SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient - Powered by the Science of Games - Jane McGonigal (2015)



1. Jessica L. Mackelprang et al., “Rates and Predictors of Suicidal Ideation During the First Year After Traumatic Brain Injury,” American Journal of Public Health 104, no. 7 (2014): e100–e107; Nazanin H. Bahraini et al., “Suicidal Ideation and Behaviours After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review,” Brain Impairment 14.01 (2013): 92–112.

2. Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, “Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence,” Psychological Inquiry 15, no. 1 (2004): 1–18.

3. I arrived at this list of the five most common signs of post-traumatic growth after an extensive review of the scientific literature on PTG, including the following important sources: Birgit Wagner, Christine Knaevelsrud, and Andreas Maercker, “Post-Traumatic Growth and Optimism as Outcomes of an Internet-Based Intervention for Complicated Grief,” Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 36, no. 3 (2007): 156–61; Lawrence G. Calhoun and Richard G. Tedeschi, “Beyond Recovery from Trauma: Implications for Clinical Practice and Research,” Journal of Social Issues 54, no. 2 (1998): 357–71; Laura Quiros, “Trauma, Recovery, and Growth: Positive Psychological Perspectives on Posttraumatic Stress,” (2010): 118–21; Stephen Joseph and P. Alex Linley, “Growth Following Adversity: Theoretical Perspectives and Implications for Clinical Practice,” Clinical Psychology Review 26, no. 8 (2006): 1041–53; Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, “The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the Positive Legacy of Trauma,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 9, no. 3 (1996): 455–71; Matthew J. Cordova et al., “Posttraumatic Growth Following Breast Cancer: A Controlled Comparison Study,” Health Psychology 20, no. 3 (2001): 176; Susan Cadell, Cheryl Regehr, and David Hemsworth, “Factors Contributing to Posttraumatic Growth: A Proposed Structural Equation Model,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 73, no. 3 (2003): 279–28; Mary Beth Werdel and Robert J. Wicks, Primer on Posttraumatic Growth: An Introduction and Guide (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2012); Kenneth W. Phelps et al., “Enrichment, Stress, and Growth from Parenting an Individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability 34, no. 2 (2009): 133–41; Katie A. Devine et al., “Posttraumatic Growth in Young Adults Who Experienced Serious Childhood Illness: A Mixed-Methods Approach,” Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 17, no. 4 (2010): 340–48; Stephen Joseph, What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth (New York: Basic Books, 2011); and Janelle M. Jones et al., “That Which Doesn’t Kill Us Can Make Us Stronger (and More Satisfied with Life): The Contribution of Personal and Social Changes to Well-Being After Acquired Brain Injury,” Psychology and Health 26, no. 3 (2011): 353–69.

4. Bronnie Ware, “Regrets of the Dying,” November 19, 2009, The article was subsequently expanded to a full-length book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying (Bloomington, IN: Hay House, 2012).

5. Ann Marie Roepke, “Psychosocial Interventions and Post-traumatic Growth: A Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (May 19, 2014): n.p.

6. Ann Marie Roepke, “Gains Without Pains? Growth After Positive Events,” Journal of Positive Psychology 8, no. 4 (2013): 280–91.

7. Mark Stephen Tremblay et al., “Physiological and Health Implications of a Sedentary Lifestyle,” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 35, no. 6 (2010): 725–40.

8. Ruth M. Barrientos et al., “Little Exercise, Big Effects: Reversing Aging and Infection-Induced Memory Deficits, and Underlying Processes,” Journal of Neuroscience 31, no. 32 (2011): 11578–86; Genevieve N. Healy et al., “Breaks in Sedentary Time Beneficial Associations with Metabolic Risk,” Diabetes Care 31, no. 4 (2008): 661–66; and Corby K. Martin et al., “Exercise Dose and Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Archives of Internal Medicine 169, no. 3 (2009): 269.

9. Martin S. Hagger et al., “Ego Depletion and the Strength Model of Self-Control: A Meta-Analysis,” Psychological Bulletin 136, no. 4 (2010): 495.

10. Barbara L. Fredrickson “The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology: The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions,” American Psychologist 56, no. 3 (2001): 218; Barbara L. Fredrickson, “What Good Are Positive Emotions?,” Review of General Psychology 2, no. 3 (1998): 300; and Sarah D. Pressman and Sheldon Cohen, “Does Positive Affect Influence Health?,” Psychological Bulletin 131, no. 6 (2005): 925.

11. Todd B. Kashdan, Paul Rose, and Frank D. Fincham, “Curiosity and Exploration: Facilitating Positive Subjective Experiences and Personal Growth Opportunities,” Journal of Personality Assessment 82, no. 3 (2004): 291–305; and Todd Kashdan, Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (New York: Harper, 2010), 352.

12. Hiroshi Nittono et al., “The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus,” PLOS ONE 7, no. 9 (2012): e46362. There’s a bonus benefit, too: viewing baby animals also makes you more productive!

13. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Wendy A. Birmingham, and Kathleen C. Light, “Influence of a ‘Warm Touch’ Support Enhancement Intervention Among Married Couples on Ambulatory Blood Pressure, Oxytocin, Alpha Amylase, and Cortisol,” Psychosomatic Medicine 70, no. 9 (2008): 976–85.

14. Robin I. M. Dunbar, “The Social Role of Touch in Humans and Primates: Behavioural Function and Neurobiological Mechanisms,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 34, no. 2 (2010): 260–68; and Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing (New York: Merloyd Lawrence Books, 2003).

15. As defined by leading gratitude researcher Dr. Robert Emmons. See Robert A. Emmons and Cheryl A. Crumpler, “Gratitude as a Human Strength: Appraising the Evidence,” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 19, no. 1 (2000): 56–69; Sara B. Algoe, “Find, Remind, and Bind: The Functions of Gratitude in Everyday Relationships,” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 6, no. 6 (2012): 455–69; and Sara B. Algoe, Jonathan Haidt, and Shelly L. Gable, “Beyond Reciprocity: Gratitude and Relationships in Everyday Life,” Emotion 8, no. 3 (2008): 425.

Part 1: Why Games Make Us Superbetter

1. The one billion number is a calculation based on my aggregation of more than twenty global game play demographic and marketplace reports, including the 2014 Entertainment Software Association’s Demographic Report and Newzoo’s 2013 Global Games Market Report, which estimates 1.23 billion active video game players worldwide. That estimate includes 192 million in North America, 446 million in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 477 million in Asia, and 116 million in Latin America.

2. Amanda Lenhart et al., “Teens, Video Games and Civics,” Pew Internet Life Report, September 16, 2008,

3. See Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (New York: Penguin, 2011), chap. 4.

4. John T. Cacioppo, Joseph R. Priester, and Gary G. Berntson, “Rudimentary Determinants of Attitudes: II. Arm Flexion and Extension Have Differential Effects on Attitudes,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65, no. 1 (1993): 5.

5. Amy S. Pollick and Frans B.M. De Waal, “Ape Gestures and Language Evolution,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, no. 19 (2007): 8184–89; and David McNeill et al., “Growth Points from the Very Beginning,” Interaction Studies 9, no. 1 (2008): 117–32.

Chapter 1: You Are Stronger Than You Know

1. Hunter G. Hoffman et al., “Virtual Reality as an Adjunctive Non-Pharmacologic Analgesic for Acute Burn Pain During Medical Procedures,” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 41, no. 2 (2011): 183–91.

2. You can find up-to-date information about the availability of Snow World virtual reality for pain relief at

3. Hunter G. Hoffman, “Virtual Reality Therapy,” Scientific American (August 2004): 60–65.

4. Hunter G. Hoffman et al., “Using fMRI to Study the Neural Correlates of Virtual Reality Analgesia,” CNS Spectrums 11, no. 1 (2006): 45–51.

5. Eleanor Jameson, Judy Trevena, and Nic Swain, “Electronic Gaming as Pain Distraction,” Pain Research and Management: Journal of the Canadian Pain Society 16, no. 1 (2011): 27; Molly Greco, Effectiveness of an iPad as a Distraction Tool for Children During a Medical Procedure, Ph.D. diss., Ball State University, 2013; and Andrea Windich-Biermeier et al., “Effects of Distraction on Pain, Fear, and Distress During Venous Port Access and Venipuncture in Children and Adolescents with Cancer,” Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 24, no. 1 (2007): 8–19.

6. Sharon A. Gutman and Victoria P. Schindler, “The Neurological Basis of Occupation,” Occupational Therapy International 14, no. 2 (2007): 71–85; and Nancy Nainis et al., “Relieving Symptoms in Cancer: Innovative Use of Art Therapy,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 31, no. 2 (2006): 162–69.

7. Daniel M. Wegner et al., “Paradoxical Effects of Thought Suppression,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53, no. 1 (1987): 5; and George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green, 2008).

8. Emily A. Holmes et al., “Can Playing the Computer Game ‘Tetris’ Reduce the Build-up of Flashbacks for Trauma? A Proposal from Cognitive Science,” PLOS ONE 4, no. 1 (2009): e4153.

9. Emily A. Holmes et al., “Key Steps in Developing a Cognitive Vaccine Against Traumatic Flashbacks: Visuospatial Tetris Versus Verbal Pub Quiz,” PLOS ONE5, no. 11 (2010): e13706.

10. Jessica Skorka-Brown, Jackie Andrade, and Jon May, “Playing ‘Tetris’ Reduces the Strength, Frequency and Vividness of Naturally Occurring Cravings,” Appetite 76 (2014): 161–65.

11. Jackie Andrade, Jon May, and D. K. Kavanagh, “Sensory Imagery in Craving: From Cognitive Psychology to New Treatments for Addiction,” Journal of Experimental Psychopathology 3, no. 2 (2012): 127–45.

12. Xiaomeng Xu et al., “An fMRI Study of Nicotine-Deprived Smokers’ Reactivity to Smoking Cues During Novel/Exciting Activity,” PLOS ONE 9, no. 4 (2014): e94598.

13. Xiaomeng Xu et al., “Intense Passionate Love Attenuates Cigarette Cue-Reactivity in Nicotine-Deprived Smokers: An fMRI Study,” PLOS ONE 7, no. 7 (2012): e42235.

14. Anuradha Patel et al., “Distraction with a Hand-Held Video Game Reduces Pediatric Preoperative Anxiety,” Pediatric Anesthesia 16, no. 10 (2006): 1019–27.

15. Peggy Yip et al., “Cochrane Review: Non-Phamacological Interventions for Assisting the Induction of Anaesthesia in Children,” Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal 6, no. 1 (2011): 71–134.

16. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Beyond Boredom ad Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975).

17. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The Flow Experience and Its Significance for Human Psychology,” in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi, eds., Optimal Experience: Psychological Studies of Flow in Consciousness (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1988).

18. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Activity and Happiness: Towards a Science of Occupation,” Journal of Occupational Science 1, no. 1 (1993): 38–42.

19. Brenda E. Mansfield et al., “A Possible Physiological Correlate for Mental Flow,” Journal of Positive Psychology 7, no. 4 (2012): 327–33.

20. Jenova Chen, “Flow in Games (And Everything Else),” Communications of the ACM 50, no. 4 (2007): 31–34.

21. Dennis Scimeca, “How Playing Casual Games Could Help Lead to Better Soldiers,” Ars Technica, October 5, 2013.

22. Carmen V. Russoniello, Kevin O’Brien, and Jennifer M. Parks, “EEG, HRV and Psychological Correlates While Playing Bejeweled II: A Randomized Controlled Study,” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 144 (2009): 189–92.

23. C. V. Russoniello, Kevin O’Brien, and Jennifer M. Parks, “The Effectiveness of Casual Video Games in Improving Mood and Decreasing Stress,” Journal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation 2, no. 1 (2009): 53–66.

24. Brian A. Primack et al., “Role of Video Games in Improving Health-Related Outcomes: A Systematic Review,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 42, no. 6 (2012): 630–38.

25. Jayne Gackenbach and Johnathan Bown, “Mindfulness and Video Game Play: A Preliminary Inquiry,” Mindfulness 2, no. 2 (2011): 114–22.

26. Paul Grossman et al., “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health Benefits: A Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 57, no. 1 (2004): 35–43; Stefan G. Hofmann et al., “The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 78, no. 2 (2010): 169; and Alberto Chiesa and Alessandro Serretti, “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Stress Management in Healthy People: A Review and Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15, no. 5 (2009): 593–600.

27. Jonathan R. Krygier et al., “Mindfulness Meditation, Well-Being, and Heart Rate Variability: A Preliminary Investigation into the Impact of Intensive Vipassana Meditation,” International Journal of Psychophysiology 89, no. 3 (2013): 305–13.

28. Thomas William Rhys Davids, trans., Dialogues of the Buddha (1899; reprint Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000).

Chapter 2: You Are Surrounded by Potential Allies

1. Michiel M. Spapé et al., “Keep Your Opponents Close: Social Context Affects EEG and fEMG Linkage in a Turn-Based Computer Game,” PLOS ONE 8, no. 11 (2013): e78795.

2. Marco Iacoboni, “Imitation, Empathy, and Mirror Neurons,” Annual Review of Psychology 60 (2009): 653–70; Kenneth R. Leslie, Scott H. Johnson-Frey, and Scott T. Grafton, “Functional Imaging of Face and Hand Imitation: Towards a Motor Theory of Empathy,” Neuroimage 21, no. 2 (2004): 601–7; Ruth Feldman et al., “Mother and Infant Coordinate Heart Rhythms Through Episodes of Interaction Synchrony,” Infant Behavior and Development 34, no. 4 (2011): 569–77; Piercarlo Valdesolo, Jennifer Ouyang, and David Desteno, “The Rhythm of Joint Action: Synchrony Promotes Cooperative Ability,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46, no. 4 (2010): 693–95; and Piercarlo Valdesolo and David Desteno, “Synchrony and the Social Tuning of Compassion,” Emotion 11, no. 2 (2011): 262.

3. Guillaume Chanel, J. Matias Kivikangas, and Niklas Ravaja, “Physiological Compliance for Social Gaming Analysis: Cooperative Versus Competitive Play,” Interacting with Computers 24, no. 4 (2012): 306–16; and Inger Ekman et al., “Social Interaction in Games Measuring Physiological Linkage and Social Presence,” Simulation and Gaming 43, no. 3 (2012): 321–38.

4. Barbara Fredrickson, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Think, Do, Feel, and Become (New York: Hudson Street Press, 2013).

5. Tiffany Field, Brian Healy, and William G. Leblanc, “Sharing and Synchrony of Behavior States and Heart Rate in Nondepressed Versus Depressed Mother-Infant Interactions,” Infant Behavior and Development 12, no. 3 (1989): 357–76.

6. Greg J. Stephens, Lauren J. Silbert, and Uri Hasson, “Speaker–Listener Neural Coupling Underlies Successful Communication,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 32 (2010): 14425–30.

7. Bethany E. Kok and Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Upward Spirals of the Heart: Autonomic Flexibility, as Indexed by Vagal Tone, Reciprocally and Prospectively Predicts Positive Emotions and Social Connectedness,” Biological Psychology 85, no. 3 (2010): 432–36.

8. Robert W. Levenson and John M. Gottman, “Marital Interaction: Physiological Linkage and Affective Exchange,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45, no. 3 (1983): 587.

9. Fredrickson, Love 2.0.

10. Charles J. Walker, “Experiencing Flow: Is Doing It Together Better Than Doing It Alone?,” Journal of Positive Psychology 5, no. 1 (2010): 3–11.

11. Simo Järvelä et al., “Physiological Linkage of Dyadic Gaming Experience,” Simulation and Gaming 45, no. 1 (2014): 24–40.

12. Sarah M. Coyne et al., “Game on . . . Girls: Associations Between Co-Playing Video Games and Adolescent Behavioral and Family Outcomes,” Journal of Adolescent Health 49, no. 2 (2011): 160–65; Laura M. Padilla-Walker, Sarah M. Coyne, and Ashley M. Fraser, “Getting a High-Speed Family Connection: Associations Between Family Media Use and Family Connection,” Family Relations 61, no. 3 (2012): 426–40; and Lydia Buswell et al., “The Relationship Between Father Involvement in Family Leisure and Family Functioning: The Importance of Daily Family Leisure,” Leisure Sciences 34, no. 2 (2012): 172–90.

13. Daphne Bavelier et al., “Brains on Video Games,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 12, no. 12 (2011): 763–68; J. Wainer, K. Dautenhahn, B. Robins, and F. Amirabdollahian, “A Pilot Study with a Novel Setup for Collaborative Play of the Humanoid Robot KASPAR with Children with Autism,” International Journal of Social Robotics 6, no. 1 (2014): 45–65; and Bill Ferguson et al., “Game Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Games for Health Journal 1, no. 4 (August 2012): 248–53.

14. “Video Games Can Benefit Autistic Children: Study,” Agence France-Presse, March 7, 2014.

15. Valdesolo, Ouyang, and Desteno, “The Rhythm of Joint Action: Synchrony Promotes Cooperative Ability”; Natalie Sebanz, Harold Bekkering, and Günther Knoblich, “Joint Action: Bodies and Minds Moving Together,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10, no. 2 (2006): 70–76; and Lynden K. Miles, Louise K. Nind, and C. Neil Macrae, “The Rhythm of Rapport: Interpersonal Synchrony and Social Perception,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, no. 3 (2009): 585–89.

16. C. Daniel Batson et al., “Empathy, Attitudes, and Action: Can Feeling for a Member of a Stigmatized Group Motivate One to Help the Group?,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 28, no. 12 (2002): 1656–66; and C. Daniel Batson et al., “Empathy and Attitudes: Can Feeling for a Member of a Stigmatized Group Improve Feelings Toward the Group?,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 72, no. 1 (1997): 105.

17. Jennifer N. Gutsell and Michael Inzlicht, “Empathy Constrained: Prejudice Predicts Reduced Mental Simulation of Actions During Observation of Outgroups,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46, no. 5 (2010): 841–45.

18. “Games for Peace: Bridging Conflict Through Online Games,”, acessed April 20, 2014.

19. Donghee Yvette Wohn et al., “The ‘S’ in Social Network Games: Initiating, Maintaining, and Enhancing Relationships,” Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (IEEE, 2011): 1–10.

20. Donghee Yvette Wohn et al., “Building Common Ground and Reciprocity Through Social Network Games,” CHI EA’10 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM, 2010): 4423–28.

21. Sabine Trepte, Leonard Reinecke, and Keno Juechems, “The Social Side of Gaming: How Playing Online Computer Games Creates Online and Offline Social Support,” Computers in Human Behavior 28, no. 3 (2012): 832–39.

22. Jonathan Oxford, Davidé Ponzi, and David C. Geary, “Hormonal Responses Differ When Playing Violent Video Games Against an Ingroup and Outgroup,” Evolution and Human Behavior 31, no. 3 (2010): 201–9; and Samuele Zilioli and Neil V. Watson, “The Hidden Dimensions of the Competition Effect: Basal Cortisol and Basal Testosterone Jointly Predict Changes in Salivary Testosterone After Social Victory in Men,” Psychoneuroendocrinology 37, no. 11 (2012): 1855–65.

23. Erno Jan Hermans, Peter Putman, and Jack Van Honk, “Testosterone Administration Reduces Empathetic Behavior: A Facial Mimicry Study,” Psychoneuroendocrinology 31, no. 7 (2006): 859–66; and Paul J. Zak et al., “Testosterone Administration Decreases Generosity in the Ultimatum Game,” PLOS ONE 4, no. 12 (2009): e8330.

24. Allan Mazur, Elizabeth J. Susman, and Sandy Edelbrock, “Sex Difference in Testosterone Response to a Video Game Contest,” Evolution and Human Behavior 18, no. 5 (1997): 317–26.

25. Justin M. Carré, Susan K. Putnam, and Cheryl M. McCormick, “Testosterone Responses to Competition Predict Future Aggressive Behaviour at a Cost to Reward in Men,” Psychoneuroendocrinology 34, no. 4 (2009): 561–70; Justin M. Carré, Cheryl M. McCormick, and Ahmad R. Hariri, “The Social Neuroendocrinology of Human Aggression,” Psychoneuroendocrinology 36, no. 7 (2011): 935–44; and Pranjal H. Mehta, Amanda C. Jones, and Robert A. Josephs, “The Social Endocrinology of Dominance: Basal Testosterone Predicts Cortisol Changes and Behavior Following Victory and Defeat,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 6 (2008): 1078.

26. Andrew K. Przybylski et al., “Competence-Impeding Electronic Games and Players’ Aggressive Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106, no. 3 (2014): 441–57.

27. Robert Mihan, Yvonne Anisimowicz, and Richard Nicki, “Safer with a Partner: Exploring the Emotional Consequences of Multiplayer Video Gaming,” Computers in Human Behavior 44 (2015): 299–304.

Chapter 3: You Are the Hero of Your Own Story

1. Pamela M. Kato et al., “A Video Game Improves Behavioral Outcomes in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer: A Randomized Trial,” Pediatrics 122, no. 2 (2008): e305–e317.

2. Richard Tate, Jana Haritatos, and Steve Cole, “HopeLab’s Approach to Re-Mission,” International Journal of Learning and Media 1, no. 1 (2009): 29–35.

3. Hye-Sue Song and Paul M. Lehrer, “The Effects of Specific Respiratory Rates on Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability,” Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 28, no. 1 (2003): 13–23; and Paul M. Lehrer, “Biofeedback Training to Increase Heart Rate Variability,” Principles and Practice of Stress Management 3 (2007): 227–48.

4. Jeffrey J. Goldberger et al., “Relationship of Heart Rate Variability to Parasympathetic Effect,” Circulation 103, no. 15 (2001): 1977–83; and Harald M. Stauss, “Heart Rate Variability,” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 285, no. 5 (2003): R927-R931.

5. Matthias J. Koepp et al., “Evidence for Striatal Dopamine Release During a Video Game,” Nature 393, no. 6682 (1998): 266–68.

6. Matilda Hellman et al., “Is There Such a Thing as Online Video Game Addiction? A Cross-Disciplinary Review,” Addiction Research and Theory 21, no. 2 (2013): 102–12; Florian Rehbein et al., “Prevalence and Risk Factors of Video Game Dependency in Adolescence: Results of a German Nationwide Survey,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 13, no. 3 (2010): 269–77; Antonius J. Van Rooij et al., “Online Video Game Addiction: Identification of Addicted Adolescent Gamers,” Addiction 106, no. 1 (2011): 205–12; and Douglas Gentile, “Pathological Video-Game Use Among Youth Ages 8 to 18 a National Study,” Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (2009): 594–602.

7. Irma Triasih Kurniawan, Marc Guitart-Masip, and Ray J. Dolan, “Dopamine and Effort-Based Decision Making,” Frontiers in Neuroscience 5 (2011).

8. M. E. Walton et al., “Weighing Up the Benefits of Work: Behavioral and Neural Analyses of Effort-Related Decision Making,” Neural Networks 19, no. 8 (2006): 1302–14; and Michael T. Treadway et al., “Worth the ‘EEfRT’? The Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task as an Objective Measure of Motivation and Anhedonia,” PLOS ONE 4, no. 8 (2009): e6598.

9. Michael T. Treadway et al., “Dopaminergic Mechanisms of Individual Differences in Human Effort-Based Decision-Making,” Journal of Neuroscience 32, no. 18 (2012): 6170–76.

10. Marie-Laure Cléry-Melin et al., “Why Don’t You Try Harder? An Investigation of Effort Production in Major Depression,” PLOS ONE 6, no. 8 (2011): e23178.

11. Loan T.K. Vo et al., “Predicting Individuals’ Learning Success from Patterns of Pre-Learning MRI Activity,” PLOS ONE 6, no. 1 (2011): e16093; Caterina Breitenstein et al., “Hippocampus Activity Differentiates Good from Poor Learners of a Novel Lexicon,” NeuroImage 25, no. 3 (2005): 958–68; and Roy A. Wise “Dopamine, Learning and Motivation,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5, no. 6 (2004): 483–94.

12. Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (New York: Penguin, 2011).

13. Matthew Ventura, Valerie Shute, and Weinan Zhao, “The Relationship Between Video Game Use and a Performance-Based Measure of Persistence,” Computers and Education 60, no. 1 (2013): 52–58.

14. Treadway et al., “Dopaminergic Mechanisms of Individual Differences.”

15. Simone Kühn et al., “The Neural Basis of Video Gaming,” Translational Psychiatry 1, no. 11 (2011): e53.

16. Simone Kühn et al., “Playing Super Mario Induces Structural Brain Plasticity: Gray Matter Changes Resulting from Training with a Commercial Video Game,” Molecular Psychiatry 19 (2013): 265–71.

17. C. Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier, “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Video Games,” in P. Messaris and L. Humphreys, eds., Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication (New York: Peter Lang, 2006): 211–23; Matthew W.G. Dye, C. Shawn Green, and Daphne Bavelier, “Increasing Speed of Processing with Action Video Games,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 18, no. 6 (2009): 321–26; and C. Shawn Green, Alexandre Pouget, and Daphne Bavelier, “Improved Probabilistic Inference as a General Learning Mechanism with Action Video Games,” Current Biology 20, no. 17 (2010): 1573–79.

18. Daphne Bavelier et al., “Removing Brakes on Adult Brain Plasticity: From Molecular to Behavioral Interventions,” Journal of Neuroscience 30, no. 45 (2010): 14964–71.

19. Daniela Oltea JOJA, “Learning Experience and Neuroplasticity—A Shifting Paradigm,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, no. 1 (2002): 65–71.

20. Steven W. Cole, Daniel J. Yoo, and Brian Knutson, “Interactivity and Reward-Related Neural Activation During a Serious Videogame,” PLOS ONE 7, no. 3 (2012): e33909; Jari Kätsyri et al., “The Opponent Matters: Elevated fMRI Reward Responses to Winning Against a Human Versus a Computer Opponent During Interactive Video Game Playing,” Cerebral Cortex 23, no. 12 (2013): 2829–39; Klaus Mathiak and René Weber, “Toward Brain Correlates of Natural Behavior: fMRI During Violent Video Games,” Human Brain Mapping 27, no. 12 (2006): 948–56; Keiichi Saito, Naoki Mukawa, and Masao Saito, “Brain Activity Comparison of Different-Genre Video Game Players,” Second International Conference on Innovative Computing, Information and Control, ICICIC ’07 (IEEE, 2007); Martin Klasen et al., “Neural Contributions to Flow Experience During Video Game Playing,” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 7, no. 4 (2012): 485–95; and Jari Kätsyri et al., “When Just Looking Ain’t Enough: Phasic fMRI Reward Responses During Playing Versus Watching a Video Game,” Frontiers in Psychology (2013).

21. Jesse Fox and Jeremy N. Bailenson, “Virtual Self-Modeling: The Effects of Vicarious Reinforcement and Identification on Exercise Behaviors,” Media Psychology 12, no. 1 (2009): 1–25.

22. Jeremy N. Bailenson, “Doppelgangers—A New Form of Self?,” Psychologist 25, no. 1 (2012): 36–38.

23. Jesse Fox and Jeremy N. Bailenson, “The Use of Doppelgängers to Promote Health Behavior Change,” Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation 3, no. 2 (2010): 16–17.

24. Robin S. Rosenberg, Shawnee L. Baughman, and Jeremy N. Bailenson, “Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior,” PLOS ONE 8, no. 1 (2013): e55003.

25. Leif D. Nelson and Michael I. Norton, “From Student to Superhero: Situational Primes Shape Future Helping,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 41, no. 4 (2005): 423–30.

Chapter 4: You Can Make the Leap from Games to Gameful

1. Rune Aune Mentzoni et al., “Problematic Video Game Use: Estimated Prevalence and Associations with Mental and Physical Health,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 14, no. 10 (2011): 591–96; Douglas A. Gentile et al., “Pathological Video Game Use Among Youths: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study,” Pediatrics 127, no. 2 (2011): e319–e329; and Douglas Gentile, “Pathological Video Game Use Among Youth Ages 8 to 18: A National Study,” Psychological Science 20, no. 5 (2009): 594–602.

2. Lily Shui-Lien Chen, Hill Hung-Jen Tu, and Edward Shih-Tse Wang, “Personality Traits and Life Satisfaction Among Online Game Players,” Cyberpsychology and Behavior 11, no. 2 (2008): 145–49; Patricia E. Kahlbaugh et al., “Effects of Playing Wii on Well-Being in the Elderly: Physical Activity, Loneliness, and Mood,” Activities, Adaptation and Aging 35, no. 4 (2011): 331–44; Younbo Jung et al., “Games for a Better Life: Effects of Playing Wii Games on the Well-Being of Seniors in a Long-Term Care Facility,” Proceedings of the Sixth Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment (ACM, 2009); Mark Griffiths, “Video Games and Health: Video Gaming Is Safe for Most Players and Can Be Useful in Health Care,” BMJ: British Medical Journal 331, no. 7509 (2005): 122; and Jason C. Allaire et al., “Successful Aging Through Digital Games: Socioemotional Differences Between Older Adult Gamers and Non-Gamers,” Computers in Human Behavior 29, no. 4 (2013): 1302–06.

3. Laura M. Padilla-Walker et al., “More Than a Just a Game: Video Game and Internet Use During Emerging Adulthood,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39, no. 2 (2010): 103–13; and Vivek Anand, “A Study of Time Management: The Correlation Between Video Game Usage and Academic Performance Markers,” Cyberpsychology and Behavior 10, no. 4 (2007): 552–59.

4. Rani A. Desai et al., “Video-Gaming Among High School Students: Health Correlates, Gender Differences, and Problematic Gaming,” Pediatrics 126, no. 6 (2010): e1414–e1424; and Paul J.C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby, “More Than Just Fun and Games: The Longitudinal Relationships Between Strategic Video Games, Self-Reported Problem Solving Skills, and Academic Grades,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 42, no. 7 (2013): 1041–52.

5. Rosalina Richards et al., “Adolescent Screen Time and Attachment to Parents and Peers,” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 164, no. 3 (2010): 258–62; and Shao-Kang Lo, Chih-Chien Wang, and Wenchang Fang, “Physical Interpersonal Relationships and Social Anxiety Among Online Game Players,” CyberPsychology and Behavior 8, no. 1 (2005): 15–20.

6. Sarah M. Coyne et al., “Game on . . . Girls: Associations Between Co-Playing Video Games and Adolescent Behavioral and Family Outcomes,” Journal of Adolescent Health 49, no. 2 (2011): 160–65.

7. Julia Kneer and Sabine Glock, “Escaping in Digital Games: The Relationship Between Playing Motives and Addictive Tendencies in Males,” Computers in Human Behavior 29, no. 4 (2013): 1415–20.

8. Joseph Benjamin Hilgard, Christopher R. Engelhardt, and Bruce D. Bartholow, “Individual Differences in Motives, Preferences, and Pathology in Video Games,” Frontiers in Psychology 4 (2013): 608.

9. Andrew K. Przybylski, C. Scott Rigby, and Richard M. Ryan, “A Motivational Model of Video Game Engagement,” Review of General Psychology 14, no. 2 (2010): 154.

10. Andrew K. Przybylski et al., “Having to Versus Wanting to Play: Background and Consequences of Harmonious Versus Obsessive Engagement in Video Games,” CyberPsychology and Behavior 12, no. 5 (2009): 485–92.

11. Frode Stenseng, Jostein Rise, and Pål Kraft, “Activity Engagement as Escape from Self: The Role of Self-Suppression and Self-Expansion,” Leisure Sciences 34, no. 1 (2012): 19–38.

12. Frode Stenseng, Jostein Rise, and Pål Kraft, “The Dark Side of Leisure: Obsessive Passion and Its Covariates and Outcomes,” Leisure Studies 30, no. 1 (2011): 49–62; and Frode Stenseng, “The Two Faces of Leisure Activity Engagement: Harmonious and Obsessive Passion in Relation to Intrapersonal Conflict and Life Domain Outcomes,” Leisure Sciences 30, no. 5 (2008): 465–81.

13. Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C.M.E. Engels, “The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” American Psychologist 69, no. 1 (2014): 66–78.

14. Matthew W.G. Dye, C. Shawn Green, and Daphne Bavelier, “Increasing Speed of Processing with Action Video Games,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 18, no. 6 (2009): 321–26; C. Shawn Green, Alexandre Pouget, and Daphne Bavelier, “Improved Probabilistic Inference as a General Learning Mechanism with Action Video Games,” Current Biology 20, no. 17 (2010): 1573–79; Bjorn Hubert Wallander, C. Shawn Green, and Daphne Bavelier, “Stretching the Limits of Visual Attention: The Case of Action Video Games,” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 2, no. 2 (2011): 222–30; Daphne Bavelier et al., “Brain Plasticity Through the Life Span: Learning to Learn and Action Video Games,” Annual Review of Neuroscience 35 (2012): 391–416; C. Shawn Green et al., “The Effect of Action Video Game Experience on Task-Switching,” Computers in Human Behavior 28, no. 3 (2012): 984–94; and Jyoti Mishra et al., “Neural Basis of Superior Performance of Action Videogame Players in an Attention-Demanding Task,” Journal of Neuroscience 31, no. 3 (2011): 992–98.

15. Constance Steinkuehler and Sean Duncan, “Scientific Habits of Mind in Virtual Worlds,” Journal of Science Education and Technology 17, no. 6 (2008): 530–43; Tsung-Yen Chuang and Wei-Fan Chen, “Effect of Computer-Based Video Games on Children: An Experimental Study,” First IEEE International Workshop on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning, DIGITEL’07 (IEEE, 2007); and Paul J.C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby, “More Than Just Fun and Games: The Longitudinal Relationships Between Strategic Video Games, Self-Reported Problem Solving Skills, and Academic Grades,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 42, no. 7 (2013): 1041–52.

16. Linda A. Jackson, Edward A. Witt, and Ivan Alexander Games, “Videogame Playing and Creativity: Findings from the Children and Technology Project,” National Social Science Proceedings vol. 47, Seattle Summer Seminar, 2011; Linda A. Jackson, “The Upside of Videogame Playing,” Games for Health: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications 1, no. 6 (2012): 452–55.

17. “A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community,” Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Stanford Center on Longevity, October 20, 2014,

18. Valerie Shute, Matthew Ventura, and Fengfeng Ke, “The Power of Play: The Effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills,” Computers and Education 80 (2014):58–67; and Laura A. Whitlock, Anne Collins Mclaughlin, and Jason C. Allaire, “Individual Differences in Response to Cognitive Training: Using a Multi-Modal, Attentionally Demanding Game-Based Intervention for Older Adults,” Computers in Human Behavior 28, no. 4 (2012): 1091–96.

19. Andrew K. Przybylski, C. Scott Rigby, and Richard M. Ryan, “A Motivational Model of Video Game Engagement,” Review of General Psychology 14, no. 2 (2010): 154; Christopher Bateman, “Top Ten Emotions of Videogames—Results of the DGD2 Global Survey,” Only a Game (2008); and Niklas Ravaja et al., “The Psychophysiology of Video Gaming: Phasic Emotional Responses to Game Events,” in Authors Digital Games and Nicolas Esposito, eds., Proceedings of DIGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views—Worlds in Play (2005).

20. Cheryl K. Olson, “Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development,” Review of General Psychology 14, no. 2 (2010): 180; Christopher J. Ferguson and Cheryl K. Olson, “Friends, Fun, Frustration and Fantasy: Child Motivations for Video Game Play,” Motivation and Emotion 37, no. 1 (2013): 154–64; and Jeroen Jansz, “The Emotional Appeal of Violent Video Games for Adolescent Males,” Communication Theory 15, no. 3 (2005): 219–41.

21. Jayne Gackenbach, Beena Kuruvilla, and Raelyne Dopko, “Video Game Play and Dream Bizarreness,” Dreaming 19, no. 4 (2009): 218; Jayne Gackenbach, “Electronic Media and Lucid-Control Dreams: Morning After Reports,” Dreaming 19, no. 1 (2009): 1; Jayne Gackenbach and Beena Kuruvilla, “The Relationship Between Video Game Play and Threat Simulation Dreams,” Dreaming 18, no. 4 (2008): 236; and Jayne Gackenbach, “Video Game Play and Lucid Dreams: Implications for the Development of Consciousness,” Dreaming 16, no. 2 (2006): 96.

22. David R. Ewoldsen et al., “Effect of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively or Competitively on Subsequent Cooperative Behavior,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 15, no. 5 (2012): 277–80; John A. Velez et al., “Ingroup Versus Outgroup Conflict in the Context of Violent Video Game Play: The Effect of Cooperation on Increased Helping and Decreased Aggression,” Communication Research (2012); Tobias Greitemeyer and Christopher Cox, “There’s No ‘I’ in Team: Effects of Cooperative Video Games on Cooperative Behavior,” European Journal of Social Psychology 43, no. 3 (2013): 224–28; Tobias Greitemeyer, “Playing Video Games Cooperatively Increases Empathic Concern,” Social Psychology 44, no. 6 (2013): 408; and Jessica M. Jerabeck and Christopher J. Ferguson, “The Influence of Solitary and Cooperative Violent Video Game Play on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior,” Computers in Human Behavior 29, no. 6 (2013): 2573–78.

23. Christopher J. Ferguson and Adolfo Garza, “Call of (Civic) Duty: Action Games and Civic Behavior in a Large Sample of Youth,” Computers in Human Behavior 27, no. 2 (2011): 770–75; Nicolas Ducheneaut and Robert J. Moore, “More Than Just ‘XP’: Learning Social Skills in Massively Multiplayer Online Games,” Interactive Technology and Smart Education 2, no. 2 (2005): 89–100; and Timothy C. Lisk, Ugur T. Kaplancali, and Ronald E. Riggio, “Leadership in Multiplayer Online Gaming Environments,” Simulation and Gaming 43, no. 1 (2012): 133–49.

24. Steven C. Hayes et al., “Measuring Experiential Avoidance: A Preliminary Test of a Working Model,” Psychological Record 54, no. 4 (2004); Todd B. Kashdan et al., “Experiential Avoidance as a Generalized Psychological Vulnerability: Comparisons with Coping and Emotion Regulation Strategies,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, no. 9 (2006): 1301–20; and Jonathan W. Kanter, David E. Baruch, and Scott T. Gaynor, “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Behavioral Activation for the Treatment of Depression: Description and Comparison,” Behavior Analyst 29, no. 2 (2006): 161.

25. Most recently, Andrew K. Przybylski, “Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment,” Pediatrics, August 4, 2014, doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4021.

26. Zaheer Hussain and Mark D. Griffiths, “Excessive Use of Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games: A Pilot Study,” International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 7, no. 4 (2009): 563–71.

27. Daniel King and Paul Delfabbro, “Motivational Differences in Problem Video Game Play,” Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation (JCR) 2, no. 2 (2009).

28. Amelia McDonell-Parry, “Seven Incredibly Deep Life Lessons from Candy Crush Saga,” July 8, 2013, Frisky,

Part 2: How to Be Gameful

1. Ann Marie Roepke et al., “Randomized Controlled Trial of SuperBetter, a Smartphone-Based/Internet-Based Self-Help Tool to Reduce Depressive Symptoms,” Games for Health (in progress); and Ann Marie Roepke, “Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial: The Effects of SuperBetter on Depression,” University of Pennsylvania, July 15, 2013,

2. “Clinical Trial of a Rehabiliation Game—SuperBetter,” NIH-funded trial in collaboration with Ohio State University Medical Research Center,

Chapter 5: Challenge Yourself

1. Although players do report sometimes feeling frustration, anger, and sadness during game play, they also report that the “pretend” context of game play creates a safe environment to practice controlling or changing these negative emotions. A good summary of this phenomenon is found in Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C.M.E. Engels, “The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” American Psychologist 69, no. 1 (2014): 66–78.

2. Robert J. Harmison, “Peak Performance in Sport: Identifying Ideal Performance States and Developing Athletes’ Psychological Skills,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 37, no. 3 (2011): 233–43.

3. Alison Wood Brooks, “Get Excited: Reappraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement,” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143, no. 3 (2014): 1144–58.

4. The seminal work on the subject of threat versus challenge mindset is Susan Folkman et al., “Dynamics of a Stressful Encounter: Cognitive Appraisal, Coping, and Encounter Outcomes,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50, no. 5 (1986): 992.

5. Richard M. Ryan, C. Scott Rigby, and Andrew Przybylski, “The Motivational Pull of Video Games: A Self-Determination Theory Approach,” Motivation and Emotion 30, no. 4 (2006): 344–60; and Jesper Juul, “Fear of Failing?: The Many Meanings of Difficulty in Video Games,” in Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, eds., Video Game Theory Reader 2 (New York: Routledge, 2009): 237–52.

6. This has been a particularly consistent finding in digital game research over the past thirty years, starting with Robert F. McClure and F. Gary Mears, “Video Game Players: Personality Characteristics and Demographic Variables,” Psychological Reports 55, no. 1 (1984): 271–76; continuing through John L. Sherry et al., “Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predictors of Use and Game Preference,” in Peter Vorderer and Jennings Bryant, eds., Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences (n.p.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006): 213–24; Kristen Lucas and John L. Sherry, “Sex Differences in Video Game Play: A Communication-Based Explanation,” Communication Research 31, no. 5 (2004): 499–523; and Cheryl K. Olson, “Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development,” Review of General Psychology 14, no. 2 (2010): 180.

7. For an excellent overview of this research, see Anat Drach-Zahavy and Miriam Erez, “Challenge Versus Threat Effects on the Goal-Performance Relationship,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 88, no. 2 (2002): 667–82.

8. Allison S. Troy et al., “Seeing the Silver Lining: Cognitive Reappraisal Ability Moderates the Relationship Between Stress and Depressive Symptoms,” Emotion 10, no. 6 (2010): 783.

9. Jim Blascovich et al., “Predicting Athletic Performance from Cardiovascular Indexes of Challenge and Threat,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 40, no. 5 (2004): 683–88.

10. Drach-Zahavy and Erez, “Challenge Versus Threat Effects on the Goal–Performance Relationship.”

11. Kenneth I. Pakenham and Machelle Rinaldis, “The Role of Illness, Resources, Appraisal, and Coping Strategies in Adjustment to HIV/AIDS: The Direct and Buffering Effects,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 24, no. 3 (2001): 259–79; Heather M. Franks and Scott C. Roesch, “Appraisals and Coping in People Living with Cancer: A Meta Analysis,” Psycho Oncology 15, no. 12 (2006): 1027–37.

12. Annette L. Stanton et al., “Cognitive Appraisal and Adjustment to Infertility,” Women and Health 17, no. 3 (1991): 1–15.

13. Michele M. Tugade and Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Resilient Individuals Use Positive Emotions to Bounce Back from Negative Emotional Experiences,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 86, no. 2 (2004): 320.

14. Ulrike Sirsch, “The Impending Transition from Primary to Secondary School: Challenge or Threat?,” International Journal of Behavioral Development 27, no. 5 (2003): 385–95.

15. Kathleen A. Gass and Audrey S. Chang, “Appraisals of Bereavement, Coping, Resources, and Psychosocial Health Dysfunction in Widows and Widowers,” Nursing Research 38, no. 1 (1989): 31–36.

16. John M. Schaubroeck et al., “Resilience to Traumatic Exposure among Soldiers Deployed in Combat,” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 16, no. 1 (2011): 18; Alan Fontana and Robert Rosenheck, “Psychological Benefits and Liabilities of Traumatic Exposure in the War Zone,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 11, no. 3 (1998): 485–503.

17. Bernard Suits, The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2014).

18. Gerard H. Seijts and Gary P. Latham, “Learning Versus Performance Goals: When Should Each Be Used?,” Academy of Management Executive 19, no. 1 (2005): 124–31; and Kieran M. Kingston and Lew Hardy, “Effects of Different Types of Goals on Processes That Support Performance,” Sport Psychologist 11 (1997): 277–93.

19. Drach-Zahavy and Erez, “Challenge Versus Threat Effects on the Goal–Performance Relationship.”

Chapter 6: Power-ups

1. Duncan A. Groves and Verity J. Brown, “Vagal Nerve Stimulation: A Review of Its Applications and Potential Mechanisms That Mediate Its Clinical Effects,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 29, no. 3 (2005): 493–500.

2. Beginning with Stephen W. Porges, “Vagal Tone: A Physiologic Marker of Stress Vulnerability,” Pediatrics 90, no. 3 (1992): 498–504; and continuing through Luca Carnevali and Andrea Sgoifo, “Vagal Modulation of Resting Heart Rate in Rats: The Role of Stress, Psychosocial Factors, and Physical Exercise,” Frontiers in Physiology 5 (2014): 118.

3. For a basic overview of respiratory sinus arrhythmia research, see Paul Grossman and Edwin W. Taylor, “Toward Understanding Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia: Relations to Cardiac Vagal Tone, Evolution and Biobehavioral Functions,” Biological Psychology 74, no. 2 (2007): 263–85.

4. Julian F. Thayer and Richard D. Lane, “The Role of Vagal Function in the Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality,” Biological Psychology 74, no. 2 (2007): 224–42; Georg Schmidt et al., “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Predicts Mortality After Myocardial Infarction,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 63, no. 12_S (2014); Al Hazzouri, Adina Zeki et al., “Reduced Heart Rate Variability Is Associated with Worse Cognitive Performance in Elderly Mexican Americans,” Hypertension 63, no. 1 (2014): 181–87; Carmilla M.M. Licht, Eco J.C. De Geus, and Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, “Dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System Predicts the Development of the Metabolic Syndrome,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 98, no. 6 (2013): 2484–93; Steve Bibevski and Mark E. Dunlap, “Evidence for Impaired Vagus Nerve Activity in Heart Failure,” Heart Failure Reviews 16, no. 2 (2011): 129–35; and Julian F. Thayer, “Vagal Tone and the Inflammatory Reflex,” Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 76, supp. 2 (2009): S23–S26.

5. Zhenhong Wang, Wei Lü, and Rongcai Qin, “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Is Associated with Trait Positive Affect and Positive Emotional Expressivity,” Biological Psychology 93, no. 1 (2013): 190–96; Michelle A. Patriquin et al., “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia: A Marker for Positive Social Functioning and Receptive Language Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” Developmental Psychobiology 55, no. 2 (2013): 101–12; Christopher P. Fagundes et al., “Attachment Style and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Predict Post-Treatment Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors,” Psycho-Oncology 23, no. 7 (2014): 820–26; Lauren M. Bylsma et al., “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Reactivity in Current and Remitted Major Depressive Disorder,” Psychosomatic Medicine 76, no. 1 (2014): 66–73; John A. Sturgeon, Ellen Wanheung Yeung, and Alex J. Zautra, “Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia: A Marker of Resilience to Pain Induction,” International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (2014): 1–5; and Bruce H. Friedman, “An Autonomic Flexibility–Neurovisceral Integration Model of Anxiety and Cardiac Vagal Tone,” Biological Psychology 74, no. 2 (2007): 185–99.

6. Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Updated Thinking on Positivity Ratios,” American Psychologist 68, no. 9 (2013): 814–22.

7. Yoichi Chida and Andrew Steptoe, “Positive Psychological Well-Being and Mortality: A Quantitative Review of Prospective Observational Studies,” Psychosomatic Medicine 70, no. 7 (2008): 741–56; and Ryan T. Howell, Margaret L. Kern, and Sonja Lyubomirsky, “Health Benefits: Meta-Analytically Determining the Impact of Well-Being on Objective Health Outcomes,” Health Psychology Review 1, no. 1 (2007): 83–136.

8. Ed Diener and Micaela Y. Chan, “Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity,” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being 3, no. 1 (2011): 1–43; Julia K. Boehm and Laura D. Kubzansky, “The Heart’s Content: The Association Between Positive Psychological Well-Being and Cardiovascular Health,” Psychological Bulletin 138, no. 4 (2012): 655; and Sheldon Cohen et al., “Positive Emotional Style Predicts Resistance to Illness After Experimental Exposure to Rhinovirus or Influenza A Virus,” Psychosomatic Medicine 68, no. 6 (2006): 809–15.

9. Bethany E. Kok et al., “How Positive Emotions Build Physical Health: Perceived Positive Social Connections Account for the Upward Spiral Between Positive Emotions and Vagal Tone,” Psychological Science 24, no. 7 (2013): 1123–32; and Bethany E. Kok and Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Upward Spirals of the Heart: Autonomic Flexibility, as Indexed by Vagal Tone, Reciprocally and Prospectively Predicts Positive Emotions and Social Connectedness,” Biological Psychology 85, no. 3 (2010): 432–36.

10. Barbara L. Fredrickson, “The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology: The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions,” American Psychologist 56, no. 3 (2001): 218.

11. Barbara Fredrickson, Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life (New York: Random House, 2009).

12. John Mordechai Gottman, What Predicts Divorce?: The Relationship Between Marital Processes and Marital Outcomes (London: Psychology Press, 2014).

13. Robert M. Schwartz et al., “Optimal and Normal Affect Balance in Psychotherapy of Major Depression: Evaluation of the Balanced States of Mind Model,” Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 30, no. 4 (2002): 439–50.

14. Arménio Rego et al., “Optimism Predicting Employees’ Creativity: The Mediating Role of Positive Affect and the Positivity Ratio,” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 21, no. 2 (2012): 244–70.

15. Amit Shrira et al., “The Positivity Ratio and Functioning Under Stress,” Stress and Health 27, no. 4 (2011): 265–71.

16. Ibid.

17. Mara Mather and Laura L. Carstensen, “Aging and Motivated Cognition: The Positivity Effect in Attention and Memory,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9, no. 10 (2005): 496–502; and Suzanne Meeks et al., “Positivity and Well-Being Among Community-Residing Elders and Nursing Home Residents: What Is the Optimal Affect Balance?,” Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 67, no. 4 (2012): 460–67.

18. Ed Diener, Ed Sandvik, and William Pavot, “Happiness Is the Frequency, Not the Intensity, of Positive Versus Negative Affect,” Subjective Well-Being: An Interdisciplinary Perspective 21 (1991): 119–39.

19. John F. Cryan and Timothy G. Dinan, “Mind-Altering Microorganisms: The Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Brain and Behaviour,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13, no. 10 (2012): 701–12.

20. See Kok and Fredrickson, “Upward Spirals of the Heart.”

21. Brian M. Curtis and James H. O’Keefe, Jr., “Autonomic Tone as a Cardiovascular Risk Factor: The Dangers of Chronic Fight or Flight,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 77, no. 1 (2002).

22. June Gruber et al., “Risk for Mania and Positive Emotional Responding: Too Much of a Good Thing?,” Emotion 8, no. 1 (2008): 23.

23. Adam M. Grant and Barry Schwartz, “Too Much of a Good Thing: The Challenge and Opportunity of the Inverted U,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 6, no. 1 (2011): 61–76.

24. Patricia E. Suess, Stephen W. Porges, and Dana J. Plude, “Cardiac Vagal Tone and Sustained Attention in School-Age Children,” Psychophysiology 31, no. 1 (1994): 17–22; Lynn Fainsilber Katz and John M. Gottman, “Vagal Tone Protects Children from Marital Conflict,” Development and Psychopathology 7, no. 1 (1995): 83–92; and Bonny Donzella et al., “Cortisol and Vagal Tone Responses to Competitive Challenge in Preschoolers: Associations with Temperament,” Developmental Psychobiology 37, no. 4 (2000): 209–20.

25. See Kok and Fredrickson, “Upward Spirals of the Heart.”

Chapter 7: Bad Guys

1. Stacey Kennelly, “When Guilt Stops Gratitude,” Greater Good: The Science of a Meaingful Life, January 14, 2014,

2. The SuperBetter science advisers included James Doty at the Stanford School of Medicine; Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center; Kelly McGonigal at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education; Ann Marie Roepke, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania; and Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, a research scientist at Ohio State University’s School of Medicine. Science writer Bez Maxwell contributed as well.

3. Todd B. Kashdan and Jonathan Rottenberg, “Psychological Flexibility as a Fundamental Aspect of Health,” Clinical Psychology Review 30, no. 7 (2010): 865–78.

4. Todd B. Kashdan and Jennifer Q. Kane, “Post-Traumatic Distress and the Presence of Post-traumatic Growth and Meaning in Life: Experiential Avoidance as a Moderator,” Personality and Individual Differences 50, no. 1 (2011): 84–89; and Holly K. Orcutt, Scott M. Pickett, and E. Brooke Pope, “Experiential Avoidance and Forgiveness as Mediators in the Relation Between Traumatic Interpersonal Events and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms,” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 24, no. 7 (2005): 1003–29.

5. Steven C. Hayes et al., “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Model, Processes and Outcomes,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, no. 1 (2006): 1–25; Neharika Chawla and Brian Ostafin, “Experiential Avoidance as a Functional Dimensional Approach to Psychopathology: An Empirical Review,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 63, no. 9 (2007): 871–90; Frank W. Bond and David Bunce, “The Role of Acceptance and Job Control in Mental Health, Job Satisfaction, and Work Performance,” Journal of Applied Psychology 88, no. 6 (2003): 1057; and Jodie Butler and Joseph Ciarrochi, “Psychological Acceptance and Quality of Life in the Elderly,” Quality of Life Research 16, no. 4 (2007): 607–15.

6. Martine Fledderus, Ernst T. Bohlmeijer, and Marcel E. Pieterse, “Does Experiential Avoidance Mediate the Effects of Maladaptive Coping Styles on Psychopathology and Mental Health?,” Behavior Modification (2010); and Todd B. Kashdan et al., “Experiential Avoidance as a Generalized Psychological Vulnerability: Comparisons with Coping and Emotion Regulation Strategies,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, no. 9 (2006): 1301–20.

7. Alexander L. Chapman, Matthew W. Specht, and Tony Cellucci, “Borderline Personality Disorder and Deliberate Self-Harm: Does Experiential Avoidance Play a Role?,” Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 35, no. 4 (2005): 388–99; Orcutt, Pickett, and Pope, “Experiential Avoidance and Forgiveness as Mediators in the Relation Between Traumatic Interpersonal Events and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms”; Neharika Chawla and Brian Ostafin, “Experiential Avoidance as a Functional Dimensional Approach to Psychopathology: An Empirical Review,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 63, no. 9 (2007): 871–90; Todd B. Kashdan, Nexhmedin Morina, and Stefan Priebe, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Depression in Survivors of the Kosovo War: Experiential Avoidance as a Contributor to Distress and Quality of Life,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 23, no. 2 (2009): 185–96; Laura E. Boeschen et al., “Experiential Avoidance and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Cognitive Mediational Model of Rape Recovery,” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma 4, no. 2 (2001): 211–45; and Matthew T. Tull and Kim L. Gratz, “Further Examination of the Relationship Between Anxiety Sensitivity and Depression: The Mediating Role of Experiential Avoidance and Difficulties Engaging in Goal-Directed Behavior When Distressed,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 22, no. 2 (2008): 199–10.

8. Brian L. Thompson and Jennifer Waltz, “Mindfulness and Experiential Avoidance as Predictors of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Avoidance Symptom Severity,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 24, no. 4 (2010): 409–15.

9. Julie M. Fritz, Steven Z. George, and Anthony Delitto, “The Role of Fear-Avoidance Beliefs in Acute Low Back Pain: Relationships with Current and Future Disability and Work Status,” Pain 94, no. 1 (2001): 7–15; Gordon Waddell et al., “A Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) and the Role of Fear-Avoidance Beliefs in Chronic Low Back Pain and Disability,” Pain 52, no. 2 (1993): 157–68; Maaike Leeuw et al., “The Fear-Avoidance Model of Musculoskeletal Pain: Current State of Scientific Evidence,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 30, no. 1 (2007): 77–94; and Steve R. Woby et al., “Are Changes in Fear-Avoidance Beliefs, Catastrophizing, and Appraisals of Control Predictive of Changes in Chronic Low Back Pain and Disability?,” European Journal of Pain 8, no. 3 (2004): 201–10.

10. G. Lorimer Moseley, “A New Direction for the Fear Avoidance Model?,” Pain 152, no. 11 (2011): 2447–48.

11. Baltasar Rodero et al., “Relationship Between Behavioural Coping Strategies and Acceptance in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Elucidating Targets of Interventions,” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 12, no. 1 (2011): 143; Lance M. McCracken and Edmund Keogh, “Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Values-Based Action May Counteract Fear and Avoidance of Emotions in Chronic Pain: An Analysis of Anxiety Sensitivity,” Journal of Pain 10, no. 4 (2009): 408–15; Rikard K. Wicksell et al., “Avoidance and Cognitive Fusion—Central Components in Pain Related Disability? Development and Preliminary Validation of the Psychological Inflexibility in Pain Scale (PIPS),” European Journal of Pain 12, no. 4 (2008): 491–500; Brjánn Ljótsson et al., “Exposure and Mindfulness Based Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome—An Open Pilot Study,” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 41, no. 3 (2010): 185–90; Paul R. Martin and Colin MacLeod, “Behavioral Management of Headache Triggers: Avoidance of Triggers Is an Inadequate Strategy,” Clinical Psychology Review 29, no. 6 (2009): 483–95; and Christine Chiros and William H. O’Brien, “Acceptance, Appraisals, and Coping in Relation to Migraine Headache: An Evaluation of Interrelationships Using Daily Diary Methods,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 34, no. 4 (2011): 307–20.

12Measuring Experiential Avoidance. Steven C. Hayes, Richard T. Bissett, Jacqueline Pistorello, and Dosheen T. Cook, University of Nevada, Reno; Kirk Strosahl, Mountainview Consulting Group; Kelly G. Wilson, University of Mississippi; Melissa A. Polusny, Minneapolis VA Medical Center; Thane A. Dykstra, Trinity Services; Sonja V. Batten, Yale University School of Medicine; Sherry H. Stewart, Dalhousie University; Michael J. Zvolensky, University of Vermont; George H. Eifert, Chapman University; Frank W. Bond, Goldsmiths College, University of London; John P. Forsyth and Maria Karekla, State University of New York at Albany; and Susan M. McCurry, University of Washington. See also Steven C. Hayes et al., “Measuring Experiential Avoidance: A Preliminary Test of a Working Model,” Psychological Record 54 (2004): 553–78.

13. The Chicago-based mindfulness training center Integrative Health Partners has several different psychology flexibility measures. You can review the forty-nine-question inventory at

Chapter 8: Quests

1. Iris W. Hung and Aparna A. Labroo, “From Firm Muscles to Firm Willpower: Understanding the Role of Embodied Cognition in Self-Regulation,” Journal of Consumer Research 37, no. 6 (2011): 1046–64.

2. Barbara Vann and Neil Alperstein, “Dream Sharing as Social Interaction,” Dreaming 10, no. 2 (2000): 111; Murray L. Wax, “Dream Sharing as Social Practice,” Dreaming 14, nos. 2–3 (2004): 83; Antonietta Curci and Bernard Rimé, “Dreams, Emotions, and Social Sharing of Dreams,” Cognition and Emotion 22, no. 1 (2008): 155–67; and Michael Schredl and Joelle Alexandra Schawinski, “Frequency of Dream Sharing: The Effects of Gender and Personality,” American Journal of Psychology 123, no. 1 (2010): 93–101.

3. Eddie Weitzberg and Jon O.N. Lundberg, “Humming Greatly Increases Nasal Nitric Oxide,” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 166, no. 2 (2002): 144–45; M. Maniscalco et al., “Assessment of Nasal and Sinus Nitric Oxide Output Using Single-Breath Humming Exhalations,” European Respiratory Journal 22, no. 2 (2003): 323–29.

4. Lysann Damisch, Barbara Stoberock, and Thomas Mussweiler, “Keep Your Fingers Crossed! How Superstition Improves Performance,” Psychological Science 21, no. 7 (2010): 1014–20.

5. Mark Muraven and Roy F. Baumeister, “Self-Regulation and Depletion of Limited Resources: Does Self-Control Resemble a Muscle?,” Psychological Bulletin 126, no. 2 (2000): 247.

6. Steven C. Hayes and Kirk D. Strosahl, eds., A Practical Guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (n.p.: Springer, 2004).

7. Steven C. Hayes et al., “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Model, Processes and Outcomes,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, no. 1 (2006): 1–25; and Lance M. McCracken, “Committed Action: An Application of the Psychological Flexibility Model to Activity Patterns in Chronic Pain,” Journal of Pain 14, no. 8 (2013): 828–35.

8. Barry J. Zimmerman and Dale H. Schunk, “Competence and Control Beliefs: Distinguishing the Means and Ends,” in Patricia A. Alexander and Philip H. Winne, eds., Handbook of Educational Psychology (New York: Routledge, 2006): 349–67; Philip R. Magaletta and J. M. Oliver, “The Hope Construct, Will, and Ways: Their Relations with Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and General Well-Being,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 55, no. 5 (1999): 539–51; James Carifio and Lauren Rhodes, “Construct Validities and the Empirical Relationships Between Optimism, Hope, Self-Efficacy, and Locus of Control,” Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation 19, no. 2 (2002): 125–36; and Cecil Robinson and Karla Snipes, “Hope, Optimism and Self-Efficacy: A System of Competence and Control,” Multiple Linear Regression Viewpoints 35, no. 2 (2009): 16–26.

9. C. Richard Snyder, ed., Handbook of Hope: Theory, Measures, and Applications (New York: Academic Press, 2000).

10. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?” Psychological Bulletin 131, no. 6 (2005): 803.

11. Albert Bandura, “Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change,” Psychological Review 84, no. 2 (1977): 191.

12. The idea of values-driven or “committed” action was first described in Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, and Kelly G. Wilson, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change (New York: Guilford, 1999). For a summary of studies of its effectiveness, see Francisco J. Ruiz, “A Review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Empirical Evidence: Correlational, Experimental Psychopathology, Component and Outcome Studies,” International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy 10, no. 1 (2010): 125–62.

13. Kelly G. Wilson et al., “The Valued Living Questionnaire: Defining and Measuring Valued Action Within a Behavioral Framework,” Psychological Record 60, no. 2 (2011): 4.

14. Russ Harris, ACT Made Simple: An Easy-to-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2009). If you’re interested in trying more exercises to explore your values, you can also check out Dr. Harris’s website,

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid. See also Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living (Auckland, NZ: Exisle Publishing, 2007).

17. Edward L. Deci, Richard Koestner, and Richard M. Ryan, “A Meta-Analytic Review of Experiments Examining the Effects of Extrinsic Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation,” Psychological Bulletin 125, no. 6 (1999): 627.

18. Carolina O.C. Werle, Brian Wansink, and Collin R. Payne, “Is It Fun or Exercise? The Framing of Physical Activity Biases Subsequent Snacking,” Marketing Letters (2014): 1–12.

Chapter 9: Allies

1. “2014 Global Games Market Report,” NewZoo Games Market Research, May 2014.

2. Although there are no global stats on general leisure time (whereas there are global stats for video game play; see the previous endnote), we can make an educated guess that nondigital play consumes at least as many social hours, from national time use surveys that track card games, board games, and sports, such as the 2014 American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other national time use surveys are collected by the United Nations here:

3. Wendy Birmingham et al., “Social Ties and Cardiovascular Function: An Examination of Relationship Positivity and Negativity During Stress,” International Journal of Psychophysiology 74, no. 2 (2009): 114–19; Sheldon Cohen and Thomas A. Wills, “Stress, Social Support, and the Buffering Hypothesis,” Psychological Bulletin 98, no. 2 (1985): 310; Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez, “Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 51, no. 1 supp. (2010): S54–S66; and Ralf Schwarzer and Anja Leppin, “Social Support and Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 8, no. 1 (1991): 99–127.

4. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Timothy B. Smith, and J. Bradley Layton, “Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-Analytic Review,” PLOS Medicine 7, no. 7 (2010): e1000316.

5. These are the two most common items on scientific measures of perceived social support, such as the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), the Social Support Network Inventory (SSNI), the Brief Measure of Social Support (BMSS), and the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ). See Gregory D. Zimet et al., “The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support,” Journal of Personality Assessment 52, no. 1 (1988): 30–41; Joseph A. Flaherty, F. Moises Gaviria, and Dev S. Pathak, “The Measurement of Social Support: The Social Support Network Inventory,” Comprehensive Psychiatry 24, no. 6 (1983): 521–29; Irwin G. Sarason et al., “A Brief Measure of Social Support: Practical and Theoretical Implications,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 4, no. 4 (1987): 497–510; and Irwin G. Sarason et al., “Assessing Social Support: The Social Support Questionnaire,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 44, no. 1 (1983): 127.

6. “Six Weeks of Superbetter,” November 18, 2011, On the Media, archived at

7. Alex Goldman “The Superbetter Diaries,” On the Media blog,

8. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Wendy A. Birmingham, and Kathleen C. Light, “Influence of a ‘Warm Touch’ Support Enhancement Intervention Among Married Couples on Ambulatory Blood Pressure, Oxytocin, Alpha Amylase, and Cortisol,” Psychosomatic Medicine 70, no. 9 (2008): 976–85; Diana Lynn Woods and Margaret Dimond, “The Effect of Therapeutic Touch on Agitated Behavior and Cortisol in Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease,” Biological Research for Nursing 4, no. 2 (2002): 104–14; Ruth Feldman, Magi Singer, and Orna Zagoory, “Touch Attenuates Infants’ Physiological Reactivity to Stress,” Developmental Science 13, no. 2 (2010): 271–78; Yu-Shen Lin and Ann Gill Taylor, “Effects of Therapeutic Touch in Reducing Pain and Anxiety in an Elderly Population,” Integrative Medicine 1, no. 4 (1998): 155–62; Tiffany Field et al., “Cortisol Decreases and Serotonin and Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy,” International Journal of Neuroscience 115, no. 10 (2005): 1397–413; Tiffany Field et al., “Brief Report: Autistic Children’s Attentiveness and Responsivity Improve After Touch Therapy,” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 27, no. 3 (1997): 333–38; Maria Henricson et al., “The Outcome of Tactile Touch on Oxytocin in Intensive Care Patients: A Randomised Controlled Trial,” Journal of Clinical Nursing 17, no. 19 (2008): 2624–33; Matthew J. Hertenstein et al., “Touch Communicates Distinct Emotions,” Emotion 6, no. 3 (2006): 528; and Michael W. Kraus, Cassey Huang, and Dacher Keltner, “Tactile Communication, Cooperation, and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA,” Emotion 10, no. 5 (2010): 745.

9. Manuel Barrera, Jr., “Distinctions Between Social Support Concepts, Measures, and Models,” American Journal of Community Psychology 14, no. 4 (1986): 413–45; and Sheldon Cohen, “Social Relationships and Health,” American Psychologist 59, no. 8 (2004): 676.

10. Lynn M. Martire et al., “Is It Beneficial to Involve a Family Member? A Meta-Analysis of Psychosocial Interventions for Chronic Illness,” Health Psychology 23, no. 6 (2004): 599.

11. Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew E. Brashears, “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades,” American Sociological Review 71, no. 3 (2006): 353–75.

Chapter 10: Secret Identity

1. I recommend the following online name generators: and, as well as the helpful article “Tricks and Tips for Naming Superheroes and Supervillians” at

2. P. Alex Linley et al., “Using Signature Strengths in Pursuit of Goals: Effects on Goal Progress, Need Satisfaction, and Well-Being, and Implications for Coaching Psychologists,” International Coaching Psychology Review 5, no. 1 (2010): 6–15.

3. Martin E. P. Seligman et al., “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions,” American Psychologist 60, no. 5 (2005): 410.

4. Carmel Proctor, John Maltby, and P. Alex Linley, “Strengths Use as a Predictor of Well-Being and Health-Related Quality of Life,” Journal of Happiness Studies 12, no. 1 (2011): 153–69.

5. Christopher Peterson, Nansook Park, and Martin E. P. Seligman, “Greater Strengths of Character and Recovery from Illness,” Journal of Positive Psychology 1, no. 1 (2006): 17–26.

6. For a list of 340 ways to use signature character strengths, see

7. Ethan Kross and Özlem Ayduk, “Making Meaning Out of Negative Experiences by Self-Distancing,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 20, no. 3 (2011): 187–91.

8. Ethan Kross et al., “Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism: How You Do It Matters,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106, no. 2 (2014): 304.

9. Kentaro Fujita et al., “Construal Levels and Self-Control,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90, no. 3 (2006): 351; Hedy Kober et al., “Prefrontal-Striatal Pathway Underlies Cognitive Regulation of Craving,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 33 (2010): 14811–16; and Walter Mischel and Monica L. Rodriguez, “Psychological Distance in Self-Imposed Delay of Gratification,” in Rodney R. Cocking and K. Ann Renninger, eds., The Development and Meaning of Psychological Distance (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993).

10. Kross and Ayduk, “Making Meaning.”

11. Kross et al., “Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism.”

12. Özlem Ayduk and Ethan Kross, “From a Distance: Implications of Spontaneous Self-Distancing for Adaptive Self-Reflection,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 98, no. 5 (2010): 809.

13. Steven C. Hayes et al., “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Model, Processes and Outcomes,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, no. 1 (2006): 1–25; and John D. Teasdale et al., “Metacognitive Awareness and Prevention of Relapse in Depression: Empirical Evidence,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 70, no. 2 (2002): 275.

14. Kross et al., “Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism.”

15. Barbara E. Abernathy, “Who Am I Now?: Helping Trauma Clients Find Meaning, Wisdom, and a Renewed Sense of Self,” in Garry R. Walz, Jeanne C. Bleuer, and Richard K. Yep, eds., Compelling Counseling Interventions: Celebrating VISTAS’ Fifth Anniversary (Ann Arbor, MI: Counseling Outfitters, 2008).

16. Jennifer L. Pals and Dan P. McAdams, “The Transformed Self: A Narrative Understanding of Post-Traumatic Growth,” Psychological Inquiry (2004): 65–69; Laura A. King et al., “Stories of Life Transition: Subjective Well-Being and Ego Development in Parents of Children with Down Syndrome,” Journal of Research in Personality 34, no. 4 (2000): 509–36; and Jack J. Bauer, Dan P. McAdams, and Jennifer L. Pals, “Narrative Identity and Eudaimonic Well-Being,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 (2008): 81–104.

Chapter 11: Epic Wins

1. Vicki S. Helgeson, Kerry A. Reynolds, and Patricia L. Tomich, “A Meta-Analytic Review of Benefit Finding and Growth,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 74, no. 5 (2006): 797.

2. Julienne E. Bower et al., “Benefit Finding and Physical Health: Positive Psychological Changes and Enhanced Allostasis,” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 2, no. 1 (2008): 223–44; Dean G. Cruess et al., “Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management Reduces Serum Cortisol by Enhancing Benefit Finding Among Women Being Treated for Early Stage Breast Cancer,” Psychosomatic Medicine 62, no. 3 (2000): 304–8; Michael H. Antoni et al., “Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management Intervention Decreases the Prevalence of Depression and Enhances Benefit Finding Among Women Under Treatment for Early-Stage Breast Cancer,” Health Psychology 20, no. 1 (2001): 20; Roger C. Katz et al., “The Psychosocial Impact of Cancer and Lupus: A Cross Validation Study That Extends the Generality of ‘Benefit-Finding’ in Patients with Chronic Disease,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 24, no. 6 (2001): 561–71; Charles S. Carver and Michael H. Antoni, “Finding Benefit in Breast Cancer During the Year After Diagnosis Predicts Better Adjustment 5 to 8 Years After Diagnosis,” Health Psychology 23, no. 6 (2004): 595; Sharon Danoff-Burg and Tracey A. Revenson, “Benefit-Finding Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Positive Effects on Interpersonal Relationships,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 28, no. 1 (2005): 91–103; and Eric L. Garland, Susan A. Gaylord, and Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Positive Reappraisal Mediates the Stress-Reductive Effects of Mindfulness: An Upward Spiral Process,” Mindfulness 2, no. 1 (2011): 59–67.

3. Kennon M. Sheldon and Linda Houser-Marko, “Self-Concordance, Goal Attainment, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Can There Be an Upward Spiral?,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 80, no. 1 (2001): 152.

4. Kate C. McLean and Michael W. Pratt, “Life’s Little (and Big) Lessons: Identity Statuses and Meaning-Making in the Turning Point Narratives of Emerging Adults,” Developmental Psychology 42, no. 4 (2006): 714; Jack J. Bauer, Dan P. McAdams, and April R. Sakaeda, “Interpreting the Good Life: Growth Memories in the Lives of Mature, Happy People,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88, no. 1 (2005): 203; Colette Hillebrand Duggan and Marcel Dijkers, “Quality of Life—Peaks and Valleys: A Qualitative Analysis of the Narratives of Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries,” Canadian Journal of Rehabilitation 12, no. 3 (1999): 179–89; James Mcintosh and Neil McKeganey, “Addicts’ Narratives of Recovery from Drug Use: Constructing a Non-Addict Identity,” Social Science and Medicine 50, no. 10 (2000): 1501–10; M.R.E.G.K.P.A. Harney, “In the Aftermath of Sexual Abuse: Making and Remaking Meaning in Narratives of Trauma and Recovery,” Narrative Inquiry 10, no. 2 (2001): 291–311; Clare Woodward and Stephen Joseph, “Positive Change Processes and Post Traumatic Growth in People Who Have Experienced Childhood Abuse: Understanding Vehicles of Change,” Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 76, no. 3 (2003): 267–83; Jack J. Bauer, Dan P. McAdams, and Jennifer L. Pals, “Narrative Identity and Eudaimonic Well-Being,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 (2008): 81–104; and Sally Maitlis, “Who Am I Now? Sensemaking and Identity in Post-traumatic Growth,” in Laura Morgan Roberts and Jane E. Dutton, eds., Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2009).

5. Eric J. Nestler and William A. Carlezon, Jr., “The Mesolimbic Dopamine Reward Circuit in Depression,” Biological Psychiatry 59, no. 12 (2006): 1151–59; Moria J. Smoski et al., “fMRI of Alterations in Reward Selection, Anticipation, and Feedback in Major Depressive Disorder,” Journal of Affective Disorders 118, no. 1 (2009): 69–78; and Jane H. Powell et al., “Motivational Deficits After Brain Injury: Effects of Bromocriptine in 11 Patients,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 60, no. 4 (1996): 416–21.

6. Kennon M. Sheldon and Andrew J. Elliot, “Goal Striving, Need Satisfaction, and Longitudinal Well-Being: The Self-Concordance Model,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76, no. 3 (1999): 482.

7. Alisha L. Brosse et al., “Exercise and the Treatment of Clinical Depression in Adults,” Sports Medicine 32, no. 12 (2002): 741–60; Andrea L. Dunn et al., “Exercise Treatment for Depression: Efficacy and Dose Response,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 28, no. 1 (2005): 1–8; A. Byrne and D. G. Byrne, “The Effect of Exercise on Depression, Anxiety and Other Mood States: A Review,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 37, no. 6 (1993): 565–74.

8. Kelli F. Koltyn et al., “Perception of Pain Following Aerobic Exercise,” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 28, no. 11 (1996): 1418–21; Deborah S. Nichols and Terri M. Glenn, “Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Pain Perception, Affect, and Level of Disability in Individuals with Fibromyalgia,” Physical Therapy 74, no. 4 (1994): 327–32; Kelli F. Koltyn and R. W. Arbogast, “Perception of Pain After Resistance Exercise,” British Journal of Sports Medicine 32, no. 1 (1998): 20–24; Martin D. Hoffman et al., “Experimentally Induced Pain Perception Is Acutely Reduced by Aerobic Exercise in People with Chronic Low Back Pain,” Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 42, no. 2 (2005): 183–90; Karen E. Kuphal, Eugene E. Fibuch, and Bradley K. Taylor, “Extended Swimming Exercise Reduces Inflammatory and Peripheral Neuropathic Pain in Rodents,” Journal of Pain 8, no. 12 (2007): 989–97.

9. Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, “Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation: A 35-Year Odyssey,” American Psychologist 57, no. 9 (2002): 705.

10. Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, “New Directions in Goal-Setting Theory,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 15, no. 5 (2006): 265–68.

11. Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, “Self-Determination Theory: A Macrotheory of Human Motivation, Development, and Health,” Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne 49, no. 3 (2008): 182.

Chapter 12: Keeping Score

1. C. P. Stack, “The Pleasure and Profit of Keeping Score,” Baseball Magazine, 1914, quoted in Paul Dickson, The Joy of Keeping Score (1966; reprint New York: Walker, 2007).

2. J. Lethem et al., “Outline of a Fear-Avoidance Model of Exaggerated Pain Perception—I,” Behaviour Research and Therapy 21, no. 4 (1983): 401–8; Geert Crombez et al., “Pain-Related Fear Is More Disabling Than Pain Itself: Evidence on the Role of Pain-Related Fear in Chronic Back Pain Disability,” Pain 80, no. 1 (1999): 329–39; Predrag Petrovic et al., “Pain-Related Cerebral Activation Is Altered by a Distracting Cognitive Task,” Pain 85, no. 1 (2000): 19–30.

3. James Carse, Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility (1986; reprint New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011).

4. Steven C. Moore et al., “Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis,” PLOS Medicine 9, no. 11 (2012): e1001335.

5. Matthew Pantell et al., “Social Isolation: A Predictor of Mortality Comparable to Traditional Clinical Risk Factors,” American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 11 (2013): 2056–62.

6. Deborah D. Danner, David A. Snowdon, and Wallace V. Friesen, “Positive Emotions in Early Life and Longevity: Findings from the Nun Study,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 80, no. 5 (2001): 804.

7. Jingping Xu and Robert E. Roberts, “The Power of Positive Emotions: It’s a Matter of Life or Death—Subjective Well-Being and Longevity Over 28 Years in a General Population,” Health Psychology 29, no. 1 (2010): 9; Ed Diener and Micaela Y. Chan, “Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity,” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being 3, no. 1 (2011): 1–43; Yoichi Chida and Andrew Steptoe, “Positive Psychological Well-Being and Mortality: A Quantitative Review of Prospective Observational Studies,” Psychosomatic Medicine 70, no. 7 (2008): 741–56; Teije A. Koopmans et al., “Effects of Happiness on All-Cause Mortality During 15 Years of Follow-Up: The Arnhem Elderly Study,” Journal of Happiness Studies 11, no. 1 (2010): 113–24; and Kokoro Shirai et al., “Perceived Level of Life Enjoyment and Risks of Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality; The Japan Public Health Center–Based Study,” Circulation 120, no. 11 (2009): 956–63.

Adventure 1: Love Connection

1. Karen J. Reivich, Martin E. P. Seligman, and Sharon McBride, “Master Resilience Training in the US Army,” American Psychologist 66, no. 1 (2011): 25; and Shelly L. Gable, Gian C. Gonzaga, and Amy Strachman, “Will You Be There for Me When Things Go Right?: Supportive Responses to Positive Event Disclosures,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91, no. 5 (2006): 904.

2. Shelly L. Gable et al., “What Do You Do When Things Go Right?: The Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Benefits of Sharing Positive Events,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87, no. 2 (2004): 228; Harry T. Reis et al., “Are You Happy for Me?: How Sharing Positive Events with Others Provides Personal and Interpersonal Benefits,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99, no. 2 (2010): 311; Gable, Gonzaga, and Strachman, “Will You Be There for Me When Things Go Right?”; Natalya C. Maisel, Shelly L. Gable, and Amy Strachman, “Responsive Behaviors in Good Times and in Bad,” Personal Relationships 15, no. 3 (2008): 317–38; Shelly L. Gable and Harry T. Reis, “Good News!: Capitalizing on Positive Events in an Interpersonal Context,” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 42 (2010): 195–257; Remus Ilies, Jessica Keeney, and Brent A. Scott, “Work-Family Interpersonal Capitalization: Sharing Positive Work Events at Home,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 114, no. 2 (2011): 115–26; and Shannon M. Smith “Wow! That’s Great!”: Correlates of and Variability in Responding Enthusiastically,Ph.D. diss., University of Rochester, 2012.

3. Alex M. Wood, Jeffrey J. Froh, and Adam W. A. Geraghty, “Gratitude and Well-Being: A Review and Theoretical Integration,” Clinical Psychology Review 30, no. 7 (2010): 890–905; Alex M. Wood et al., “The Role of Gratitude in the Development of Social Support, Stress, and Depression: Two Longitudinal Studies,” Journal of Research in Personality 42, no. 4 (2008): 854–71; and Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra, “Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being: What We Know, What We Need to Know,” in Kennon M. Sheldon and Todd B. Kashdan, eds., Designing Positive Psychology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

4. Nathaniel M. Lambert et al., “Benefits of Expressing Gratitude: Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Changes One’s View of the Relationship,” Psychological Science 21, no. 4 (2010): 574–80; also Kennon M. Sheldon and Sonja Lyubomirsky, “How to Increase and Sustain Positive Emotion: The Effects of Expressing Gratitude and Visualizing Best Possible Selves,” Journal of Positive Psychology 1, no. 2 (2006): 73–82.

5. Robert A. Emmons, “Gratitude, Subjective Well-Being, and the Brain,” in Michael Eid and Randy J. Larsen, eds., The Science of Subjective Well-Being (New York: Guilford, 2008): 469–89; Sara B. Algoe and Jonathan Haidt, “Witnessing Excellence in Action: The ‘Other-Praising’ Emotions of Elevation, Gratitude, and Admiration,” Journal of Positive Psychology 4, no. 2 (2009): 105–27; and Sara B. Algoe, Jonathan Haidt, and Shelly L. Gable, “Beyond Reciprocity: Gratitude and Relationships in Everyday Life,” Emotion 8, no. 3 (2008): 425.

6. Dr. Kelly McGonigal and I created the three-part thank-you as part of a special SuperBetter collaboration with the Oprah Winfrey Network: “Oprah’s Thank You Game.” You can find out more at

7. I learned this practice directly from Dr. Biswas-Diener at his Strengths Intervention for Work and Relationships Workshop at the Second World Congress on Positive Psychology, held in Phildadelphia in June 2011. Another resource for strengths-spotting techniques is his manual for psychology coaching: Robert Biswas-Diener, Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessment, Activities and Strategies for Success (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2010). See also Ryan M. Niemiec, “VIA Character Strengths: Research and Practice (The First 10 Years),” in Hans Henrik Knoop and Antonella Delle Fave, eds., Well-Being and Cultures (Springer Netherlands, 2013); Sandy Gordon and Daniel F. Gucciardi, “A Strengths-Based Approach to Coaching Mental Toughness,” Journal of Sport Psychology in Action 2, no. 3 (2011): 143–55; and Carmel Proctor et al., “Strengths Gym: The Impact of a Character Strengths-Based Intervention on the Life Satisfaction and Well-Being of Adolescents,” Journal of Positive Psychology 6, no. 5 (2011): 377–88.

8. Louise C. Hawkley and John T. Cacioppo, “Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms,” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 40, no. 2 (2010): 218–27.

9. John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008).

10. Christopher M. Masi et al., “A Meta-Analysis of Interventions to Reduce Loneliness,” Personality and Social Psychology Review 15, no. 3 (2010).

11. Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (New York: William Morrow, 2011).

12. Christopher K. Germer, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions (New York: Guilford Press, 2009).

Adventure 2: Ninja Body Transformation

1. Traci Mann et al., “Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer,” American Psychologist 62, no. 3 (2007): 220.

2. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, “Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift,” Nutrition Journal 10, no. 9 (2011): 2–13.

3. Nancy C. Howarth, Edward Saltzman, and Susan B. Roberts, “Dietary Fiber and Weight Regulation,” Nutrition Reviews 59, no. 5 (2001): 129–39.

4. Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (New York: Penguin, 2008).

5. Susmita Kaushik et al., “Autophagy in Hypothalamic AgRP Neurons Regulates Food Intake and Energy Balance,” Cell Metabolism 14, no. 2 (2011): 173–83.

6. Musashi Miyamoto, A Book of Five Rings, trans. Victor Harris (London: Allison and Busby; Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1974).

7. Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith, Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts (New York: Kodansha, 1981).

8. Ferris Jabr, “Let’s Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music,” Scientific American, March 20, 2013.

9. Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin, “The Neurochemistry of Music,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17, no. 4 (2013): 179–93.

10. Yuko Tsunetsugu, Bum-Jin Park, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki, “Trends in Research Related to ‘Shinrin-Yoku’ (Taking in the Forest Atmosphere or Forest Bathing) in Japan,” Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 15, no. 1 (2010): 27–37; J. Lee et al., “Effect of Forest Bathing on Physiological and Psychological Responses in Young Japanese Male Subjects,” Public Health 125, no. 2 (2011): 93–100; and Bum Jin Park et al., “The Physiological Effects of Shinrin-Yoku (Taking in the Forest Atmosphere or Forest Bathing): Evidence from Field Experiments in 24 Forests Across Japan,” Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 15, no. 1 (2010): 18–26.

11. Stephen Turnbull, Ninja AD 1460–1650 (Oxford: Osprey, 2003).

Adventure 3: Time Rich

1. Tim Kasser and Kennon M. Sheldon, “Time Affluence as a Path Toward Personal Happiness and Ethical Business Practice: Empirical Evidence from Four Studies,” Journal of Business Ethics 84, no. 2 (2009): 243–55.

2. Susan Roxburgh, “‘There Just Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day’: The Mental Health Consequences of Time Pressure,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 45, no. 2 (2004): 115–31; Alex Szollos, “Toward a Psychology of Chronic Time Pressure Conceptual and Methodological Review,” Time and Society 18, no. 2–3 (2009): 332–50; and Tim Kasser, “Psychological Need Satisfaction, Personal Well-Being, and Ecological Sustainability,” Ecopsychology 1, no. 4 (2009): 175–80.

3. Juliet Schor, Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (New York: Penguin Press, 2010).

4. John De Graaf, ed., Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2003).

5. Dana R. Carney, Amy J. C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap, “Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance,” Psychological Science 21, no. 10 (2010): 1363–68.

6. Alice Moon and Serena Chen, “The Power to Control Time: Power Influences How Much Time (You Think) You Have,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 54 (2014): 97–101.

7. Cassie Mogilner, Zoë Chance, and Michael I. Norton, “Giving Time Gives You Time,” Psychological Science 23, no. 10 (2012): 1233–38.

8. Melanie Rudd, Kathleen D. Vohs, and Jennifer Aaker, “Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being,” Psychological Science 23, no. 10 (2012): 1130–36.

9. Marc Wittmann et al., “Social Jetlag: Misalignment of Biological and Social Time,” Chronobiology International 23, nos. 1–2 (2006): 497–509.

10. Till Roenneberg et al., “Social Jetlag and Obesity,” Current Biology 22, no. 10 (2012): 939–43; Christoph Randler, “Differences Between Smokers and Nonsmokers in Morningness-Eveningness,” Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal 36, no. 5 (2008): 673–80.

11. Russell G. Foster et al., “Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disruption in Social Jetlag and Mental Illness,” Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science 119 (2012): 325–46; and Rosa Levandovski et al., “Depression Scores Associate with Chronotype and Social Jetlag in a Rural Population,” Chronobiology International 28, no. 9 (2011): 771–78.

12. Stefan Klein, The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life’s Scarcest Commodity (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2008).

13. Vani Pariyadath and David Eagleman, “The Effect of Predictability on Subjective Duration,” PLOS ONE 2, no. 11 (2007): e1264.

14. David M. Eagleman et al., “Time and the Brain: How Subjective Time Relates to Neural Time,” Journal of Neuroscience 25, no. 45 (2005): 10369–71.

15. Jennifer L. Aaker, Melanie Rudd, and Cassie Mogilner, “If Money Does Not Make You Happy, Consider Time,” Journal of Consumer Psychology 21, no. 2 (2011): 126–30.

16. Seth Lajeunesse and Daniel A. Rodríguez, “Mindfulness, Time Affluence, and Journey-Based Affect: Exploring Relationships,” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 15, no. 2 (2012): 196–205.

17. Bodhipaksa, “10 Tips for Mindful Driving,” For more tips, see Michele McDonald, Awake at the Wheel: Mindful Driving (audiobook; More Than Sound Productions, 2011).

18. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeremy Hunter, “Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling,” Journal of Happiness Studies 4, no. 2 (2003): 185–99.

About the Science

1. Ann Marie Roepke et al., “Randomized Controlled Trial of SuperBetter, a Smartphone-Based/Internet-Based Self-Help Tool to Reduce Depressive Symptoms,” Games for Health Journal 4, no. 3 (2015): 235–46.