Mindfulness

Mindfulness

by Ellen J. Langer

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Mindfulness by Ellen J. Langer

Ellen J. Langer, Harvard professor of psychology, determines that the mindless following of routine and other automatic behaviors lead to much error, pain and a predetermined course of life. In this thought-provoking book, her research has been "translated" for the lay reader. With anecdotes and metaphors, Langer explains how the mindless—as opposed to the mindful—develop mindsets of categories, associations, habits of thought born of repetition in childhood and throughout schooling. To be mindful, she notes, stressing process over outcome, allows free rein to intuition and creativity, and opens us to new information and perspectives.

Langer discusses the negative impact of mindsets on business and social relations, showing special concern for the elderly, who often suffer from learned helplessness and lack of options. Encouraging the application of mindfulness to health, the author affirms that placebos and alternative, mind-based therapies can help patients and addicts move from unhealthy to healthy contexts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780201523416
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 01/28/1990
Series: A Merloyd Lawrence Book Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)

About the Author

Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Harvard University, is the author of Personal Politics (with Carol Dweck), The Psychology of Control, and Mindfulness, which has been published in ten countries. She is also coeditor of Higher Stages of Development and Beliefs, Attitudes and Decision Making. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous awards including the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest of the American Psychological Association.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction
1(8)
PART ONE: Mindlessness
When the Light's On and Nobody's Home
9(10)
Trapped by Categories
11(1)
Automatic Behavior
12(4)
Acting from a Single Perspective
16(3)
The Roots of Mindlessness
19(24)
The Mindless "Expert"
20(2)
The Sacrilegious Poodle
22(3)
Mindlessness and the Unconscious
25(2)
Belief in Limited Resources
27(4)
Entropy and Linear Time as Limiting Mindsets
31(2)
Education for Outcome
33(2)
The Power of Context
35(8)
The Costs of Mindlessness
43(18)
A Narrow Self-Image
44(4)
Unintended Cruelty
48(2)
Loss of Control
50(3)
Learned Helplessness
53(2)
Stunted Potential
55(6)
PART TWO: Mindfulness
The Nature of Mindfulness
61(20)
Creating New Categories
63(3)
Welcoming New Information
66(2)
More Than One View
68(4)
Control over Context: The Birdman of Alcatraz
72(3)
Process Before Outcome
75(2)
Mindfulness East and West
77(4)
Mindful Aging
81(34)
Control and Survival
82(6)
Reversing Memory Loss
88(1)
Outgrowing Mindsets
89(4)
Stretching the Limits of Age
93(2)
Growth in Age
95(5)
Putting Age in Context: An Experiment
100(15)
Creative Uncertainty
115(18)
Mindfulness and Intuition
116(3)
Creativity and Conditional Learning
119(10)
Distinctions and Analogies
129(4)
Mindfulness on the Job
133(20)
Welcoming the Glitch
134(1)
Second Wind
135(3)
Innovation
138(5)
The Power of Uncertainty for Managers
143(5)
Burnout and Control
148(5)
Decreasing Prejudice by Increasing Discrimination
153(18)
A Patient by Any Other Name
155(3)
The Painted Cast
158(2)
Mindfully Different
160(4)
Disabling Mindsets
164(3)
Discrimination Without Prejudice
167(4)
Minding Matters: Mindfulness and Health
171(26)
Dualism: A Dangerous Mindset
173(3)
The Body in Context
176(6)
Addiction in Context
182(5)
The Traditional Placebo: Fooling the Mind
187(4)
The Active Placebo: Enlisting the Mind
191(6)
Epilogue: Beyond Mindfulness 197(8)
Notes 205(20)
Index 225(9)
About the Author 234

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Mindfulness 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my studies over the years, I've often come across references to Langer's research. It is always original and even ground-breaking. And so is this book. It is probably the most thought-provoking book I've ever read. She asks the questions: What makes people do mindless things? And what can we do to prevent ourselves from being mindless as often as we are? Her work doesn't seem to have been influenced by Eastern thinking very much, if at all. It's a new way of looking at the subject, which I suppose is appropriate (it isn't a mindless review of old material). I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I know what works and what doesn't. Langer's suggestions for developing more mindfulness WORK. Two ideas I found especially effective are: 1) the creation of new catagories, and 2) her principle of 'process before outcome.' This is a book well worth reading and re-reading. I highly recommend it.
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