behavior | WAMC

behavior

Book Cover for "The Gratitude Diaries"
Yellow Kite / Yellow Kite

This should be the season for joy but with the pandemic and political turmoil, many of us are having a hard time feeling very grateful. Janice Kaplan is the author of the bestseller "The Gratitude Diaries" and host of “The Gratitude Diaries” hit podcast. 

In the podcast, which just launched this past June, Kaplan provides practical, down-to-earth tips in daily, 5-7 minute doses about how to close what she calls “the gratitude gap,” in order to make everything seem a little better. Episodes include “The No-Complaining Zone,” “One Word to get Happier” and “The Power of Vitamin G” and more. 

She joins us to share some ideas on how we can reflect on our gratitude in order to make ourselves happier this holiday season.

Doreen Dodgen-Magee, PsyD, is a psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience working with individuals and groups in Portland, Oregon. Her main passion is engaging people about how the new digital landscape is shaping humanity.

In her new book, "Deviced!: Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital World," Dodgen-Magee uses personal stories, cutting edge research, and anecdotes from youth, parents, and professionals to highlights the brain changes that result from excessive technology use and offers an approach to the digital world that enables more informed and lasting change and a healthier long-term perspective.

With the publication of her bestselling books "Inside of a Dog" and "Being a Dog," Alexandra Horowitz established herself as the foremost authority on dog behavior, and offered owners new insights into the lives of their beloved pets.

Now, Horowitz turns her observant eye and incomparable wit to the owners themselves in "Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond," an exploration of the relationship between dogs and humans, and how that relationship affects both species. From what we name them to how we talk to them to the essential question of whether or not our dogs love us too.

Senior Research Fellow, Alexandra Horowitz heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College.

Dr. W. Thomas Boyce is a pediatrician and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Boyce's research addresses individual differences in children’s biological sensitivity to social contexts, such as the family, classroom and community.

In his new book, "The Orchid and the Dandelion," he explores the "dandelion" child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the "orchid" child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile), who, given the right support, can thrive as much as, if not more than, other children.

Boyce writes of his pathfinding research as a developmental pediatrician working with troubled children in child-development research for almost four decades, and explores his major discovery that reveals how genetic make-up and environment shape behavior.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt’s new book, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” is a ground-breaking book that demonstrates how our unconscious biases powerfully shape our behavior.

Using scientific research and powerful personal stories, Dr. Eberhardt reveals that all people are vulnerable to racial bias, even if they are not racist. She presents her often shocking research and data, demonstrating how racial bias can contribute to stark disparities between social groups from the classroom to the courtroom to the boardroom.

But the potential for bias is present in all of us, and it is vital to understand how bias works in order to begin to correct its devastating effects in our society.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “genius” grant. She is co-founder and co-director of SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions), a Stanford Center that brings together researchers and practitioners to address significant social problems.

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita, Harvard Business School. She is the author of In "The Age of the Smart Machine: the Future of Work and Power" and "The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism."

In her new book, "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power," she brings to life the consequences of surveillance capitalism as it advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets," where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification."

Zuboff's analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit; at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future. 

Book Cover - The Human Network

Inequality, social immobility, and political polarization are only a few crucial phenomena driven by the inevitability of social structures. Social structures determine who has power and influence, account for why people fail to assimilate basic facts, and enlarge our understanding of patterns of contagion.

Despite their primary role in shaping our lives, human networks are often overlooked when we try to account for our most important political and economic practices. In "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs and Behaviors." Stanford Professor Matthew Jackson illuminates the complexity of the social networks in which we are (often unwittingly) positioned and aims to facilitate a deeper appreciation of why we are who we are.

Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama, have collaborated on the book "Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life."

Their daily experiences at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue taught them valuable lessons about how to work productively with people from different walks of life and points of view. These Washington insiders share what they’ve learned through first person examples of their own glamorous (and sometimes harrowing) moments with celebrities, foreign leaders and that most unpredictable of animals - the American politician.

Psychologist Thomas Harbin specializes in the treatment of male rage. In his book, "Beyond Anger" Harbin explains specific symptoms of chronic anger and the negative effects on family, friends and coworkers.

Harbin helps men overcome violent feelings with exercises that create new habits, preventing anger before it starts. In the book women also learn skills for dealing with the angry men in their lives.    

James Geary is the deputy curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, editor of Nieman Reports, and former editor of the European edition of Time magazine. He is the author of the new book "Wit's End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It,"

Wit is often thought of as simply being funny. But wit is more than just having a knack for snappy comebacks. There is the serendipitous wit of scientists, the crafty wit of inventors, the optical wit of artists, the improvisational wit of musicians, and the metaphysical wit of philosophers. Wit is the quick, instinctive intelligence that allows us to think, say or do the right thing at the right time in the right place. James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, bringing the subject to life by writing each chapter in a style that exemplifies a different kind of wit.

Bryant Welch, J.D., Ph.D. has more than thirty-five years of experience in law, psychology, and politics. He spent seventeen years in Washington, D.C., where he built the American Psychological Association’s Practice Directorate, and has held faculty appointments at the University of North Carolina and George Washington University.

Why are Americans so vulnerable to divisive political tactics? Why did Americans get dragged into such an unwise war in Iraq? Why do fundamentalist religious groups, Fox News, and right-wing radio still play such influential roles in America’s political landscape? And why are long-accepted rational scientific ideas like evolution under siege? These questions hold America’s future in the balance. Ultimately, they are questions about the American mind.

Psychologist-attorney Dr. Bryant Welch has the answers. His book is "State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind."

James Clear is one of the world's leading experts on habit formation. He is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. His new book, "Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results," offers a framework for improving habits - every day.

Clear looks to reveal practical strategies that will teach you how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to extraordinary results.

If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you know a thing or two about tantrums. While those epic meltdowns can certainly be part of "normal" toddler behavior, they are still maddening, stressful, and exhausting--for everyone involved.

What can you do to keep your cool and help your child calm down? Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, child psychologist and mother of two, has a unique understanding of both the science behind tantrums and what works in the heat of the moment to nip blowups in the bud.

Her new book is: “The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler's Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again.”

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

In her book, "Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain," she explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers, namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.

Kristi Coulter inspired and incensed the internet when she wrote about what happened when she stopped drinking. "Nothing Good Can Come from This" is her debut essay collection by a keen-eyed observer no longer numbed into complacency.

When Kristi stopped drinking, she started noticing things. Like when you give up a debilitating habit, it leaves a space, one that can’t easily be filled by mocktails or ice cream or sex or crafting. And when you cancel "Rosé Season" for yourself, you’re left with just Summer, and that’s when you notice that the women around you are tanked, that alcohol is the oil in the motors that keeps them purring when they could be making other kinds of noise.

In the book, Coulter reveals a portrait of a life in transition. Kristi will be part of the Volume Reading Series at Spotty Dog Books and Ale on September 8 at 7 p.m.

Why do we do the things we do? Robert Sapolsky, celebrated Stanford primatologist and neurobiologist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, tackles this age-old question in his investigation into the science of human behavior, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst," now available in paperback.

From violence and aggression to cooperation and empathy, Sapolsky explores what we can do to better understand our relationships to one another. He argues that we should not distinguish between aspects of a behavior that are biological and those that are cultural because they are utterly intertwined.

James J. Sexton is a trial lawyer with two decades of experience negotiating and litigating high-conflict divorces.

In his new book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together," he uses his years of experience and observation to reverse engineer relationships and to identify and fix what does not work.

Kim Brophey, CDBC, BA, is a nationally certified and award-winning canine behavior consultant and the owner of Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Using cutting-edge research, Brophey has developed a groundbreaking system that allows owners to identify what their dog is struggling with, why, and how they can fix it. Brophey's approach is unlike anything that has been published before and will give dog owners a new understanding of what motivates and affects their dog's behavior.

Her book is "Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog's Behavior."

Daphne de Marneffe, PhD, is a psychologist and the author of "Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life." In her clinical practice, she offers psychotherapy to couples and individuals. She teaches and lectures widely on marriage, couple therapy, adult development, and parenthood. 

In her new book, "The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together," she explores the pushes and pulls of midlife marriage, where an individual's need to develop can crash headlong into the demands of a relationship.

Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, MAPP, is a freelance writer and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. She has a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her husband, James Pawelski, PH.D. is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-founded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program with Martin Seligman. Together, Suzie and James regularly lead Romance and Research (TM) workshops around the world.

Their new book book is "Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts."

As humans, we all need to belong. While modern social life can make even the best of us feel gawky, for roughly one in five of us, navigating its challenges is consistently overwhelming -- an ongoing maze without an exit. Often unable to grasp social cues or master the skills and grace necessary for smooth interaction, we feel out of sync with those around us. Though individuals may recognize their awkward disposition, they rarely understand why they are like this -- which makes it hard for them to know how to adjust their behavior.

Psychologist and interpersonal relationship expert Ty Tashiro knows what it’s like to be awkward. His new book is "Awkward: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome."

Daniel Pink looks to change the way we live by changing how we think. From “To Sell Is Human” to “Drive to A Whole New Mind,” Pink’s New York Times-bestselling books illuminate the hidden forces that affect our lives in major ways. His new book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” shows us the keys to timing our decisions and actions so that we can thrive both personally and professionally. 

Drawing on a range of scientific research in the fields of psychology, biology, economics and anthropology, Pink reveals how we can use the hidden patterns of the day to succeed in all facets of our lives. 

Dr. John Bargh, the world’s leading expert on the unconscious mind, presents a groundbreaking book, twenty years in the making, which gives us an entirely new understanding of the hidden mental processes that secretly govern every aspect of our behavior.

For more than three decades, Dr. John Bargh has been responsible for the revolutionary research into the unconscious mind, research that informed bestsellers like Blink and Thinking Fast and Slow. Now, in what Dr. John Gottman said “will be the most important and exciting book in psychology that has been written in the past twenty years,” Dr. Bargh takes us on an entertaining and enlightening tour of the forces that affect everyday behavior while transforming our understanding of ourselves in profound ways.


  If you look for it - you can find a lot of pretty swell life advice in musicals. For instance: you gotta get a gimmick, don’t throw away your shot, and whenever you feel afraid - hold your head erect and whistle a happy tune.

 

Tim Federle’s new book, available from Running Press, shares advice he’s learned not from the lyrics in shows - but from performing in musicals on Broadway, around the U.S. and abroad. Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like A Star features chapters entitled “Be a Good Scene Partner,” “Go Where the Love Is,” “Put on a Happy Face,”  and 47 others for a total of 50 tips pulled from years of theater experience.

 

Federle is the best-selling author of cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin and the novels Better Nate Than Ever and The Great American Whatever.

What’s the proper way to hold a wine glass? What’s an appropriate gift to bring a host—and what shouldn’t you bring? How should you correctly introduce guests to each other? What is appropriate cell phone usage at a business dinner? Here are just a few of important etiquette questions.

In their new book, Modern American Manners: Dining Etiquette for Hosts and Guests, Fred Mayo and Michael Gold have written a guide to help us learn appropriate manners so we can enjoy the pleasures of good food, good drink, and good company without worrying about what behavior is proper. 

Chapters cover how to be a good host, how to be a good guest, and how to behave at business events, cocktail parties, formal dinners, and restaurants. There is also a unique chapter discussing pet peeves and how to handle them with grace, civility, and appropriate manners.

While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance, Dr. Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist at UCSF, made an alarming discovery - our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction, depression, and chronic disease from which we may never recover.

In his new book, The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains, Dr. Lustig presents the fundamental differences between pleasure and happiness – at the biological and chemical level—and explains the way big business is taking advantage of advances in neuroscience to confuse and conflate pleasure with happiness, and getting into our heads.

Dr. Robert Lustig is professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco. 

Bestselling author Anne Lamott’s work looks to help guide us through the confusion of the world, the complexities of our own hearts, and the complications of understanding relationships with others – children, partners, friends, neighbors, the stranger at the clothing store.

Her latest is: Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy. 

Whether shopping with military precision or hanging the tea towels just so, compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms exist life altering disorders.

Sharon Begley’s Can't Just Stop: An Investigation of Compulsions is the first book of its kind to examine all of these behaviors—mild and extreme (OCD, hoarding, acquiring, exercise, even compulsions to do good)—together, as they should be, because while forms of compulsion may look incredibly different, these are actually all coping responses to varying degrees of anxiety.

Lonni Sue Johnson was a renowned artist who regularly produced covers for The New Yorker, a gifted musician, a skilled amateur pilot, and a joyful presence to all who knew her. But in late 2007, she contracted encephalitis. The disease burned through her hippocampus like wildfire, leaving her severely amnesic, living in a present that rarely progresses beyond ten to fifteen minutes.

     Remarkably, she still retains much of the intellect and artistic skills from her previous life, but it's not at all clear how closely her consciousness resembles yours or mine. In The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love, award-winning science journalist Michael D. Lemonick uses the unique drama of Lonni Sue Johnson's day-to-day life to give us a nuanced and intimate understanding of the science that lies at the very heart of human nature.

Hidden anger that comes out indirectly can undermine relationships between friends, family, and colleagues. When people feel compelled to conceal their true beliefs and emotions, there can be serious physical and psychological results for everyone involved.

In Overcoming Passive-Aggression, Revised Edition: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career, and Happiness, Dr. Tim Murphy and Loriann Oberlin offer a clear definition of passive aggression and show readers not only how to end the behavior but also how to avoid falling victim to other people's hidden anger.

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