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Who am I?: 16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions Define Our Personalities by [Reiss, Steven]
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Who am I?: 16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions Define Our Personalities Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 292 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In [this] ground-breaking book, Steven Reiss opens a window into what drives our emotions, how they affect our behavior toward those around us, and most significant, how we might use this information to improve our self-image and our relations with others.”—Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D., author of Genesis and the Big Bang and The Science of God

“Rather than consult astrological charts or take quizzes in magazines, read Who Am I? for an authoritative, research-based understanding of why we do the things we do.”—Ellen Langer, Ph.D., author of Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Living

“Readers…will [better understand] their motivational stylesand have a lot of fun doing so.”—Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University

“Using a wealth of everyday examples, Steven Reiss offers…insight into such matters as why some interpersonal relationships are enduringly satisfying, and others are not. His theory of motivation illuminates the important questions in our lives.”—Richard J. McNally, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

“Reiss shows us how to identify our own pattern of desires and how to compare and contrast the patterns in our relationships. The applications of this scientific extension of Maslow’s hierarchy extend beyond the personal: Reiss’ system can improve our working relationships and enhance our professional lives.”—Ruth Luckasson, J.D., Regents’ Professor and Professor of Special Education, University of New Mexico

“An ‘outside the box’ approach to understanding individual behavior. Reiss clearly explains the sixteen basic desires, and shows how to easily plot one’s own ‘desire profile.’ Readers of Who Am I? will gain valuable insight into their motivational stylesand have a lot of fun doing so.”—Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University

“Steven Reiss provides an exciting new way to think about ourselves.”—Ellen Langer, Ph.D., author of Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning

“Well explained in lay readers’ terms.”—Library Journal

About the Author

Steven Reiss, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University, and the director of the Nisonger Center for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. His Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Screen for Maladaptive Behavior, and Profile of Fundamental Goals and Motivational Sensitivities are all world-renowned and universally used. He is a keynote speaker at professional conferences in the U.S. and around the world.

Product Details

  • File Size: 860 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425183408
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 7, 2000)
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2000
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OCXHQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,412 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have read many books about self help, psychology, and human behavior, and I believe I learned more from this one than from any other book. Reiss's theory is that all human beings are motivated by sixteen basic desires, and your personal prescription for happiness depends on the relative strengths of these desires. He argues that these desires are genetically determined. I believe that the science behind the "Reiss Profile" is sound, unlike the many other similar books that claim to tell you about yourself. The theory of personality originated with William James; Reiss has extended this work and in this book makes his important findings available to the general reader.
My only complaint about this book is that it is very wordy, which is so absolutely typical of self-help books. He presents the theory concisely and clearly, then goes on to apply the theory to many different areas of human behavior. This seems excessively detailed and it makes for tiresome reading, so I skimmed much of the second half of the book. At times the book approaches a catalog in unreadability.
By all means get the book and answer the questions to determine your own desire profile. I believe you will learn more about yourself, more quickly, than you have ever done before.
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Format: Paperback
For those of us unlucky enough to have read various MA Theses or Ph.D Dissertations, the construction of Reiss' book will appear eerily familiar. The book is long-winded and repetitive with little room spent on introspection or variety. The basis of the book is that we are genetically programed to prefer certain values over others,e.g., romance over conservation, status over honor, etc. Our individuality is made up of the combination of things we highly value as well as those we don't. While I enjoyed reading about the basic desires, I found it silly and sophomoric to deny how life's experience affect somebody's personality. After all, no matter how social somebody may "genetically" be, a long history of child abuse will no doubt curb many of the behaviors associated with social people.

Dr. Reiss presents an evolutionary psychological perspective that I found to be more distracting than illuminating. However, that being said, the concept that a person's life is judged by the satisfaction of values close to an individual was something that I enjoyed reading. The book functions well as a quick character study. These are the major flaws as I see it.

1. Repetitive with unimaginative writing.
2. Reiss subjects each "value" to his criticism. Some traits are given moral equivalency,e.g., a high desire for honor implies that somebody is moral (example given: soldier), somebody with a low desire for honor is immoral(example given: bank robber). Under Reiss' definition, a value of honor was defined by upholding ethnic, religious, and traditional duties. The concept of putting morality to the values is my greatest criticism.
3. One very important value: Family, is absolutely off limits to those without children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Human motives are complex and modified by culture, experiences, beliefs and values. Embracing, to a certain degree, but surely extending A. Maslow's thinking with regards to needs and wants, Dr. Steven Reiss proposes a scientific research arguing that, because of genetic variations in basic desires, no two people enjoy the same experience in the same way.

According to his research 16 basic desires drive much of human behavior. Every desire creates an opposite desire and the experience has a subjective/relative importance depending on the intensity of the feeling and importance attached to it. Difference in basic desires between people might lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings and conflict.

With no significance in their order, as he presented them in the book, here are the 16 desires:

POWER The desire to influence others

INDEPENDENCE Desire for self-reliance

CURIOSITY Desire for knowledge

ACCEPTANCE Desire for inclusion

ORDER Desire for organization

SAVING Desire to collect things

HONOR Desire to be loyal to one's parents and heritage

IDEALISM Desire for social justice

SOCIAL CONTACT Desire for companionship

FAMILY Desire to raise one's own children

STATUS Desire for social standing

VENGEANCE Desire to get even

ROMANCE Desire for sex and beauty

EATING Desire to consume food

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Desire for exercise of muscles

TRANQUILLITY Desire for emotional calm

The book is easy to read, some may consider it too long or too repetitive but, sincerely, I enjoyed it over a couple of days spent at the beach during my holidays in the Philippines, Boracay Island.

I would recommend it to all the people interested in having a better knowledge of human nature. It is a point of view worth reading.

All the best,
Ciao
Francesco
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Format: Paperback
I learned about Maslow's motivational hierarchy decades ago but found it not very useful for determining what an individual would do, particularly in a specific circumstance. This book provided a scientifically-appealing foundation for making that kind of determination. It well explained why I get along better with some people than others and what I can do about improving my relationships with those people with whom I don't seem to fit. After testing myself, spouse, children, and close friends and associates, I believe I better understand both myself and them. I can better predict what they might do and where they are going with their thought processes. I believe this book contains a revolutionary foundation for understanding the motives of people.
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