Synopses & Reviews
Does what’s on your desk reveal what’s on your mind? Do those pictures on your walls tell true tales about you? And is your favorite outfit about to give you away? For the last ten years psychologist Sam Gosling has been studying how people project (and protect) their inner selves. By exploring our private worlds (desks, bedrooms, even our clothes and our cars), he shows not only how we showcase our personalities in unexpected-and unplanned-ways, but also how we create personality in the first place, communicate it others, and interpret the world around us. Gosling, one of the field’s most innovative researchers, dispatches teams of scientific snoops to poke around dorm rooms and offices, to see what can be learned about people simply from looking at their stuff. What he has discovered is astonishing: when it comes to the most essential components of our personalities-from friendliness to flexibility-the things we own and the way we arrange them often say more about us than even our most intimate conversations. If you know what to look for, you can figure out how reliable a new boyfriend is by peeking into his medicine cabinet or whether an employee is committed to her job by analyzing her cubicle. Bottom line: The insights we gain can boost our understanding of ourselves and sharpen our perceptions of others. Packed with original research and fascinating stories, Snoop is a captivating guidebook to our not-so-secret lives.
“Gosling's work, reminiscent of Martha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door
in its vivid, true-to-life portraits of people and places, is a unique blend of scholarly research and accessible vignettes. Expect future books from this young scholar, whose storytelling skills prove he's capable of bridging the gap between ivory-tower dwellers and street denizens.”–Library Journal, starred review
“Gosling, a psychology professor, shows us how the bits and pieces of our everyday lives can reveal more than we ever imagined. Did you know that the stuff you keep on your desk can tell a shrewd observer not just your likes and dislikes, but also your political leanings, your sexual interests, your fears, even your secret self-image (as opposed to the version of yourself you present to the world)?”–Booklist
“The basic premise behind "Snoop" is that you can tell an awful lot about a person based on their apartment; their work space; their favorite music; their style of dress - even their trash. (Gosling approvingly quotes Ward Harrison, a professional scavenger who made a career rummaging through the trash of celebs, who once said, "Garbage is a window into the soul.") This thesis puts "Snoop" firmly in "Blink" or "Freakonomics" territory.”–New York Post
“Gosling’s entertaining and very informative guide to personality and social research should be an occasion of joy for teachers.”—The Journal of Social Psychology
A provocative and witty look at how our private spaces-from boardroom to bedroom-reveal our personalities, whether we know it or not
About the Author
Sam Gosling is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He has spent the last decade conducting research on how personality is expressed and perceived in everyday contexts. He has been profiled by the New York Times, Psychology Today, and other publications, and he is featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. This is his first book. He lives in Austin, Texas.