Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World

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Penguin, Dec 29, 2011 - Self-Help - 336 pages
An "entertaining and engaging" exploration of the invisible forces influencing your life-and how understanding them can improve everything you do.

The world around you is pulling your strings, shaping your innermost instincts and your most private thoughts. And you don't even realize it.

Every day and in all walks of life, we overlook the enormous power of situations, of context in our lives. That's a mistake, says Sam Sommers in his provocative new book. Just as a museum visitor neglects to notice the frames around paintings, so do people miss the influence of ordinary situations on the way they think and act. But frames- situations- do matter. Your experience viewing the paintings wouldn't be the same without them. The same is true for human nature.

In Situations Matter, Sommers argues that by understanding the powerful influence that context has in our lives and using this knowledge to rethink how we see the world, we can be more effective at work, at home, and in daily interactions with others. He describes the pitfalls to avoid and offers insights into making better decisions and smarter observations about the world around us.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - heike6 - LibraryThing

We all act a little differently in different situations, right? Sure, but this book is about so much more than that! There are so many things in our lives, from who we love to how well we do on math ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lylebowlin - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book. The author's sense of humor made some of the potentially dry topics interesting. How crowd behavior can cause us to behave in ways we would never believe is fascinating. I ... Read full review

Contents

SEDUCED BY CHARACTER
WYSIWYG ON MADISON AVENUE
COMPELLED CONFESSIONS COMPELLING EVIDENCE
THE INVISIBILITY OF SITUATIONS
REDISCOVERING CONTEXT
THE POWER OF CROWDS
THE INERTIA OF INACTION
38 NOTSOSPECIAL
LOVE THE ONE YOURE WITH
MORE CONTEXTS OF LOVE
HEARTS AFLUTTER
LOVE ON MARS AND VENUS
LESSONS OF LOVE
SEEING SPOTS
CATEGORICALLY SPEAKING
EVERYBODYS GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE INCLUDING ME AND MY MONKEY

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
LESSONS LEARNED
UNWRITTEN RULES
ASCHS LINES
CONFORMITYS INVISIBLE HAND
FOLLOW THE LEADER
FIGHTING THE URGE
PAGING DR PHIL
COMPARED TO WHAT?
CULTURAL SELVES
THE MIRROR NEVER LIES
SELFHELP REVISITED
MATH IS HARD
READY TO RUMBLE?
THE SHAPE IM IN
RETHINKING GENDER
FACEBUTTWIT
MANAGING BIAS
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER 2 HELP WANTED
CHAPTER 3 GO WITH THE FLOW
CHAPTER 4 YOURE NOT THE PERSON YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE
CHAPTER 5 MARS AND VENUS HERE ON EARTH
CHAPTER 6 LOVE
CHAPTER 7 HATE
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER 2 HELP WANTED
CHAPTER 3 GO WITH THE FLOW
CHAPTER 4 YOURE NOT THE PERSON YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE
CHAPTER 5 MARS AND VENUS HERE ON EARTH
CHAPTER 6 LOVE
CHAPTER 7 HATE
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About the author (2011)

Sam Sommers is an award-winning professor of psychology at Tufts University. His research has been covered by NPR Good Morning America, Harper's, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives near Boston with his wife and two daughters.

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