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Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  4,607 ratings  ·  561 reviews
Do the things on your desk betray the thoughts on your mind? Does your dining room décor carry clues to your character? Award-winning psychologist Sam Gosling has dispatched teams of scientific investigators to poke around bedrooms and offices, check out iPods, and peek at personal websites—to see what can be learned about us simply from looking at our belongings. What he ...more
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Basic Books (AZ) (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  4,607 ratings  ·  561 reviews

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Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Trevor by: Jennie
Do you know that feeling you have when you have enjoyed a book and are about to write a review and think, “God, I hope that not everything I say sounds like a criticism.”

Well, I did enjoy this book, but I’ve a horrible feeling that might not come across.

If I’d been writing this book I would have started off by calling it, “So You Think You Want to be Sherlock Holmes?” Do you know how the start of every Holmes mystery has him showing off by telling his new client (or the ever corrigible Dr Watson
Jun 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 08summerreading
Picked this up after hearing the author on NPR. It's much more theoretical/academic than I'd hoped, and the real-life anecdotes are almost exclusively drawn from the author's academic life -- so unless you are looking for lots of rumination about dorm rooms and admissions interviews, this may not be the book for you.

Also, I can't remember the last time I felt an author LOVING himself as much Dr. Gosling does here. He really does think he's the shiz. If I ever discovered a guy texting the content
Jun 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Aside from the arresting cover design, I was also drawn to this book because I have, at times, exhibited tendencies toward incorrigible snooping. Rifling through people's belongings is so much easier than actually talking to them, isn't it? The premise of Snoop is that people reveal their personalities through their environments: homes, offices, dorm rooms, cars, etc. For the keen observer, there is much to be learned from someone's personal space.

The problem with a lot of these pop psychology b
Jennifer Cooper
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jennifer by: Chris
The book's claim is that you can tell what people are like by looking at their stuff. This is an interesting premise, but I didn't think that the book quite lived up to it. It spent quite a bit of time exploring what it really means to know someone, and how we can categorize personality characteristics. After he's gone through this, he starts talking about whether (and how) we can judge someone's openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism from their belongings. Unf ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
I had to return this book to the library before I was finished, but I didn't mind. It had never captured my interest. I didn't like the charts, and I wasn't interested in analyzing myself just to be able to understand the methods presented here.
I felt like the author never got to the nitty-gritty of what things meant, but kept describing rooms without then analyzing them clearly for the reader. This was not the book for me, not wanting to do the work of figuring out the charts, or the lengthy se
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am a cluttered person. Even if I didn't live with a packrat of a husband, I would still be at least a little cluttered. I very much like surrounding myself with things like pictures, stuffed animals, little figurines and knickknacks. And I prefer it when other people's homes are cluttered, too; it feels as though life is really lived in the place, and it gives me something to look at. One of my friends, in particular, always has something new at her house, some weird quirky thing like a chess ...more
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This seemed like a really good fun read--how to "read" a person based on their stuff in their room. Heck, who doesn't do it already?

But it reads like an expanded, somewhat lightened academic paper. I majored in Psych and enjoy social science research, but I expected a fun Mary Roach-esque romp through entertainment science, and it wasn't.

Gosling tried to keep it light, but just threw study after study into the book. Some only tenuously connected to the overall theme. For example, in the chapte
Jan 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
I found this book a tedious. It seemed as if the author had very little to say and filed the book with quotes from studies done by others. This must be a university publish or perish situation.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
I expected a fun read from which I might learn a few interesting things.

The interesting things were few and far apart. So was the fun.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*How to snoop to get the scoop*

What does that bowl of please-help-yourself-anytime(!) candy on your co-worker's desk reveal about her? What do the type and placement of the pictures and knickknacks you've placed in your office say about you? What kind of personality clues can you get from looking at someone's book collection and how it is (or is not) arranged? What can your date's iPod list tell you about his interests and values? What do your e-mail address and signature communicate about your
I thought this book was going to be more about where and how people live but it turns out it is really about the study of personality in the field of psychology. Way to market the book incorrectly, publishing company! It was kind of interesting, reading about various studies concerning "the big 5" in the field of personality studies. Kind of.

My biggest take away from reading this, which was published in 2009, is just how much technology has changed our daily lifestyles in the last 11 years. He
I can't make up my mind about this book because it seemed like every time I turned the page, the author stated something that piqued my curiosity or crossed that fine line between being a half way decent person and being a scumbag.

I thoroughly enjoyed the implementation and use of a new personality test, called OCEANs Five, which focused on Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. I felt this new system was able to more broadly encompass the variations in a per
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
What could someone learn about your personality by checking out your bedroom? How about your iTunes playlist? Or your Facebook profile? That's what Sam Gosling sets out to discuss in Snoop.

Gosling uses our various environments, both physical and virtual, to describe our personalities according to psychology's "big five" indicators: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. He describes where many of our instincts get it right -- people are remarkably good about
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I have to say I didn't really like this book very much. I enjoyed the premise, which is that our physical trappings can give insights into our inner lives. I agree with that, but I found the presentation in this book to be off-putting.

The author seems to have tried to appeal to a wider audience by couching his arguments and hypotheses in a pseudo how-to book. All of the chapters are framed in a "how-to-be-a-snoop" style. I would have preferred just a simple, straightforward discussion of his top
Azadeh Nasrazadani
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Before picking up this book, I initially giggled at a review that said:” Gosh, did you know that if someone has flowers on their desk, it means they probably like flowers? That's about the gist of this book.”

But after finishing the book, I feel like that is an unfair over-generalization of this work. As a scientist (albeit in the biological sciences), I appreciated the seemingly thorough referencing of both his and other groups’ findings. I liked that we got to see the “raw data”, but more so I
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was more psychological than I expected. Not being big on reading psychology I wasn't sure what I was in for, but was pleasantly surprised as indicated by my 4 star rating. My original motivation for picking up this book was to find out why someone would snoop in a friend's medicine cabinet and bedroom. Mr. Gosling never gives the answer, in fact, he encourages the reader to do the same. However, after reading his book, I'm sure it has to do with his lower level of conscientiousness. ( ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Professor of Coolness(at least he's trying to be with this buddy-buddy writing style!) Dr. Gosling explains how people's rooms/offices/blogs/etc reflect major personality traits such as conscientiousness, openness, extroversion, and to a lesser extent, agreeableness and neuroticism. I thought this book would be a little wacko, but it's not - it's interesting, well-researched, and well-illustrated with compelling research examples. Who knew that people who have those horrible inspirational poster ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Some very interesting things in this book. It went a bit more technical than I had anticipated. I listened to the audio book and while it was good I think I would recommend reading the actual book. Lots of lists and questions.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People interested in Psychology
This is an engaging book which gives the reader a glimpse into people's personalities, through the items and habits they maintain. The book makes the reader feel like a detective in training, gaining the necessary skills to profile their targets. It's especially fascinating to think more deeply about why we keep the things we have, and how they reflect upon our personality as a whole. ...more
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh....had some good parts but convoluted concepts and clunky throughout. It was more of an organizational I think overall.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not going to finish. Irrelevant and boring. A disappointment.
Sara Whear
2.5 stars. It wasn't a bad book or anything, I just didn't find it interesting or particularly helpful or ground-breaking. ...more
Kim Mcnelly
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Snoop, what your stuff says about you by Sam Gosling
I chose to read this book because it caught my eye when browsing iTunes offering. I struggle with EIQ and being able to read people and situations and I chose this book in hopes to broaden my knowledge of how to read people. Because it specifically talked about workplace environments and how these are arranges, I thought that maybe helpful to me at work.
My learnings from this book are:
• Taking a look at people’s personal surroundings can tell y
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
This was a fascinating, quick read that urges the reader to indulge in their inner voyeur when encountering new people, “snooping” common household and personal objects to indulge in clues as to their personality, both “outer” and “inner.” From the types of decorations to the music we listen to, author Sam Gosling argues that everything can be a clue to a certain person’s level of extroversion or introversion, openness, even their likely political beliefs. While written engagingly, the book can ...more
Vish Wam
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popular-science
First, how important do you think it is, to be socially aware? How important is it to be well informed of the nature and lives of people around us? I believe its a necessary skill every one must develop. In this hyperspeed world with complex interconnected lives of people, its quite impossible to get to know people solely reliant on face to face communication. This book offers you a detour into getting info of people by pattern recognition from observations we make of people. This is more like E ...more
Kater Cheek
Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is justification for the people who inspect others' bookshelves and secretly judge them. As we all pretty much knew already, you CAN find out a lot about people by looking at their stuff. The question is, how much?

That's what this book delves into. Gosling has done much of the research himself, for which I commend him, and he has plenty of tables and charts peppering the book with visual explanations of what this research has revealed. However, despite what the jacket says, the bulk of
Feb 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: human-behavior
I really liked this book, although it is about a subject I find interesting so I'm sure I started out biased in its favor. The book spends a good amount of time discussing what you can discern about someone by looking at their home or office. Most of it was not earth shattering, but there were parts that were counterintuitive. There were also parts that just made you wonder what the correlation between the two things were.

However, the most interesting, by far, part was what you couldn't learn f
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The central premise is that our personality (which he uses OCEAN test rather than the more static MBPTI for personality types since it measures you on a sliding scale rather than fitting into or out of a box seeps out of us in ways we are unaware. The way we decorate our spaces, but particularly our bedrooms, say a lot about who we are. He leads you through an archaeological type excavation of what our personality prints leave beh ...more
Jerry Smith
Disappointing and somewhat unsatisfactory take on the trail we leave in our work and living spaces and how you can determine personality traits from examination of said spaces.

Written with a fairly heavy reliance on the author's personal experience and this grates after a while. There is a certain amount of research referenced in the text and certainly there are interesting elements. Overall however one is left with the resounding impression: "so what?".

Many of the examples bear fruit but there
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