What you will learn:
We've all heard about the placebo effect – which explains why name-brand medicines work better than the generic stuff, even when they share the exact same ingredients. But did you know that the way we think about ourselves and the world around us dramatically impacts our health, how fast or slow we age, and even how long we live? In fact, people with a positive mindset about aging live on average 7.5 years longer than those without. That might sound alarming to those of us who struggle to see the bright side, but the good news is we can make surprisingly simple changes or small shifts to how we think, feel, and act that will really pay off. In this talk, Catherine Sanderson breaks down the science of thought and shows how our mindset—or thought pattern—exerts a substantial influence on physical health. Most importantly, this talk ends by giving specific strategies we can all use, no matter our natural tendency, to make minor tweaks in our thoughts and behaviors that will improve the quality and length of our lives.
About the instructor:
Catherine Sanderson is the Poler Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in Health and Development, from Stanford University, and received both masters and doctoral degrees in psychology from Princeton University. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health.
Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, middle school and high school health textbooks, as well as the Introduction to Psychology course for The Great Courses. She's also the author of a tradebook examining how mindset influences happiness, health, and even how long we live (The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity). Her latest trade book, Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels, examines why good people so often stay silent or do nothing in the face of wrongdoing.
Professor Sanderson speaks regularly for public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the art of aging well, and the psychology of courage and inaction. These talks have been featured in numerous mainstream media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Atlantic, CNN, and CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.
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Suggested Length45 min
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