Strangers in a Strange Lab

Strangers in a Strange Lab : How Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others

3.92 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the 2012 International Association for Relationship Research Book Award

Can we predict how well - or how poorly - two strangers will get along? According to social psychologist William Ickes, the answer is yes. Drawing upon relevant research findings from his 30-year career, Ickes explains how initial interactions are shaped by gender, race, birth order, physical attractiveness, androgyny, the Big Five dimensions, shyness, and self-monitoring.

Ickes's work offers unprecedented insights on the links between personality and social behavior that have not previously been compiled in a single source: how sibling relationships during childhood affect our interactions with opposite-sex strangers years later; why Latinos have a social advantage in initial interactions; how men react to the physical attractiveness of a female stranger in a relatively direct and obvious way while women react to the attractiveness of a male stranger in a more
indirect and subtle way; and how personality similarity is related to satisfaction in married couples.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 232 pages
  • 158 x 234 x 13mm | 342g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 019995089X
  • 9780199950898
  • 2,123,918

Table of contents

1. Some People, Other People ; 2. Strangers in a Strange Lab ; 3. Sex ; 4. Race / Ethnicity ; 5. Birth Order ; 6. Physical Attractiveness ; 7. The Taijitu of Androgyny ; 8. The Big Five ; 9. Shyness and Self-Consciousness ; 10. Self-Monitoring ; 11. How It All Adds Up: An Integration
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Review quote

"This delightful book uses science to yield fascinating and important insights about human behavior and the way people view each other. Ickes writes with clarity, style, and humor."
--David Funder, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California
"Strangers in a Strange Lab is the most authoritative, comprehensive, and original guide ever written on how our basic characteristics -- from birth order and personality to gender and race -- can have a profound effect on how we interact with others. It's an essential read for anyone interested in the science of getting along."
--Sam Gosling, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin and author of Snoop:What Your Stuff Says About You
"Bill Ickes is one of social psychology's wisest and bravest practitioners. He pioneered the careful observation of social encounters in naturalistic settings, when such research was often criticized for being 'unscientific.' Today that research is considered the gold standard. In Strangers in a Strange Lab, he displays his trademark ability to combine charm, intelligence, and a thorough knowledge of research in order to tell a thoroughly fascinating story."
--Elaine Hatfield, Professor of Psychology, University of Hawai'i
"As well as being a joy to read, this book provides an exceptionally well-structured, coherent and compelling account , not just of the outcomes of Ickes' research, but importantly, of the research process itself....Overall, the book is an outstanding example of 'science writing' at its best."
--Relationship Research News
"Strangers in a Strange Lab provides a neat balance of research and popular psychology; it ends up being highly accessible and appealing to a wide audience. Ickes holds the reader's hand through the various methods and techniques, ensuring that even the most inexperienced readers will clearly comprehend the slightest details of the process. As such, Strangers in a Strange Lab could easily find a home in an undergraduate seminar in personality
psychology, providing a lighthearted change of pace to the more traditional tools of instruction. Students should appreciate both the novel insights and their ease of mental digestion... A collection of interesting, fun
facts about social interaction."
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About William Ickes

William Ickes is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. His 20-year program of research on empathic accuracy, which resulted in three international research awards, is summarized in his 2003 book Everyday Mind Reading. His 30-year program of research on personality influences on initial interactions is the topic of the present book. His more than 160 publications include books, book chapters, journal articles,
commentaries, and reviews.
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Rating details

13 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 31% (4)
4 38% (5)
3 23% (3)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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