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Old 06-24-2008, 02:15 PM   #119
alkemical
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You Are What You Keep - A psychologist says your stuff reveals a lot more about you than you'd think

A psychology professor who spends his days poking around in other people's bedrooms, offices, and medicine cabinets, Gosling believes that our artifacts--our books, music, photos, posters, and, yes, even our bottle caps--serve as nonverbal cues to the rest of the world as to who we are and what we value. As he writes in his book "Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You," "people's possessions can tell us even more about their personalities than face-to-face meetings, or, sometimes, what their best friends say about them." The reporter with the messy floor, for example, struck Gosling as most likely a male in his early 30s. (Correct.) He also intuited the reporter is an extravert, emotionally stable, open, creative, liberal, disorganized, has a quirky sense of humor, and is "a good person to get a party going." (All pretty accurate, says the reporter.) Another, more austere office, lacking in personal photos, indicated its occupant could be introverted, slightly neurotic, a bit of a hoarder, and "possibly a little lonely." Pretty basic stuff, right? But effective snooping is not as simple as equating pictures with popularity, or assuming someone with a lot of CDs likes music. "It's dangerous to look for the things that stick out," Gosling says. "You want to look for themes. The meaning of one thing modifies the meaning of another." In the case of the extraverted reporter, that means a bottle of Hooters hot sauce on the bookshelf doesn't necessarily signify a regular Hooters patron: it's probably there for ironic effect. (The reporter says: no comment.)

(Duh! for me - but maybe interesting for some of you)
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