Catalogue


What makes a hero? : the surprising science of selflessness /
Elizabeth Svoboda.
imprint
New York : Current, [2013]
description
x, 225 pages
ISBN
1591845289, 9781591845287
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Current, [2013]
isbn
1591845289
9781591845287
contents note
Can anyone become a hero? -- Theory. In the gene? ; The economics of unselfishness ; Mental blocks against heroism ; Inner focus and compassionate action ; Suffering and heroism ; Helping, health, and happiness ; The scientific search for altruism -- Practice. Heroes in training ; Corporate heroes ; Real-life superheroes ; Taking the hero challenge ; Cultivating a heroic life.
abstract
"An entertaining investigation into the biology and psychology of why we sacrifice for other people. Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how goingthrough suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health. She also reveals the concrete things we can do to encourage our most heroic selves to step forward. It's a common misconception that heroes are innately predisposed to be selfless and altruistic. Svoboda shows why it's not simply a matter of biological hardwiring and how anyone can be a hero by tapping into the inherent qualities we all share."--
catalogue key
10270322
 
Comprend des références bibliographiques
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-06-17:
"Can you-can any ordinary person-learn to build on your natural biological endowments to turn yourself into a model of selflessness and service to others?" Svoboda's question is straightforward, but the path to an answer winds from evolutionary biology and neuroscience to educational philosophy and psychology via anecdote and personal reflection. But while the journo makes some interesting points, there is nothing particularly new here. She summarizes the basic evolutionary explanation for altruism and describes some of the classic relevant neuroscience work; her two main points are that a selfless attitude can be cultivated through practice, and that learning about evil and kindness can prepare people to act heroically when opportunities present themselves. However, Svoboda presents little hard data to support her position, relying instead on anecdotes, interpretations of past studies, and personal experiences, such as having an MRI scan, attending a "Real Life Superheroes" gathering in New York City, and handing out small care packages to homeless people in San Francisco. (Purple prose doesn't help, either: "Offered a meager gift and a little kindness, people the world had written off as hopeless opened up the way parched blooms do after a few drops of rain.") Agent: Joe Veltre, Gersh Agency. (Aug. 29) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
What Makes a Hero? is really about how to become a better persona subject science has more to say about than you might expect. The world would be a better place if everyone read Elizabeth Svoboda's fun, fascinating, and deeply researched book. Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything In this readable and engaging volume, Elizabeth Svoboda weaves research, public narratives and personal stories together to demonstrate the counter-intuitive truth of her title: that heroic action can be learned; that heroic inclinations can be nurtured; and that "heroes" can, in fact, be made. We all have it in us, and through rehearsal, practice, self-insight and peer support, we can bring our inner heroes to light. Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D., author of Giving Voice To Values: How To Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right It's a joy to join the journey of Elizabeth Svoboda, a young writer and researcher, as she brings together personal stories and exciting studies to explain what pushes us to aid othersfrom daily helping to headlined heroic acts. Allan Luks, co-author of The Healing Power of Doing Good In these trying times involving global political conflict and economic hardship, Elizabeth Svoboda gives us all hope that science can show humanity the right path. Her book artfully describes the psychological and physiological explanations behind altruism and heroismwhich just might crack the toughest cynic. But must importantly, she gives us a glimpse into how we all hold it within ourselves to make our immediate communities a little bit better. Cyrus Farivar, author of The Internet of Elsewhere and senior business editor of Ars Technica Kudos to Elizabeth Svoboda for answering the question What Makes a Hero? She examines every facet that contributes to heroic behavior: genes, neurobiology, thoughts and feelings, social forces. She even does her own "experiments" in heroism and shares her results. A must-read for anyone curious about real-life heroism. Robin Rosenberg, Ph.D., psychologist and author, Superhero Origins: What Makes Superheroes Tick and Why We Care ; editor, What Is a Superhero? Elizabeth Svoboda's engaging new book explores what makes a heroand reveals science behind the greatness and generosity possible to any human being. Jill Neimark, co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, June 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
An entertaining investigation into the biology and psychology of why we sacrifice for other people Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health. She also reveals the concrete things we can do to encourage our most heroic selves to step forward. It's a common misconception that heroes are heroic just because they're innately predisposed to be that way. Svoboda shows why it's not simply a matter of biological hardwiring and how anyone can be a hero if they're committed to developing their heroic potential.
Main Description
An entertaining investigation into the biology and psychology of why we sacrifice for other people Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health. She also reveals the concrete things we can do to encourage our most heroic selves to step forward. Its a common misconception that heroes are innately predisposed to be selfless and altruistic. Svoboda shows why its not simply a matter of biological hardwiring and how anyone can be a hero by tapping into the inherent qualities we all share.
Main Description
An entertaining investigation into the biology and psychology of why we sacrifice for other people Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health. She also reveals the concrete things we can do to encourage our most heroic selves to step forward. It's a common misconception that heroes are innately predisposed to be selfless and altruistic. Svoboda shows why it's not simply a matter of biological hardwiring and how anyone can be a hero by tapping into the inherent qualities we all share.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Can Anyone Become A Hero?p. 1
Theory
In The Genes?p. 13
The Economics of Unselfishnessp. 31
Mental Blocks Against Heroismp. 45
Inner Focus and Compassionate Actionp. 59
Suffering and Heroismp. 75
Helping, Health, and Happinessp. 89
The Scientific Search for Altruismp. 105
Practice
Heroes in Trainingp. 125
Corporate Heroesp. 143
Real-Life Superheroesp. 159
Taking the Hero Challengep. 173
Cultivating a Heroic Lifep. 191
Acknowledgmentsp. 207
Notesp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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