Synopses & Reviews
Victorian philosopher William James had a theory about emotion and behavior: It isn't that our feelings guide our actions (feel happy and you will laugh). On the contrary, it is our actions that guide our emotions (laugh and you will feel happy). This led James to a remarkable conclusion: “If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” Roused by James's astonishing discovery, renowned psychologist and bestselling author Richard Wiseman confirms James's principle and shows how the self-help genre has for too long put the cart before the horse in trying to help us take control of our lives. Bringing to the table a dazzling array of firsthand experiments, surprising histories, and psychological case studies, Wiseman illustrates in brilliant detail how we can apply this principle in our daily lives:
- Smile to become measurably happier
- Wash your hands to drive away guilt
- Clench your fist to increase your willpower
- Eat with your non-dominant hand to lose weight
- Nod while speaking to become more persuasive
- Act like a newlywed to rekindle your marriage
Lively, engaging, and truly mind-changing, The As If Principle is that rare gem that offers real, workable solutions for your day-to-day goals while helping you to instantly take control of your emotions. Whether its quitting a bad habit, persevering through a difficult task, or achieving your dream self, The As If Principle can help. Don't just think about changing your life. Do it.
"The American psychologist William James once said, 'If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.' Wiseman (59 Seconds), a British psychologist and social media phenomenon, backs up the 'act as if' dictum by parsing scientific studies and offering practical tips to help folks become the person they want to be. If you're lacking in confidence, adopt a more powerful pose; if you're feeling down, just smile! Drawing from such well-known trials and tests as the Zimbardo prison study and the Stanislavski acting method, as well as historical and pop culture figures like Frederick Douglass and Joan Baez, Wiseman makes a convincing argument for the power of action (though his assertion that his is a 'radically new approach' is less persuasive James uttered his famous maxim in 1884). Yet he's at his best when he puts down his bag of tricks and turns his attention to the relationship between action and thought, as when he considers the inefficacy of public health information campaigns when compared to the success of legislation in changing behavior. Readers who have enjoyed Wiseman's previous work will likely enjoy this addition to his oeuvre; more skeptical readers might just have to grin and bear it. Illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“'The most-followed psychologist on Twitter' re-examines the process of creating personal change and growth… By flipping current psychology theories upside down and putting motion before emotion, one can have better relationships, fight depression and anxiety, lose weight and stop smoking (or curb other addictive behaviors), grow more confident, and slow down the effects of aging….[An] intriguing new slant to personal transformation.” Kirkus
Change the way you behave and you change the way you feel — that’s the simple and powerful message in this insightful and engaging new book by internationally renowned psychologist Richard Wiseman.
Most self-help books encourage you to think differently: to think yourself thin, imagine a richer self or to visualize the perfect you. This is difficult, time consuming, and often doesn’t work.
Tossing out the rule book, Professor Richard Wiseman — a renowned psychologist with 90,000 Twitter followers and 13 million YouTube viewers — presents a radical new insight into your body and brain: that it is your actions that have the power to instantly change the way you think and feel. Smile and you’ll become measurably happier. Clench your fist and you will increase your willpower. Put a spring in your step and you will feel instantly younger. Acting, not thinking, is what controls your emotions and allows you to unleash your hidden potential.
Drawing on a dazzling array of scientific evidence, Professor Wiseman shows how this simple idea can be used to easily increase motivation, overcome depression, lose weight, stop smoking, and even slow aging.
So don’t just think about changing your life. Do it.
About the Author
Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., currently holds Britain’s only professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology. He is the author of four bestselling books: The Luck Factor, Quirkology, 59 Seconds, and Paranormality. He lives in the UK.