.
Physical Description:
xiv, 267 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"In the past few decades, personality psychology has made considerable progress in raising new questions about human nature--and providing some provocative answers. New scientific research has transformed old ideas about personality based on the theories of Freud, Jung, and the humanistic psychologies of the nineteen sixties, which gave rise to the simplistic categorizations of the Meyer-Briggs Inventory and the 'enneagream'. But the general public still knows little about the new science and what it reveals about who we are. In Me, Myself, and Us, Brian Little, one of the psychologists who helped re-shape the field, provides the first in-depth exploration of the new personality science and its provocative findings for general readers. The book explores questions that are rooted in the origins of human consciousness but are as commonplace as yesterday's breakfast conversation. Are our first impressions of other people's personalities usually fallacious? Are creative individuals essentially maladjusted? Are our personality traits, as William James put it "set like plaster" by the age of thirty? Is a belief that we are in control of our lives an unmitigated good? Do our singular personalities comprise one unified self or a confederacy of selves, and if the latter, which of our mini-me-s do we offer up in marriage or mergers? Are some individuals genetically hard-wired for happiness? Which is the more viable path toward human flourishing, the pursuit of happiness or the happiness of pursuit?"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781586489670
Format :
Book

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Central Library BF698 .L545 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library BF698 .L545 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Clarence Library BF698 .L545 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library BF698 .L545 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library BF698 .L545 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

How does your personality shape your life ... and what, if anything, can you do about it?

Are you hardwired for happiness, or born to brood? Do you think you're in charge of your future, or do you surf the waves of unknowable fate? Would you be happier, or just less socially adept, if you were less concerned about what other people thought of you? And what about your "Type A" spouse: is he or she destined to have a heart attack, or just drive you to drink?

In the past few decades, new scientific research has transformed old ideas about the nature of human personality. Neuroscientists, biologists, and psychological scientists have reexamined the theories of Freud and Jung as well as the humanistic psychologies of the 1960s, upending the simplistic categorizations of personality "types," and developing new tools and methods for exploring who we are. Renowned professor and pioneering research psychologist Brian R. Little has been at the leading edge of this new science. In this wise and witty book he shares a wealth of new data and provocative insights about who we are, why we act the way we do, what we can--and can't--change, and how we can best thrive in light of our "nature."

Me, Myself, and Us explores questions that are rooted in the origins of human consciousness but are as commonplace as yesterday's breakfast conversation, such as whether our personality traits are "set" by age thirty or whether our brains and selves are more plastic. He considers what our personalities portend for our health and success, and the extent to which our well-being depends on the personal projects we pursue.

Through stories, studies, personal experiences, and entertaining interactive assessments, Me, Myself, and Us provides a lively, thought-provoking, and ultimately optimistic look at the possibilities and perils of being uniquely ourselves, while illuminating the selves of the familiar strangers we encounter, work with, and love.


Author Notes

Professor Brian R. Little is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. He is a fellow of the Well-being Institute at Cambridge University, where he also lectures in the Department of Psychology and the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University. Little has taught at Carleton, McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. He was elected as a "Favorite Professor" by the graduating classes of Harvard for three consecutive years. He lives in Cambridge, England, and Ottawa, Canada.

For more information, visit brianrlittle.com or follow him on Twitter @DrBrianRLittle


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Little (Univ. of Cambridge, UK) has written a well-researched, thought-provoking book that will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary personality science. Pulling together ideas from biological psychology, social psychology, positive psychology, and disciplines other than psychology, the author moves beyond pop psychology's idea of personality types to give a more nuanced view. He details the most current understanding of how individuals develop with age, react to their environments, and experience their messy, genuine, holistically lived lives. He expertly translates a wide variety of some of the most current cutting-edge empirical studies to amuse, intrigue, and challenge readers to explore their own personalities and sense of well-being. In that vein, he presents several mini quizzes--quizzes supported by empirical research as valid, not the typical Cosmopolitan "Am I Hot?" quiz--that allow readers to assess, for example, their own extraversion/introversion or their creativity level, in so doing making the material more immediately relevant and applicable. Written in accessible language marked by light humor, this book should find a wide audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. --Constance Judith Jones, California State University, Fresno


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 First Blushes and Second Thoughtsp. 1
2 Stable Traits and Weil-Being: Set Like Plaster?p. 23
3 Free Traits: On Acting Out of Characterp. 45
4 Mutable Selves: Personality and Situationsp. 69
5 Control, Agency, and the Shape of a Lifep. 91
6 Hale and Hardy: Personality and Healthp. 113
7 Personality and Creativity: The Myth of the Solo Herop. 133
8 Where Are You? Personality in Placep. 159
9 Personal Projects: The Happiness of Pursuitp. 181
10 Self-Reflections: The Art of Well-Beingp. 201
Acknowledgmentsp. 221
Notesp. 225
Referencesp. 241
Indexp. 255

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