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Scientific Secrets for Self-Control | [The Great Courses]

Scientific Secrets for Self-Control

Join an expert in self-control research for six engaging and inspirational lessons that shatter the myths about willpower and replace them with verifiable science that can make the seemingly unattainable finally possible. Packed with eye-opening studies, experiments, and exercises to strengthen your self-control when dealing with money, fitness, personal relationships, and more, this course will have you wondering why you ever doubted yourself.

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Publisher's Summary

Join an expert in self-control research for six engaging and inspirational lessons that shatter the myths about willpower and replace them with verifiable science that can make the seemingly unattainable finally possible. Packed with eye-opening studies, experiments, and exercises to strengthen your self-control when dealing with money, fitness, personal relationships, and more, this course will have you wondering why you ever doubted yourself.

Whether you're looking for new ways to resist temptation, make a strong first impression, or better control your emotions, this is your guide to understanding—and mastering—what is a frequently misunderstood subject. In clear language, your award-winning professor introduces you to the general theories behind self-control: what it is, how it works, and how you can take steps to improve it.

Among the topics you'll investigate:

  • How researchers discovered that delayed gratification can lead to better individual well-being in everything from higher self-worth to less sensitivity to rejection
  • One of the most influential theories about how self-control works - the limited resource model, which argues that self-control relies on limited energy that becomes depleted after use
  • How scientists discovered the link between the prefrontal cortex and aggression, and how people at risk for violent anger show abnormalities in that region of the brain.

Alongside groundbreaking scientific findings and research, you'll get personal exercises, activities, and thought experiments you can use to practice strengthening your self-control skills to meet whatever specific goals you want to achieve.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (81 )
5 star
 (33)
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3.8 (67 )
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3.9 (72 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DaemonZeiro Worcester, MA USA 07-11-13
    DaemonZeiro Worcester, MA USA 07-11-13

    I received my B.S. in Biology at WPI and am now pursuing a phd at UVM. I am dedicated to self-improvement and sating my curiosity. :)

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    "Don't skimp on this one"

    This one starts out alright but there are a LOT of things that one can find wrong with the experiments spoken about later on. This is only 3hrs but it's worth even less, about 45min. Instead, skip this truncated summation of psychological experiments and suggestions to do illogical things for training purposes and go straight to "The Willpower Instinct" which contains descriptions of all the best psychological studies AND realistic ways of both understanding and improving upon your willpower.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 11-27-13
    Saud 11-27-13

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

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    "A series of studies"

    If you're looking for a self-help course for self-control, this is not it. This is a course that looks at and analyzes scientific studies to understand the variables regarding self control in various individuals, both internally and externally. A good overview if you are already familiar with the experiments, which can also be an introduction for you to look deeper.

    If anything, it could have been longer and give each experiment more time.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake 09-24-14
    Jake 09-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Sometimes the secret is that the chest is empty..."
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor C. Nathan DeWall?

    No. The content was very loose but I have other titles of "The Great Courses" which I enjoyed. For a more detailed review, please see below.


    Has Scientific Secrets for Self-Control turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. Other books deserve consideration based on their content, not the lack of substance from this series.


    What three words best describe Professor C. Nathan DeWall’s voice?

    Average, Acceptable, Level


    Was Scientific Secrets for Self-Control worth the listening time?

    No. I didn't finish this audio book. I decided to stop committing time to this book on my commute toward the end of Chapter 4, finally losing the last reserves of self control required to listen to what amounted to pretty much nothing. Most of the information is common sense. There are a few relevant take away's which, while interesting, aren't backed up with any significant findings. Or they exist amid a sea of repetitive, irrelevant "facts". The narrator often states phrases such as, "the research supports", or "in a recent study". I do not require countless references or plugs to specific researchers or institutions, but with only 2 direct references to the "studies", I felt the information wasn't credible.

    The narrator doesn't even go as far as to beg the question. He makes a statement such as, "Do monkeys show signs of self control?" Follows with a few examples, all of which are preceded by, "A research" or "A study". Then finishes with, "yes, they do show self control". The true issue here is that it doesn't just happen once. He then moves on to another mammal and tells the exact same story. This methodical approach happens often throughout, and it doesn't take long before you realize you haven't actually learned anything.


    Any additional comments?

    There simply isn't much here. It happens. I was skeptical of the newest wave of courses due to their low times, and after reading a few similar reviews, may be less eager to purchase the next one. However, I have had very good luck with some of the longer volumes. They seemed to have more attention to detail and spent time addressing specific concepts rather than repeating broad generalizations.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Kailua, HI, United States 01-21-14
    Chris Kailua, HI, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Science was never so uninteresting."
    What disappointed you about Scientific Secrets for Self-Control?

    All of the studies, none of the numbers. Why bother mentioning all of the studies if you are not going to go into any of the details. Not a single factual number is presented. All of the lectures could be summed up in about 3 sentences of common sense. Dan Ariely - Predictably Irrational and books like that give the science and you get a view into what actually happened during the experiments. Not simply, "you know what 'More People' did this, Less people did that" I had to turn the lecture off. This will be the only audible book I will have returned for a refund. The Great Courses has some great professors, Robert Greenberg is amazing. He is a great presenter, story teller, he understands how to hold someones interest even in a very difficult subject. I swear I was being tricked. I must use my self control not to turn this OFF.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Anything from Robert Greenberg is amazing so far.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Present some actual experiments with the numbers the facts the details. Not "Turns Out...." The professor sounds somewhat bored with the whole thing. Give some real life examples, inspiring anecdotes, liven this dud of a subject up.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M. Kellum Seattle, WA 07-18-13
    John M. Kellum Seattle, WA 07-18-13 Member Since 2005
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    ""Mr Rogers Lite" talks about self control"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Disappointed pretty much across the board. Wanted to like it and actually renewed by Platinum membership for the 2sd time in 2013 and this was the first book i pulled down.
    Content was nothing that anyone interesting in area would not already have know or found out from reading an old Psychology Today in the dentist office.
    Their may have been a table of contents but I didn't feel like it reflected a clear model.
    Still quite angry I spend a credit on this and had to give up 2/3 way into the lecture and I not doing a good job but just so don't want to invest any more time ..
    Just listen to a sample first...

    btw - unless I mistaken Mr Rogers uses the phrase "most easiest" somewhere in 2sd or 3rd chapter...
    better suggestions welcomed.
    john


    What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?

    Dumbed down delivery on top of simplistic content


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Felt like he was talking to remedial Freshman class ...


    Any additional comments?

    Waited two days to write and while I sure Prof DeWall is nice guy and many love him as a professor considering the intro but still hate I wasted so much time before giving up.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 07-04-14
    Richard 07-04-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Uninspiring"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor C. Nathan DeWall?

    Professor DeWall's use of the English language ruins whatever value there might be in this course. This was painful to listen to. I gave up and asked for a return.


    What didn’t you like about Professor C. Nathan DeWall’s performance?

    The immature use of English was disturbing.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Fernandina Beach, FL, United States 03-12-14
    William Fernandina Beach, FL, United States 03-12-14
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    "Excellent tool for life-long learning."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've already recommended it to a friend. Not everyone has the learning bug, though.
    If you are looking to increase your own self control, or perhaps improve it in your students, you might gain from other's knowledge. That knowledge is presented here.
    Did you know that there are three ways that we attempt to use to understand self control? Think about it - some of us view it as a reservoir that gets used up. What refills that reservoir? Others view it as a talent that we can grow. The scientific evidence shows that we can manipulate these areas.
    This is one of those few books that I listen to where I wish I could pause life and let not another wasted moment escape.


    What does Professor C. Nathan DeWall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    How nerdy he is.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I will likely listen to it at least 2 more times.
    Wait. Is this a trick question? I don't just sit there and listen to these books like I do written books. I listen to these books while driving, cooking, painting, doing laundry, et cetera.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm the smartest guy in the world.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • terry
    Kings Langley, United Kingdom
    8/15/13
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    "Great idea!!"

    I bought six titles from The Great Courses lectures and just wanted to say what an excellent idea this is.

    Non-fiction books, even on an interesting topic, can sometimes be boring, repetitive and overly long. But in lecture form I've found them incredibly engaging. I really have a sense of what it would be like attend a lecture in an auditorium.

    This is my first title and I'm really enjoying it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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