The Atlantic selects Out of Character as one of the best psychology books of 2011.
Out of Character hits the Psychology Bestseller list (May 2011).
"Who would have ever thought that a pair of social psychologists would have so much to say about good and evil? David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdesolo are brilliant experimentalists and deep thinkers, and Out of Character hits the sweet-spot -- it's scientifically rigorous, smoothly written, and achingly relevant to everyday life. It shows how laboratory research is undermining the very notion of a fixed moral character, and explores a new approach to hypocrisy, pride, prejudice, jealousy, and love.”
-Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University and author of How Pleasure Works
"My bad -- and your bad too. This smart and lively book uses cutting-edge research in psychological science to reveal the hero and the villain that live inside each of us.”
-Dan Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness
“It is not unusual to think of someone as either a moral or immoral person, of good character or not. David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdesolo make the intriguing argument instead that the world is not filled with saints and sinners, but rather there is good and bad in all of us. Marshaling data from some of the most clever and counterintuitive experiments in social psychology and interpreting these findings in new ways, DeSteno and Valdesolo surprise us on nearly every page. Out of Character should be read by anyone interested in human behavior; it challenges simple but engrained ideas about virtue and evil in a lively, entertaining, and insightful way.”
-Peter Salovey, Provost and Professor of Psychology, Yale University, Co-Creator of the Theory of Emotional Intelligence and Co-Author of The Emotionally Intelligent Manager
“While we think of character as fairly formed by adolescence, DeSteno and Valdesolo show that it is anything but. Rather, they say, character is somewhat fluid, sometimes seeking short-term self-interest, sometimes long-term self-interest, and changing according to emotions and circumstance. . . . Clearly and succinctly, and marshaling varied and colorful evidence, the authors demonstrate that most of us can be either 'saints' or 'sinners,' but usually operate on a continuum between these extremes.”
“A well-reasoned argument for a more nuanced view of character and a solid addition to the ever-growing behavioral economics shelf”