The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver
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More About This Title The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver


The keys to understanding and developing courage

This groundbreaking book reveals that courage is more about managing fear than not feeling it, and that courage can be learned. The author explains that most courageous people are unaware of their own bravery, and all of us have some form of courage in our lives now, to start with. The book is filled with illustrative examples, studies, and interviews from Greenland to Kenya, and defines the types of individuals who demonstrate general, personal, and civil courage. The author includes clear guidelines and suggestions for increasing our ability to be courageous.

  • Includes guidelines that show how anyone can ramp-up their courage quotient and develop the qualities that strengthen personal courage
  • Contains a wealth of examples and anecdotes of real-world courage from a variety of cultures
  • A prolific writer, the author has a popular blog Psychology Today

The author extols the virtues of personal courage and shows how to overcome fear and stand up for what is right.


Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is widely known as the "Indiana Jones of positive psychology" because his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya, and Israel. The foremost authority on positive psychology coaching, he is managing director of Positive Acorn LLC ( His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, O!, Vogue, Reader's Digest, and on NPR. Biswas-Diener lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children. He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.


Introduction: How I Found Courage ix

part 1a crash course in courage

1 Your Courage Quotient 3

2 Measuring Courage 25

part 2increasing courage by controlling fear

3 Ride the Emotional See-Saw 41

4 Think Magically 67

part 3increasing courage by boosting the willingness to act

5 Try Defiance 87

6 Be Out of the ‘‘In Crowd’’ 107

7 Be Willing to Fail 121

part 4 conclusion

8 From the Research Laboratory to Real Life 139

Appendix I: Test Your Courage Quotient 151

Appendix II: Locate Your Own Brand of Courage 157

References 159

Acknowledgments 169

About the Author 171

Index 173