Synopses & Reviews
If we could turn back the clock psychologically, could we also turn it back physically? For more than thirty years, award-winning social psychologist Ellen Langer has studied this provocative question, and now, in Counterclockwise, she presents the answer: Opening our minds to whats possible, instead of presuming impossibility, can lead to better health-at any age.
Drawing on landmark work in the field and her own body of colorful and highly original experiments-including the first detailed discussion of her “counterclockwise” study, in which elderly men lived for a week as though it was 1959 and showed dramatic improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being-Langer shows that the magic of rejuvenation and ongoing good health lies in being aware of the ways we mindlessly react to social and cultural cues. Examining the hidden decisions and vocabulary that shape the medical world (“chronic” versus “acute,” “cure” versus “remission”), the powerful physical effects of placebos, and the intricate but often defeatist ways we define our physical health, Langer challenges the idea that the limits we assume and impose on ourselves are real. With only subtle shifts in our thinking, in our language, and in our expectations, she tells us, we can begin to change the ingrained behaviors that sap health, optimism, and vitality from our lives. Improved vision, younger appearance, weight loss, and increased longevity are just four of the results that Langer has demonstrated.
Immensely readable and riveting, Counterclockwise offers a transformative and bold new paradigm: the psychology of possibility. A hopeful and groundbreaking book by an author who has changed how people all over the world think and feel, Counterclockwise is sure to join Mindfulness as a standard source on new-century science and healing.
Scientifically riveting and practically empowering, "Counterclockwise" offers a bold new way to think about aging and lifelong health from the trailblazing social psychologist and author of the bestselling classic "Mindfulness."
About the Author
Ellen J. Langer is the author of eleven books, including the international bestseller Mindfulness, which has been translated into fifteen languages, and more than two hundred research articles. She is the recipient of, among other numerous awards and honors, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest from the American Psychological Association, the Award for Distinguished Contributions of Basic Science to the Application of Psychology from the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, and the Adult Development and Aging Distinguished Research Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. Langers trailblazing experiments in social psychology have earned her inclusion in The New York Times Magazines “Year in Ideas” issue and will soon be the subject of a major motion picture. A member of the psychology department at Harvard University and a painter, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.