"Understanding and appreciating the power of situations gives you a leg up in life, and
is the best place to start investigating this challenge. It is excellent, entertaining reading for anyone interested in classic human questions about morality, conformity, and the real differences between men and women." —
"It can be easy to overlook how ordinary situations shape behavior. It might seem like Sam Sommers is brilliant for choosing to write a book on this important topic, but he'd probably just explain that circumstance drove him to it. Still, we're all lucky he did." — Leonard Mlodinow, author of The Drunkard's Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design
"I loved Situations Matter
. True, I read it while sitting on my comfortable couch, but I bet I would have loved it no matter the situation, even if I had read it submerged in ice-cold water. Sam Sommers shows us the surprising extent to which humans are influenced by external factors. It's a fascinating read, and one that will improve your life in many ways, whether dealing with road rage, choosing a spouse, or trying to handle your boss." — A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and My Life as an Experiment
"Perhaps the least understood forces in the universe are the social powers that drive our thoughts and behavior. Sam Sommers is an expert at identifying these influences, and in Situations Matter
he takes us on an entertaining and engaging guided tour." — Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality
"This book is a true eye-opener. From the boardroom meeting to the dining room table, from why we love to why we hate, you'll never look at the ordinary world around you in exactly the same way again." — Wray Herbert, author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits
About the Author
Sam Sommers is an award-winning professor of psychology at Tufts University. His research has been covered by NPR Good Morning America, Harper's, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives near Boston with his wife and two daughters.
More About the Author
Sam Sommers is an award-winning teacher and researcher of social psychology at Tufts University outside Boston. His research specialties include how people think, communicate, and behave in diverse settings, as well as psychological perspectives on the U.S. legal system.
At Tufts Sommers is known for his engaging lecture style and has won multiple teaching awards, including being selected by the Student Senate as the Professor of the Year in 2009. (His wife would insist on mentioning that he was also voted by the student newspaper the "hottest" male professor on campus; however, being well-versed in the power of situations, he'd note that the honor had less to do with him than with the anything-but-fierce state of the competition.)
Sommers has given talks at dozens of colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, M.I.T., Dartmouth, Cornell, Emory, UMass, and Rutgers. His research has been featured by a wide range of media outlets, and he has testified as an expert witness in criminal trials in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
In his free time, Sommers enjoys hanging out with his wife and two daughters, blogging on the Psychology Today website, batting lead-off for the vaunted Tufts Psychology summer softball team, and exerting more effort than he probably should editing Seinfeld and Daily Show clips for use in the classroom.