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Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590562338
ISBN-10: 159056233X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nick Cooney is the founder and director of The Humane League, an animal advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, PA that focuses on farm animal protection issues. Nick has written for publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Z Magazine, and his advocacy work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. Nick holds a degree in Non-Violence Studies from Hofstra University and formerly worked conducting nutrition education programs with the University of Pennsylvania's Urban Nutrition Initiative.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159056233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590562338
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Cooney is the author of How To Be Great At Doing Good: Why Results Are What Count and How Smart Charity Can Change The World; Change Of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change; and Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom.

He is Director of Education at Mercy For Animals, a national non-profit animal protection organization, and founder of The Humane League.

His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, and National Public Radio, and he has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe on how to carry out charity effectively.

To learn more and contact Nick, visit http://www.NickCooney.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kenny T. on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great book that should be necessary reading for anyone in the non-profit field, whatever your cause may be. Whether you're a volunteer, an executive director, or looking to start a group of your own, check this one out.

As advocates for social change we should understand why people believe the things they do, and why they do the things they do. Most of us that are trying to change people's behaviors and beliefs can get easily frustrated when we put in so much work and don't get the results we had hoped for -- this book will help you understand people better, and therefore be better at influencing people to adopt more kind and compassionate behaviors.

By using years of marketing and psychological studies, Cooney compiles it all together and applies it to activism. It's definitely a one of a kind book that is well-written and easy to understand (even if you don't know anything about psychology). While reading it I was constantly thinking, "How could I apply these ideas and discoveries to my advocacy work?" And that's what the book makes you do -- it helps you to think differently, critically and more effectively on creating social change.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ben_Davidow on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whatever your cause and whatever your profession, if you're someone who wishes to use psychology and influence as a force of good, you will deeply benefit from "Change of Heart." Cooney draws on classic and novel research in psychology to provide a window into why people believe the things they believe, do the the things they do, and how people can be led to do better. Cooney doesn't just spew off psychological research though, he relates his own experiences as an activist who acted on many misguided (albeit common) assumptions about human nature and learned to be more effective. From front to back the book is teeming with insights into how people think, act, and make choices. I recently read Nudge, a great book on psychology and behavioral economics from a public policy angle and I kept thinking 'there should really be a book like this but geared toward social change.' Thankfully, Nick Cooney wrote it! It's rare to find a book that is both fascinating on an intellectual level and actionable on a day-to-day practical level. This book is loads of both.

After reading "Change of Heart", you will be armed with powerful psychological insights in your efforts to help others and promote a better world.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alex B on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is the most practical application of psychology (largely social psychology) that I've seen, and it should be required reading for every amateur and professional activist. The author, in a very readable style, describes how people are and are not swayed to changed their behaviors, and how you can do the swaying. The book weaves some wry humor into what is very much a handbook-style work, and includes fascinating personal anecdotes from the author's experience in (mostly animal rights) activism.

Having been involved in activism myself for years, what struck me most while reading Change of Heart was how far from ideal and effective most real-world activism is. Most activists' efficiency -- that is, getting the most change for their resources and effort -- would be greatly increased by reading and applying the principles outlined here. So you, pamphleteer, and you, executive director, and you, grant-writer: this book is for you!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of the best books on activism that I have read. It succeeds at a very difficult task: providing the reader with TONS of scientific data and information while simultaneously remaining practical and easy to read. Cooney answers basic questions that all activists ask themselves, and backs up his answers with hard facts. Never boring and always useful, this is going to remain a permanent part of my library. I look forward to giving a copy to activists that I work with, as I know it will help them be more effective in what they do! If you are interested in changing the world, you should start by ordering this book RIGHT NOW!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lisa shapiro on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been a social justice advocate for over 25 years and always want to improve my outreach to be the most effective activist possible. This book showed me tangible ways to perfect my outreach activities and I know I will be a better person and activist because of it. Thanks to Mr. Cooney for doing all the research and work to teach us how to change the world for the better.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Shapiro on January 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a very insightful book and recommend it to those seeking to promote positive social change. Cooney lays out the argument that we can improve our advocacy efforts by studying research into what motivates people to change, and then gives us a tour through that research and shows how we can each be better advocates. Good for beginners and long-time social justice advocates alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Boris Yakubchik on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this book you'll learn excellent research-based strategies for making strong positive changes within society through effective activism.

I learned a lot of psychology over the years (2 years of Ph.D. work and dozens of serious psychology books) and Change of Heart still had much to teach me.

One brilliant insight is that when you're an activist, you ought to consider whether it might be more beneficial that you find a high-paying job and donate some fraction of your earnings, rather than spend extra time volunteering. This is because many organizations are starved for money, not volunteers. And for a simple example, imagine a lawyer helping in the soup-kitchen: rather than working one extra hour and donating $100 so the soup-kitchen can purchase 10+ hours of high-quality work, the lawyer only provides 1 hour of unskilled labor.

BUY THIS BOOK AND GO DO GOOD!
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