UNDER PRESSURE

CONFRONTING THE EPIDEMIC OF STRESS AND ANXIETY IN GIRLS

Practical solutions backed by solid research that will help many girls overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety.

New insight into the old issue of teen girls suffering stress and anxiety.

Adolescent girls have always struggled with anxiety, but it’s even more of an issue now with the rise of social media, cyberbullying, and the cutthroat competition to get into elite universities across the country. Damour (Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, 2016), an adolescence columnist for the New York Times and director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, re-examines this problem through real-case scenarios taken from her private practice as a clinical psychologist and her work at her all-girls school. The author helps readers identify key areas where girls may be feeling pressure: home, school, in their relationships with their peers and with boys, and with the culture at large. In readily accessible and easily assimilated prose, Damour first explains how some stress and anxiety is actually good for a girl, as it pushes her out of her comfort zone, forcing her to stretch and reach beyond her safety level to new stages of development. It’s when this stress becomes overwhelming that it becomes a problem, and here the author jumps into the many arenas where this is an issue. She discusses the difference between healthy competition and aggressive behavior in school academics, how most girls need more sleep, and how they can protect themselves and each other from sexual harassment. She explains how to build downtime into a hectic schedule so that when things go awry, as they inevitably do, it doesn’t lead to a serious mental and emotional collapse. She also makes many other common-sense suggestions to help parents help their daughters in these highly competitive times. Although few of these issues are new, Damour’s instructive book pulls them into the limelight yet again, where they can be addressed by a new generation of parents and girls.

Practical solutions backed by solid research that will help many girls overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety.

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-18005-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

THE CULTURE MAP

BREAKING THROUGH THE INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES OF GLOBAL BUSINESS

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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