Me, Myself and Us Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/me-myself-and-us-summary/

The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being

“Me, Myself and Us” examines the roots of human behavior and if it could change.

About Brian R. Little

Dr. Brian Little is a psychology professor specialized in personality psychology.

"Me Myself and Us Summary"

Do you wonder what is the root of human behavior?

Have you spent hours and hours wondering why you cannot become more extroverted, or why you get angry so fast?

Have you made some of those tests that magazines publish, and when you got the result you wondered if there actually is some scientific reasoning behind it?

We are here to tell you that there is.

Researchers have come up with some answers to your burning questions about what drives us and our behavior.

Now, think of the time when you judged someone based on your first impression of that person.

Do not try to tell us that you do not “judge books by its covers,” since you will be lying both to yourself and to us.

Making snap judgments is stronger than us, and we all do it from time to time.

Why?

Because it is easier to judge a person than to come up with a scenario or a story which may explain the roots of his momentary behavior.

These snap judgments, are far from objective. In fact, they are based on what is called a person’s “personal construct.”

The term personal construct explains how emotions affect the way that a person perceives the world.

They are individual and different for everyone and are based on a person’s history.

Personal constructs determine the way you cope with hardships, face challenges, as well as your overall behavior.

The more narrow one’s worldview is, the less flexibility he possesses, and hence he has a harder time facing unexpected problems.

There are three sources of personality: biogenic, sociogenic and idiogenic.

Biogenic and sociogenic sources are fixed. The first one is connected to our genes and brain structures, or our inborn personalities. The second one is related to the environment we were raised in, and the cultural environment.

Idiogenic sources, unlike the previous two, can change. They determine how we act and what we do in your daily lives.

When we work toward idiogenic sources, we distance ourselves from our fixed traits and use “free” traits.

A person who uses free traits does things that might otherwise seem out of his character.

Free traits are the ones that help us realize our dreams and complete goals which we find relevant and meaningful.

However, just like with everything else in life, they have a dark side as well.

If they make you suppress your other significant traits, they can be dangerous.

Key Lessons from “Me, Myself and Us”

1. The Big Five Traits 2. Free Traits 3. Two Types of People

The Big Five Traits

  • Conscientiousness
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness
  • Extraversion

Free Traits

Free traits are not fixed and vary as a person gathers more knowledge and experiences.

Two Types of People

High Self-Monitors (HSM) let the social context influence them, so they adapt to circumstances and other people’s expectations.

Low Self-Monitors (LSM) are more true to themselves, and their own traits

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“Me, Myself and Us” Quotes

[bctt tweet="Well-documented findings in the study of attributions is that we are more likely to ascribe traits to others, whereas we explain our own actions according to the situations we are in." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“Besides increasing or decreasing the stimulation level of the environment, you can also achieve an optimal level of arousal by drinking beverages that have a direct impact on neocortical arousal.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Although agreeable people are more likely to report they are happy, disagreeable people are more likely to say they are happy when they are being disagreeable!” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Creative individuals might be regarded as asocial: they are neither drawn to interactions with others nor strongly antagonistic to them. Rather, their passions are concentrated on the domains in which they pursue their creative projects. This might well give rise to the impression that they are standoffish and rather arrogant.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet="After ingesting about two cups of coffee, extraverts carry out tasks more efficiently, whereas introverts perform less well. " username=“get12min”]