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Positive Thinking: Questioning Its Power

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"You will attract everything that you require. If it's money you need you will attract it. If it's people you need you'll attract it. You've got to pay attention to what you're attracted to, because as you hold images of what you want, you're going to be attracted to things and they're going to be attracted to you. But it literally moves into physical reality with and through you. And it does that by law." -Bob Proctor/Rhonda Byrne, "The Secret"

That's a pretty powerful statement. It resonates emotionally, even if it doesn't have a shred of evidentiary support. "The Secret" promises a universe that will deliver on the desires of those who occupy it, so long as they stay optimistic, determined, and of course, follow the simple steps laid out in its pages.

The power of positive thinking movement is the cornerstone upon which countless American self-help empires have been built. But does it really have the power it so often promises? Dr. James Coyne, director of the Behavioral Oncology Program at UPenn is skeptical. So am I.

To learn more, watch the video above and/or read the transcript below. And don't forget to sound off by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!


Editor's Note: Although Eckhart Tolle does not overtly promulgate the power of positive thinking movement in his teachings, he was included in this video discussion as an example of the lack of scientific evidence within the self-help movement.

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