Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why do some people seem good at empathising, and others at controlling?
Personality: What makes you the way you
are, a book by Daniel Nettle is such a book you want to read if you were
looking for an answer to those questions.
Personality is an abstract concept, and it
is often defined as rather too specific or too broad. Instead of giving the reader
a complex definition of personality, the author shows. Nettle shows the readers
what personality is through a narrative case of Lee and Julian.
Personality is often discussed as a
pseudoscience. We often find one on magazine quiz or Facebook. Nettle offers a
science perspective. He explores the idea that we can objectively discuss
personality. One of the points he made in this book is that personality as a
The measurement tool discusses in this book
is a statistic. Because we cannot talk about personality as science without
presenting statistical data. The Author explores correlation among behavior and
trait in a statistical manner. In the second chapter, he explains how to read a
correlation coefficient so the reader can digest the statistical term he uses
in this book.
To explore the concept of personality,
Nettle uses the Big Five Personality theory as a framework. It dedicates one
chapter for each dimension of the trait in Big Five Personality. You will find
each chapter titled as Wanderer, Worriers, Controllers, Empathizers, and Poet.
They are not random, it represents the main characteristics of each trait.
Personality is just a complex concept if we
do not talk about how it is shown in human behavior. The book gives us a few narrative
cases to show how each trait manifests in a person’s behavior or life choices.
It is not always the current behavior that screams one trait. Nettle prove
a point that we can detect a trait after dig deeper into an individual’s
To offer a physiology perspective on
personality, Daniel Nettle wrote that the human brain is wired differently in
each individual. It will determine whether an individual categorized as a high
scorer or low scorer in one dimension of a trait. Nettle conveys this idea to
the readers by providing data from the neuroscience experiment.
Nettle also discusses how personality has a
role in evolution. In the worrier chapter, he describes that a high scorer in
neuroticism is very sensitive to negative emotions. Experience negative
emotions all the time might sound not so good now, but things are different in
ancient times. Our ancestors need negative emotions to keep them away from
This book is a combination of a real case,
experiment, and neuroscience facts. A perfect combination to give the reader a
comprehensive exploration of personality. Readers do not have to worry about a
complex science, the scientific part of this book is digestible by a non –