In today’s episode, I spoke with Prof. Sam Gosling, a personality researcher from UT Austin. To start with - we should first ask ourselves - what is personality? There are endless theories and frameworks that try to describe, explain, and predict a person’s characteristic nature - as well as many different approaches to studying and measuring an individual’s personality.
In this episode, Sam gave us his take on what personality actually means and explained the different levels of analysis that we should pay attention to when venturing into this field. Throughout his career, Sam has studied how our personalities are reflected in the physical spaces that we inhabit. What do our rooms, offices, and homes say about who we are? How can we learn more about someone’s personality, just by observing their room or office for instance? We spoke about all of the different clues we should look for when observing someone’s space - as well as which personality traits are the most easily detectable.
Sam’s fascination with physical spaces doesn’t stop there however. Recently, he’s focused on the question of how can architecture after our psychology? How can the layout and design of a physical space influence our moods, cognitions, and behavior? What kinds of rooms promote inspiration and creativity on the one hand, or rest and rejuvenation on the other. Our physical environments can have a profound impact on our psychological states, but to this day, little research has focused on systematically asking and answering these questions. We explored how architects can use psychology research to design spaces that take these psychological effects into account - and how, hopefully, one day, this could mean an evolution in the entire field of architecture itself. So if you’d like to know how our personalities shape the spaces we inhabit, as well as how these same spaces can affect us - stay tuned for today’s episode.