Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the inquisitive mind
I love this book - Sam Gosling is a great storyteller and makes his research very easy to understand and digest. I had the privilege to see Sam Gosling present at a marketing conference in London and he is just as fun and witty in real life as he is in this clever book. The book gives great insight not only about others but also about ourselves and the image that we...
Published 12 months ago by Luxie82

versus
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not life-changing
This was an interesting book, and clearly written by an author who has dedicated his life to the study of his subject. But personally I felt at the end that I hadn't learned much more than I knew at the start. There are a number of quirky and interesting observations, but to me they were the exception rather than the norm, and the remainder of the book was spent providing...
Published on 16 Nov 2010 by Pete


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not life-changing, 16 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was an interesting book, and clearly written by an author who has dedicated his life to the study of his subject. But personally I felt at the end that I hadn't learned much more than I knew at the start. There are a number of quirky and interesting observations, but to me they were the exception rather than the norm, and the remainder of the book was spent providing rather verbose examples and testimonies of the author's own research. Perhaps I was expecting too much, but with some of the praise and reviews suggesting that you would be transformed into a "super-snooper", I felt decidedly untransformed.

A lot of the actual specific findings of the research are not easy to apply to real life. For example, the author concludes in a number of places that the whole of society at large misinterprets the meaning of certain attributes, yet the proposed alternatives are often vague or overlapping. There were also several moments when the author seemed to be labouring a point unnecessarily. This may be due to the academic flavour of the book, as it is clearly placed slightly towards the serious psychology end of the scale rather than the interesting pop-psychology read end. For me, I prefer a slightly snappier pace with less academic rigour, but that is just my personal taste.

Ultimately, a significant conclusion of the book and the author is that you can't apply a one-size-fits-all approach to interpreting people's personal spaces, and context is everything. Whilst this is refreshing to hear an author admit that life is not simplistic, it does make for a rather pointless application: if everything is subjective, what can you ever hope to learn from this book?

So buy this book if you are interested in reading about the author's research into his subject. But don't expect to have any great epiphany moments or be transformed into a "super-snooper". For certain, you won't find a simple list of "what A/B/C means" inside.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly interesting but disappointing, 5 Feb 2011
By 
J. De Ruiter "Joris de Ruiter" (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was expecting to find a guide to reading human rooms. I was expecting a lot of knowledge, facts, and rules about human rooms and personalities. Instead, the author is twisting around the facts like Houdini. Stories about how he got involved into this, what he experienced, people he knows about .. it makes an interesting read nonetheless, but so disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult First Album, 20 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
I suppose you can't blame Sam Gosling for trying to catch a wave, even if it took him a while to catch it: his variety of psychology - drawing deep psychological conclusions from superficial evidence in the shape of personal detritus in bedrooms and offices and the outward shape of public internet spaces like facebook pages, blogs, websites and the like - was given prominent billing in pop-psych guru Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink as an example of "thin slicing" we do everyday to get by in the world. Gladwell's made a mint; Gosling must have thought he might be able to too.

But just as Gladwell's book - a difficult second album after The Tipping Point - was itself superficial and largely directionless set of anecdotes, Gosling's first effort while promising much, delivers little more than a cursory trot through the "big five" personality traits (which won't be news if you've read Blink), an overarching framework of how these might be signified by "behavioural residue" (being evidence of how you behave left behind when you've stopped behaving and left the room) , "feeling regulators" (photos of your kids, the current Arsenal striker, symbols of your chosen deity and so on positioned around your space to cheer you up) and "identity claimers" (the selfsame items to the extent they are presented to make a statement about you to the rest of the world).

And that's about it. The remainder consists, yet again, of loosely organised anecdotage to bind the one to the other, occasionally leavened with unimpressive statsitics gleaned from half-hearted experiments that Gosling and his underlings have performed. Some of the underwhelming observations you won't find on the dust jacket, then:

* there is very little in an office or bedroom environment which would tell you anything about a person's extraversion, agreeableness or neuroticism (being three of the "big five" traits). The two which you can deduce conclusions are conscientiousness (how tidy you are) and openness (how many African Masks on your walls or albums of World Music in your CD rack). Golly.
* Music tastes are basically useless for gauging personalities for most forms of popular music.
* If you find evidence which appears to contradict your theory about the subject's personality, it is best to ignore it and only look at the evidence which does fit your theory.

Indeed, that's pretty much the problem: Gosling's method purports to be scientific, in the sense of reliably telling you something about a room's inhabitant, but is so liberally sprayed with caveats (those dirty socks might belong to someone else!) as to be little more than an appeal to the sort of intuitions one doesn't need a psychology professor to tell one how to exercise. They're --- well, intuitive.

Indeed, that was Malcolm Gladwell's point: we make these sort of snap judgments automatically and subconsciously, which makes the young Professor Gosling's field guide all the more dispensable.

Olly Buxton
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What the reviewer said above, 18 Aug 2010
By 
T. Young "Truth" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
'was itself superficial and largely directionless set of anecdotes, Gosling's first effort while promising much, delivers little more than a cursory trot through the "big five" personality traits.'

The book felt like it was just the author having a brief chat about his research. A sorry excuse for a book and felt more like he wrote it just to sell because there is a market but couldn't be bothered to put in the work required to write it.

Felt the book was padded with anecdotes in order to fill out the dismal little content he provided.

I hope he feels ashamed of scamming his readers.

Really disappointed and waste of money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the inquisitive mind, 23 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love this book - Sam Gosling is a great storyteller and makes his research very easy to understand and digest. I had the privilege to see Sam Gosling present at a marketing conference in London and he is just as fun and witty in real life as he is in this clever book. The book gives great insight not only about others but also about ourselves and the image that we portray to others. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is curious about how humans work and how they interact, no background in psychology or other needed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing very new here, 9 Dec 2010
Although the author of this book is from the UK, the vast majority of the examples used are USA based. Most of what is in here is common sense and I don't feel I learned very much at all. Open your eyes, don't take things at face value and you will be able to 'snoop' without the help of this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stuff to think about, 4 Sep 2009
By 
S.M. Gidley (Sidmouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
This book doesn't entirely do what it says on the tin; if you're expecting an in-depth analysis of what a shag pile rug says about the owner or what you can read into a menagerie of fluffy gonks on your colleague's desk you're going to be disappointed.

However, that's not to say that this isn't a very interesting book. Some other reviewers have pointed out that Gosling seems to be stating the obvious but that isn't really very fair. As an academic, he has explained psychological concepts very well and in a logical manner that would succeed in engaging most people in what can be a complicated area (personality testing and profiling). He also has an excellent prose style and supplements his citations of academic research with personal anecdote as well as explanations of his own academic work.

What I found most interesting about Gosling's argument was not so much the significance of what we own and what we chose do with it but more the fact that no matter what we try and do our true selves will always come out.

This is an interesting book that is appropriate to read in an age where rampant acquisition seems to be the name of the game.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Consulting Detective's Guide to the Bleeding Obvious, 3 Mar 2009
By 
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
Sam Gosling is an English-born professor of psychology at the University of Texas. He has been recruited to appear on television to deduce a subject's personality from photos of his or her bedroom effects. Sherlock Holmes meets Big Brother. Now he has written the Guide on how to do it.

My own inner detective was hoping that reading this book would enable me to gain the advantage in business negotiations by glancing at my counterpart's office or score points at dinner parties by scanning my host's den. It didn't happen, but that really doesn't matter.

It didn't happen partly because Gosling belongs to the Ronnie Corbett school of story telling - the punch line is oft deferred through a series of diversions and anecdotes - perhaps , living in Austin, he has succumbed to the Texan art of the philibuster - and partly because the conclusions from snooping are so obvious. Indeed, psychologists' ability to deduce the obvious from quasi scientific experiments and then endow it with quasi scientific labels (self -verification, the aspired self etc) verges on self parody.

It doesn't matter for three reasons. First, the digressions are generally quite interesting in themselves. We learn about the Big Five personality descriptors, about the concentration of personality traits in different regions of the USA and that the thieves who stole Mr Rogers' car returned it out of respect for his public persona and so on. Second, the bleeding obvious isn't as obvious as we think. True, when the clues suggest that someone is "open" or "extravert' or even "conscientious, " chances are that they are. However, clues that suggest "agreeableness" or "neuroticism" are often misleading. Gosling provides several useful tables which compare what observers routinely deduce with what is actually the case and it seems that our vaunted" blink" ability to make snap judgements is often simply wrong. Finally, Gosling is a witty and interesting writer who maintains interest throughout.

Net, net this is not quite a weighty, Holmesian monograph, but it is a moderately entertaining read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, 30 July 2008
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
What trails of ourselves do we leave in our everyday lives? What do our living spaces, our email sigs, web pages, social networking profiles and even our iPods say about us? This is the principal question that this book asks.

It's an odd book this, but all the more interesting for it. Reading much of it I was thinking that we were mostly in the domain of common sense though, as Gosling himself says, this may be in part due to the action of hindsight. Having said that, there are some interesting examples of counter-intuitive phenomena and misinterpreted cues that do act against this.

The basic thrust of the book relies on a system of personality analysis commonly known as Big Five and so the early chapters lay the foundations for this by laying out a quick summary. After that, Gosling gets into specific contexts for, and examples of, his observations (I hesitate to use the word hypothesis here, probably because this is not really a formal academic text)

Gosling himself writes with great perspicuity and not a little wit, rather ironically giving us some possible pointers to his own character in the process. It's one of the reasons I wanted to (and indeed do) like this book

I'm not sure whether the principal question is ever really fully answered in a concrete enough way for some readers but it certainly provokes a lot of thought and should certainly make you as the reader wonder about the particular trails you leave in the course of your own life.

Certainly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you observe instead of look, 4 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. J. Anderson "J@" (Chester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book will show you how to understand people from there possessions and habits. a lot of the book is research studies and what we can tell about people not just from there personal space but other areas. all research mentioned contained is interesting and well performed. the book also advise in the way of thinking logically and how to observe properly (ideas i personally had not considered). there is a lot to take away from in this book, definitely worth a read for any one even considering buying it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb12fe7b0)

This product

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You
Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling (Hardcover - 28 Jun 2008)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews