This book will appeal to those of you who take the many tests on Facebook to determine what sort of personality you are. The difference is that these tests are well constructed and therefore much more illuminating.
The author, a professor of psychology, has put together a collection of quizzes, jokes, and interactive exercises replicating actual studies by scientists on personality, intelligence, moral values, thinking styles and abilities, and more. After you take each short test, the author explains how it works, and how “most people” respond (or in some instances, how children and/or monkeys respond, compared to adults).
You will find answers not only to survey questions like whether you are a conspiracy theorist or what are the qualities you seek in a mate that show the most likelihood of compatibility, but you can also compare your answers on a variety of moral questions, such as, which treatment for a disease would you opt for: one that would save 200 people, or one with a 1/3 probability of saving 600 people and a 2/3 probability of saving no one? Or which tactic would you choose to control unruly prisoners: reason, or harsh treatment, and why? What do most people choose?
Then there are a number of studies that show psychological responses and how they can be manipulated, such as jury response to prisoner appearance, or how to trick yourself to eat fewer chips.
Evaluation: This is a great book to keep on the coffee table, use on family trips, or pull out at social gatherings. It will spark a lot of discussion, and enlighten everyone in surprising ways at the same time. My family, a very competitive one to say the least, loves this book!
Note: The author has a companion website on which you can try out some of these tests, here.
Published by Penguin Books, 2014