The Science of Self-Control

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März 2004



This book proposes a new science of self-control based on the principles of behavioral psychology and economics. Claiming that insight and self-knowledge are insufficient for controlling one's behavior, Howard Rachlin argues that the only way to achieve such control--and ultimately happiness--is through the development of harmonious patterns of behavior. Most personal problems with self-control arise because people have difficulty delaying immediate gratification for a better future reward. To avoid those problems, the author presents a strategy of "soft commitment," consisting of the development of valuable patterns of behavior that bridge over individual temptations.


Introduction 1. Habit and Willpower 2. Simple Ambivalence 3. Complex Ambivalence 4. The Lonely Addict 5. Soft Commitment 6. Rules and Probability 7. Self-Control and Social Cooperation Notes References Index


Howard Rachlin is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Stony Brook University.


It is rare that an academic psychology book can change your life. This one can. It combines ideas from the behavioral psychology laboratory with modern economic reasoning to provide a theoretical account of human impulsiveness, addiction (including multiple addictions), relapse, craving, and commitment (what a clinician like me would call the psychoanalytic conflict between pleasure and reality principles). Although Rachlin denies that this is a self-help book, it contains numerous insights and prescriptions relating to alcoholism, gambling, heroin addiction, eating disorders, and other serous human conflicts. -- Marvin Frankel Contemporary Psychology Howard Rachlin has spent much of his illustrious career exploring the science of self-control, the subject of this fascinating book. In our opinion the book may be appreciated in at least four overlapping ways. First of all, this is a textbook on self-control suited for an advanced undergraduate or graduate class. Second, it is a theoretical and empirical primer for understanding self-control, including some useful general applications to self-control in our everyday lives. Third, it is a forum for presenting some intriguing principles about behavior, especially as related to self-control. And finally, it serves as a vehicle to advocate a broad general theory of behavior, teleological behaviorism...The powerful and intriguing analysis presented in The Science of Self-Control has broad applicability, whether or not we accept the author's view of teleological behaviorism. This is indeed 'a good read.' -- Edmund Fantino and Stephanie Stolarz-Fantino Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Howard Rachlin's The Science of Self-Control is a masterwork by a master scientist. Written with elegant simplicity, exquisite precision and admirable economy, this brief 220-page book combines experimental detail, astute generalizations, mathematical rigor, and philosophical breadth-all the elements of first-rate science. Not a handbook for practitioners but a treatise on theory, it nevertheless includes many useful insights for persons seeking more felicitous ways to manage behavior, their own or that of others. Such is its authority that I expect it to become a fixture in the libraries of experimental psychologists and practicing psychotherapists, but such is the grace and clarity of its writing that I also think it will be read with pleasure by many intelligent laymen. -- Max Hocutt Metapsychology
EAN: 9780674013575
ISBN: 0674013573
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: März 2004
Seitenanzahl: 240 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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