The Secrets in Your Stuff

"She's sort of disorganized in many ways. She has broad interests. I would say that she is OK with some level of glamour going on here," he said. "And I think that social relationships are important to her. She's not a loner."

The office was decorated with Christmas tree lights, which Gosling said could be an attempt to brighten up a constrained space with no windows.

"People who decorate places and people who try to create a stimulating place tend to be more extroverted," he said.

Pictures of Napier's dogs indicate that "she's not completely cutting off her personal life from her workplace. Some people don't have any evidence of [their personal life], they really keep those things very strict, so she more integrates her work and her home self."

Gosling evaluated Napier as "someone who's sort of careless, like scatterbrained."

Napier agrees that she's disorganized.

"Yes, I am, I know I am," she said. "I tend not to throw things away much."

And she agreed that she cares about her social relationships, hence the empty wine bottle.

"I have two other officemates, and we'll have a glass of wine before we go out, or something like that," she said.

And as for Napier's political leanings, Gosling said that people who are "broadminded and messy" are usually liberal voters, and he's right when it comes to Napier.

Snooping can be useful in the office, Gosling said.

"If I really wanted to know who I should promote or who I shouldn't promote, or who would be best suited for a certain job, I should be making that decision on the basis of what people are really like, not how they appear or how they say they are," he said. "And to the extent that the snooping helps me get a more accurate impression, it's justified."

So should bosses be walking around looking at their employees' work spaces?

"I think if they want to know both what people are like, but also how people want to be seen," he said. "Even if people want to be seen how they actually aren't, it's still useful to know that that's what they want."

We thought Gosling might be a little too at home at the psychology office at NYU, so we decided to test his snooping skills at the home of ABC News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi.

It wasn't hard for him to discover that she is very organized.

"This is great. Unbelievable," he said. "Glasses all lined up. Amazing. Tape measures right next to each other in the tape measure spot. Office supplies labeled."

"This is almost an open-and-shut case, I mean, you don't really need to look for more stuff. Everything is in its place, it's just marvelous," he said. "Things are not left to chance here. This couldn't be further from Jamie's response.

"You are clearly a very effective person, you get things done, things are put away," he said.

Gosling said snooping can be more accurate than talking to someone, in many cases. The strongest cues come when a space is distinctive, and Gosling said the same rules apply to work spaces and living spaces.

"If you can think of objects, regardless of where they are, be it offices, bedrooms, refrigerators, medicine cabinet, you can apply those principles regardless of where you go," he said. "Of course the specific objects vary across these domains, but you can think about these in the same system."

If he had only15 minutes to snoop in a home, Gosling would start in the living room (the public space) and then move to the private spaces, like a bedroom or office.

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