Redirect: Changing the Stories We Live By

Redirect: Changing the Stories We Live By

Timothy D. Wilson

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 031605190X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. REDIRECT is a masterpiece." -Malcolm Gladwell

What if there were a magic pill that could make you happier, turn you into a better parent, solve a number of your teenager's behavior problems, reduce racial prejudice, and close the achievement gap in education? There is no such pill, but story editing - the scientifically based approach described in REDIRECT - can accomplish all of this.

The world-renowned psychologist Timothy Wilson shows us how to redirect the stories we tell about ourselves and the world around us, with subtle prompts, in ways that lead to lasting change. Fascinating, groundbreaking, and practical, REDIRECT demonstrates the remarkable power small changes can have on the ways we see ourselves and our environment, and how we can use this in our everyday lives.

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deepest thoughts and emotions about the experience and how it relates to the rest of his life. That’s it—no meetings with trained facilitators, no stress management advice—just a writing exercise that Felice does on his own four nights in a row. Which approach do you think would be more effective—CISD, in which people express their thoughts and feelings right after a traumatic event with the help of a trained facilitator, or the writing technique, which people do in private weeks after the

in order to be happy (sounds like another Saturday Night Live skit in the making). Nor would I argue that we should focus only on our personal viewpoints at the expense of changing our behavior. If I were to give one piece of advice for how to be happier, it would be to carve out more time to spend with friends and loved ones, because, as we’ve seen, the best predictor of happiness is the quality of our social relationships. But happiness is partly in our heads—some ways of viewing the world

the first place, which, as we saw, can have paradoxical effects. These participants get the message, “Hmm, maybe I am tempted by a life of crime if these convicts are going to such extreme measures to talk me out of it.” That is, just as with the college students in our cheating study, strong external threats at one point in time can increase interest in the forbidden activity at a later point in time. In this manner, scared-straight programs redirect teens’ narratives down the wrong path, making

been in the treatment program were more likely to have died at a young age, more likely to have committed repeated crimes, more likely to show signs of alcoholism, and more likely to have had serious mental illnesses than were the men in the control condition. Moreover, the longer the boys in the treatment group had participated in the program, the more likely they were to have negative life outcomes.7 What happened? One possibility is intimately related to the story-editing approach. In chapter

story-editing interventions have been developed that are simple, cheap, and effective. And plans are under way to scale them up so that they are available nationwide. I’ll start with some laments about the poorly tested programs and end with applause for the recent successes. Can you guess which war is the longest in U.S. history? If you said the war in Afghanistan, you are correct. American troops entered Afghanistan soon after the terrorist attacks in September 2001. As I write more than a

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