Library Journal Review
Rubin (The Happiness Project; Better Than Before) here expands on an idea she began exploring in her earlier books, that you gain tremendous self-knowledge by examining how you respond to expectations (both internal and external). Obligers, for instance, respond well to outer expectations but have trouble meeting inner ones. Therefore, people with that tendency benefit from having an exercise partner or building other accountability checks into their routines. After discussion of the different tendencies and why it's helpful to understand them, Rubin explains-with a quiz-how to figure out your tendency and that of others, how to understand and work with people whose tendencies are different from your own, and how to harness strengths in order to accomplish goals. It's a clever system, charmingly and convincingly explained. VERDICT This will be of particular interest to those responsible for motivating others (e.g., managers or parents) but also enjoyed by anyone fascinated by human nature. (See the Q&A with the author on p. 107).-Stephanie Klose, Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Rubin (The Happiness Project) sorts personalities into four "tendencies"-upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels-according to people's motivations for undertaking actions in this breezy but unconvincing work of pop psychology. Each tendency gets two separate chapters devoted to understanding and dealing with people with a specific trait. There's even a Venn diagram and brief, if arbitrary, quiz. The simplicity of the profiles is comforting, but the science is questionable. The author commissioned a survey and uses anecdotal evidence to bolster the framework's worth, but her attempts to find proof smack of confirmation bias. The author diagnoses her friends and social-media followers using her framework, sometimes sounding wise, at other times smug. Supposedly there's no hierarchy to the tendencies, but the author, an upholder, can't quite hide her preference for her own tendency, with her husband's questioner tendency running a near second. Even the author admits that personality frameworks can't "capture human nature in all of its depth and variety," but nevertheless argues for utilizing her ideas to improve one's life. In its best moments, the book reminds readers that not everyone approaches the world from the same perspective. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher and Co. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.