A guided tour through the ages demonstrates how philosophers, scientists, and doctors have tried to understand “the workings of human personality.”
What makes people tick? What is personality? Can your favorite flavor of ice cream tell something about your personality? Can the positions of stars and planets affect earthly affairs? Astrology, humorology, the nature-vs.-nurture debate, Freudian theories of the unconscious, and various modern means of personality testing have all been ways to gain insight into human personality. Rosen’s slight and engaging text would make a fine unit in philosophy or life skills classes, where students—natives of a social media–dominated culture “so fascinated with personality profiling”—would be interested and amused by historical explanations of personality. Colorful diagrams, sidebars, and “Try It” exercises relieve the dense text, though the format still feels jam-packed. The tone is light yet serious, and the information is unexpectedly fascinating. Though a lively introduction sets up the tour, the volume ends abruptly, with no conclusion to point out lessons learned or the relevance of personality profiling.
A serviceable exploration of the role of personality in science and pop culture. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, for further information, websites) (Nonfiction. 12-18)