Apr 9, 2010
One mythical day when listening to NPR Talk of the Nation when author Sam Gosling was on the show I found his interview (audio/transcription) interesting and kept his book in the back of my mind to read.
After a huge period of watching too many movies and playing too many video games I’m trying to bring reading back into my routine and got a series of books from the library that hopefully I’ll be able to discuss here.
The first book I started was Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. As you can tell from the title it’s about the psychology of our belongings and what it says about us. Thought he book many other stories and studies come up but the bulk revolves around what we can learn about others using ones environments and what is contained in them.
Gosling refers the reader to take the IPIP NEO (International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R). IPIP NEO is a personality test that is either an extended or short version of a series of questions to find where an individual ranks along the following personality profiles: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
Normally I find personality tests rather pointless but I ended up taking it because I found the book interesting so I took it during a slow period at work. Here were my findings and looking futher into them it brought nothing unexpected but was interesting never the less. I also posted my full final reports contents here.
Your score on Extraversion is low, indicating you are introverted, reserved, and quiet. You enjoy solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends.
Your score on Agreeableness is low, indicating less concern with others’ needs Than with your own. People see you as tough, critical, and uncompromising.
Your score on Conscientiousness is low, indicating you like to live for the moment and do what feels good now. Your work tends to be careless and disorganized.
Your score on Neuroticism is average, indicating that your level of emotional reactivity is typical of the general population. Stressful and frustrating situations are somewhat upsetting to you, but you are generally able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations.
Your score on Openness to Experience is low, indicating you like to think in plain and simple terms. Others describe you as down-to-earth, practical, and conservative.
Reading the results I only found the Conscientiousness listing incorrect. There are times when I like to “live for the moment” (skydiving, concerts, ect) but I still work hard when it comes down to it. Doing those activities I don’t believe effects what happens at work or in my tasks. The test took me around 20+ mins to complete.
The book is short read. There are diagrams in the main text and the final 30 pages of the book are acknowledgments, notes, and an index. Overall the book is about 220 pages long and shouldn’t take a moderate reader very long to finish. The book covers various methods of “Snooping” but also discusses our online lives and direct social interactions so it’s not all just about surveying locations. In my travels I found copies of this book in the bargain books sections of Barnes and Noble so you might be able to pick up a cheap copy but the Grand Rapids Library System should have copies. Snoop is a light interesting read for us trying to learn more about people without having to directly ask them.