The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World

The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World

by David Robson
The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World

The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Change Your World

by David Robson


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“As David Robson makes plain in this compelling book, the way we think about the world can profoundly shape how we navigate it. Based in science and packed with smart advice, The Expectation Effect will expand your mind—and maybe even extend your life.”
—Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

A journey through the cutting-edge science of how our mindset shapes every facet of our lives, revealing how your brain holds the keys to unlocking a better you

What you believe can make it so.

You’ve heard of the placebo effect and how sugar pills can accelerate healing. But did you know that sham heart surgeries often work just as well as placing real stents? Or that people who think they’re particularly prone to cardiovascular disease are four times as likely to die from cardiac arrest? Such is the power and deadly importance of the expectation effect—how what we think will happen changes what does happen.

Melding neuroscience with narrative, science journalist David Robson takes readers on a deep dive into the many life zones the expectation effect permeates. We see how people who believe stress is beneficial become more creative when placed under strain. We see how associating aging with wisdom can add seven plus years to your life. People say seeing is believing but, over and over, Robson proves that the converse is truer: believing is seeing.

The Expectation Effect is not woo-woo. You cannot think your way into a pile of money or out of a cancer diagnosis. But just because magical thinking is nonsense doesn’t mean rational magic doesn’t exist. Pointing to accepted psychology and objective physiology, Robson gives us the practical takeaways we need to improve our fitness, productivity, intelligence, and happiness. Any reader who wants to take their fate into their own hands need only pick up this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250871091
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/14/2023
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 36,131
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Robson is an award-winning science writer based in the United Kingdom. A graduate of Cambridge University, he previously worked as an editor at New Scientist and a senior journalist at the BBC. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Atlantic, Men's Health, the Psychologist, the Washington Post, and many other publications. His first book, The Intelligence Trap, was published in 2019 and has been translated into fifteen languages.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Graphs xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Prediction Machine: How your Beliefs shape your reality 11

Chapter 2 A Pious Fraud: How beliefs can transform recovery from illness 34

Chapter 3 Do No Harm: How expectations can hurt as well as heal-and how to break a curse 56

Chapter 4 The Origins of Mass Hysteria: How expectations spread within groups 79

Chapter 5 Faster, Stronger, Fitter: How to take the pain out of exercise 102

Chapter 6 The Food Paradox: Why indulgence is essential for healthy eating 128

Chapter 7 De-stressing Stress: How to turn negative feelings to your advantage 154

Chapter 8 Limitless Willpower: How to build endless reserves of self control and mental focus 180

Chapter 9 Untapped Genius : How to boost your own-and others'-intelligence, creativity, and memory 202

Chapter 10 The Super-Agers: Why you really are as young- or old-as you feel 228

Epilogue 251

Notes 259

Illustration Credits 299

Acknowledgments 301

Index 303

About the Author 317

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