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Rethinking positive thinking : inside the new science of motivation /

Rethinking positive thinking : inside the new science of motivation /
Book
Oettingen, Gabriele,
Copies: 2; Reserves: 0

A psychology professor describes how positive thinking actually distracts people from success by leading to daydreams and fantasies instead of hard work, and offers the process of “mental contrasting” as a means to better motivate a person toward their goals. 25,000 first printing.
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153.8 Oettingen KL In at KL (Kathryn Linnemann) On Display: 'Gems In January'
153.8 Oettingen KL In at KL (Kathryn Linnemann)


 catalog record


Control No. 1107403
LCCN 2014022172
ISBN 9781591846871
ISBN 1591846870
Author Oettingen Gabriele
Title Rethinking positive thinking : -- inside the new science of motivation / -- Gabriele Oettingen.
Varying Title Inside the new science of motivation
Physical Description xv, 219 pages : -- illustrations ; -- 24 cm
Series Title Ask Alison recommended
Bibliography, Etc. Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note Author's note -- Preface -- Dreaming, not doing -- The upside of dreaming -- Fooling our minds -- The wise pursuit of our dreams -- Engaging our nonconscious minds -- The magic of WOOP -- WOOP your life -- Your friend for life -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Index.
Subject Optimism
Subject Motivation Psychology
Subject Wishes
Subject Goal Psychology




 annotations (4)


Annotation 1 A psychology professor describes how positive thinking actually distracts people from success by leading to daydreams and fantasies instead of hard work, and offers the process of “mental contrasting” as a means to better motivate a person toward their goals. 25,000 first printing.

Annotation 2 Describes how positive thinking based on daydreams and fantasies actually hinders people from achieving success and offers the author's "mental contrasting" as a better method for motivating a person toward reaching his or her goals.

Annotation 3 “The solution isn’t to do away with dreaming and positive thinking. Rather, it’s making the most of our fantasies by brushing them up against the very thing most of us are taught to ignore or diminish: the obstacles that stand in our way.”

So often in our day-to-day lives we’re inundated with advice to “think positively.” From pop music to political speeches to commercials, the general message is the same: look on the bright side, be optimistic in the face of adversity, and focus on your dreams. And whether we’re trying to motivate ourselves to lose weight, snag a promotion at work, or run a marathon, we’re told time and time again that focusing on fulfilling our wishes will make them come true.

Gabriele Oettingen draws on more than twenty years of research in the science of human motivation to reveal why the conventional wisdom falls short. The obstacles that we think prevent us from realizing our deepest wishes can actually lead to their fulfillment. Starry-eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and as it turns out, dreamers are not often doers.

While optimism can help us alleviate immediate suffering and persevere in challenging times, merely dreaming about the future actually makes people more frustrated and unhappy over the long term and less likely to achieve their goals. In fact, the pleasure we gain from positive fantasies allows us to fulfill our wishes virtually, sapping our energy to perform the hard work of meeting challenges and achieving goals in real life.

Based on her groundbreaking research and large-scale scientific studies, Oettingen introduces a new way to visualize the future, called mental contrasting. It combines focusing on our dreams with visualizing the obstacles that stand in our way. By experiencing our dreams in our minds and facing reality we can address our fears, make concrete plans, and gain energy to take action.

In Rethinking Positive Thinking, Oettingen applies mental contrasting to three key areas of personal change— becoming healthier, nurturing personal and professional relationships, and performing better at work. She introduces readers to the key phases of mental contrasting using a proven four-step process called WOOP—Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan—and offers advice and exercises on how to best apply this method to daily life. Through mental contrasting, people in Oettingen’s studies have become significantly more motivated to quit smoking, lose weight, get better grades, sustain fulfilling relationships, and negotiate more effectively in business situations.

Whether you are unhappy and struggling with serious problems or you just want to improve, discover, and explore new opportunities, this book will deepen your ideas about human motivation and help you boldly chart a new path ahead.

Annotation 4 “The solution isn’t to do away with dreaming and positive thinking. Rather, it’s making the most of our fantasies by brushing them up against the very thing most of us are taught to ignore or diminish: the obstacles that stand in our way.”

So often in our day-to-day lives we’re inundated with advice to “think positively.” From pop music to political speeches to commercials, the general message is the same: look on the bright side, be optimistic in the face of adversity, and focus on your dreams. And whether we’re trying to motivate ourselves to lose weight, snag a promotion at work, or run a marathon, we’re told time and time again that focusing on fulfilling our wishes will make them come true.

Gabriele Oettingen draws on more than twenty years of research in the science of human motivation to reveal why the conventional wisdom falls short. The obstacles that we think prevent us from realizing our deepest wishes can actually lead to their fulfillment. Starry-eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and as it turns out, dreamers are not often doers.

While optimism can help us alleviate immediate suffering and persevere in challenging times, merely dreaming about the future actually makes people more frustrated and unhappy over the long term and less likely to achieve their goals. In fact, the pleasure we gain from positive fantasies allows us to fulfill our wishes virtually, sapping our energy to perform the hard work of meeting challenges and achieving goals in real life.

Based on her groundbreaking research and large-scale scientific studies, Oettingen introduces a new way to visualize the future, calledmental contrasting. It combines focusing on our dreams with visualizing the obstacles that stand in our way. By experiencing our dreams in our minds and facing reality we can address our fears, make concrete plans, and gain energy to take action.

In Rethinking Positive Thinking, Oettingen applies mental contrasting to three key areas of personal change— becoming healthier, nurturing personal and professional relationships, and performing better at work. She introduces readers to the key phases of mental contrasting using a proven four-step process called WOOP—Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan—and offers advice and exercises on how to best apply this method to daily life. Through mental contrasting, people in Oettingen’s studies have become significantly more motivated to quit smoking, lose weight, get better grades, sustain fulfilling relationships, and negotiate more effectively in business situations.

Whether you are unhappy and struggling with serious problems or you just want to improve, discover, and explore new opportunities, this book will deepen your ideas about human motivation and help you boldly chart a new path ahead.

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 reviews (1)


LJ Reviews 2014 November #1

Oettingen (psychology, New York Univ.) reports on her past decade of research regarding human motivation. The author first documents how she measured declines in energy and motivation in groups that engaged in fantasies of wish fulfillment. She consistently found that those who apply the positive-thinking techniques put forth in popular works such as Rhonda Byrne's The Secret experience physiological reactions which create lack of motivation. According to Oettingen, systolic blood pressure is lowered by the act of dreaming or fantasizing about success, creating lethargy, while simultaneously elevating mood. These studies dovetail with many other motivational studies reporting levels of optimism and overestimation of ability. The author, having established that it makes people just as happy to wish as to do, then suggests the application of visualization techniques structured to address more concrete mastery and autonomy issues covered in motivation titles such as Daniel H. Pink's Drive. Her procedure, WOOP (Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan)—trademarked, with an app supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—adds a recognizable layer of cognitive behavioral technique to positive thinking exercises. VERDICT Approachably written for general readers, the work also includes detailed activity instructions.—Kellie Benson, Oakton Community Coll. Libs., Des Plaines, IL

[Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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 author biography


Gabriele Oettingen is a professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg and the author of more than a hundred articles and book chapters on the effects of future thought on cognition, emotion, and behavior. She lives in New York City and in Hamburg, Germany.

Gabriele Oettingen is a professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg and the author of more than a hundred articles and book chapters on the effects of future thought on cognition, emotion, and behavior. She lives in New York City and in Hamburg, Germany.



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