Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are by Daniel NettleIt 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.
Understanding the Big Five Personality Traits
Each type is a combination of four letters: E for extrovert or I for introvert, S for sensor or N for intuitive, F for feeler or T for thinker, and P for perceiver or J for judger. There are a few different interpretations of the theory out there, each coming from a different angle. You can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator here. The test or a variation of it is included in all of the books below as well. What Type Am I? At pages long, this is an excellent introduction the basics of Myers-Briggs theory. Personality Type by Lenore Thomson.
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The Big Five Personality Traits
Personality psychologists—perhaps even more than in some other disciplines—are deeply interested in what is common to personality descriptions in all cultures and societies. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the potential universality of the Five Factor Model FFM of general personality structure. The chapter begins with a discussion of what is meant, or should be meant, by a universal. Discussed then is the empirical support, as well as the conceptual and empirical difficulty, in establishing universality in personality structure, for the FFM as well as other dimensional models. The chapter then considers different levels of analysis including cultural and intraindividual analyses , higher-order invariants including sex differences, age differences, and differences in perspective , and whether mean levels are universal.