Chapter 8

The Positive Identity Reinforcement

Which character from Game of Thrones are you? Which Hogwarts house would you belong to? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? An optimist or a realist? Take this Facebook quiz …

People love to learn about themselves, as evidenced by the wild popularity of personality tests. On the surface, this might seem like an exercise in pure egotism, about as productive as gazing into a mirror for hours on end. But as the science shows, trying to really understand yourself fully and accurately—by examining your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors—is one of the most practically useful things you can ever do.

Most people see themselves (rightly or wrongly) as helpful, because being helpful is part of what it ...

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