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  • Free yourself from faulty thinking

    We all have faulty thinking patterns at times, and there is nothing wrong with that. How we see the world and how we think are heavily influenced by our past experiences, our values and the current information we have. All this creates a frame of reference within us that is as unique as we are.

    We use this frame of reference to evaluate incoming information. But because all incoming information also modifies that frame of reference, we sometimes develop faulty thinking patterns.

    For example, we might expect that our family visit will be boring. Because of our expectation we only see the boring parts of our visit and not the more interesting parts. In this case our frame of reference modifies the information that we get by paying more attention to the boring parts of our visit.

    After the visit we think it was another boring family visit, and the next time we will be even more convinced that it will be boring again. In this case our experience alters our frame of reference and just reinforces the belief that family visits are boring. Of course the next time we visit our family we will be even more convinced that it will be boring and just like this a faulty thinking pattern can become stronger and stronger over time.

    In the Psychology Essentials course you learn how to detect your own unique thinking patterns as well as ways to change them. You will be amazed by the interesting thinking patterns you will discover in yourself.

  • Improve your communication skills

    When was the last time you said something to someone and then wondered what was going on inside of them? One of the great things about learning essential psychological principles is that you not only understand yourself better, but also the people around you.

    You learn not only to question yourself and find the underlying thoughts that create a certain behaviour or emotion, but you also learn to understand the thoughts and motivations of other people.

    This happens more quickly with people you spend a lot of time with. Understanding them better gives you more flexibility in how you deal with them.

    For example, when a person frequently uses words like “always,”, “everybody” or “nobody” in situations where those words don’t accurately describe what is going on, they are most likely overgeneralizing. “You always ignore me.” Or, “Everyone should appreciate criticism.”

    Understanding this gives you a clue about how this person thinks and how to deal with them. People who overgeneralize disempower themselves because they see things as final and unable to change. That often makes them inflexible in their way of thinking about these “overgeneralized” topics. So whenever you deal with them you should be aware of this and keep your conversation as focused and detailed as possible. Remind that person that there are always choices whenever you see they slip into overgeneralizing.

    This is just one example of how you can improve your communication and relationships with other people. You start by learning how to control your thoughts and emotions better. Once you have mastered this you can apply this to the people around you. You can help them with problems or communicate with them more effectively because you understand what makes them tick.

  • Chapter 1: Happiness, Control and a Simple Model

    How can you live a happier and more fulfilled life?

    Understanding yourself is the first step to control yourself better. More control results in more happiness. There are some situations in our life that we can not change. All we can do is change how we think, feel and react to them which is a skill that can help us overcome whatever gets in our way. This is what you learn here.

    Essential Knowledge in this Lesson:

    More control over your life = more happiness

    Before every emotion or action come thoughts. You are aware of some thoughts and unaware of some thoughts. Thoughts you are unaware of are called “automatic thoughts”. The crucial thing to remember is that there are always thoughts before emotions or actions! By changing our thoughts we can control our emotions and actions.


    Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9, 111-131

    Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The how of happiness. New York: The Penguin Press.

    Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). Is it possible to become happier? (And if so, how?). Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1, 1-17.

    Andrew C. Butlera, Jason E. Chapman, Evan M. Forman, Aaron T. Beck (2005). The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review Volume 26, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 17-31

    Ellis, Albert, Corsini, Raymond J. (Ed); Wedding, Danny (Ed), (1989). Rational-emotive therapy. Current psychotherapies (4th ed.). Current psychotherapies (4th ed.), (pp. 197-238). Itasca, IL, US: F E Peacock Publishers, xi, 623 pp.

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