Drawing on landmark work in the field and her own body of colorful and highly original experiments–including the first detailed discussion of her “counterclockwise” study, in which elderly men lived for a week as though it was 1959 and showed dramatic improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being–Langer shows that the magic of rejuvenation and ongoing good health lies in being aware of the ways we mindlessly react to social and cultural cues. Examining the hidden decisions and vocabulary that shape the medical world (“chronic” versus “acute,” “cure” versus “remission”), the powerful physical effects of placebos, and the intricate but often defeatist ways we define our physical health, Langer challenges the idea that the limits we assume and impose on ourselves are real. With only subtle shifts in our thinking, in our language, and in our expectations, she tells us, we can begin to change the ingrained behaviors that sap health, optimism, and vitality from our lives. Improved vision, younger appearance, weight loss, and increased longevity are just four of the results that Langer has demonstrated.
The field of Psychology first emerged at Harvard in the late 1800's under the scholarship of William James, and ever since then Harvard has been at the forefront of the field. B.F. Skinner, Gordon Allport, Jerome Bruner, George Miller, and Henry Murray are some of the pioneers who have worked in the Department of Psychology, which continues to be among the country's top-ranked programs. Read more...
New & Noteworthy
- Katie McLaughlin Awarded Prestigious MERIT Award from NIMH
- Susan Carey awarded the National Academy of Sciences 2020 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
- Grad Student Tessa Charlesworth selected as 2020 Harvard Horizons Scholar
- Sam Gershman Selected 2020 Recipient of the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions
- Sam Gershman Wins 2019 Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award