Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
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Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  448 ratings  ·  62 reviews
What if there were a magic pill that could make you happier, turn you into a better parent, solve a number of your teenager's behavior problems, reduce racial prejudice, and close the achievement gap in education? Well, there is no such magic pill-but there is a new scientifically based approach called story editing that can accomplish all of this. It works by redirecting...more
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Published September 8th 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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Kevin Denham
After thoroughly enjoying Dr. Wilson's first book "Strangers to Ourselves", I was delighted to hear he'd released another title a few months ago. Perhaps I approached the book from too skeptical a perspective since the book cover gave clear signals that Dr. Wilson had intended this title for a different audience than his first.

I wouldn't begrudge anyone trying to turn their passion and pool of knowledge into a higher standard of living, as I believe this title was intending to do. I would begrud...more
One of the many unwelcome bits of advice my husband had for me in the early years of our marriage was that it's not a good idea to give loved ones self-help books. Especially for Christmas.

So true.

I'm kind of a self-help book addict, though—although you don't see too many self-help books on my "read" list. That's because I don't actually read them. Or at least, I don't finish them. Of all the self-help books I've ever started, I think 7 Habits is the only one I've ever finished. I had to—I was...more
Ann Douglas
Oct 01, 2011 Ann Douglas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Scientific American article
The key point that Timothy D. Wilson makes in Redirect is that people have key narratives (stories) about themselves and that, when these key narratives are rewritten, people's lives can be changed. Wilson devotes about two-thirds of the book to describing scientific research which backs up his premise. The book would be fantastic -- a 5+ star book -- if the book only consisted of this type of material. Wilson weakens his book by including interesting but unrelated material (explanations of what...more
Redirect started strong, got weak enough in the middle that I was debating between 2 and 3 stars as I trudged through, and then got quite strong again at the end.

The initial argument of the book is twofold. First: a lot of the psychological interventions to help people (anything from helping first responder deal with traumatic events to keeping kids from getting pregnant) are either useless or counterproductie. We can't know without experimental testing. Second: a particular kind of approach cal...more
Lis Carey
Wilson gives us a highly readable account of what we do and don't know about psychological and social psychological interventions--what works, what doesn't, why, and how we tell the difference.

A major concern of Wilson's is many popular, widely accepted approaches to solving, reducing, or preventing problems, such as Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) counseling for police and firefighters after a traumatic on-the-job incident, or popular and widely-respected anti-drug programs for the s...more
Joe Adelizzi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In “Redirect,” Timothy Wilson focuses on psychological strategies of changing one’s way of viewing life and re-directing their thought processes to become more optimistic. Popular strategies that Wilson uses in his book include story-editing (which is refocusing one’s view on a particular problem: e.g. the student who attributes his failed test to being stupid, versus a student who attributes his failed test to not enough studying—as a basic example of this premise), using writing as a way of co...more
George Rodriguez
"Redirect" by Timothy D. Wilson is built around the concept of Story Editing, which he describes as
using changes, or edits, in the stories we use to understand ourselves and the social world around
us, to make lasting changes in our lives and the lives of others.

He shows why Self-Help authors, Scared Straight programs and D.A.R.E. initiatives don't work,
have never been scientifically tested and why efforts such as these deserve what he calls,
"Bloodletting" awards - solutions that seem to make sen...more
Heather Pagano
Interesting and practical, a book that really changed the way I think about the thought patterns that motivate behavior. The focus of the book is "story editing," rewriting (redirecting) the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, what we can do, and how we feel. Wilson offers story editing as a tool for both personal and societal positive change.

Although I would have preferred that the book focus even more on how to effect change on a personal level, several techniques suggested for support...more
Pete Welter
Redirect hits three major point through a number of examples:

1) although many social change programs may intuitively seem helpful, very few have experimental evidence that proves they work, and often when they are studied, they prove to be either worthless or even damaging (two examples he gives: "scared straight" and DARE). Self-help books are even less proven.

2) Social science can point the direction towards useful interventions, even when those actions might seem counterintuitive. Example: to...more
Lisa Frieden
This is a book of social psychology written by a psych professor. I have to be honest - I've always found psych books slippery. However, Redirect was pretty straightforward. He rests his basic premise on work originally done by Kurt Lewin in the 30s & 40s and later adapted by James Pennebaker, that a "story editing approach in which a set of techniques are used to redirect people's narratives about themselves and the social world in a way that leads to lasting changes in behavior." Wilson ci...more
Pentru cei care trec ca niște donjuani ai psihicului din carte self-help în altă carte self-help și schimbă psihoterapeuții mai des ca pe șosete, această metodă de a redirecționa poveștile într-o direcție pozitivă poate fi soluția lângă care și-ar dori să îmbătrânească.

Noua abordare prezentată de profesorul Wilson este bazată pe cercetările lui Kurt Lewin, cunoscut ca fondatorul psihologiei sociale. Poveștile personale la care se referă nu constituie nuvele pe care fiecare dintre noi și le scrie...more
Listened to this one and it was very helpful. It shows the science of "story-editing", a way of reframing experiences and situations. The first chapters are very good, including a discussion of the Pennebaker approach in which you write about situations that you can't get over; helping you reframe and deal with your feelings about the situation. The author cautions against believing everything you read - he truly believes in good research and doing such research before adopting any new approache...more
This is a well-focused book from an established academic in the field of Social Psychology. His premise is pretty simple: what he calls "story editing" is a technique to "redirect people's narratives about themselves and the social world in a way that leads to lasting changes in behavior." The basic premise is that changing the stories we tell ourselves can have measurable positive impacts on what we do.

The balance of the book applies this story-editing perspective to a variety of social issues:...more
Most interesting. The author's emphasis on testing ("Does a given intervention actually help, or do we just think that it should? Wait, it's counterproductive!") is something I'm very familiar with, since my husband has a background in computers and user testing.

Test, test, test...people can be so full of surprises. So often, something that seems like it should work just doesn't.

I confess, I was a bit disappointed only in that the author did not address how to change patterns of behavior that I...more
Morgan Blackledge
This book is very useful (particularly if you are a psychology clinician, social worker, conscientious parent, educator, curious human being etc), as it (a) covers just enough experimental and statistical method to activate the "educated sceptic" module (b) rigorously shreds non evidence based interventions such as DARE and Scared Straight (c) introduces us to a broadly applicable method for adaptive personal and social change called "story editing" and effectively presents evidence for its effi...more
Eric Schreiber
While the premise of Redirect is that the story people tell themselves about a situation can change their long-term outlook on life, it spends a lot of time simply focusing on how multitudes of intervention programs don't work. Wilson is a strong believer in testing programs using a proper scientific method, with randomly selected treatment and control groups, and he makes this point over and over again. He digs into closing-the-gap education programs, teen pregnancy programs, school dropout pro...more
Derrick Trimble
There really is nothing new under the sun. I dove into the book with high expectations. After all, a Malcolm Gladwell called Redirect a 'masterpiece.' The first three chapters did not let me down. Setting the foundation of the principles of redirecting, Wilson moved on to the validity question, and then on to refreshing look at shaping our narratives. The candor and unabashed evisceration of the self-help and actualization movement had me going "Yeah", "See," and left me with a sense of self-sat...more
*Rewrite, revise, redirect.*

Popular belief and common sense would have you believe that self-help books (like the way-too-publicized _The Secret_) and programs to prevent and reduce child abuse, teen delinquency, and substance abuse (like Healthy Families of America, Dollar-A-Day programs, and the D.A.R.E. Program, respectively) work. After all, with all the publicity and praise they get, they surely seem to be accomplishing their goals, right?

As Timothy Wilson shows in his book _Redirect_, not...more
Ben Thurley
Basically this is a book with two ideas. The first, that social and psychological interventions should be rigorously evaluated for their effectiveness (and that randomised control trials are perhaps the best way to measure this). The second idea is that “story-editing”, prompts to change a person’s or group’s view of the world and underlying narrative influencing them in a given situation, can be remarkably powerful for achieving positive personal and social change.

This approach to psychological...more
T. Edmund
Quarrels with the title aside Redirect is a great book - perhaps a little heavy on the science (I guess thats one word in the title that makes sense) but worth trucking through nonetheless

Redirect reads as a debunk of conventional 'common sense' studies with an aperteif of story editing. Story editing is effectively positive thinking (if I dare be simplistic) with some added complexity.

The real strength of the book is the debunking. Most people who have completed a reputible psychology course kn...more
I like the insight in this book and the refreshing approach of story-editing. I think it might be a bit oversimplified - whenever I read books like this, I am always depressed by the fact that so many little things can influence people's behaviors (other than themselves). We bend in the direction of least resistance. I would like to take this idea further and possibly in a completely different direction; in particular, how most initiatives and programs don't work specifically because they focus...more
David Tendo
I didn't get as much out of this as I thought I would and the cover is actually quite deceiving. Don't get me wrong, this is an absolutely fascinating and thought-provoking read; extensively researched and referenced, but I didn't feel that there were any practical applications for the findings and it does nothing to "redirect" your thinking. Wilson mentions the "story-editing" method a lot, but he doesn't actually go into it in any great detail or explain how to use it, he does touch on it brie...more
Victor Barger
Jul 24, 2012 Victor Barger rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Policymakers
Recommended to Victor by: Joann Peck
Shelves: psychology
Although not as enthralling as Wilson's Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, Redirect is still a worthwhile read. The first several chapters have general appeal, whereas the later chapters are more relevant to policymakers and others interested in social welfare. Redirect would be a good companion book to Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

(Incidentally, I think a better title for this book would have been The Stories We Tell Ourselves: How Na...more
Melissa Namba
I love, love, loved this book! It is a book that I know I will need to revisit on a regular basis to help me remember and learn how to correctly story edit. I am a junior high teacher and I try to use the story editing technique, but it really takes a lot of thought and consideration. I have been lucky because the parents that I have spoken to about using it as a technique are very receptive to the ideas and approaches. I know that I will make mistakes in the story editing, but that is why I kno...more
I have been looking for some insight into the teen mindset.
I have felt for some time that "common sense" that many parent by has limits on results.
This book sorts out the facts from the "common sense" parents.

This book is well grounded in rigorous studies and their social application on both social and individual levels.

I am a big believer in leading kids rather than beating them (figuratively speaking of course).

Leading is much harder than just setting rules and then setting rigid enforcement.
Wilson jumps right into the research in the first few pages.
I really appreciate his perspective that common sense doesn't always produce the results you expect. (Something that we all experience, right?) He reviews major social change programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Head Start; D.A.R.E.; Scared Straight and others. It is surprising how little research is done before these programs are implemented nationwide. Did you know that it isn't a requirement that a program shows evidence that it...more
This was an interesting book. It slammed the self-help industry while being a self-help book veiled in case studies. The concept is really isn't anything new, but the presentation is well done. Entertaining and insightful, but nothing groundbreaking.
This book is mismarketed - it's a great survey of the importance of using statistical evidence in the social science. It's got a similar ring to "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre in this respect which touches on one of the most important issues facing our society - making good decisions based on evidence. That said, it's been a while since I read it and I remember some of the evidence being of the dubious variety with extrapolations based on relatively tiny sample sizes etc. but it's more the princi...more
This book should be required reading for anyone who sets or proposes public policy. The numerous examples of well-known and widely adopted social interventions that do more harm than good like the famed "DARE" program are eye-opening and should sound the alarm bells for anyone who says "doing something is better than doing nothing" when faced with social ills like drug abuse and violence. Common sense interventions can and often do backfire, despite their proponents' best intentions. School admi...more
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Timothy D. Wilson is the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He has written for Science and The New York Times, among other publications and journals, and is the author of Strangers to Ourselves, which was named by New York Times Magazine as one of the Best 100 Ideas of 2002. Wilson is also the coauthor of the best-selling social psychology textbook, now in its...more
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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious Social Psychology (Social Psychology Media Research Update) Preusmjeravanje: Sitni ispravci, trajne promjene Social Psychology Social Psychology with MyPsychLab Access Card

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