Chapter 3 is up and I ask whether my book is evidence-based?

So I just put up Chapter 3 of my online book on self-improvement. You can access it and previous 2 draft chapters from the Book Index page.

In the chapter I explore the question of whether my book is ‘evidence-based’.

The chapter is fairly short but the question is a complex one. Like many topics in this area, I could write a whole book on the concept of ‘evidence-based’.

That said, I come to a fairly simple conclusion about my self-improvement book. I cannot make the claim that reading the book will make your life better. I simply don’t have the evidence that is the case. I can also reasonably ascertain, on the basis of how other self-help books perform, that such evidence would be hard to come by. Self-help books have at best modest impacts on people’s wellbeing.

I do however think that I’ve done my best to build the book on good foundations. I’ve accumulated over my years as a psychologist a knowledge-base built on evidence, clinical wisdom, experience and common sense. I don’t think you’ll encounter in the book anything particularly controversial in terms of ideas and concepts. I’ve simply tried to package robust ideas in an accessible format. My hope is therefore that I can introduce you to some concepts and ideas that have helped people make significant life changes and as a result might enhance the process for you.

Ultimately, you the readers will be the judges of whether I have succeeded.

Right now my goal is to get all the chapters up onto the site. At that point, I will look further into formal methods for testing whether the book, as a stand-alone self-help intervention, or perhaps reimagined as a coaching model has measurable impacts. Right now I am a writer. When the book is finished, I’ll put my researcher hat back to consider what next.

So please enjoy my brief consideration of whether my book is evidence-based. The next chapter that goes up will actually start digging into the self-improvement process. The introductory chapters are now done (at least in first draft form).

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