Quirk Brain Science Makes Sense

Review :

*Embracing our quirks*

Do you ever wonder why some people are just so peculiar (That is, why they act differently than you.) We all see the world through our own personality lenses, so it can be challenging to truly understand and appreciate the benefits that all of the different personality types offer. Why, for example, do you thrive on stability and predictability while your partner happily improvises their way through life How can your best friend always be so trusting and optimistic while you can clearly see the dangers in her being so agreeable Did your boss really just say that, you can't help but wonder.

To help us understand the complexities of human behavior, Hannah Holmes sets out to "examine the human personality through the simplifying lens of science." She helps sift through our collective quirkiness by using the Five-Factor personality system to look at each of the five main personality types and their respective facets:

1. Neuroticism--anxiety and depression
2. Extraversion--impulsiveness/novelty seeking, activeness, cheerfulness, assertiveness
2. Agreeableness--trust, cooperation, sympathy, altruism, morality
3. Conscientiousness--self-discipline, orderliness
4. Openness--intellect, imagination, artistic interests, liberalism, emotionality

And, her humor, wit, and clarity makes an art out of the science of personality.

You'll have to read the whole book to really understand what facets make up your unique personality, but if you want a quick idea, here are the key indicators that Hannah provides for each personality facet:

_Neuroticism_:
Anxiety Indicators:
* I'm easily startled
* I'm a worrier
* I keep my opinions to myself

Depression Indicators:
* I can't get motivated
* Little things get me down
* The glass is half-empty

_Extraversion_ :
Impulsiveness/Novelty Seeking Indicators:
* I speak without thinking
* I buy things then regret it later
* I get bored with routines

Activeness Indicators:
* I'm up for seeing friends
* I have too much to do
* I'm not good at relaxing

Cheerfulness Indicators:
* Life is good
* Everything works out in the end
* I like people

Assertiveness Indicators:
* I ask for what I want
* I tell people if they're bothering me
* I stick to my guns

_Agreeableness_:
Trust Indicators:
* I'm gullible
* I take people at their word
* People mean well

Cooperation Indicators:
* I go along to get along
* Persuasion is better than force
* I like working in a group

Sympathy Indicators:
* I feel other people's pain
* I'm loyal
* I'm a good listener

Altruism Indicators:
* I'm a cheerleader for my friends
* I do favors without being asked
* Poverty makes me sad

Morality Indicators:
* I'm upset by cheating
* I tell the truth even when it's embarrassing
* I do what's right, not what's easy

_Conscientiousness_:
Self-Discipline Indicators:
* I keep a regular schedule
* I exercise and eat right
* I'm a perfectionist

Orderliness Indicators:
* I put things away when I'm done with them
* I'm detail oriented
* Plan your work, and work your plan

_Openness_:
Intellect Indicators:
* I like riddles and puzzles
* I don't mind figuring things out for myself
* I can improve my old ways of doing things

Imagination Indicators:
* I love to daydream
* I invent new things in my mind
* Other people's ideas inspire me

Artistic Interest Indicators:
* I love them smell of the ocean
* I'm creative
* Being in nature restores me

Liberalism Indicators:
* Some problems don't have solutions
* No group of people is better than another
* I question authority

Emotionality Indicators:
* Justice should be tempered with mercy
* People say I'm a good listener
* I prefer fiction to nonfiction books

In addition to helping you understand why you are the way you are, _Quirk_ can help you appreciate the diversity among us. As Hannah so eloquently explains: "Each lifestyle works adequately. Neither works flawlessly. But, because a diversity of personality styles gives the entire species a better chance of surviving nature's challenges, that diversity persists."

And, with this new understanding of what makes you you and everyone else everyone else, the peculiar quirks that make us human may just make a little more sense. Here's to embracing our quirks!


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