I have finished reading Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are? I first introduced it here and then i added more here. originally the book was a recommendation from Gretchen Reuben over at the Happiness Project, October Book Club for which she is known so well.
I agree that Happiness can be found in reading a good book. Now what counts has a good book differs from person to person. It wouldn’t be good for us or the many authors out there if we all wanted to read the same thing. Live would also become a little mundane and repetitive too. As October is my month to learn something new, i decided a little book was just what i needed.
Although i added Daniel Nettle’s book on Personality to my kindle on Amazon it states it is about 300 pages long, not too bad. However i got about 70% through the book and found i had run out if pages. After that there was Personality test, however i found a different one online and did that one instead, and then a synopsis of each chapter and a list of resources. I have seen comments that it was ‘pocket sized’. The cover (has shown on amazon) is simple and the title is catchy. A note: although i found this book as i have studied psychology at higher level and biology at degree level i would advice that either to have a decent dictionary nearby and also the anatomy of the brain as well. But if you are not too concerned what empirical means or where the amygdala is then you can read over these words and continue on with no serious affect to the whole.
The book contains an Introduction and then one chapter on each of the five-factors in some details and then at the end he sums everything up. Nettle also goes into what makes some psychotic and how it is not just one personality trait but a combination of several and then you have to have those traits at the right level. He talks about depression and why some people are more prone to it than others, which being a life-long sufferer i found fascinating, although i now know i am not psychotic too.
So to the contents.
If someone had asked me if i believed that 50% of my personality was genetic before i had read this book, i would have said No! Most definitely not! I would have said i am like my parents because my parents raised me and my personality is based on the environment. The book is based on the new Five-Factor model of psychological understanding of the personality. The five-factors are Openness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness. Although the book states that everyone has the same five-factors we all have then in varying degrees. For example i score high in Conscientiousness, whereas one of my daughter’s scored high in Neuroticism and and another in Extraversion. Also it explains that at least 200 other people are just like me or you, but different. Why are we different? Our environment makes us different, although our doesn’t change our personality it does have an affect on what we do.
The book ends with giving some ideas of how we can use the personality we have been given to find the perfect job and i found that very interesting. Nettle goes on to point out that we do not need to change our personality but by understanding better the personality we have been given will allow us to find the perfect job for us. He also goes on to state that there is ‘room for all’ as our world is so diverse.
I found the book fascinating and bewildering at the same time. I have learnt a lot and have some answers and yet more questions. If you intend to read this book i would definitely do has Nettle directs and find out which personality type you are before you start reading.