Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

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by Winifred Gallagher
     
 

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In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the radical argument that much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains-or what happens to happen to you-but on what you choose to pay attention to. Rapt introduces a diverse cast of characters, from researchers to artists and ranchers, to illustrate the art of

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Overview

In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the radical argument that much of the quality of your life depends not on fame or fortune, beauty or brains-or what happens to happen to you-but on what you choose to pay attention to. Rapt introduces a diverse cast of characters, from researchers to artists and ranchers, to illustrate the art of living the interested life.

Editorial Reviews

Paul Bloom
Gallagher devotes much of this engaging book to reviewing the psychology and neuroscience of attention. A journalist and the author of several books about human psychology…Gallagher blends the science nicely with examples of people whose disciplined attention has contributed to their success
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Gallagher (The Power of Place, Working on God) couples personal ruminations and interviews with experts to explore the role of attention in defining consciousness, identity and the human experience: "who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love-is the sum of what you focus on." From paying attention to your inner dialogue (helping eliminate negative thought patterns) to bucking the myths of multi-tasking (says cognitive scientist David Meyer, "Einstein didn't invent the theory of relativity while multi-tasking at the Swiss patent office"), Gallagher draws practical conclusions from her examination of conscious ("top-down") and unconscious ("bottom-up") attention strategies. Though her claims to "a psychological version of... physicist's 'grand universal theory'" are a bit outsized, Gallagher takes illuminating forays into the evolution of the species and the global diaspora, looking for instance at how "Western individualism" emphasizes top-down focus while the Asian mentality encourages a broader, contextual perspective. A fascinating psycho-social look at human motivation and the power of focus, Gallagher's latest is worth paying attention to.
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143116905
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,339,797
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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