Who am I?

Who am I?

16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions Define Our Personalities

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780425183403
  • 288 Pages
  • Berkley
  • Adult


What do we want? What makes us tick? From acceptance to vengeance to curiosity, this book explains the 16 basic and universal desires that shape our behaviorand shows how the ways we prioritize them determines our personalities. Grounded in up-to-date psychological research, this book can help

  • parents comprehend their children’s needs and behavior
  • couples understand each other better
  • employers motivate their employees
  • employees become more effective in their work
  • YOU achieve greater satisfaction and happiness in life
  • Who am I?

    Who am I?

    Steven Reiss


    “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

    Table of Contents

    Who Am I?Introduction
    Part I: The Basic Desires That Make Our Lives Meaningful
    1. What Is a Basic Desire?
    2. Why My Dog Saves Socks
    3. Why Kids and Elephants Will Make You Wet
    4. Why a Secretary Feared Heights
    5. One Size Does Not Fit All
    6. I Don’t Get It, and Neither Do You

    Part II: How the Basic Desires Are Satisfied
    7. Value-Based Happiness
    8. How Relationships Grow
    9. Turning Work Into Play
    10. All in the Family
    11. Why My Father Was a Mets Fan
    12. The Scientific Study of the Human Spirit


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