John D. Mayer, the renowned psychologist who co-developed the groundbreaking theory of emotional intelligence, now draws on decades of cognitive psychology research to introduce another paradigm-shifting idea: that in order to become our best selves, we use an even broader intelligence-which he calls personal intelligence-to understand our own personality and the personalities of the people around us.Read more...
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John D. Mayer, the renowned psychologist who co-developed the groundbreaking theory of emotional intelligence, now draws on decades of cognitive psychology research to introduce another paradigm-shifting idea: that in order to become our best selves, we use an even broader intelligence-which he calls personal intelligence-to understand our own personality and the personalities of the people around us.
In "Personal Intelligence," Mayer explains that we are naturally curious about the motivations and inner worlds of the people we interact with every day. Some of us are talented at perceiving what makes our friends, family, and coworkers tick. Some of us are less so. Mayer reveals why, and shows how the most gifted "readers" among us have developed "high personal intelligence." Mayer's theory of personal intelligence brings together a diverse set of findings-previously regarded as unrelated-that show how much variety there is in our ability to read other people's faces; to accurately weigh the choices we are presented with in relationships, work, and family life; and to judge whether our personal life goals conflict or go together well. He persuasively argues that our capacity to problem-solve in these varied areas forms a unitary skill.
Illustrating his points with examples drawn from the lives of successful college athletes, police detectives, and musicians, Mayer shows how people who are high in personal intelligence (open to their inner experiences, inquisitive about people, and willing to change themselves) are able to anticipate their own desires and actions, predict the behavior of others, and-using such knowledge-motivate themselves over the long term and make better life decisions. And in outlining the many ways we can benefit from nurturing these skills, Mayer puts forward an essential message about selfhood, sociability, and contentment. "Personal Intelligence "is an indispensable book for anyone who wants to better comprehend how we make sense of our world.
- ISBN-13: 9780374230852
- ISBN-10: 0374230854
- Publisher: Scientific Amer Books
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 268
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Personality is not merely the sum of an individual’s characteristics, it is a profound social force that influences our lives and interactions. Mayer, a contributor to the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, coined the term “personal intelligence” in order to describe our inherent need to understand the people around us. Personal intelligence includes a spectrum of proficiencies, and there is a degree to which it can be learned and cultivated. Any apt assessment of others begins, or at least is correlated with, an ability to know one’s self, and Mayer explores patterns of personal intelligence from adolescence to adulthood. He draws on anecdotes and research—some of it his own—and also describes his methods of testing and measuring what psychologists have long deemed immeasurable. As he attempts to define the parameters of “personality,” Mayer is prone to expanding the idea into ambiguous territory. But what is innovative here is his focus on personality as a social skill, an interaction between self and environment that manifests not just through interpersonal relationships but across our collective society, including our legal system. Mayer’s new theory of personal intelligence is a welcome starting point for analyzing “how people think about themselves and one another.” (Feb.)