Book Notes : Who Are You, Really?

Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality by Brian Little
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Biogenic : This is the biological you, and can be split into The Five Personality Traits

  1. Open to Experiences (vs. Closed) – being attracted to new ventures and exploring new things.  Such people succeed in coming up with novel solutions.
  2. Conscientious (vs. Casual) – being laser focused, this helps achieve more academic pursuits and conventional problem solving.
  3. Extraverted (vs. Introverted) – being attracted to potential rewards in their environment choosing quantity of experiences (as opposed to introverts who look for quality).
  4. Agreeable (vs. Disagreeable) – smooth other conflict and build alliances.  They are highly trusting and might be seen as being naive.  They have high levels of empathy.  Disagreeable people are cynical and distrusting of others.
  5. Neurotic (vs. Stable) – being attuned to punishment and which leads to anxiety, depression and vulnerability.  Such people are the canaries in the coal mine.

Sociogenic : This is the environment in which you are and are your historical experiences, this is how you engage with the world.

Idiogenic : All people are essentially scientists creating experiments and testing hypothesises about the world and evaluating their results.  This is the personal way that we view the world that is constantly in flux.

The Biogenic, Sociogenic and Idiogenic aka nature, nurture and the way you view the world work together and evolve as you experience every day.

The book goes on to detail how can you build and develop the traits that you might want with the key to these being the projects which you undertake. Some of these projects will be you working by yourself (e.g. keeping the lawn tidy) or it could be projects which you do with one or more other people (e.g. looking after a pet).

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