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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious

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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious Cover

 

Awards

ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year 2002

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Know thyself," a precept as old as Socrates, is still good advice. But is introspection the best path to self-knowledge? What are we trying to discover, anyway? In an eye-opening tour of the unconscious, as contemporary psychological science has redefined it, Timothy D. Wilson introduces us to a hidden mental world of judgments, feelings, and motives that introspection may never show us.

This is not your psychoanalyst's unconscious. The adaptive unconscious that empirical psychology has revealed, and that Wilson describes, is much more than a repository of primitive drives and conflict-ridden memories. It is a set of pervasive, sophisticated mental processes that size up our worlds, set goals, and initiate action, all while we are consciously thinking about something else.

If we don't know ourselves — our potentials, feelings, or motives — it is most often, Wilson tells us, because we have developed a plausible story about ourselves that is out of touch with our adaptive unconscious. Citing evidence that too much introspection can actually do damage, Wilson makes the case for better ways of discovering our unconscious selves. If you want to know who you are or what you feel or what you're like, Wilson advises, pay attention to what you actually do and what other people think about you. Showing us an unconscious more powerful than Freud's, and even more pervasive in our daily life, Strangers to Ourselves marks a revolution in how we know ourselves.

Review:

"Wilson convincingly argues that our conscious minds are but the tip of the iceberg in deciding how we behave, what is important to us, and how we feel....A fascinating read." Library Journal

Review:

"Timothy Wilson...offers a charming, talkative and yet authoritative review of how it became clear that most of what happens inside us is not perceptible by us." New Scientist

Review:

"This book offers an intricate combination of page-turning reading, cutting-edge research, and philosophical debate....Highly recommended." Choice

Review:

"[Wilson's] book is what popular psychology ought to be (and rarely is): thoughtful, beautifully written, and full of unexpected insights." Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker

Synopsis:

Third Place Winner, 2002 ForeWord Book of the Year Award, Self-Help/Psychology Category

About the Author

Timothy D. Wilson is Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. Freud's Genius, Freud's Myopia

2. The Adaptive Unconscious

3. Who's in Charge?

4. Knowing Who We Are

5. Knowing Why

6. Knowing How We Feel

7. Knowing How We Will Feel

8. Introspection and Self-Narratives

9. Looking Outward to Know Ourselves

10. Observing and Changing Our Behavior

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Sherry Johnston, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Sherry Johnston)
I am researching the subject of doubt and how it signals shifts within us and the world. This book promises to explore the power and limitations of the unconscious and the immediate impact on what we believe to be a conscious and rational thought and decision.

As a former therapist, this subject opens a door to the amazing intricacies of the mind and our value of knowing everything about ourselves. The author seems to be telling us that we'll never have full control of the mysteries that perk within us.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780674013827
Author:
Wilson, Timothy D.
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Author:
Prof. Timothy D. Wilson
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Subject:
Psychology : General
Subject:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy/General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 table
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 6 x 1 in 11 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious New Trade Paper
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$25.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674013827 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Wilson convincingly argues that our conscious minds are but the tip of the iceberg in deciding how we behave, what is important to us, and how we feel....A fascinating read."
"Review" by , "Timothy Wilson...offers a charming, talkative and yet authoritative review of how it became clear that most of what happens inside us is not perceptible by us."
"Review" by , "This book offers an intricate combination of page-turning reading, cutting-edge research, and philosophical debate....Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "[Wilson's] book is what popular psychology ought to be (and rarely is): thoughtful, beautifully written, and full of unexpected insights."
"Synopsis" by , Third Place Winner, 2002 ForeWord Book of the Year Award, Self-Help/Psychology Category
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