Out of Character book. Read 49 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Have you ever wondered why a trumpeter of family values would sudd. download Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and About the Liar, Cheat and millions of other books are available for site site. Editorial Reviews. Review. "A fascinating yet highly readable perspective on the psychology of Highlight, take notes, and search in the book; In this edition, page numbers are just like the physical edition; Length: pages; Word Wise.
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Out of Character: The Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) This smart and lively book uses cutting-edge research in psychological. Kirkus Book Reviews OUT OF CHARACTER by David DeSteno in which an out-of-control trolley was about to run over five people. In Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and As we discuss in our book, everyone's moral behavior is much more.
We rarely view one good act as proof someone had good character all along, yet most of us are ready and willing to do the reverse. Those marked as "bad" can do something nice now and again and our opinion of them doesn't change, but all it takes for a person of seeming high virtue is one slip for us to claim that his or her character is inherently flawed.
This double standard may not be fair, but it's also not particularly surprising. As work by the psychologist Paul Rozin has shown, humans possess a fundamental tendency to accentuate the negative. Drop a fly into a bowl of delicious soup and the soup suddenly becomes inedible. Yet placing a drop of delicious soup in a bowl of dead flies hardly makes for a tasty treat. This may be an extreme example, but the point is that, rational or not, for the mind any sign of contamination — physical or moral — is hard to ignore.
History has borne this tendency out over and over. In one particularly egregious example, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was accepted in many southern states that a single drop of "black blood" in one's ancestry rendered one legally black, therefore tainting and making one ineligible for all the civil rights that applied at the time, whereas the reverse didn't apply.
In short, the things we deem "bad" consistently seem to hold more weight than those we deem "good. This very fact provides a bit of a problem for the commonly held view of character as a stable phenomenon.
Think of it this way: But in reality, which one we choose seems to depend on whether the person in question was a "saint" or "sinner" to begin with. An even bigger problem for the fixed view of character is that acting "out of character" isn't a freak occurrence or something restricted to the famous few. As we'll see throughout this book, it's actually much more commonplace than most people think.
There lurks in every one of us the potential to lie, cheat, steal, and sin, no matter how good a person we believe ourselves to be. Combine these two problems, and the view of character as a stable fixture begins to crumble. This is not to say that character doesn't exist or that our behavior is completely unpredictable. A random system like that wouldn't make any sense either. If the mind worked that way, our social world would be chaos — our actions at any moment in time would be reduced to a simple roll of the dice.
No, character exists. It just doesn't work the way most people think. Your download helps support NPR programming.
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NPR Shop. In Out of Character , David DeSteno argues for the growing body of evidence that shows how everyone — even the most respected among us — has the capacity to act out of character. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email.
The way to read Levy is in bulk. Her two most recent novels and two memoirs are of a piece. To get the full effect of her elliptical genius, you need to pick them off all at once, the way you would a pint of blueberries or back issues of The Sewanee Review. Image Deborah LevyCreditSheila Burnett You should read them together because Levy permits a number of resonant themes and images, melodies and countermelodies, to course through all four of these books.
These images overlap as if in waking dreams. There is a longing for sun and southern climates. There are sick mothers and absent fathers. Get Known if you don't have an account.
Don't make me get my Father. The Brave and the Bold. Anime and Manga. Love Hina: In one episode, Keitaro becomes so engrossed with studying for his next Tokyo University entrance attempt that he doesn't have a single Accidental Pervert moment with the Hinata girls, who are so unnerved by the change that they actively try to get him to notice them. Knock that witch's block off! Wait, big brother, why are you acting so out of character? Comic Books. A mention in a Carl Barks comic of Scrooge having driven an entire village of African natives off their land to plant a rubber plantation represented a massive stumbling block for Don Rosa , as it contrasts with Scrooge's honor code of making money fair and "Square".
Nevermind the fact that Barks himself acknowledged that exploitation exists in the natural order. This ends up happening to Rotor Walrus in an ill-fated attempt at Characterization Marches On in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics; to explain why Rotor chose retirement on the Council of Acorn over being a full-fledged Freedom Fighter, it's revealed in issue that, during a missing year in the comics when Sonic was lost in space and presumed dead, Rotor attempted to take his place out of boredom and a sense of wanting to be useful, and wound up nearly killing his friends in the process.
Please note that this is a Hollywood Geek who is claimed by the same writer who did this story to have taught Tails everything he knew about mechanics, and is famous for preferring being Mission Control over being a hero. There's also issue where Sally slaps Sonic across the face after the latter chose to fight Eggman while injured over settling down with her. Of course, this issue was written by Karl Bollers, a writer who seemed to have had a strong animosity towards Sally to a point where he decided to purposely write her as being bitchy and bratty just to write her out of the story for good.
Blossom freaks out when she loses her hairbow early in the story, so Buttercup yanks her chain by stealing it the next day. Mojo Jojo thinks the bow possesses some untapped power when he sees how vulnerable Blossom is without it, so he steals it. Of all people to put her foot down and set things right again, it's Bubbles.
He realizes that the cloned army is imperfect and easily destroyable. This in turn gives way to the realization that the clones were merely a distraction while Darkseid's agents nabbed Kara. Lampshaded when The Spectre calls Superman out on his unusually brash behavior in the previous few issues.
In H'el on Earth , after Superman and H'el are caught in an explosion, Superman comes out of the inferno looking absolutely pissed at Supergirl , who he was previously nice to. He grabs her by the throat , blaming her for everything bad happening and calls her a stupid peroxide brat. He then strangles her unconscious and hangs her by the cape on a lamp post.
Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us
Why is Superman so angry? Because it wasn't him. It was really H'el disguised as Superman attempting to estrange the two so she would ally with H'el. The Silver Age employed "justified" examples all the time — the heroes would begin acting like jerks, which would be explained away later.
The Joker gets one in Batman: No Man's Land when Gordon's second wife allows herself to be killed by the clown it wipes the smile from his face. It's lampshaded by Cyclops later. Turns out it was all a ruse because aliens were spying on them. Besides the randomness of the conversation, Kitty's outburst was the biggest suggestion to readers that something was off. My Little Pony: What really makes this such an out of character moment is that all of her friends believed without a shred of doubt that she would use her magic and even planned on it , and spend the entire story acting genuinely surprised and confused that the Element of Magic and the Princess of Friendship won't use her magic to help her friends or the innocent townsfolk who are being terrorized.
In previous issues she's had no trouble using magic on others, absolutely no reason is given why she acted that way. Watchmen has this happen to Rorschach at one point. Rorschach is generally no-nonsense, uncompromising, borderline-sociopathic man who lives only to inflict pain on those he considers evil, but when Daniel snaps at him in frustration in a private moment, he actually apologizes and shows a modicum of humanity.
No, listen, I am through with that! God, who do you think you are, Rorschach? You live off people while insulting them and nobody complains because they think you're a goddamn lunatic! I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that,. I know I'm not Many a Peggy Sue Fan Fic has time-displaced characters trying to avoid this trope, or playing it straight to their advantage. Italy is normally bright , cheerful , and energetic.
When he isn't Time and Again: It's a year-old Naruto back in his year-old body. Shinji and Asuka, after surviving on their own for several years in a Post-Third Impact world, overcoming their own psychoses and insecurities and becoming better humans, they are suddenly swept back in time and age to before the arrival of the 12th angel.
One of the things they struggle with is trying to act like their old selves so as to not arouse suspicion.
However, neither one is particularly good at acting, and most of their friends note that they are acting odd Asuka is bad at hiding her emotions, while Shinji often forgets to stay in character. The only reason they manage to keep the facade up is because no one would suspect that they were actually a couple, much less the other absurdities of their story. Misato eventually figures out their secret because of this trope. Specifically, she finds an "anonymous" warning letter meant to warn her about the 13th angel in her belongings That Shinji had written by hand ; she recognizes his handwriting, and a quick peek at his schoolwork confirms that he wrote it.
She then remembers his and Asuka's odd behavior, and realizes that Asuka may know something about the letter. When she confronts Asuka, who is extremely distraught at the time for Very good reasons , Asuka breaks down and lets the facade drop. In Once More with Feeling several characters have noted that Shinji's current personality does not match up with previous reports on him. Also, Ritsuko became suspicious of Shinji after she noticed the supposedly "Berserk" EVA 01 use a prog knife the same way she had seen Asuka do in a video report even though Shinji and Asuka had yet to meet.
The Child of Love: Doing It Right This Time: Shortly before Sachiel shows up, Asuka volunteers to fly out to Tokyo — separating her from her beloved Evangelion for an indefinite period, in order to help train the other two pilots.
And that's nothing compared to what happened with Rei Misato catches on pretty quickly that something's up. Turns out all three of the Children are Peggy Sues.
In Harry Potter and the Invincible TechnoMage , Harry says Tony Stark Iron Man told him it's good not to make the other guy hate oneself, because it's bad business, and thus makes nice with Snape early-on. After Harry overrides the limits on his armor to defeat the troll, and is harmed by it, Tony comes in, blames Dumbledore for it, and when Dumbledore tries Legilimency on him, as a first resort, because he can't believe the arrogant Muggle is talking to him that way.
Tony's response is to shrug off the mind control, and threaten to tear Hogwarts down if Dumbledore tries that on Harry. That said, you can hardly blame him for losing his temper after Harry came extremely close to getting killed. In White Devil of the Moon , Nanoha has a moment like this when she tears into her past self Princess Serenity's mother over being irresponsible in raising her daughter and coldly dismisses her, more for her harsh tone than her points which are a Deconstruction of Serenity and Endymion's romance.
Tbough there is room to argue that the stress of being regarded as royalty and having memories of a past self come back only to find her past self is no person to be proud of caused Nanoha to temporarily snap.
Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: The author promises not to do it again in the beginning of the final part of said story. Lampshaded in another opportunity when Calvin breaks character "for the briefest of moments" to hug his father. A Fan comic simply titled " The Adventures of Gyro " has Gyro Gearloose a lovable, kind inventor kidnapping children, burning down Scrooge McDuck's Money Bin and trying to kill several characters all while acting completely mean spirited, psychotic and eerily hollow.
His behavior is however so uncharacteristic, over the top twisted and nonsensical that it's actually makes the whole thing hilarious , especially for people who know the character well. In A New Chance at Life , after Lance finds out that Ash has captured a Latios , he is overcome by jealousy at the "injustice" that he had searched for a legendary Dragon-type Pokemon for years without success, and that Ash, a relative unknown, just happens to have caught one.
For this reason, he actually tries to steal Latios from Ash. The fic proceeds to hang a lampshade on this trope. Turnabout Storm plays this for laughs when the absolute Genki Girl Pinkie Pie goes completely silent after hearing Phoenix's awful attempts at joking. It takes her seeing his Equestrian attorney badge to get her back of track.
In The Prayer Warriors , Mary talks with her husband Jerry and tells her that she doesn't think she can keep their baby. Jerry starts to lecture her on how evil abortion is , prompting the normally docile and passive Mary to angrily yell at Jerry and tell him not to make assumptions.
In the "Cynical Classicist" fanfic series featuring the 11th Doctor, he acts unusually unpleasant to his companion Norine in several stories and in The Conquest of Thasos considers killing the wounded Mardonius, even though that will greatly alter history. Justified, it turns out in "The Mind of the Doctor" that the War-Feeder has been hiding inside the Doctor's mind and taking him over.
Azumanga Und Panzer: Miho comes off as significantly more headstrong than in canon. There are moments here and there, but the standout is when she boasts that she's still a Nishizumi and shouldn't be underestimated, something that's highly uncharacteristic of someone who tends to be self-deprecating.
This is not only not characteristic of Nonna , but the circumstances aren't extreme enough to provoke a Not So Stoic reaction. In Boys und Sensha-do! While Miho's inability to ask to go with anyone is arguably plausible, her friends not even inviting her Miho first met Saori and Hana when they, seeing her by herself, invited her to lunch is uncharacteristic of them to various degrees, most of all with Yukari, who's Miho's number one fan.
Momo never complains about being called "Momo-chan," even when the person in question is Miho. Not only is it far less formal than is standard for the fairly polite Miho who uses "-san" even on her friends , but Momo, who's a year older than Miho and part of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council , is well within her rights to demand to be called " Kawashima -senpai" or by her title.
How Even The Best Of Us Can Act 'Out Of Character'
Escape From the Moon: Yukari intends it as a compliment, even if Lucius doesn't take it as one , but considering that Miho left Black Forest Peak on bad terms after saving the tank which is the main reason why Yukari admires her , and has searched for her own way of doing tankery for a long time, Yukari's deep respect for those organizations flies in the face of her personal respect for Miho.
Films — Animated. A Goofy Movie has a scene where PJ, who is ordinarily shy except when alone with Max , pessimistic or at the very least skeptical, overly honest, very self-effacing, and a passive recipient of any and all friendly burdens in his friendship with Max acts weird in six different ways. In succession, he burdens Max by jumping on his shoulders and PJ's pretty heavy too ; lies, takes credit from someone else, and behaves optimistically at the same time by saying "See?
I told you our plan would work! And the location where all of this happened, with PJ being in very good spirits the whole time? The last time we saw him was in the principal's office where he looked like he was about to die of fright, because his father was going to punish him harshly, which he had no chance to get over with. PJ's emotions are typically significantly more predictable than that.
Hulk Vs. Wolverine has Deadpool asking Omega Red if he'd like to kill some babies. That is the one line Deadpool would never cross.
Tom and Jerry: The Movie: Tom and Jerry talking, singing, dancing about "how they want to be friends. The Movie , the Decepticons, while flying back to Cybertron on Astrotrain, decide to jettison some of their warriors that are near death, in order for Astrotrain to travel faster.
One of said warriors is their leader, Megatron. Now, it's perfectly in-character for Starscream to jump at the chance to off Megatron and assume leadership, but while this is going on, Soundwave , Megatron's faithful lieutenant, just stands by and watches.
Note that, earlier on, Soundwave stopped to help an injured Megatron up from the battlefield, when the others had left him for dead.
This happens for the sake of the plot: Megatron would have to be tossed out, so that he can encounter Unicron, thus enabling him to be reformatted into Galvatron. Allegedly the Decepticons' battle for leadership would have been more developed in the original screenplay.
Soundwave would have had his Out-of-Character Moment explained, planning solely on using his role as leader to order Astrotrain to go back for Megatron.
Films — Live-Action. In She's the Man , Amanda Bynes' character spends a good portion of time being shy about her body possibly due to the fact that she's in an all boy's school and she's not a guy but she still appears to be body shy. Then at the end of the movie she decides to flash an entire stadium of onlookers to prove that she is a girl so that her love interest will possibly like her.
In The Year-Old Virgin , Andy is confronted by his friend Jay's girlfriend over some speed dating card of Jay's with rude comments on them. Andy takes the blame to cover for Jay but then responds with an obscenity filled rant that is wildly out of character for the normally mild mannered Andy.
In-universe it may have been intended to sell the story and make it more believable. And later in the movie he verbally lashes out at his friends for hiring a cross-dressing prostitute to have sex with him. While well motivated, it's so rare for him to be so incredibly aggressive and assertive that two women looking at the scene through sound proof glass noted how hot and in control he was.
Miyagi's taunts after he fights off Reese and Silver. In the Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence movie, Life you may have noticed that in the "nigger pie" scene, their two characters personalities suddenly switched, from Eddie Murphy's somewhat hot-headed character suddenly just wanting to leave the diner to avoid any further conflict with the rednecks and Martin Lawrence's normally coolheaded, and at time borderline cowardly character becoming very angry at the owners denying them service.
This is because that's exactly what happened. They did switch the characters' dialog from what was more in-character because, for some reason, it just wasn't flowing correctly that way.
Now Charlie in the book never broke the rules nor gave in to temptation and this event doesn't happen; he does redeem this action later in the film by apologizing to Willy Wonka and returning the Everlasting Gobstopper Optimus Prime is his normal noble, upstanding self in the Transformers Film Series The biggest offender was the end of the third film, after Megatron had shown up and actually helped in the final battle, Optimus runs up and tears him in two, for almost no reason considering Megatron did a lot of nothing through the entire movie.
Also when the Autobots are hiding from Sam's parents, Optimus Prime would have been more careful not to break anything. His line "Sorry, my bad", after he steps on a fountain, has caused a particularly furious fan backlash because it went against his usual serious, dramatic speech pattern.
Despite Optimus being the leader of the good guys, he is still a veteran of a civil war that destroyed his home planet.
By the the fourth movie , Optimus' change of character is openly acknowledged, and he's presented as a more violent and pessimistic hero who's lost faith in human goodness. Although his previous dark moments still feel "off" within the contexts of the individual films, this at least makes it looks like there's a gradual progression to his personality-shift. Prometheus practically defines this trope — although most of the characters have barely defined personalities as it is, they often act in random and contradictory fashion just to move the plot along.
David the android is the worst example, although the Captain, Charlie, Vickers, and Fifield and Millburn, etc. David hinders and helps the crew with no real understandable motivation to his actions, although even the friendly captain acts in ways that seem like he is deliberately attempting to kill his own crew. Done for drama in The Truman Show. Truman's best friend Marlon is portrayed as an average guy who stocks vending machines for a living and brings beers for parties. And yet in one scene, he suddenly begins to wax philosophical and highly educated stuff in his speech about how if everybody's in on it, he would be too due to the director Christof feeding him lines.
While it's highly emotional and artistic, to both Truman and the audience, it sounds all wrong for the character to say such things. It only highlights how poorly-written and contrived the idea of bringing Truman's father back into the show was.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Search for Spock , a well-placed torpedo cripples the Enterprise , leaving its Klingon attackers utterly confused as to why it hadn't wiped them off of the stars.
Don Quixote: In the first part, it's very clear that Sancho Panza is a naive simpleton. In the second part, Sancho suddenly says very subtle, intelligent things to his wife. One of the narrators of this tale, seeing this inconsistency, decides to warn the reader: The translator of this history, when he comes to write this fifth chapter, says that he considers it apocryphal, because in it Sancho Panza speaks in a style unlike that which might have been expected from his limited intelligence, and says things so subtle that he does not think it possible he could have conceived them; however, desirous of doing what his task imposed upon him, he was unwilling to leave it untranslated, and therefore he went on to say: This could be considered the beginning of Sancho's slow transformation into a discreet person.
Star Wars Legends: Fate of the Jedi: After spending four books trying to convince his father that his Dark Action Girl Sith girlfriend is trustworthy, what does he do? He breaks into her room, grabs her and pins her to her bed. Then, he reads her diary while she begs him not to.Ned himself recognizes the severity of the outburst, and immediately drives himself to a mental institution.
Display Show Spoilers. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. This double standard may not be fair, but it's also not particularly surprising. Right leave his beloved at the altar, why hypocrisy seems to be rampa Have you ever wondered why a trumpeter of family values would suddenly turn around and cheat on his wife?
Jul 27, Deb rated it it was amazing. All of those things are short comings, of what could later become a much more refined picture.
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