Sam Gosling

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You

This book title is quite self explanatory. It’s fundamentally about what your possessions say about you and how they can be used to identify aspects of your personality. It also touches on a lot of broader things associated with this topic, such as: personality, perception, biases, self-verification theory and appearance.

I can’t remember how I found it, but it was on my Amazon wish list and I thought it sounded interesting, so I read it and it definitely made me think more about why I have the things around me and how that feeds into others perception of me or what I want others perception of me to be. I’ve been somewhat interested in the Big 5 personality traits or OCEAN model of personality and this gave me more insight into how that plays a part in everyday life.

I really enjoyed this book and I find it to be a fascinating part of psychology. I enjoy learning about the subtleties in everyday life, which I want to write about at some point. The research done by Gosling is really interesting. He talks about the way’s personality traits can be identified from physical things, for instance a simple example is someone who has quotes around their room tend to be more anxious. However, he also touches on a lot of the misconceptions around attaching personality to physical things and the dismisses many of the stereotypes which exist in this area, highlighted in Chapter 8: When Good Judgements Go Bad.

The book was originally published in 2001 so I can imagine there’s quite a bit more research done on the topic or just more to say in general. There was a lot of research in here that felt like it was unfinished or extrapolating in some circumstances, so I think if he wrote a sequel with more current research, I would definitely take a read.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend if you’re interested in the sort of psychology of everyday life. He dedicates a few chapters focusing on how your personality is shaped based on current knowledge and basically enables you to be a bit more self-aware about the things around you.