Snoop : What Your Stuff Says About You

by Sam Gosling
Pop Psychology? Sociology? Kind of hard to decide what category that this one falls under.
As the subtitle succinctly says, Snoop is about what your stuff says about you. Gosling writes about his research as a grad student and then as a psychology professor snooping around students rooms and trash (he really likes trash. Literally. He thinks your trash is a goldmine of insight), music likes, and offices led him to become an interpreter of stuff. What does the pictures on the walls say vs. the pictures on your desk. Why is the bedroom’s decor more important to study then the living room. Gosling uses his experience snooping as well as some deductive reasoning (with some inductive and abductive reasoning), and some psychological insight to draw some conclusions about how people’s personalities match up with their belongings.
There are some good points that Gosling makes in the book. Our stuff is a reflection of us, we like things that make us comfortable. An extrovert might have a more comfortable chair or a candy dish at work to encourage people to stop and chat, an introvert would try and choose a desk or office in a lower traffic area of the office.
We probably do tend to make areas that we consider private, like your bedroom, or your desk, are a more accurate reflection of our own personality. Areas that other people interact with, like a living room, or the area visible from the other side of your desk, are more indicative of what we want to project to others.
    “Disguise… is always a self portrait” Irene Adler, Sherlock
This image that we want to project can also tell others about us. What we want others to think about us, and what qualities we want to believe that we posses, even if we don’t can be telling of some other qualities.
I found this on a recommendation from a Sherlock subreddit, and was intrigued. Some of the things that Gosling describes could be seen as common sense, but if you think that about everything, you’ll end up coming to a lot of misleading conclusions. Look at trends not outliers for what a person is really like. What makes them comfortable/what do they like? Why is that? It was a decent read, with some surprising conclusions, and not a bad way to spend a few days thinking about what my things say about me.
Up next, either The Martian by Andrew Weir, or An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield depending on which on I finish first. Somewhat of a space theme going on next week.

Snoop : What Your Stuff Says About You


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