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The New Science of the Personality, Identity and the Self

by Rita Carter

      Multiplicity is the idea that each of us has distinct minor personalities within ourselves rather than a stable core identity. This book is not about people with Multiple Personality Disorder, but a book for and about average, ordinary citizens. In fact Multiplicity is several books in one. First, it is an examination of the varying concept of self in the normal adults. Part one is reminiscent of a college text in the psychology of personality, with some fascinating case studies, personal accounts from the author and research-based examples. The appeal here would be to academics, theoreticians, and those wishing to learn more about the structure of the mind along with how it operates under various conditions, and its function in different environments.

Conversely, the latter part of the book reads more like a self-help manual for individuals who are trying to gain more insight into who they are and why they act in certain ways. For those who love to take on-line personality quizzes or have ever puzzled over the Myers-Briggs, the second section will probably be the main attraction. Using a device called a Personality Wheel, readers can look at each of the roles they perform in their daily life and find their corresponding personality for each. When this activity is complete, the reader proceeds to meet each member of their personality "family" and can gain a basic understanding of each character's strengths and weaknesses and strategies to use them more effectively.

Not surprisingly, getting to know all these people within us is indeed a bit confusing. However the effort is well worth the time it takes to complete the lengthy self-exploration activity, as it ultimately leads us to a greater understanding of how we relate to the world and those around us.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / Hachette
March 27, 2008
0-316-11538-X / 978-0-316-11538-4
Nonfiction / psychology / self help
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The Reviewer

Donna Satterlee Ross
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Donna Satterlee Ross is the co-editor of That's Life with Autism: Tales And Tips for Families With Autism and is currently working on a new book about autism and humor.
© 2008