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.

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 resembles all humankind, in other ways resembles a group or category of people, and in still other ways remains unique. Neurophysiology, societal influences and idiosyncrasy produce three distinct “natures” in every individual.

A popular approach to personality science, trait psychology...

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