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  • Why You Are Who You Are

  • Investigations into Human Personality
  • Written by: Mark Leary, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Mark Leary
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (201 ratings)

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Why You Are Who You Are

Written by: Mark Leary,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Mark Leary
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Publisher's Summary

To understand the roots of personality is to understand motivations and influences that shape behavior, which in turn reflect how you deal with the opportunities and challenges of everyday life. That's the focus of these exciting 24 lectures, in which you examine the differences in people's personalities, where these differences come from, and how they shape our lives.

Drawing on information gleaned from psychology, neuroscience, and genetics, Professor Leary opens the door to understanding how personality works and why. Throughout his illuminating lectures, five important personality traits come into focus, traits that form the foundation of how psychologists approach the topic of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness.

Combining psychology with neuroscience and behavioral genetics, this exploration will open your eyes to the myriad ways our traits, motives, emotions, beliefs, and values are shaped by things like our genes, environment, experiences, and evolutionary history. Why is it so hard to change our behavior? Why do people develop different values and morals? Does personality change as we age? Is personality passed down through genes?

Designed as a fascinating, accessible scientific inquiry, these lectures will have you thinking about personality in a way that enriches your understanding of the complex psychological processes that make you who you are.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2018 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Why You Are Who You Are

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    3 out of 5 stars

Mostly classification, less causation.

The course is good but deals more with personality classification than with causes of personality and not at all with ways of improving personality.

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24 people found this helpful

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A GREAT course!

This course via e-book was certainly one of THE best, most helpful and informative, course, I ever had until now in term of my personal growth and understanding of myself as well as of people's behaviour, in general. For all this, I am greatful to professor Leary for such opportunity and look for to profit from my next course online as much as I have through this one. Last, I'd recommend it without a tiny doubt. Enjoy it, folks (A smile).

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12 people found this helpful

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Great course indeed

It gives a through insight on potential reasons behind similarities and differences between individuals and how the personality get shaped through the life span of a person. Particularly interesting if someone wants to learn about the individual aspect of diversity.

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5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Learned Lots - Lisp Warning

I hate to complain about this... However, the narrator has a substantial lisp. A heads up to anyone who thinks that it will make the book more challenging to listen to.

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3 people found this helpful

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great listen

great insight into personality differences, why they manifest, and how they shape people and cultures.
very well structured in terms of starting with broader, simpler ideas, then taking those concepts to a deeper understanding.
thank you.

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3 people found this helpful

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Another great course

I have picked up a couple of the Great Courses  now and found them to be very high quality. This delivers as well. It provides a lot of the latest research on the differences in people's personalities. Mark Leary is an excellent presenter as well. #Audible1

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3 people found this helpful

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High yield and enjoyable to listen

This lecture series explains in detail the form and structure of human personality. The lecture series are comprehensive in covering all topics within the field of personality psychology. Professor Dr. Mark Leary provides many useful and high yield practical tips throughout the series to help apply the knowledge to improving interpersonal interactions and communication. Dr. Leary's lectures are well structured and easy to listen to.

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1 person found this helpful

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Good summarization of personalities.

The only part that raised my concern was the description of schizoid personality disorder; it sounds an awful lot like ASD eccentricities and social difficulties. Some of these personality traits may fit, but be due to a neurodiversity paradigm instead. Be open minded and tread cautiously when attributing judgements on individuals when considering these traits. Leave confirmed diagnostics to the expert professionals.

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1 person found this helpful

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Very informative subject

This was a very well done course with some really great insight on human personality. I can say that it dragged on a bit towards the end and felt a bit repetitive, but because the subject matter was so dense, it was worth hearing some of it repeated. I'll likely listen to this again.

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1 person found this helpful

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Stirred Interest

This was helpful and thought provoking. While addressing the complex subject of personalities extreme tendencies were mentioned .... but this is not about disorders, but I sort of wanted the lecture to go there... I didn't know I was interested in disorders. I enjoyed these lectures.

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