Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are

Popular Science

By: Daniel Nettle

298 pages, no illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Feb 2009 | #179565 | ISBN-13: 9780199211432
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £8.99 $11/€10 approx
Hardback | Sep 2007 | #179564 | ISBN-13: 9780199211425
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€14 approx

About this book

Why are some people worriers, and others wanderers? Why do some people seem good at empathising, and others at controlling? We have something deep and consistent within us that determines the choices we make and the situations we bring about. But why should members of the same species differ so markedly in their natures? What is the best personality to have; a bold one or a shy one, an aggressive one or a meek one? And are you stuck with your personality, or can you change it?

Daniel Nettle takes the reader on a tour through the science of human personality, introducing the five 'dimensions' on which every personality is based, and using an unusual combination of individual life stories and scientific research. Showing how our personalities stem from our biological makeup, Nettle looks at the latest findings from genetics and brain science, considers the evolutionary origins and consequences of personality variation, and even includes a questionnaire for you to assess your own personality against the five dimensions.

There is no optimal personality to have. Rather, every disposition brings both advantages and disadvantages. Life is partly the business of finding a niche where your personal characteristics work for you. Full of human as well as scientific insight, this book will enable you to understand the perils and potentials of your personality to the full.


1. Character Matters
2. The Beak of the Finch
3. Wanderers
4. Worriers
5. Controllers
6. Empathizers
7. Poets
8. The Other Half
9. Singing with Your Own Voice
Appendix: The Newcastle Personality Assessor.

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Daniel Nettle is Reader in Psychology, University of Newcastle.

Bestsellers in this subject

The Invaders

NHBS Price: £22.95 $28/€26 approx

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters

NHBS Price: £23.50 $29/€26 approx

The Society of Genes

NHBS Price: £20.95 $25/€23 approx

The Bonobo and the Atheist

NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx

The Social Conquest of Earth

NHBS Price: £10.99 £11.99 (Save £1.00) $13/€12 approx