Summary of Who Are You, Really?

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Cambridge professor Brian Little takes the TED stage to describe the limits of trait psychology, which assesses where people land on the spectrum of five traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Though trait psychology is informative, Little says, examining “free traits,” or out-of-character behavior, is more revealing. getAbstract recommends this wise, witty lecture to those seeking a deeper understanding of personality. Little’s research could help you become a better leader, motivator and collaborator.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why you are more than the sum of five personality traits,
  • Why people act out of character and
  • Why behaving out of character is most revealing about personality.

About the Speaker

Cambridge professor Brian Little wrote the TED Book Who Are You, Really? The Surprising Puzzle of Personality.



Personality science is a broad-ranging field encompassing “neurons, narratives,” and more. Within this field, personality psychology studies how each person in some ways...

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