Published in 2013 by Penguin Books, Timothy Wilson‘s book Redirect: Changing The Stories We Live By offers practical advice on being happier and more successful, from parenting to PTSD to teen pregnancies to drug and alcohol abuse and more… (more…)
Descriptive norms are people’s perceptions of how others actually behave in a particular situation (e.g., how much alcohol others are drinking or how much electricity our neighbors are using.)
Research shows that most people have an optimistic outlook on life, believing that they have good prospects in the future and that they are masters of their fates. Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses makes people happier and motivates them to try harder when they encounter obstacles in their way.
People are highly sensitive to social norms (information about what other people are doing and what they approve of), and subtle indicators of these norms can have dramatic effects on people’s behavior.
Trusting our instincts isn’t enough. For most of us now there simply aren’t clear-cut rules to follow. Everywhere you turn, there are experts telling you what to do. The problem is, they often don’t agree with each other! Experts give us advice, but much of it conflicts and little of it has been adequately tested.