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Most Underappreciated50 Prominent Social Psychologists Describe Their Most Unloved Work$
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Robert Arkin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.001.0001

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A Life-Changing Paper? That Depends on Your Interpretation

A Life-Changing Paper? That Depends on Your Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.22) A Life-Changing Paper? That Depends on Your Interpretation
Source:
Most Underappreciated
Author(s):

Todd F. Heatherton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.003.0005

Todd F. Heatherton describes his most underappreciated work: a paper that examined how people create and maintain life change by constructing narratives about how and why they changed. He explains why he and his co-author Patricia Nichols wrote the paper, their findings, the story that they should have emphasized, and why he thinks they have a lot more to learn about how subjective interpretations are crucial for understanding life change. The basic premise of their paper is that the stories people create may serve as important guides for future behavior. That is, the belief that one has changed may motivate behaviors that help sustain change.

Keywords:   Todd F. Heatherton, life change, narratives, Patricia Nichols, subjective interpretations, behavior

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