Ellen J. Langer

Ellen J. Langer

American psychologist
25 March 1947 —

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The fact that something has not happened doesn`t mean it cannot happen; it only means that the way to make it happen is as yet unknown.

Is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.

From the moment we are born we are presented with absolute facts rather than situated ones. We aren`t taught that distinctions such as young and old or healthy and unhealthy are social constructions and that their meaning depends on context. We are conditioned to learn about and see the world as a set of facts, such as 1 + 1 = 2. The world is far more subtle than such facts allow, and we should have learned that 1 + 1=2 only if we are using the base 10 number system, but that it equals 10 if the number system is base 2, and that 1 + 1 = 1 if we are adding one wad of chewing gum to one wad of chewing gum.

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