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Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality by Samuel Barondes

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Introduction. When Intuition Isn’t Enough

All of us are personality experts. Ever since childhood, we’ve been paying attention to people’s distinctive ways of being in hopes of figuring out what to expect from them. We depend on this information to get along.

The innate ability to size people up is an amazing gift that we take for granted. With it, we form an instantaneous impression of the personality of everyone we meet. This rapid intuitive process works so well that we learn to rely on it. Most of our assessments of people are formed in this automatic and unconscious way.1

But there are times when we want to consciously evaluate someone’s personality.2 We may, for example, want to understand what it is about our boss that makes us avoid her. ...

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