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Changing Minds


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Table of Contents

1. The Contents of the Mind 2. The Forms of the Mind 3. The Power of Early Theories 4. Leading a Diverse Population 5. Leading an Institution: How to Deal with a Uniform Population 6. The Creative Geniuses Change Minds Indirectly--Through Science, Scholarly Breakthroughs, and Works of Art 7. Mind Changing in a Formal Setting 8. Mind Changing Up Close 9. Changing One's Own Mind 10 Epilogue: The Future of Mind Changing Notes Index About the Author

About the Author

The author of fifteen books, eminent Harvard psychologist Gardner revolutionized our understanding of intelligence, creativity, and leadership with such books as Frames of Mind, Creating Minds and Leading Minds.


Gardner, a psychologist and professor at Harvard, examines the factors involved in changing minds on significant issues, in politics, science, business and art. He identifies seven key elements, including reason, research and real world events, that are part of the decision-making process. Certain facets are more heavily weighted in some fields than others: "leaders of large groups often rely on the appreciable resources at their disposal but are buoyed or undercut by real world events," says Gardner (Frames of Mind), who believes this explains why a politician or a CEO will disregard advice in the face of larger issues and popular perceptions. To prove his theories, Gardner analyzes the behavior of several individuals including President Bush, Britain's Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, and South Africa's Nelson Mandela. Gardner doesn't limit his examination to politicians because he also believes that artists, writers, musicians and teachers can change people's minds. While the discussions and real-life examples are intriguing and do clarify Gardner's theories, the book doesn't fully deliver on its promise. Although Gardner does offer suggestions on how someone can influence others, he doesn't include a detailed prescriptive strategy for decision makers in the business world. Readers must draw out insights on their own, which, given the complexity of the material, may be difficult. (Apr.) Forecast: With Gardner's well-established reputation in the academic world, along with national press, the book should garner mentions in the media and strong initial sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Though originally conceived as a business text, this new treatise by Gardner (The Disciplined Mind; Frames of Mind) is relevant to every field (from painting to the presidency of a university) and on every level (from the intrapersonal to the international). Gardner is well known as one of the forerunners of cognitive science, having brought the idea of multiple intelligences into the mainstream. Here he adapts and condenses the theories he has proposed in 18 previous books, rendering them applicable to any leadership situation. Gardner defines leadership as the ability to change minds, using examples of various leaders (e.g., Margaret Thatcher, Mohandas Gandhi, and James O. Freedman) as models for future action. He argues that we must use different intelligences to change minds in different settings and expands upon this idea by citing seven relevant factors-reason, research, resonance, representational redescriptions, resources and rewards, real-world events, and resistances. His explanations are clear, concise, and conversational, and he illuminates his biases, helping readers decide whether to accept or reject his arguments. Recommended for most libraries as an essential tool for the development of critical thinking.-Khadijah Caturani, "Library Journal" Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Named one of the "Highlights from the Decade" in strategy+business magazine.

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