People have core narratives about relationships that are rooted in their early interactions with their primary caregivers, and these narratives act as filters, influencing interpretations of their adult relationships. In short, the way in which we interpret the world is extremely important. Our interpretations are rooted in the narratives we construct about ourselves and the social world.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

To a large extent, we acquire core narratives from our culture and parents and religions. We are provided with a ready-made belief system about the major questions in life, and for many of us, this is perfectly fine.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

We feel worst when we are in a state of uncertainty. The uncertain person doesn’t know what to make sense of, whereas the certain one can begin the process of meaining-making and understanding and explaination for even the bleakest of outcomes. And by doing so, that person adapts and recovers.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

Some kinds of explanations make us feel better than others; optimists put more of a positive spin on negative outcomes than do pessimists, enabling them to cope better and bounce back more quickly.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

When someone proposes a way to make you happier or more tolerant of others, turn you into a better parent, or help your children avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs, ask politely, ‘But does it work?’

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

(Consumer) interpretations are not always set in stone, and in fact can be redirected with just the right approach. Those small changes in interpretations can have self-sustaining effects, leading to long-lasting changes in behavior.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

The human mind does not process negations as well as it does affirmations. When a president says, ‘I am not a crook,’ people are more likely to think of him as a crook, because he becomes associated in their minds with the word, despite his denial.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson (referring to former-president Richard Nixon)

People are excellent rationalizers, and they might well make themselves feel better by finding an explanation that deflects blame away from them. They don’t do this consciously, of course – rationalization works best if it occurs behind the scenes, so that they don’t know that they’re coming up with these ideas in order to make themselves feel better. It feels like they’re simply telling it like it is.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson

There is a danger to providing (people) with strong incentives: doing so can convince them that they are ‘doing it for the money’ and undermine any intrinsic interest they had at the outset. On the other hand, if (people) have no interest in an activitiy to begin with, providing them with rewards can’t hurt.

Redirect by Timothy Wilson