by Suzanne C. Segerstrom
According to psychologist Suzanne Segerstrom, rose-colored glasses may look silly, but they’re actually quite practical. In Breaking Murphy’s Law, she surveys the scientific data on optimism (including her own award-winning research) to reveal that it’s not what you believe about the future that matters, but what you do about it.
According to psychologist Suzanne Segerstrom, rose-colored glasses may look silly, but they’re actually quite practical. In Breaking Murphy’s Law, she surveys the scientific data on optimism (including her own award-winning research) to reveal that it’s not what you believe about the future that matters, but what you do about it. While pessimists debate whether their goals are attainable, optimists are out there trying to achieve them. Without insisting that readers learn to "think positive," Breaking Murphy’s Law teaches them practical ways to appropriate the habits and skills that optimists use to get what they want from life. Segerstrom--who reluctantly admits her research on the topic has transformed her into an optimist--imparts the lesson with a mix of humor and intelligence that will convince even the most cynical readers that a brighter tomorrow might be just around the corner.
"A wonderful counterpoint to the many self-help books out there that emphasize trying to be happy. Dr. Seger-strom shows how the headlong pursuit of happiness can actually be self-defeating, while effective optimism--focusing on motivation and persistence--can lead both to good feelings and genuine success in life. A 'must read.'"
-Ed Diener, PhD, editor, Journal of Happiness Studies
"The message in this book contradicts many popular myths and is based on the scientific study of optimism. Dr. Segerstrom shows us ways to change our lives to become healthier and more fulfilled. In a world awash with misinformed pop psychology, this scientific recipe for the good life is a breath of fresh air."
-Alan Carr, PhD, author of Positive Psychology
"This is a knowledgeable and witty book that delivers the science of optimism in an informed and accessible manner. Dr. Segerstrom is a master of the area, combining expertise in mental health with sophisticated biological knowledge and the practical bent that makes the information useful for getting around the roadblocks of day-to-day life."
-Shelley E. Taylor, PhD, author of Positive Illusions
Suzanne C. Segerstrom, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has conducted extensive research on psychological influences on the immune system, and on the relationship between optimism and well-being. Dr. Segerstrom’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Norman Cousins Program in Psychoneuroimmunology, and the Dana Foundation. She is also the 2002 winner of the Templeton Positive Psychology Prize for her work on optimism. She lives near Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and their three dogs.
Paperback Pages: 233
Prologue: Stop Trying to Be So Happy
1. Glass Half Full, Glass Half Empty, or Glass That Needs to Be Washed?: The Optimistic Character
2. The Persistence Instinct: Optimists and Their Goals
3. Building (and Rebuilding) for the Future: Optimists and Their Resources
4. So Happy Together: Optimists and Their Relationships
5. Mixed Blessing: Optimists and Their Health
6. Everything Good, Especially the Bad: Optimists and Their Vulnerabilities
7. Is an Optimist Born or Made?: The Optimistic Character Revisited
8. Doing Optimism: Optimists, Pessimists, and Their Potential for Change
Epilogue: Confessions of a Reluctant Optimist
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