Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Why You are Who You are
for explaining how we come to have the personality that we have.

Why You are Who You are:
Investigations into Human Personality
Lectures by Professor Mark Leary

Why You are Who You are (2018)
24 lectures, 12 hours
Why You are Who You are: Investigations into Human Personality  at

Why does a simple incident like a traffic jam affect you the way it does? What makes you act the way you do around your friends and family? Why do you often see the world so differently from the way other people see it? The answer to these questions and more really comes down to one thing: your personality.

Wherever you go in life, you carry with you a large, complex set of traits, beliefs, emotional tendencies, motivations, and values that predispose you to respond to the world in certain ways. Some of these you share with virtually all other human beings; they’re part of human nature. Others, however, differ greatly between one person and another, and they help create the kind of person you are—and the kind of life you lead.

  • Are you outgoing and highly social, or quiet and more inclined to spend time alone?
  • Do you consider yourself organized or disorganized?
  • Do you have more energy in the mornings or in the evenings?
  • How much self-control would you say you have?

To understand the roots of personality is to understand motivations and influences that shape behavior, which in turn reflect how you deal with the opportunities and challenges of everyday life. Exploring the science of personality is also a chance to gain new insights that might help you better understand both yourself and the other people around you.

According to award-winning Professor Mark R. Leary of Duke University, “the quality of our lives depends in part on how well we can figure out what’s going on with other people.” And that’s the focus of his intriguing 24-lecture course, Why You Are Who You Are: Investigations into Human Personality, in which you examine the differences in people’s personalities, where these differences come from, and how they shape our everyday lives. Drawing on research in psychology, neuroscience, and genetics, Professor Leary opens the door to understanding how personality works and why. Designed as a fascinating, accessible scientific inquiry, these lectures will have you thinking about personality—your own, and that of the people around you—in a way that’s more informed and that reveals what makes you the kind of person that you are.

What Makes a Personality?

We currently understand more about how our brains work than we ever have before. But understanding personality requires more than knowing what goes on in the brain. Combining information gleaned from psychology, neuroscience, and genetics, Why You Are Who You Are will open your eyes to the myriad ways our traits, emotions, beliefs, values, and behaviors are shaped by many different influences, including the genes were inherited, how we were raised, our environment, early evolutionary processes, and more.

Professor Leary has two overarching goals for Why You Are Who You Are:

  • Understanding personality characteristics. You’ll learn about the most important personality variables that make people different from one another. These characteristics help to account for the variability we see among people—those traits, motives, values, beliefs, and emotional tendencies that make you, you.
  • Exploring the roots of personality. Why do people end up with the personalities they have? To answer this question, multiple lectures reveal where these personality characteristics come from. You’ll start with the basic biological processes that underlie personality, then go on to the roles played by culture, learning, environment, and personal experiences.

Mark Leary is the Garonzik Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University where he is the director of the Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Center. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in Social Psychology from the University of Florida. Professor Leary is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The author of more than a dozen books, he blogs regularly on personality and social psychology for

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: What Is Personality? 13: Consistency and Stability of Personality
2: Key Traits: Extraversion and Neuroticism 14: Evolution and Human Nature
3: Are You Agreeable? Conscientious? Open? 15: Personality and the Brain
4: Basic Motives Underlying Behavior 16: Genetic Influences on Personality
5: Intrapersonal Motives 17: Learning to Be Who You Are
6: Positive and Negative Emotionality 18: How Culture Influences Personality
7: Differences in Emotional Experiences 19: Nonconscious Aspects of Personality
8: Values and Moral Character 20: Personality and Self-Control
9: Traits That Shape How You Think 21: When Personalities Become Toxic
10: Beliefs about the World and Other People 22: Avoidance, Paranoia, and Other Disorders
11: Beliefs about Yourself 23: The Enigma of Being Yourself
12: Personality and Social Relationships 24: The Well-Adjusted Personality


Why You are Who You are:
Investigations into Human Personality
Lectures by Professor Mark Leary

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Why You are Who You are
for explaining how we come to have the personality that we have.