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Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (Sept. 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442345667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442345669
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dominique Leblanc on Jan. 25 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book contains alot of interesting research which readers will be able to use to improve willpower in their own lives. However, I sometimes had the impression that the author wanted to sensationalize the research by using celebrity examples. Examples are normally used to help the reader understand certain theories or principles but I think the celebrity examples were overdone. This I found annoying but overall I still enjoyed the book and I would recommend to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of willpower. This book would also be useful for parents who have children who have trouble staying focused.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 17 2011
Format: Hardcover
When during the day do judges grant the most paroles? Who reports their eating habits more accurately, dieters or non-dieters? How does someone train to hold his breath for 17 minutes (and why would anyone want to)? What defines self-control? In the fascinating and relevant "Willpower," psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and New York Times science columnist John Tierney elucidate new research on fighting seemingly uncontrollable urges.

Together with intelligence, self-control emerges as the best predictor of a successful and satisfying life. But the authors neither advocate for resisting temptation by sheer force of will nor condemn those who give in as morally irresolute. Rather, they explain that willpower consists of circuitry in the brain that runs on glucose, has a limited capacity and operates by rules that scientists can reverse-engineer, thus compensating for its shortcomings. Examining case studies such as Eric Clapton, a former drug and alcohol abuser, and Oprah Winfrey, the quintessential yo-yo dieter, and citing numerous laboratory experiments, "Willpower" offers a plethora of advice: don't try to tame more than one bad habit at a time, watch for symptoms of "ego fatigue," don't diet, block out temptation as much as possible.

The authors largely appeal to evolutionary biology to explain their findings; neuroscience and economics take a back seat to human interest. Thus, the book contains no discussion of elements such as likelihood of success, temporality and evolutionary impact, which all affect goal-setting and the degree of gratification following achievement of said goals. Nevertheless, "Willpower" provides a rewarding read filled with insightful reflections on the human condition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Dimov TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 26 2013
Format: Paperback
Tierney & Baumeister do a good job on WillPower. It is definitely a very interesting read. There are various good empirical observations drawn from scientific psychology research. It is also written in an easy to read format. Despite good examples, I somehow still felt the book lacked more tactical, directives on how to strengthen your own willpower, or that of your children - through specific targeted exercises.

To improve WillPower - a strong, and very point formed summary in the last chapter is something I expected. In fact the book screams for a one sheet bulleted summary. Tierney and Baumeister discuss the importance of self control / Willpower with children. They discuss the importance of strengthening willpower amongst children, but then fall short on failing to provide express exercises which a parent could use to help strengthen their children's self-control. There are loose examples - but these really needed to be fleshed out in far more detail, being much more explicit.

It is a good initial read into the subject. WillPower treats the subject at a high overview level, but really missed on providing sufficient ground level tactical information. I was hopeful - but disappointed in this regard.
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By Brett H #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on June 13 2013
Format: Paperback
The premise of this book is that willpower, or self control as the authors alternatively describe it, correlates closely to what would be defined as success or positive outcomes in an individual's life. This style of this book is that it is written in a text book type presentation. Initially willpower is considered in a historical context and then following chapters consider various aspects such as the `to do' list and decision fatigue which could otherwise be described as decision overload.`

As befits what is really quite an academically inclined book, there is a lot of discussion of the various theories and studies which have taken place. These are validated with no less than 16 pages of references to the source material at the end of the book. The final chapter includes a summary of the main lessons learned which is a useful recap for the reader.

Anyone looking for a self help book is probably going to be disappointed. The presentation does not highlight key issues in an easily digestible list form, and there is little in the way of exercises or tests which you would normally find in a self help type manual. There are, however, plenty of examples to consider. Personally I found it the sort of book where I thought it was most useful to zero in on what I considered the most interesting parts rather than reading it cover to cover in the way one would with a novel.

So to summarise, I thought this was an interesting and thought provoking academic consideration of the issue of willpower. I do not find it surprising that at least one of the authors is an academic who has written a number of text books. Potential readers need to be aware that this is really a much drier presentation of the subject than perhaps is suggested by the title but none the less a worthy study.
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