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Willpower Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

ISBN-10: 0143122231
ISBN-13: 9780143122234
Edition: 2012
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Description: In Willpower, pioneering research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister collaborates with New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control. Drawing on cutting-edge research and the  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/28/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

In Willpower, pioneering research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister collaborates with New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control. Drawing on cutting-edge research and the wisdom of real-life experts, Willpower shares lessons for how to focus our strength and redirect our lives.In what became one of the most cited papers in social science literature, Baumeister discovered that willpower in fact has a physical basis and operates like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse. Willpower is fueled by glucose, and it can be bolstered simply by replenishing the brain’s store of fuel. That’s why eating and sleeping—and especially failing to do either of those—have such dramatic effects on self-control (and why dieters have such a hard time resisting temptation).Yet while there are natural limits to our self-control, these boundaries can be manipulated. We can build our willpower endurance, and Willpower draws lessons from the lab as well as the lives of entrepreneurs, parents, entertainers, and artists  —including David Blaine, Amanda Palmer, Drew Carey, Eric Clapton, Mary Karr, and Oprah Winfrey. Willpower explains how to set realistic goals (there really is a science to the to-list list), how to monitor your progress (so that you can reward yourself often), and how to keep faith even when you falter. Once you establish the right habits, and find the techniques that work for you, willpower gets easier: you’ll need less conscious mental energy to avoid temptation. That’s neither magic nor empty self-help sloganeering, but rather a solid path to a better life.In today’s digital world, where temptation is never more than a click away, it can feel as if self-control is under constant siege.  But, as Willpower shows, we also have more knowledge and better tools for taking control of our lives. We can outsource the task to new technologies and social networks that will monitor our money, our weight, and just about anything else that concerns us. By blending practical wisdom with the best of research science, Willpower makes clear  that whatever we seek—a close-knit family, a satisfying career, financial security, good health, the freedom to pursue our passions — we won’t reach our goals without first learning to harness self-control.

Roy F. Baumeister is the Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology and head of the social psychology graduate program at Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton in 1978 and did a postdoctoral fellowship in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. Baumeister has worked at Case Western Reserve University, as well as the University of Texas, University of Virginia, Max-Planck-Institute, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Baumeister's has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the Templeton Foundation. His research spans the areas of self and identity, self-regulation, interpersonal rejection and the need to belong, sexuality and gender, aggression, self-esteem, meaning, and self-presentation. He is the author of nearly 400 publications. His books include Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty , The Cultural Animal , Meanings of Life and Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.

John Tierney is a journalist and author. He writes a science column, Findings, and the TierneyLab blog for the New York Times. In collaboration with novelist Christopher Buckley, Tierney co-wrote the comic novel, God Is My Broker. He also wrote The Best-Case Scenario Handbook, a parody of the popular Worst-Case Scenario Handbook series. Tierney also co-wrote the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength with psychologist Roy F. Baumeister.

Introduction
Is Willpower More than a Metaphor?
Where Does the Power in Willpower Come From?
A Brief History of the To-Do List, From God to Drew Carey
Decision Fatigue
Where Have All the Dollars Gone? The Quantified Self Knows
Can Willpower be Strengthened? (Preferably Without Feeling David Blaine's Pain)
Outsmarting Yourself in the Heart of Darkness
Did a Higher Power Help Eric Clapton and Mary Karr Stop Drinking?
Raising Strong Children: Self-Esteem Versus Self-Control
The Perfect Storm of Dieting
Conclusion: The Future of Willpower-More Gain, Less Strain (As Long as You Don't Procrastinate)
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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