Summary of Willpower

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7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


People with the best intentions often fall short of their self-improvement goals. Social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister collaborating with New York Times writer John Tierney explain why, and give you some tools to work with as they share the results of years of study of human self-control. Their presentation is too academic for a self-help guide to correcting bad habits, since it cites study after study, but it is a very interesting backgrounder. getAbstract recommends this information-heavy look at why just saying no doesn’t work – and what you can do instead.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What human behavioral studies have learned about willpower,
  • What activities deplete or boost your willpower, and
  • How to strengthen your self-control.

About the Authors

Roy F. Baumeister is a professor of psychology at Florida State University. John Tierney writes the science column Findings and has worked for The New York Times since 1990.



The Sirens’ Song
Temptations and distractions lurk at every turn. Researchers who studied more than 200 people in Germany found that participants spent at least four hours daily resisting their desires. The urges to eat, nap, take a break, have sex, surf the net or watch television are...

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Comment on this summary

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    Stefan Chirila 5 years ago
    A good summary. I was able to pick some important points, that I will try to research even more.
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    Melva McNeil 5 years ago
    very interesting.
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    Harshad Sonar 5 years ago
    Liked the summary and the studies covered. Not sure if I would want to read the book in toto.

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