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The Power of Mindful Learning

Ellen J. Langer

Retail Price: $15.95
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Format: Paperback, 167pp.
ISBN: 9780201339918
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Pub. Date: April 1998

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Radical in its implications, this original and important work may change forever the views we hold about the nature of learning. In The Power of Mindful Learning, Ellen Langer uses her innovative theory of mindulness, introduced in her influential earlier book, to dramatically enhance the way we learn. In business, sports, laboratories, or at home, our learning is hobbled by certain antiquated and pervasive misconceptions. In this pithy, liberating, and delightful book she gives us a fresh, new view of learning in the broadest sense. Such familiar notions as delayed gratification, ”the basics”, or even ”right answers”, are all incapacitating myths which Langer explodes one by one. She replaces them with her concept of mindful or conditional learning which she demonstrates, with fascinating examples from her research, to be extraordinarily effective. Mindful learning takes place with an awareness of context and of the ever-changing nature of information. Learning without this awareness, as Langer shows convincingly, has severely limited uses and often sets on up for failure. With stunning applications to skills as diverse as paying attention, CPR, investment analysis, psychotherapy, or playing a musical instrument, The Power of Mindful Learning is for all who are curious and intellectually adventurous.


“A path to relief.… A fresh, thoughtful plea—notably free of ‘edubabble’ for exploring strategies of teaching and learning.”
—New York Times Book Review

“A source of great inspiration to me. With elegant simplicity she can completely change your life and transform your experience of reality.”
—Deepak Chopra, M.D.

“Opens the door to a lifetime of creativity.”
—Carole Gilligan, Harvard University

“Could radically change our concept of learning.”
—Jerome Bruner

“Like Freud, Piaget, Werner, and Vygotsky, Langer is well on her way to constructing a grand theory of human functioning with important implications for such diverse areas as education and learning, development and aging, group relations, and psycho- and neuro-pathology.”
—Edith Kaplan, Contemporary Psychology

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About the Author

Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Harvard University, is the author of Personal Politics (with Carol Dweck), The Psychology of Control, and Mindfulness, which has been published in ten countries. She is also coeditor of Higher Stages of Development and Beliefs, Attitudes and Decision Making. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous awards including the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest of the American Psychological Association.

Table of Contents
1When Practice Makes Imperfect9
2Creative Distraction33
3The Myth of Delayed Gratification51
41066 What? or The Hazards of Rote Memory67
5A New Look at Forgetting83
6Mindfulness and Intelligence99
7The Illusion of Right Answers117

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