The Curse of the Self: Self-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life

Paperback | January 18, 2007

byMark R. Leary

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Despite its obvious advantages, our ability to be self-reflective comes at a high price. Few people realize how profoundly their lives are affected by self-reflection or how frequently inner chatter interferes with their success, pollutes their relationships with others, and undermines theirhappiness. By allowing people to ruminate about the past or imagine what might happen in the future, self-reflection conjures up a great deal of personal suffering in the form of depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and other negative emotions. A great deal of unhappiness, in the form ofaddictions, overeating, and domestic violence, is due to people's inability to exert control over their thoughts and behavior. Is it possible to direct our self-reflection in a way that will minimize the disadvantages and maximize the advantages? Is there a way to affect the egotistical selfthrough self-reflection? In this volume, Mark Leary explores the personal and social problems that are created by the capacity for self-reflection, and by drawing upon psychology and other behavioral sciences, offers insights into how these problems can be minimized.

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From the Publisher

Despite its obvious advantages, our ability to be self-reflective comes at a high price. Few people realize how profoundly their lives are affected by self-reflection or how frequently inner chatter interferes with their success, pollutes their relationships with others, and undermines theirhappiness. By allowing people to ruminate ab...

Mark R. Leary is Professor of Psychology at Duke University. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and former president of the International Society for Self and Identity. He was named by the Institute for Scientific Information as among the 25 most productive s...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:236 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:January 18, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195325443

ISBN - 13:9780195325447

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. The Self-Aware Animal2. Living in Two Worlds3. Through the Eyes of the Ego4. Making Ourselves Miserable5. When Selves Collide6. Risking Life and Limb7. Religion and Morality8. The Self Out of Control9. Bringing out the Best in the SelfEndnotes. References. Indexes.

Editorial Reviews

"The Curse of the Self is a thinking person's self-help book, not in the trivial, superficial sense in which the term 'self-help book' is usually used, but in the sense of being both intellectually stimulating and offering useful, practical advice and insights." -Lee Jussim, Department ofPsychology, Rutgers University