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Book Review: Snoop

Posted by on October 26th, 2008 with 0 Comments

When I saw this book at Borders, it immediately got my attention.

I often refer to myself as an ‘amateur anthropologist’. Living overseas for ten years forces you to watch people closely, since language often fails.
Besides, who doesn’t like to snoop?
We all make judgements about people based on what’s in their office, apartment, or car.
But we don’t know how accurate or inaccurate those judgements are, until we get to know them better.
This book offers to help us make better assessments.
Title: “Snoop: What your stuff says about you”
Author: Sam Gosling
Genre: Psychology
Summary: “what we would find if we look at your belongings.

Favorite Quote: Instead of quotes, I’ll share Gosling’s three broad ‘mechanisms of space’. These are the clues we should be looking at:

  1. identity claims – objects that identify who we are, or want to think we are. These could include the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, music we listen to, or posters on our walls.
  2. feeling regulators – objects that help us maintain a mood . These could be photos of loved ones, inspirational posters, artwork, or incense.
  3. behavioral residue – the ‘things between the things’ – like teapots that are never used, as opposed to teapots that are never cleaned.

Strengths – These three distinctions were very interesting to me. There were some excellent examples and quite a bit of additional information.

Weaknesses – I was excited by the first chapter, but all the distinctions were declared in the first 11 pages. I kept waiting for some kind of ‘procedure’ for looking at an office or a bedroom, but it never came.
Conclusion: I’d recommend browsing this in your local library. The subject is interesting, but it didn’t deliver the depth I expected. Gosling delivered the ‘what?’ and the ‘so what?’, but we never got the ‘now what?’.
Post-it Flags: 15 flags
* Each time I find an interesting quote, model, image, or idea in a book, I mark it with a Post-it flag. The more flags, the more value I found in the book.
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