Voters often make irrational decisions based on inaccurate and irrelevant information. Politicians are often inept, corrupt, or out of touch with the will of the people. Elections can be determined by the design of the ballot and the gerrymandered borders of a district. And yet, despite voters who choose candidates according to the boxer–brief dichotomy and politicians who struggle to put together a coherent sentence, democracy works exceptionally well: citizens of democracies are healthier, happier, and freer than citizens of other countries. In Democracy Despite Itself, Danny Oppenheimer, a psychologist, and Mike Edwards, a political scientist, explore this paradox: How can democracy lead to such successful outcomes when the defining characteristic of democracy—elections—is so flawed?
Oppenheimer and Edwards argue that democracy works because regular elections, no matter how flawed, produce a variety of unintuitive, positive consequences. The brilliance of democracy, write Oppenheimer and Edwards, does not lie in the people's ability to pick superior leaders. It lies in the many ways that it subtly encourages the flawed people and their flawed leaders to work toward building a better society.
Danny Oppenheimer is on the faculty at UCLA with a joint appointment in Psychology and the Anderson School of Management.
Mike Edwards founded and regularly contributes to Leftfielder.org, a blog on politics and media.
If you want to make positive changes in your life and achieve your long-term goals, I can’t think of a better way to do it than to learn how to become more self-disciplined.
Science has figured out a lot of interesting aspects of self-discipline and willpower, but most of this knowledge is buried deep inside long and boring scientific papers.
If you’d like to benefit from these studies without actually reading them, this book is for you. I’ve done the job for you and researched the most useful and viable scientific findings that will help you improve your self-discipline.
Here are just a couple things you will learn from the book:
- what a bank robber with lemon juice on his face can teach you about self-control. The story will make you laugh out loud, but its implications will make you think twice about your ability to control your urges.
- how $50 chocolate bars can motivate you to keep going when faced with an overwhelming temptation to give in.
- why President Obama wears only gray and blue suits and what it has to do with self-control (it’s also a possible reason why the poor stay poor).
- why the popular way of visualization can actually prevent you from reaching your goals and destroy your self-control (and what to do instead).
- what dopamine is and why it’s crucial to understand its role to break your bad habits and form good ones.
- 5 practical ways to train your self-discipline. Discover some of the most important techniques to increase your self-control and become better at resisting instant gratification.
- why the status quo bias will threaten your goals and what to do to reduce its effect on your resolutions.
- why extreme diets help people achieve long-term results, and how to apply these findings in your own life.
- why and when indulging yourself can actually help you build your self-discipline. Yes, you can stuff yourself (from time to time) and still lose weight.
Instead of sharing with you the detailed "why" (with confusing and boring descriptions of studies), I will share with you the "how" – advice that will change your life if you decide to follow it.
You too can master the art of self-discipline and learn how to resist temptations. Your long term goals are worth it. Scroll up and buy the book now.
As a gift for buying my book, you'll get my another book, "Grit: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up."
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Con sus detalladas observaciones sobre la percepción, el estrés, las emociones, la cognición y demás, el dibujante Grady Klein y el psicólogo Danny Oppenheimer buscan que este cómic sea la manera ideal de que los estudiantes y lectores no especializados pero curiosos aprendan más sobre psicología, al tiempo que disfrutan de alguna buena carcajada.