Dr. Brian Little


Distinguished Scholar at University of Cambridge in Psychology, author of “Me, Myself and Us”

Dr. Brian Little is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. His pioneering research on how everyday personal projects and ‘free traits’ influence the course of our lives has become an important way of explaining and enhancing human flourishing.

Brian received his early education in British Columbia and his PhD in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. Currently dividing his time between Canada and the UK, Dr. Little teaches at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Psychology and Judge Business School, and is a fellow of the Well-Being Institute. In 2015, he was also a Senior Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Previously, Professor Little has taught at Oxford, Harvard and McGill Universities. His course on personality in Harvard’s Department of Psychology was immensely popular: the graduating classes of Harvard elected him as a ‘Favorite Professor’ for three consecutive years.

In his presentations, Dr. Little helps organizations and professionals understand the profound effect that personality has on performance, and how to use this knowledge to their advantage.

Brian’s unique approach to the science of personality is the focus of his book, Me, Myself and Us which was published in October 2014 by Public Affairs Books in the USA and HarperCollins in Canada and is being translated into multiple languages.


 Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being

Recent Articles

 Cambridge University psychologist Dr Brian Little on personality, happiness, and why being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy
 Radio Recap: Personality Researcher Dr. Brian Little
 The Upside Of Being An Introvert (And Why Extroverts Are Overrated)

Research and Articles

Recent Interviews


TED: Who are you, really? The puzzle of personality
TEDxOxbridge: Confessions of a Passionate Introvert

YOW! 2016 Melbourne

Personalities at Work


Why did the normally shy and reticent member of my team do what he did last Thursday? Why did my short-tempered, brutish CEO rise to that occasion with such warmth and largesse? For the last ten months, people have been asking me if I am myself. Who else could I possibly be? Such questions are intriguing and consequential for understanding ourselves and our organizations.

This presentation provides guidance for answering them based on Dr. Little’s work on free traits, personal projects and wellbeing. A central tenet of this perspective is that people often act out of character in order to advance their personal projects. Such behaviour may puzzle us, and we wonder what is going on. What is going on is both complex and deeply human. Audiences come away with some very practical examples of how they drive each other to distraction and with a clearer understanding of why it is essential to their organizations that they continue to do so.

The presentation merges psychological insights with an exceptionally motivating message about respect for differences between individuals. Dr. Little’s presentations have been described by highly diverse groups as ‘utterly hilarious’ and ‘profoundly moving,’ suggesting he is a ‘cross between Robin Williams and Einstein.’