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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious

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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious Cover

 

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674045217
Subtitle:
Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Author:
Wilson, Timothy D.
Author:
Timothy D. Wilson
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Subject:
General
Subject:
Psychology : General
Subject:
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20040515
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 table
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 11/16" in .7 lb

Related Subjects

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

Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
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Product details 272 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674045217 Reviews:
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