We’ve been getting some great buzz about the forthcoming book, Quiet (Jan, 2012), from academics. A professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University had this to share regarding the application of Susan Cain’s book to the classroom:
“Thank you for sending me a copy of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
We may be able to use the book here at Purdue University in our upper division undergraduate class on the psychology of personality. Perhaps we can have the students read it before they read the textbook.
Several aspects of Susan Cain’s book are remarkable. First, it is well informed by research. That being said, it uses the research literature but is not held captive by it. She offers a big picture analysis, as seen from a molar, ‘cultural point of view.’ Second, it is exceptionally well written, and ‘reader friendly.’ It will appeal to a wide range of readers. Third, it is insightful. I am sure many people wonder why brash, impulsive behavior seems to be rewarded, whereas reflective, thoughtful behavior is overlooked.
This book goes beyond such superficial impressions to a more penetrating analysis (as befits the book’s general orientation). As the author herself concedes, some of the behaviors she describes may be connected to personality characteristics other than extroversion, but given the book’s larger goals, that is acceptable. As a researcher who has published empirical papers on extraversion, self-monitoring, agreeableness, and Person-Thing Orientation, I can see differences among them, but all of them deal with a larger issue of social accommodation. My impression is that Susan Cain may be more interested in the dynamics of social accommodation than with the single predictor of introversion, per se.
I think you (and Susan Cain) have a winner here.”
—William Graziano, Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University
Also just in, a fantastic appraisal from Dr. Brian Little, distinguished scholar at Cambridge University:
Susan Cain’s Quiet is superb. Based on meticulous research, it is a compelling reflection on how the Extrovert ideal shapes our lives and why this is deeply unsettling. Drawing on the latest research, and reflecting a deep personal passion for her topic, Cain has written an elegant and powerful plea for introversion. It will open up a new and different conversation on how the personal is political and how we need to empower the legions of people who are disposed to be quiet, reflective and sensitive. Quiet deserves to be widely read, heeded and passed along to our friends, family, colleagues and, perhaps most of all, to that loud, blunt and sometimes boorish extrovert down the hall.
— Brian R. Little, Ph.D., Disinguished Scholar, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Cambridge University
And the praises just keeping coming in! Read what other academics are saying about Quiet:
“Finally someone has exposed the feet of clay of the extraversion industry. It is a wonder it took so long. Those who value a quiet, reflective life will feel a burden lifting from their shoulders as they read Susan Cain’s eloquent and well documented paean to introversion—and will no longer feel guilty or inferior for having made the better choice!” —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Claremont Graduate University; author of Flow
“Quiet is a book of liberation from old ideas about the value of introverts. The book tells tales of psychological discovery that are just as fascinating as the stories of introverts whose ideas and actions have changed history. Cain’s intelligence, respect for research, and vibrant prose put Quiet in an elite class with the best books from Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and other masters of psychological non-fiction.” —Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School professor; coauthor, The Progress Principle
“Gentle is powerful. . . . Solitude is socially productive. . . . These important counter-intuitive ideas are among the many reasons to take Quiet to a quiet corner and absorb its brilliant, thought-provoking message.”
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor; author of Confidence and SuperCorp
“What Susan Cain understands—and readers of this fascinating volume will soon appreciate—is something that psychology and our fast moving—and talking—society has been all too slow to realize: Not only is there really nothing wrong with being quiet, reflective, shy and introverted, but there are distinct advantages to being this way. Perhaps like those more quiet individuals whom this book heralds, many of us would benefit if we lived according to the old adage about crossing the street: stop, look and listen.” —Jay Belsky, Robert M. and Natalie Reid Dorn Professor, Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis
“Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. Quiet is that book: it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world. It’s part page-turner, part cutting-edge science. The implications for business are especially valuable: Quiet offers tips on how introverts can lead effectively, give winning speeches, avoid burnout, and choose the right roles. This charming, gracefully written, thoroughly researched book is simply masterful.” —Adam M. Grant, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School
Check out our previous post to read the author’s personal message to her readers, introverts and extroverts alike: A Message for Empowering Introverts.
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