Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality
Dr Brian Little challenges what we think we know about how our personality works and is shaped. It's time to think beyond the nature vs. nurture debate. It is our pursuit of our dreams and our personal passions that shape who we are. Previous praise for Dr Brian Little: 'Brian Little is one of the wisest, funniest, kindest, and most erudite people I have ever met' Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet 'With extraordinary wit and wisdom, distinguished psychologist Brian Little offers startling insights' Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals Who Are You, Really? presents a distinctive view of how personality shapes our lives - and why this matters. Dr Brian Little makes the case for a third nature to the human condition - the pursuit of personal projects, crazy dreams and creative ventures that shape both people's lives and their personalities. Stable traits of personality (now identified as the 'Big Five': openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) have important links with well-being, both psychological and physical. But in contrast with these fixed traits of personality there are what Little identifies as 'free traits.' These are traits that run counter to one's first nature. Why do we engage in free trait behaviour? We do so to advance core personal projects in our lives; we can act out of character because of the demands of professionalism or the imperatives of love. Like learning to walk, forcing ourselves out of balance as we step forward may be temporarily disconcerting. But it is the only way, literally, in which we can move forward. And it is the only way that human flourishing can be enhanced.Who Are You, Really? provides a deeply personal itinerary for exploring our personalities, our lives and the human condition.
Dr. Brian 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 and Director of the Social Ecology Research Group in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University. Previously, he taught at McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. Dividing his time between Canada and the UK, Dr. Little is also a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa, and he lectures worldwide on personality, motivation, and well-being. Who Are You, Really? is his first book.