In the past few decades,
personality psychology has made considerable progress in raising new questions
about human nature—and providing some provocative answers. New scientific
research has transformed old ideas about personality based on the theories of
Freud, Jung, and the humanistic psychologies of the 1960s, which gave rise to
the simplistic categorizations of the Meyer-Briggs Inventory and the enneagram.
But the general public still knows little about the new science and what it
reveals about who we are.
In Me, Myself, and Us, Brian Little, one of the psychologists who
helped reshape the field, provides the first in-depth exploration of the new
personality science and its provocative findings for general readers. The book
explores questions that are rooted in the origins of human consciousness but
are as commonplace as yesterday’s breakfast conversation. Are our first
impressions of other people’s personalities usually fallacious? Are creative
individuals essentially maladjusted? Are our personality traits, as William
James put it “set like plaster” by the age of thirty? Is a belief that we are
in control of our lives an unmitigated good? Do our singular personalities
comprise one unified self or a confederacy of selves, and if the latter, which
of our mini-mes do we offer up in marriage or mergers? Are some individuals
genetically hard-wired for happiness? Which is the more viable path toward
human flourishing, the pursuit of happiness or the happiness of pursuit?
Little provides a resource
for answering such questions, and a framework through which readers can explore
the personal implications of the new science of personality. Questionnaires and
interactive assessments throughout the book facilitate self-exploration, and
clarify some of the stranger aspects of our own conduct and that of others.
Brian Little helps us see ourselves, and other selves, as somewhat less
perplexing and definitely more intriguing.
This is not a self-help book,
but students at Harvard who took the lecture course on which it is based claim
that it changed their lives. Download and start listening now!