Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

by Timothy D. Wilson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316051880
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/08/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Timothy D. Wilson is the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He has written for Science and the New York Times, among other publications, and is the author of Strangers to Ourselves. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Redirect: Small Edits, Lasting Changes 3

Chapter 2 Testing, Testing: Does It Work? 23

Chapter 3 Shaping Our Narratives: Increasing Personal Well-Being 39

Chapter 4 Shaping Our Kids' Narratives: Becoming Better Parents 75

Chapter 5 Just Say... Volunteer: Preventing Teenage Pregnancies 113

Chapter 6 Scared Crooked: Reducing Teenage Violence 135

Chapter 7 Everybody's Doing It... Or Are They? Reducing Alcohol and Drug Abuse 155

Chapter 8 Surely They Won't Like Me-Or Will They? Reducing Prejudice 181

Chapter 9 It's About Me, Not My Group: Closing the Achievement Gap 203

Chapter 10 Sustained Change: Finding Solutions 235

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 245

Bibliography 253

Index 271

What People are Saying About This

Carol Dweck

“Redirect is a great book! In his uniquely engaging way, Wilson shows how simple techniques can deliver large and lasting personal changes--and convinces us that only good research can give us these techniques.”--(Carol Dweck, PhD, author of Mindset)


“Is it possible to reinvent ourselves, transform our children, and improve our communities? Professor Timothy Wilson proposes an idea that many readers will find revolutionary – namely, that the most effective methods are often deceptively simple. What matters most is not pressuring the people that we want to change, but subtly helping them to shift the stories that they tell about themselves. Whether you are a parent, educator, employer, or simply someone who cares about making the world a better place, you should read this book.”--(Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want )

Daniel Gilbert

“May well be the single most important psychology book ever written.”
—Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness

Malcolm Gladwell

"There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. I thought his last book Strangers to Ourselves was a masterpiece. Redirect is more than its equal."--(Malcolm Gladwell)

Robert Cialdini

“With a deft narrative touch, an engaging metaphor for bringing about psychological change (personal story editing), and a ferocious commitment to scientific evidence, Timothy Wilson has made a remarkable contribution to knowledge.”--(Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: Science and Practice)


“One of the foremost psychologists of our time, Timothy Wilson shows us that solving endemic social problems and making ourselves happier, healthier, and more successful is within our grasp. Redirect reveals the hidden meanings we assume in our everyday lives, how these meanings shape our behavior, and how we can change our assumptions and the world. Extraordinary.”--(Greg Walton, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stanford University)

David G. Myers

“Renowned social psychologist Timothy Wilson writes for those of us who want to make a real difference in our worlds (and not just to fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing so). With wit and wisdom, he shows us how to spare ourselves worthless (or worse) interventions, think smarter, and live well.”--(David G. Myers, Hope College, author of The Pursuit of Happiness)

Daniel M. Wegner

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if a very smart scientist could write a book on happiness, crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, parenting, and teenage pregnancy—and sum up all the research in clear and surprising lessons on how we should live our lives? Well, Timothy Wilson is the scientist and Redirect is the book, and it is in fact amazing.”--(Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard University, author of The Illusion of Conscious Will)

Malcolm Gladwell

“There are few academics who write with as much grace and wisdom as Timothy Wilson. Redirect is a masterpiece.”
—Malcolm Gladwell


“So often we think of therapy as a long, painful, time-consuming, and expensive process. In this surprising and entertaining book, Wilson shows how changing the stories we tell ourselves about the events of our lives, often in simple ways, can have profound effects on the course of our lives. If I could recommend only one book this year to my children, it would be this one.”--( Shelley E. Taylor, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Positive Illusions and The Tending Instinct)

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Redirect 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
PsychStudents More than 1 year ago
While Redirect has a number of useful insights in the first few chapters, which I must admit seem very promising, Wilson falls into a pattern such that one hardly needs even to read the last few chapters. A useful tool in one's arsenal? But of course. However, it could have red a touch better in the tail end. I would recommend reading this book in conjunction with Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow"; Pink's "Drive"; and Duhigg's "The Power of Habit"
BookLeverage on LibraryThing 8 months ago
"Redirect" by Timothy D. Wilson is built around the concept of Story Editing, which he describes asusing changes, or edits, in the stories we use to understand ourselves and the social world aroundus, to make lasting changes in our lives and the lives of others.He shows why Self-Help authors, Scared Straight programs and D.A.R.E. initiatives don't work,have never been scientifically tested and why efforts such as these deserve what he calls,"Bloodletting" awards - solutions that seem to make sense, much like bloodletting once did to physicians, but do more harm than good.Wilson discusses shaping our personal narratives and expands from there to the topics of raising kids, preventing teen pregnancy, teenage violence, alcohol and drug abuse, prejudice and the achievement gap. His chapter on raising kids seemed the weakest, especially the minimal sufficiencyprincipal, which I took as too fine a line when trying to be neither too harsh or too lenient when disciplining children. However, his other chapters provide interesting ideas on how storyediting can be used to counter what would seem to be intractable personal and social problems.My three main take-aways were:1. Wilson's clear-eyed examination of the problems with policy makers, self-help authors andnon-psychologists who rely on common sense to solve problems and fall into the trap ofequaling correlation with causation.2. His chapter on prejudice was very stimulating, including the insight that when it comes to race we overestimate our differences and underestimate what we have in common.3. The Stereotype Threat discussed in chapter 9 was a profound discovery and his use of studies and possible solutions (emphasizing positive aspects of the race and positive role models) was one of the stronger chapters.In sum, Mr. Wilson has written a book on change supported by scientifically-validated studiesthat counter so much of the accepted wisdom and programs that exist today. While much of the book is dedicated to fighting large-scale, social issues, there is enough material on personalchange to make this book a recommended choice for every reader.
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Joe Serot More than 1 year ago
A must read for parents and educators