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A 'Greatest' Generation: Linking Personality, Eras

How much does the era you grow up in affect your personality? Psychologist Jean Twenge, a researcher at San Diego State University, believes that a key factor in determining primary character traits is the generation that people are born in -- and there may be credence to the notion of "The Greatest Generation."

Her book's title encapsulates her argument: Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled -- and More Miserable than Ever Before.

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Alix Spiegel has worked on NPR's Science Desk for 10 years covering psychology and human behavior, and has reported on everything from what it's like to kill another person, to the psychology behind our use of function words like "and", "I", and "so." She began her career in 1995 as one of the founding producers of the public radio program This American Life. While there, Spiegel produced her first psychology story, which ultimately led to her focus on human behavior. It was a piece called 81 Words, and it examined the history behind the removal of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
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