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Publisher's Summary

For the last 10 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 to 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, the things we own and the way we arrange them often say more about us than even our most intimate conversations.

©2008 Sam Gosling (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Buy the hard copy

I also didn't listen to the wisdom of the other reviewers and purchased this audiobook. I made it through about half the book, but the endless recitation of tables finally got to be too much. I listen to audiobooks mostly while driving, and the highway department frowns on drivers reading charts and graphs while on the interstate, so I was stuck listening to the narrator drone on and on.... I think the book does have merit, but this was just not the kind of information I could enjoy having read to me.
My suggestion is to buy the physical book or, better yet, check it out from the library and skim through it to get pretty much everything this guy has to offer. You'll have to do some digging to glean the worthwhile facts, but it will be much less painful if you can flip through the actual book.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very interesting

I bought the book because I am a salesman and snooping is an intricate part of my job. I expected to improve my snooping capabilities and I believe the book has just lived to my expectations.
The only thing that I found difficult, was to follow the book with the printed material, but this is true for any book that contains graphs and pictures. Anyway, with an extra effort I managed to combine the listening with the printed material. I truly recommend the book to anybody that has an interest of any kind in better understanding the human behaviour.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • PASADENA, CA, United States
  • 06-17-09

Mildly interesting

This book is poorly written with academic language mixed up with popular language. It tells you how people fit in the O.C.E.A.N. personality types based on what's in their rooms. That's ok, but I would have liked a more specific description of typical objects found in homes and their general symbolic meaning. I think this book missed the mark.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Start Snooping Around

You will never go into someone's house or office in the same way again. A psychologist who pioneered the field of personality research based on peoples stuff.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good But Subjective

Good book overall that I would recommend to those who are already well read on the overall subject of personality types, and perhaps to a lesser degree, behavioral economics.

The main drawbacks are the author’s inability or refusal to address his own research with an eye towards being truly objective. He seems to value his own personality traits over all others, placing open-mindedness at a pinnacle with conscientious people being necessary for landing planes and generally keeping things for safe for the fun loving, right minded people like himself, but otherwise they’re given short shrift as boring, poorly read, not smiling enough and being - and this is the worst part - prone to voting Republican.

There are obvious problems with his sample populations since only certain groups of people are even going to be open to allowing their bedrooms to be studied by strangers. Throw in that most of the studies took place in the San Francisco Bay area, and we come to the realization that he has taken his data from a paper thin slice of the population and extrapolated them across humanity at large.

So the larger abstractions that can be taken away from the book are interesting and will prove of some value to the experienced people watcher, but the details get muddied up with the author’s subjective views that both distract from the book and cast doubt on his judgment as a researcher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

For snoopers only

If you would not snoop through a persons personal belonging this is not a book for you. I am very disapointed that I used my credit for this. I thought it would be a book about personality.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ken
  • Amherst, NH, United States
  • 10-22-08

I should have listened to an earlier review

This may very well be a good print book but making at audio book by just reading the endless tables, lists and surveys just doesn't work. The author is on a bit of a ego trip, but I could put up with that because parts of the book were really interesting, but I had to give up after a while. An earlier review said essentially that same thing, but I didn't listen!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

After this you will go clean your bedroom!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I've always wondered why my office looks so neat and tidy, and my home so... NOT. If you read this book, you will gain many clues about how the way you arrange your stuff reflects you.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Snoop?

Near the end of the book, the author talks about how having photos of your family arranged behind your desk shows that you feel it is important to present yourself to others as being part of a family. This was enlightening to me, since I do have this arrangement.

Which character – as performed by David Drummond – was your favorite?

Not relevant - non-fiction book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I found that it was easy to pick up in sections.

Any additional comments?

I think I would have preferred a printed version. There are many tables of data, and that doesn't really translate well to an audible edition.

Funny, and enlightening. Definitely worth the read (or listen).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Teri
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-09-11

Fun and interesting listening

Close observation about our things is more revealing than you'd expect. You'll want a version of this book that reads like a dream interpretation, but remember that everything needs to be seen in context.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


and never lives up to what it claims to be.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • gab
  • 11-22-11


Unless your American student with digs . This book is utter rubbish and a waste of time and money

0 of 2 people found this review helpful