Here is an excerpt from 250wrods.com on one easy behavioral trick to gain confidence and power followed by a book review on The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life by Richard Wiseman.
Imagine that someone gives you $200 and the chance to keep the money or gamble it on the flip of a coin. If you win the coin toss, you double your money and get $400. If you lose, you walk away with nothing. Take a moment to decide which option you’d like to select.
One of the most robust findings from behavioral economic research is that losses hurt more than equivalent gains. When given a 50 percent chance of losing $200 and a 50 percent chance of winning $200, most people refuse the offer. The prospect of loss is just too overwhelming. In the example from the first paragraph–which comes from a real study conducted by Dana Carney, then an assistant professor at Columbia University–most participants decided to pocket the $200.
But Carney and her colleagues weren’t only interested in replicating a well-known finding, so they incorporated a twist into their study. They sorted participants into four groups. In two of the groups, participants maintained power poses–they either rested their feet on top of a table or placed their hands behind their heads, or they stood behind a desk and leaned forward with both hands palm down on the desk. In the other two groups, participants took on poses that were not associated with dominance and power–they either placed their feet on the floor and, while looking down, put their hands in their laps, or they stood up and crossed their arms and legs.
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The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life – Description
The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life by Richard Wiseman
Victorian philosopher William James had a theory about emotion and behavior: It isn’t that our feelings guide our actions (feel happy and you will laugh). On the contrary, it is our actions that guide our emotions (laugh and you will feel happy). This led James to a remarkable conclusion: “If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.”
Roused by James’s astonishing discovery, renowned psychologist and bestselling author Richard Wiseman confirms James’s principle and shows how the self-help genre has for too long put the cart before the horse in trying to help us take control of our lives. Bringing to the table a dazzling array of firsthand experiments, surprising histories, and psychological case studies, Wiseman illustrates in brilliant detail how we can apply this principle in our daily lives:
- Smile to become measurably happier
- Wash your hands to drive away guilt
- Clench your fist to increase your willpower
- Eat with your nondominant hand to lose weight
- Nod while speaking to become more persuasive
- Act like a newlywed to rekindle your marriage
Lively, engaging, and truly mind-changing, The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life is that rare gem that offers real, workable solutions for your day-to-day goals while helping you to instantly take control of your emotions. Whether it’s quitting a bad habit, persevering through a difficult task, or achieving your dream self, The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life can help. Don’t just think about changing your life. Do it.
The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life – Review
“’The most-followed psychologist on Twitter’ re-examines the process of creating personal change and growth… By flipping current psychology theories upside down and putting motion before emotion, one can have better relationships, fight depression and anxiety, lose weight and stop smoking (or curb other addictive behaviors), grow more confident, and slow down the effects of aging….[An] intriguing new slant to personal transformation.” (Kirkus)
“Drawing from such well-known trials and tests as the Zimbardo prison study and the Stanislavski acting method, as well as historical and pop culture figures like Frederick Douglass and Joan Baez . . . A convincing argument for the power of action.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Wiseman’s The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life explains how to instantly take control of your emotions. Whether it’s quitting a bad habit, persevering through a difficult task or achieving your dream self, you can make it happen.” (AskMen.com)
About the Author
Richard Wiseman currently holds Britain’s only professorship in the area of public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, where he has gained an international reputation for research into luck, perception, belief, and the science of self-help. He has written four bestselling books that have been translated into more than thirty languages: The Luck Factor, Quirkology, 59 Seconds, and Paranormality. He lives in London.