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In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Daniel M. Wegner told subjects not to think about white bears. Of course, they found it impossible to avoid thinking of the bears--just as it often seems impossible to stop thinking about forbidden foods, a painful memory, or everyday fears and worries. Synthesizing a wealth of scientific knowledge in an accessible, engaging style, this book reveals that the more we attempt to push away or avoid unwanted thoughts, the deeper they take hold. Wegner offers compelling insights into how unpleasant or obsessive thoughts get out of control--and what we can do to break free of them. Written for general readers, the book has been widely used in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.
Daniel M. Wegner, PhD, until his death in 2013, was the John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2000, Dr. Wegner was the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His research was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the National Institute of Mental Health. A 1996-1997 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Wegner was also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a recipient of the William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Donald T. Campbell Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.