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The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver

ISBN: 978-0-470-91742-8
208 pages
April 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver (0470917423) cover image


The keys to understanding and developing courage

This groundbreaking book reveals that courage is more about managing fear than not feeling it, and that courage can be learned. The author explains that most courageous people are unaware of their own bravery, and all of us have some form of courage in our lives now, to start with. The book is filled with illustrative examples, studies, and interviews from Greenland to Kenya, and defines the types of individuals who demonstrate general, personal, and civil courage. The author includes clear guidelines and suggestions for increasing our ability to be courageous.

  • Includes guidelines that show how anyone can ramp-up their courage quotient and develop the qualities that strengthen personal courage
  • Contains a wealth of examples and anecdotes of real-world courage from a variety of cultures
  • A prolific writer, the author has a popular blog Psychology Today

The author extols the virtues of personal courage and shows how to overcome fear and stand up for what is right.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: How I Found Courage ix

part 1 a crash course in courage

1 Your Courage Quotient 3

2 Measuring Courage 25

part 2 increasing courage by controlling fear

3 Ride the Emotional See-Saw 41

4 Think Magically 67

part 3 increasing courage by boosting the willingness to act

5 Try Defiance 87

6 Be Out of the ‘‘In Crowd’’ 107

7 Be Willing to Fail 121

part 4 conclusion

8 From the Research Laboratory to Real Life 139

Appendix I: Test Your Courage Quotient 151

Appendix II: Locate Your Own Brand of Courage 157

References 159

Acknowledgments 169

About the Author 171

Index 173

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Author Information

Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is widely known as the "Indiana Jones of positive psychology" because his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya, and Israel. The foremost authority on positive psychology coaching, he is managing director of Positive Acorn LLC (www.positiveacorn.com). His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, O!, Vogue, Reader's Digest, and on NPR. Biswas-Diener lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children. He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.

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Press Release

April 12, 2012
Bravery Can Be Learned With The Courage Quotient

 The Courage Quotient

A Book That Can Teach People How to be Brave

San Francisco, CA - Courage has been a topic that’s been of interest for thousands of years because it can allow people to take risks and stretch beyond their perceived limitations.  People often view courage was innate; however, studies have shown that this is not always the case.  In fact, bravery can be learned.

Author Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is here to debunk the age-old myth in THE COURAGE QUOTIENT: How Science Can Make You Braver (Jossey-Bass, April 2012, ISBN: 978-0-470-91742-8, $25.95 / Cloth / also available as an e-book).  He reveals that courage is more about managing fear than not feeling it, and that courage can be learned.  The book outlines a number of strategies to increase courage and boost a willingness to act - even in the face of fear.

“Throughout my studies and travel I’ve found that every culture has a different view of courage, which impacted the amount they displayed when confronted with fear.  This not only fascinated me and inspired my research, but also made me realize how much control over the amount of courage that we can have,” say Dr. Biswas-Diener.

This book is anchored in science but is punctuated with engaging, real world stories that illustrate the book’s tips and strategies in an emotionally resonant way. Readers will be introduced to concepts such as “courage blindness” and “personal courage,” and will learn the importance of magical thinking and failure in the bravery process. 

THE COURAGE QUOTIENT is a fresh, research-based way of understanding and using the science of positive psychology to face life head-on and achieve greater success in business, relationships, meaning, and happiness.

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