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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Review: Why You Are Who You Are

Why You Are Who You Are is the great courses introduction to personality. It takes the academic approach to personality and explains it (the big 5/6 HEXACO traits: conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and honest/humility). The lecturer explains why these are considered the most important, while also discussing minor traits.

He then launches into a discussion of the heritable nature of these traits (most of them have been discovered to be 50% heritable), how upbringing and genetics interact so people express these traits differently at different times, and how the studies were made. Then there's a huge discussion of the various mental disorders, some of which I didn't know about, such as schzoid personality disorder, and narcissism.

The lecture series ends up with a big discussion on what personality means, what it means to be "authentic" or "true to yourself", and how to grow resilient kids who are well adjusted (the answer to the latter is easy: read and apply the lessons in John Medina's book, Brain Rules for Baby).

As someone who failed to take a single psychology course in college, I found this a useful introduction and different from the pop stuff that's out there. Recommended.

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