Sep. 8, 2011

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

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? Well, there is no such magic pill-but there is a new scientifically based approach called story editing that can accomplish all of this. It works by redirecting the stories we tell about ourselves and the world around us, with subtle prompts, in ways that lead to lasting change. In Redirect, world-renowned psychologist Timothy Wilson shows how story-editing works and how you can use it in your everyday life.

The other surprising news is that many existing approaches-from the multi-billion dollar self-help industry to programs that discourage drug use and drinking-don’t work at all. In fact, some even have the opposite effect. Most programs are not adequately tested, many do not work, and some even do harm. For example, there are programs that have inadvertently made people unhappy, raised the crime rate, increased teen pregnancy, and even hastened people’s deaths-in part by failing to redirect people’s stories in healthy ways.

In short, Wilson shows us what works, what doesn’t, and why. Fascinating, groundbreaking, and practical, Redirect demonstrates the remarkable power small changes can have on the ways we see ourselves and the world around us, and how we can use this in our everyday lives. In the words of David G. Myers, “With wit and wisdom, Wilson shows us how to spare ourselves worthless (or worse) interventions, think smarter, and live well.”