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Making Sense of People: The Science of Personality Differences, Second Edition

Book Description


What really bothers you about your boss–or your daughter’s boyfriend? Why are you so attracted to the person you’re dating? Can you rely on your intuition about people? This book will help you find out.

Drawing on extensive research, renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist Samuel Barondes gives you powerful tools for understanding what people are really like and how they got that way.

Now improved with easy, step-by-step “practical summaries,” these tools will help you quickly assess anyone’s tendencies, patterns, character, and sense of identity. You’ll learn how to combine these into a unified picture of who that person is. With these insights, you can choose more satisfying relationships, recognize telltale signs of dysfunction and danger, and savor the complexity and uniqueness of everyone you meet.

A quick, easy system for understanding anyone!

  • Supplement your intuition

  • Identify character strengths and weaknesses

  • Make better decisions about whom to seek out and whom to avoid

  • Find out how all personalities are shaped by two great chance events: the set of genes we happen to be born with, and the world we happen to grow up in

  • Table of Contents

    1. About This eBook
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Dedication Page
    5. Contents
    6. Preface to Second Edition
    7. Introduction: When Intuition Isn’t Enough
    8. Part I: Describing Personality Differences
      1. One. Personality Traits
        1. Words from the Dictionary
        2. Beyond Synonyms and Antonyms
        3. Bundling Traits
        4. Using the Big Five
        5. Big Five 2.0
        6. Rethinking Bill Clinton
      2. Two. Troublesome Patterns
        1. Very Low E: Two Eccentric Loners
        2. Very High E: The Disquietude of Histrionics
        3. Low A Patterns: Paranoids, Narcissists, and Antisocials
        4. Very High C: Compulsives
        5. High N Patterns: Avoidants, Dependents, and Borderlines
        6. Opinions of Self and Others
        7. Traits, Patterns, and People
    9. Part II: Explaining Personality Differences
      1. Three. How Genes Make Us Different
        1. A New Foundation for Psychology
        2. Experiments of Nature
        3. How Much of Our Personality Differences Is Heritable?
        4. How Many Gene Variants Shape a Personality Trait?
        5. Genetic Thinking vs. Genetic Testing
        6. The Deep Roots of Our Diversity
        7. The Grandeur in This View of Personality Differences
      2. Four. Building a Personal Brain
        1. The Brain Builds Itself
        2. Critical Periods in Brain Development
        3. What Will My Child Be Like?
        4. Gene–Environment Dialogues
        5. Enduring Effects on Gene Expression
        6. Adolescent Remodeling
        7. Closing Some Windows in the Brain and the Environment
    10. Part III: Whole Persons, Whole Lives
      1. Five. What’s a Good Character?
        1. Separating Character and Personality
        2. Moral Instincts and Moral Emotions
        3. Different Cultures, Common Values
        4. The Power of Culture-Based Values
        5. The Character of Benjamin Franklin
        6. Why Character Matters
      2. Six. Identity: Creating a Personal Story
        1. Oprah Winfrey Shapes Her Identity
        2. Identity as a Story
        3. Steve Jobs Tells Three Stories
      3. Seven. Putting It All Together
        1. A Methodical Appraisal
        2. Understanding and Change
    11. Endnotes
      1. Preface
      2. Introduction
      3. Chapter 1
      4. Chapter 2
      5. Chapter 3
      6. Chapter 4
      7. Chapter 5
      8. Chapter 6
      9. Chapter 7
    12. References
    13. Acknowledgments
    14. About the Author
    15. Index