From Publishers Weekly
The mindless following of routine and other automatic behaviors lead to much error, pain and a predetermined course of life, contends Langer, Harvard professor of psychology, in this thought-provoking study in which she "translates" for lay readers the findings of her research, much of it among the elderly. With anecdotes and metaphors, she explains how the mindless--as opposed to the mindful--develop mindsets of categories, associations, habits of thought born of repetition in childhood and throughout schooling. To be mindful, she notes, stressing process over outcome, allows free rein to intuition and creativity, and opens us to new information and perspectives. Langer discusses the negative impact of mindsets on business and social relations, showing special concern for the elderly, who often suffer from learned helplessness and lack of options. Encouraging the application of mindfulness to health, the author affirms that placebos and alternative, mind-based therapies can help patients and addicts move from unhealthy to healthy contexts. First serial to Health magazine; QPBC, Library of Science, Behavioral Science, Natural Science and Psychotherapy and Social Science Book Clubs selections.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Stretches our minds in startling new directions.”
Ellen Langer has succeeded in writing a book that, in one bite, manages to be scientifically interesting, immensely practical, and dramatically absorbing. It is about the mindsets that lead human beingseven the smartest of themto become stupid and mindless.’ Its power as drama in demonstrating that mindlessness leads not only to the banality of dullness, but to a giving up of life itself. In a series of fascinating research studies, Dr. Langer demonstrates that the young can be made more creative, the man in charge made more effective, and the elderly kept from giving in to and dying of their age.”
Jerome Bruner, author of Actual Minds, Possible Worlds
One simply can’t finish this book and not see the world in the same way.”
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
"A provocative, engaging essay on the relation between our mindstates and our actions, by an astute and irrepressible social scientist who obviously enjoys playing with bold ideas."
Jerome Kagan, Harvard University
A landmark work of social psychology.”
"Langer. . . .has shown us the power of mindfulness."Female First, 1/18/15
"Extremely provocative. . . . This book cannot be read mindlessly."
Robert Abelson, Yale University
Mindfulness is the book which changed it all.”