Top positive review
5 of 5 people found this helpful
Extensive, yet limited.
on November 4, 2003
Langer is a good writer and her research on the subjectis very volumnous. However, the book suffers from a number of irrelavant and misplaced examples that sometimes do not at all support her points. What Lange failed to do, in my opinion, is integrate the concept of mindfulness into the larger trends in Social Psychology. The most glaring ommision is the fact that mindlessness, as Langer calls it, is derived from the naturally limited human attention abilities, has many benefits that outweight the limitations. Langer's mindlessness is better known as automaticity, and while using automatic patterns of behavior and judgment has its pitfalls, it is also responsible for making our lives run smoothly. In great majority of situations, you would much rather act automatically according to preset patterns instead of having to actively consider every option every single time.
What langer succeeds in accomplishing is making her readers aware of the way our mind works (which is always intuitive) so that they can be mindfull of our natural limitations in the instances when it could help them avert negative effects on their quality of life.