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Survival Mentality: The Psychology of Staying Alive  By  cover art

Survival Mentality: The Psychology of Staying Alive

By: Nancy Zarse,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Professor Nancy Zarse
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Publisher's summary

Have you ever wondered how you could possibly survive a physical assault or imagined what you would do if someone followed you in a dark parking lot? Most likely you have - it’s human nature to wonder. Most of us never get past those theoretical questions because we just don’t want to think about it. But what if we did? In Survival Mentality: The Psychology of Staying Alive, you’ll learn how to prepare now to give yourself the very best chance of surviving a life-threatening emergency.  

When we hear about someone surviving a great challenge, we often hear that the person “rose to the occasion”. But in fact, psychologists find that people do not rise to the occasion. In moments of terror, people revert to their lowest level of training and preparation. Knowing that, the trick is to bring up your “lowest level” by continually improving your training and preparation, practicing for survival now, and building the resilience that will sustain you in times of adversity.   

In this course, you’ll learn to identify and strengthen specific psychological factors to give yourself the best possible chance of survival, no matter what type of critical incident you face. Among other elements, Professor Zarse discusses the importance of internal locus of control, identifying and acting on instincts, managing emotions, and understanding the power of your capabilities.   

In Survival Mentality: The Psychology of Staying Alive, you’ll not only explore survival skills and strategies, but you’ll also hear the stories of individuals who used those techniques to survive real-world situations. Through the details of their stories, Professor Zarse helps you identify the psychological factors that served them best.  

Many of the survivors that are discussed in this course had no specific survival training, but their life experiences had helped them build significant psychological strengths. These survivors had what it took. In this course, you’ll learn that you, too, can build what it takes to survive in a crisis. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 The Great Courses (P)2020 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about Survival Mentality: The Psychology of Staying Alive

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Fabulous course for everyone!

As a veteran and a first responder for many years, I found the content of this course to be very valuable and refreshing in its presentation. The course is presented in an easily understood manner yet covers many complex topics/situations. As a life long learner I thoroughly enjoyed the material presented in this course and I will employ many of the strategies and techniques for the rest of my life. Well Done Dr. Zarse.

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8 people found this helpful

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Survive. To Thrive

straight Talk...No chaser. when you feel cornered, under physical, verbal or spiritually attacked, be prepared. When you feel unworthy, defeated, cornered, it's the resilience that gets you through. Never, ever, ever give up. This concise book with real life examples of folks overcoming adversity that works.

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7 people found this helpful

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Highly sourced and incredibly practical

This is an excellent course with very practical insights into the mentality of survival both physically but also emotionally that can be applied to many aspects of life, business and relationships. I was intrigued by the topic and was hopeful that it could add insights into work I am doing in the area of Natural Language Processing and Sustainability of Foundations, Endowments and Family Offices- the course did not disappoint. This highly sourced and incredibly well-researched course added excellent insights into the work I am doing around group dynamics. In particular, the orientation of Internal vs. External Locus of Control is a powerful insight with many practical applications. I highly recommend this course and found it to be well worth the time and an excellent value.

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6 people found this helpful

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A truly great course, from the Great Courses!

The title of the course does not do justice on the insights and wisdom it gives to the listener.
It is labeled a psychology course, but, it is a course that touches on philosophy, history and the innate desire by all human beings, not only to physically survive, but the challenge of living with dignity, courage, decency and character.
Professor Sparse, is a master of her subject, and an outstanding, amazing teacher.
Highly, recommended!!

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Good advice

This series of lectures is interesting and contains good advice that can help in a survival situation. The lecturer has a grating voice. Also, a lot of the points were repetitive. The survival stories are interesting and informative. I think this is well worth listening to, despite the minor irritations.

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Get Left of Shot

The premise of this course is something I'm utterly fascinated by. I always have been. But then a few years ago, I was involved in a violent homicide situation, and everything this speaker touches on came to light that night.

We don't rise to the occasion. We stoop to the level of our training.

Resiliency and the mental grit of the people involved in a critical incident are what determines if someone crumbles or runs into danger with a clear mind.

Having a plan ahead of time and getting left of shot, or ahead of the OODA Loop, will cause us to act immediately rather than waste precious seconds observing and orienting.

Phenomenal listen. "Survival Mentality" is one of the "Great Courses" offered by Audible. And Nancy Zarse is an engaging and knowledgeable teacher. This is beyond practical for law enforcement, health care, and the general citizen. It's real. I've watched it play out multiple times, but never more than that night.

A couple things she also stated that were interesting to me.

So often we love black and white. Laws, policies, procedures. But when we love psychology, we're someone who lives in the grey and thrives there.

A critical incident is often more significant to trauma than an expected incident. So yes, you can get trauma and PTSD from going overseas and fighting in a war zone. But a critical incident would involve, for example, sitting at your desk at work and an active shooter comes in. It's not expected. We haven't prepared for it. It's more jarring to our psyche.

I highly recommend this course. And it's relatively short.

I'd rate this a PG-13 for descriptions of many violent and traumatic situations.

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Good Compendium of Lesser* Motivators

And a useful model of reality (among many). If it is official, then it helps take the decision burden off of officers facing difficult situations.

*For the Ultimate Motivator (still there when lesser motivators have played themselves out), see the Philosophy of Broader Survival. It will be the philosophy of an enlightened future.

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A good overview of the preparedness mindset

Nancy Zarse seems very knowledgeable about the subject and draws from several examples from her own experiences and from others, most of whom she’s met and interviewed. Over, I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

The only criticism is that I did find parts of the presentation a little distracting, as it sounds very much like Marge Simpson is giving these lectures. But hey, that just makes it a little more interesting I suppose.

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This is a stark look at survival.

Professor Nancy Tarde demonstrates how she has put her knowledge to use in her own life and survival. She also shares how others have coped with adversity .

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Amazing listen! Especially right now

I love the terms she uses and examples. This really motivates and validates a lot of things I practice. Thank you right now we need encouragement most all and this book takes your head out of that place of defeat. Love it love. Going to share with my kids 17 and 19.

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