The History and Application of WOOP
“The solution isn’t to do away with dreaming and positive thinking. Rather, it’s making the most of our fantasies by brushing them up against the very thing most of us are taught to ignore or diminish: the obstacles that stand in our way.”
So often in our day-to-day lives we’re inundated with advice to “think positively.” From pop music to political speeches to commercials, the general message is the same: look on the bright side, be optimistic in the face of adversity, and focus on your dreams. And whether we’re trying to motivate ourselves to lose weight, snag a promotion at work, or run a marathon, we’re told time and time again that focusing on fulfilling our wishes will make them come true.
Gabriele Oettingen draws on more than twenty years of research in the science of human motivation to reveal why the conventional wisdom falls short. The obstacles that we think prevent us from realizing our deepest wishes can actually lead to their fulfillment. Starry- eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and as it turns out, dreamers are not often doers.
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Selected WOOP International
About Gabriele Oettingen
Gabriele Oettingen is a Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg. She is the author of more than a 150 articles and book chapters on thinking about the future and the control of cognition, emotion, and behavior. She received her Ph.D. from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Seewiesen, Germany.
Her major contribution to the field is research on the perils of positive thinking and on Mental Contrasting, a self-regulation technique that is effective for mastering one’s everyday life and long-term development. Gabriele Oettingen’s work is published in social and personality psychology, developmental and educational psychology, in health and clinical psychology, in organizational and consumer psychology, as well as in neuropsychological and medical journals. Her findings contribute to the burgeoning literature on life style change and businesses and institutions have increasingly become interested in the application of her research.
Her first trade book, RETHINKING POSITIVE THINKING: Inside the New Science of Motivation was published by Current, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in October 2014.