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  • Law School for Everyone

    Taught By Multiple Professors

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Get the same foundational knowledge as other lawyers—without the time and financial commitment of law school. In the 48 lectures of Law School for Everyone, four exceptional law professors recreate key parts of the first-year law student experience, introducing you to the areas of law most every beginning student studies: litigation and legal practice, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, and torts.

    View Lecture List (48)
    48 Lectures  |  Law School for Everyone
    Lecture Titles (48)
    • 1
      Litigation: Litigation and the American Legal System
      In this lecture, use a 1963 Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, as a window into the relationship between litigation and the American legal system. You'll explore why we adopted this particular system, how it works, and why we teach law in America the way we do. x
    • 2
      Litigation: Thinking like a Lawyer
      To think like a lawyer, you have to approach legal doctrine actively and critically. Here, Professor Shadel teaches you how to read cases with an eye for particular concepts every good lawyer must keep in mind, including the role of precedent, inductive and deductive reasoning skills, and the use of analogies. x
    • 3
      Litigation: Representing Your Client
      All lawyers have responsibilities to their clients and to the integrity of the justice system. But what are the bounds of a lawyer's responsibility in representing a client? What's confidential and what's not? For answers to these and other questions, consider challenges arising in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. x
    • 4
      Litigation: Trial Strategy behind the Scenes
      Continuing with the case of George Zimmerman, explore the intricate nature of trial strategy that takes place away from the jury's eyes. Learn how lawyers operate before a trial, and how a jury is selected. Also, examine how media coverage impacts what happens inside (and outside) the courtroom. x
    • 5
      Litigation: Opening Statements: The Moment of Primacy
      A powerful opening statement requires many things: credibility, persuasion, logic. Using the George Zimmerman and O.J. Simpson trials as case studies, go inside the (sometimes tricky) art of crafting palpable opening statements that grab the jury's attention and leave it eager to hear the testimony to come. x
    • 6
      Litigation: Direct Examination: Questioning Your Witnesses
      Direct examination has been popularized by countless TV crime dramas. But how does it work in a real courtroom? In this lecture, learn how lawyers figure out whom to put on the witness stand, what questions they should ask, and how to prepare witnesses for their day in court. x
    • 7
      Litigation: The Art of the Objection
      During a trial, any lapse in a lawyer's attention could be extremely costly. Enter the task of voicing objections. Here, look at some of the most common types of evidentiary issues that might call for objections and learn why lawyers get only one shot at raising one. x
    • 8
      Litigation: Problematic Evidence
      Why are innocent people sometimes convicted of crimes they didn’t commit? Often, it’s because a jury is persuaded by problematic evidence. How do lawyers navigate these troubled legal waters? Investigate three of the most important kinds of flawed evidence: false confessions, mistaken eyewitness identification, and flawed “expert” evidence. x
    • 9
      Litigation: Controlling Cross-Examination
      Explore how lawyers cross-examine a witness without losing control, without eliciting unexpected answers, and without offending the jury. Along the way, you'll learn tips for effective cross-examination, study the cross-examination skills of renowned civil and criminal defense attorney Roy Black, and learn about the process of conducting impeachments. x
    • 10
      Litigation: Closing Arguments: Driving Your Theory Home
      Closing arguments are a chance for lawyers to connect all the dots for the jury. In this lecture, study one powerful example of a successful closing argument: Johnnie Cochran's on behalf of O.J. Simpson. Then, consider some of the things a lawyer shouldn't do when closing a case. x
    • 11
      Litigation: Understanding the Appellate Process
      When people criticize the United States as an overly litigious society, they're often referring to its system of appellate review. How, exactly, do appellate courts operate? How do lawyers file appellate briefs or make oral arguments for an appeal? Professor Shadel helps you make sense of the appellate process. x
    • 12
      Litigation: Arguing before the Supreme Court
      A case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States is one of great significance. First, consider the history and evolution of the Supreme Court over the centuries. Then, using Citizens United v. FEC, gain insights into how political and ideological dynamics within the Court affect the cases brought before it. x
    • 13
      Criminal Law: Who Defines Crimes, and How?
      To understand how criminal law works, you first have to understand what a crime is. What are the purposes of criminal law? Why is textualism so important to distinguishing the bygone era of common-law crimes from those of the 21st century? Who are the key players involved in defining a crime? x
    • 14
      Criminal Law: Crime and the Guilty Mind
      In this lecture, explore the fundamental requirement of mens rea, or the guilty mind. Topics here include: how criminal intent is traditionally defined, the relationship between malice and motive, what happens when a defendant claims to lack a guilty mind, and the concept of criminal liability without fault (known as strict liability). x
    • 15
      Criminal Law: Homicide and Moral Culpability
      Homicides, according to Professor Hoffmann, are unique among crimes. In this lecture, examine the pyramid of homicidal crimes, including involuntary manslaughter, second-degree murder, and first-degree murder. Also, consider several real-world examples that highlight the issue of culpability in homicide, including the case of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. x
    • 16
      Criminal Law: The Law of Self-Defense
      Turn to self-defense and get a better understanding of how criminal law tries to balance between the rights of the threatened and those who are threats. Along the way, consider issues including “the retreat doctrine,” the “battered spouse syndrome,” “stand your ground” laws, and the use of deadly force by the police. x
    • 17
      Criminal Law: Federal Crimes and Federal Power
      The U.S. federal government might be the most powerful government in the world—but it’s power to prohibit and punish crimes is relatively constrained. In this intriguing lecture, Professor Hoffmann reveals the important distinctions in scope, meaning, and effect between state criminal law and federal criminal law in the United States. x
    • 18
      Criminal Law: Cruel and Unusual Punishments
      Pour over the “cruel and unusual punishments” clause of the Eighth Amendment in search of why the Supreme Court has had so much trouble applying this provision to real-world criminal cases. By the end of this lecture, you’ll realize why the Eighth Amendment is considered by some legal experts to be a constitutional enigma. x
    • 19
      Criminal Law: Due Process and the Right to Counsel
      Powell v. Alabama, better known as the Scottsboro case, is one of the most important in the history of American criminal procedure law. Where did the Supreme Court find the legal authority to force states to provide all criminal defendants, regardless of race or economic station, with fundamental rights? x
    • 20
      Criminal Law: Government Searches and Privacy Rights
      In the first of two lectures on the Fourth Amendment, go inside the fascinating history behind the topic of government searches and privacy rights. You’ll consider the scope of the Fourth Amendment, learn what defines “search” and “seizure,” and ponder the role of modern technology in affecting how the Fourth Amendment works. x
    • 21
      Criminal Law: The Shrinking Warrant Requirement
      Continue looking at the Fourth Amendment. How do search warrants work? Can police enter a home without a warrant? Topics include the exclusionary rule, which provides that evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment be excluded from criminal prosecutions, and the vague standard of “probable cause.” x
    • 22
      Criminal Law: The Fifth Amendment Privilege
      According to the Fifth Amendment, “no person…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” Examine the history of this core aspect of the Bill of Rights. Learn how the amendment works in and out of court, how the privilege has become subject to compromises over time, and what “pleading the fifth” actually requires. x
    • 23
      Criminal Law: Miranda and Police Interrogations
      “You have the right to remain silent.” These are perhaps the most famous words in American criminal justice. In this lecture, investigate the historical and legal background of the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision. Professor Hoffmann builds his lecture around two key issues at the heart of this still-controversial decision. x
    • 24
      Criminal Law: Plea Bargains, Jury Trials, and Justice
      Ninety-percent of all criminal cases, surprisingly, don’t end in a trial but in a plea bargain. In this lecture, consider both plea bargains and criminal trials and how they complement one another. How—and why—did plea bargains come to dominate American justice? How does the jury system work? x
    • 25
      Civil Procedure: Procedural Rights and Why They Matter
      What makes civil procedure different from all other courses law students encounter in their first year of school? Using a hypothetical lawsuit and two Supreme Court cases, explore the broad set of issues and questions any system of litigation must address, including the procedures needed to clear a person's name. x
    • 26
      Civil Procedure: Subject Matter Jurisdiction
      Professor Smith discusses jurisdiction: the power of the courts to hear a case and to render a judgment. As you'll discover, there are really two different types of jurisdiction, one of which is subject matter jurisdiction, which refers to the court's authority to hear cases concerning a particular subject matter. x
    • 27
      Civil Procedure: Jurisdiction over the Defendant
      Just because a court has jurisdiction over a case doesn't mean it has jurisdiction over the defendant. Enter personal jurisdiction. Learn why this doctrine hasn't been constant over time, the importance of the (eventually replaced) Pennoyer ruling, and when an out-of-state defendant should be subject to personal jurisdiction. x
    • 28
      Civil Procedure: A Modern Approach to Personal Jurisdiction
      Continue your look at personal jurisdiction by examining how the approach evolved into its modern standard, as well as the limits this approach places on the power of a plaintiff to haul a defendant into court far from the defendant's home. Central to this: 1945's International Shoe Co. v. Washington. x
    • 29
      Civil Procedure: The Role of Pleadings
      Pleading is the process by which parties inform one another, and the court, of their allegations, claims, and defenses. Go inside the first step in the pre-trial process for a close look at the rules that govern pleading. As you’ll learn, the rules governing pleading can make—or break—a suit. x
    • 30
      Civil Procedure: Understanding Complex Litigation
      Lawsuits today often involve multiple plaintiffs suing multiple defendants on multiple claims. How does this kind of complex litigation work? First, consider the rules governing “joinder”—when claims and parties can be joined in one suit. Then, turn to a familiar (and special) multi-party suit: the class action. x
    • 31
      Civil Procedure: The Use and Abuse of Discovery
      No, the discovery process isn’t glamorous. But it’s important in that it allows parties access to information to support their claims and defenses. How do we define the “scope of discovery,” as well as terms like “substantial need” and “work product”? How can the process be used to wear down plaintiffs? x
    • 32
      Civil Procedure: Deciding a Case before the Trial Ends
      In this lecture, consider the mechanisms of a motion for summary judgment, by which a judge can resolve a suit with something less than a complete trial. Central to this lecture are two important cases that highlight the nuances of this type of motion: Celotex v. Catrett and Denman v. Spain. x
    • 33
      Civil Procedure: The Right to a Civil Jury Trial
      Juries undoubtedly play an important role in civil procedure, even in cases that don't end up having a trial before a jury. Here, consider the virtues and drawbacks of having juries decide issues in civil suits, then explore the scope of this right as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment. x
    • 34
      Civil Procedure: Determining What Law Applies
      How does one tell whether a particular rule of state law is procedural or, instead, substantive? Which law applies—and when? Here, a famous case between two taxicab transfer companies offers an extreme and fascinating illustration of the procedural problems that can arise between federal and state courts. x
    • 35
      Civil Procedure: Relitigation and Preclusion
      The subject of this lecture isn’t about getting a case right—it’s about getting a case over with. Consider the rules that prevent parties from relitigating matters that courts have already decided. What’s the difference between prior litigation and subsequent litigation? Several important cases offer illuminating insights. x
    • 36
      Civil Procedure: Appeals and How They Are Judged
      Trial courts, intermediate courts of appeals, the Supreme Court—different courts play different roles in our legal system. First, consider when a party is allowed to appeal a decision by a trial court. Then, consider the standards of review that appellate courts apply when reviewing trial court decisions. x
    • 37
      Torts: The Calamitous World of Tort Law
      Start your whirlwind tour of torts with an exam question Professor Cheng gives to his own students: one that will introduce you to the history, complexity—and oddities—of this aspect of law. What behaviors does tort law expect from us? What harms can we be responsible for? x
    • 38
      Torts: Legal Duty to Others
      While we're morally obligated to help others, we're not necessarily legally obligated to help, regardless of what religious and ethical authorities may advise. Welcome to the concept of affirmative duty. Here, learn why this rule exists, examine legislative efforts to change it, and consider some well-established exceptions to the rule. x
    • 39
      Torts: Reasonable Care and the Reasonable Person
      In this lecture, investigate the concepts of reasonable care and the concept the legal system uses to determine it: the reasonable person. You’ll consider the meaning of reasonable care, debates over the proper definition of “fault,” the relationship between reasonable care and cost-benefit analysis, and more. x
    • 40
      Torts: Rules versus Standards of Care
      Lawyers define rules as the alternative to flexible, case-specific standards. Rules, as you’ll discover in this lecture, have their advantages and disadvantages over standards—but they all take power and discretion away from the jury. Professor Cheng uses an example that hits close to home for many of us: speed limits. x
    • 41
      Torts: The Complexities of Factual Causation
      Of all the doctrines in tort law, factual causation appears to be the most scientific and value-neutral. The truth, however, may surprise you. Learn why determinations about causation aren’t simple, but do matter—a lot. Also, consider whether the causation question is more philosophical than scientific. x
    • 42
      Torts: Legal Causation and Foreseeability
      Cases involving legal causation and the foreseeability test are the favorites of many law professors. Using one of the most famous cases in the torts canon, Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, discover why legal causation is so intricately linked to policy, our sense of justice, and moral responsibility. x
    • 43
      Torts: Liability for the Acts of Others
      First, take a closer look at vicarious liability, a tort doctrine that states an employer is strictly liable for torts committed by employees during the scope of their employment. Then, consider the related tort doctrine of joint and several liability, which deals with when multiple parties contribute to a tort. x
    • 44
      Torts: When Tort Plaintiffs Share the Blame
      The focus of this lecture is on negligence or other culpable conduct on the part of the plaintiff. What does tort law say about what happens when a plaintiff is at fault? Just how much of a two-way street is an issue like safety? For some answers, look to seat belts. x
    • 45
      Torts: Animals, Blasting, and Strict Liability
      Explore traditional strict liability through the lens of two common kinds of claims that don't require negligence: damage caused by animals and damage caused by ultra-hazardous blasts and explosions. Along the way, examine whether or not strict liability really is all that different from conventional negligence. x
    • 46
      Torts: The Rise of Products Liability
      Tort law isn't fixed in stone but instead evolves to meet a changing society. Case in point: the development of modern products liability law. In the first of two lectures on the subject, walk through some elegant cases in torts to determine why products liability has promoted litigation on a massive scale. x
    • 47
      Torts: Products Liability Today
      Here, Professor Cheng dives into modern products liability doctrine. What kinds of product defects qualify for this treatment? What kinds of products and manufacturers qualify? What's the effect of government regulations in certain cases? How are these massive cases, sometimes involving thousands of plaintiffs, resolved? x
    • 48
      Torts: Punitive Damages and Their Limits
      What are punitive damages? Why do we have them? How can the legal system rein in out-of-control juries? To get answers to these three questions, look to a case that's long been the symbol of a legal system run amok: Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, or the case of the spilled hot coffee. x
  • Understanding Imperial China: Dynasties, Life, and Culture

    Professor Andrew R. Wilson, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    A knowledge of China’s majestic empire is essential for any understanding of its present. In this course, you’ll discover what daily life was like for government bureaucrats, for scholars, for women of the court, for soldiers, merchants, craftspeople, emperors, concubines, poets, farmers, and many others—all set against the backdrop of the richness, the diversity, the genius, and the splendor of imperial China.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding Imperial China: Dynasties, Life, and Culture
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Opium, Trade, and War in Imperial China
      Begin by examining a pervasive symbol of late imperial China: opium. Learn about the history of opium use, the ritual of opium smoking, and the luxurious opium culture of the Chinese elite. Note how opium became inextricably linked with imperial culture, society, and economics. Chart the role of the British opium trade, the Opium Wars, and Chinese measures to eradicate the drug. x
    • 2
      The First Emperor's Terra-Cotta Warriors
      Uncover the story behind the famous terra-cotta warriors, one of China's most celebrated archaeological treasures. Travel into daily life in the Qin Dynasty, China's first empire; encounter the emperor Qinshi Huangdi, builder of the warriors, and observe his highly bureaucratic and technocratic regime. Explore the site of the terra-cotta army, and how the extraordinary clay figures were made. x
    • 3
      China's Early Golden Age: The Han Dynasty
      Enter the lives of the Han nobility—China’s second imperial dynasty—through their tombs, whose fabulous artifacts bear witness to their lavish lifestyle, diet, and concern for learning. Take account of the Han golden age, during which essential imperial institutions were established and Han territories were expanded. Also take note of the rise of a new and powerful scholarly elite. x
    • 4
      Amazing Ban Clan: Historian, Soldier, Woman
      Three extraordinary siblings stand out in China's imperial history. Follow the lives of Han-era twin brothers Ban Gu and Ban Chao, and their remarkable sister Ban Zhao. Investigate Ban Gu's life of learning and his important writing on history and governmental policy. Note Ban Chao's illustrious military career and achievements, and Ban Zhao's significant impact as a scholar, teacher, and poet. x
    • 5
      China's Buddhist Monks and Daoist Recluses
      Buddhism and Daoism played integral roles in the culture of imperial China. Learn about the origins of Chinese Buddhism, the monastic life in China, and the historic travels of the Buddhist monk Faxian. Then study the emergence of Daoism and its traditions of metaphysical exploration and the rustic, natural life, as seen in the works of Tao Yuanming, imperial China's first great poet. x
    • 6
      Cosmopolitan Chang'an: Tang Dynasty Capital
      Travel to the golden age of Chang'an, the medieval world's most resplendent city. Uncover its structure, its grand boulevards, and its stunning palatial, official, and religious architecture. Investigate the city's diverse population and its districts, parks, and pleasure quarters. Visit Chang'an's iconic Eastern and Western markets, and take account of the factors in the city's ultimate undoing. x
    • 7
      China's Grand Canal: Lifeline of an Empire
      Track the historical significance and changing fortunes of the Grand Canal. Beginning in the Sui Dynasty, explore the evolution and engineering of the canal system and its vital role in imperial economics, politics, and culture. Learn about its maintenance and management, its varied personnel, and how the health of the canal directly mirrored the political health of the empire. x
    • 8
      Triumph and Tragedy in Tang Poetry
      Delve into the aristocratic society of the Tang Dynasty and the particular social and political meaning given to poetry within this world. See how poetry of various genres was used within specific social contexts, in the example of court poet Wang Wei. Follow the fortunes of beloved Tang poets Li Bai and Du Fu, as they embodied the vogue and singular significance of poetry in Chinese culture. x
    • 9
      Life and Times of Song Dynasty Literati
      In the Song Dynasty, classical literacy and the civil service examinations were the path to official position. Here, trace the lives of two celebrated literati who emerged from this system. First meet Su Shi, passionate public servant, fun-loving style setter, and man of letters. Contrast Su's life with that of Zhu Xi, probing moral philosopher and architect of Neo-Confucianism. x
    • 10
      A Day's Journey along the Qingming Scroll
      This lecture reveals life in the Song Dynasty by means of the Qingming Shanghetu, a renowned painted scroll of the early 12th century. Reading the 17-foot scroll sequentially, travel through its vivid imagery of people, animals, buildings, vehicles, and landscapes, as it depicts scenes of daily life and conveys the remarkable technological, cultural, and economic sophistication of the Song. x
    • 11
      Peasant Life on the Yellow River
      Discover the vital farming communities of the Yellow River watershed. Study the culture of farming and rural society, and delve into how peasants lived—their dwellings, clothing, diet, work and gender roles, and family structures. Take account of the hardships faced by peasants through taxation and corrupt local officialdom and of the natural and manmade disasters that plagued rural populations. x
    • 12
      Rice, Silk, and Tea: South China's Peasants
      Learn about the process of wet-rice cultivation, as it shaped the daily lives of Southern peasants, from paddy preparation and irrigation to planting, weeding, and final harvesting. Then investigate tea growing and how peasants processed the leaves into different tea varieties. Finally, study Chinese silk production, taking note of the role of women in both the silk and tea industries. x
    • 13
      Genghis Khan and the Rise of the Mongols
      Look deeply into the life of Temujin, who became the fearsome Genghis Khan. Investigate the steppe culture of the Northern tribal warriors who would conquer China and their nomadic lifestyle of herding and raiding. Trace Temujin's phenomenal rise to power as he gathered massive legions of tribal followers, founding the Mongol Empire. Explore social and political life among the Mongols. x
    • 14
      The Mongols and Marco Polo in Xanadu
      The century-long era known as the Pax Mongolica was a time of extraordinary East-West trade and cross-cultural communication. Learn about this epoch through the remarkable journeys of Marco Polo and his family, the missionary Giovanni de Montecorvino, the Nestorian priest and diplomat Rabban Bar Sauma, and others, as they reveal the astonishing multiculturalism of the Mongol world. x
    • 15
      Admiral Zheng He's Treasure Fleet
      Take to the seas with Ming-era Admiral Zheng He, whose travels on behalf of the emperor Yongle were the stuff of legend. Witness life aboard Zheng's huge treasure ships, nine-masted behemoths laden with luxury goods. Follow the commander's seven voyages, as he plied the Indian Ocean and ventured to points beyond to proclaim the glories of the Ming court and to enlarge its cultural and economic power. x
    • 16
      China's Bound Feet, Brides, and Widows
      In exploring the experience of women in imperial China, learn about the customs surrounding traditional married life, such as the painful practice of foot binding, the process of betrothal and marriage arrangements, the wedding festivities, and the duties and lifestyle of a wife. Also investigate the social ideal of the chaste widow and its shadow, the luxurious world of courtesans. x
    • 17
      Ming Dynasty Trade and Spanish Silver
      Visit the teeming port of Manila, where the 16th century influx of Spanish silver made the city a vibrant hub of East-West exchange. Observe how the import of New World silver and crops to China sparked a remarkable period of prosperous living. Note the proliferation of restaurants, travel guides, fashion, leisure activities, commercial sex, and popular religion that characterized the era. x
    • 18
      The Great Wall and Military Life in China
      Delve into the lives of soldiers under the Ming, often incorrectly viewed as an un-martial dynasty. Learn about military culture, weaponry, and lifestyle under 14th century warlord Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty. Contrast this military era with that of the 16th century, when commercialization and technology gave rise to both the Great Wall and to remarkably modern Ming armies. x
    • 19
      Qing Dynasty: Soul Stealers and Sedition
      Witness the national hysteria that ensued from accusations that masons and other undesirables were stealing human souls. Investigate the public fear of sorcery, and the emperor's fear of sedition, which fueled the turmoil. Follow Emperor Qianlong's handling of the crisis, as it reveals the workings of the Qing justice system and the emperor's deep engagement with the empire's moral well-being. x
    • 20
      Emperor Qianlong Hosts a British Ambassador
      At the emperor's palatial summer residence in 1793, visit the imperial kitchens, as chefs and culinary workers from around the empire prepare a banquet of epic proportions. Learn about the staggering scale of the operation of the Imperial Buttery, which fed the emperor's household, and how a dazzling imperial feast served as the backdrop for a key diplomatic engagement. x
    • 21
      The Taiping Rebellion and Its Cult Leader
      The mid 19th century saw both foreign invasion and a revolt that sought to remake Chinese society. Follow the underlying social unrest in South China, and the rise of the charismatic leader Hong Xiuquan, who fomented a rebellion based in religious fanaticism. Observe the military prowess of the rebels, the massive size of the conflict, and how it unfolded as the bloodiest civil war in history. x
    • 22
      China's Treaty Ports
      Following the Opium War of 1842, a range of Chinese seaports were opened to foreign trade and foreign residence. Learn about the colorful history of these ports, how they became enmeshed in a global labor trade, and how they functioned as Euro-Asian hybrid cities. Grasp how the treaty ports were emblematic of a period of economic and political domination by foreigners. x
    • 23
      Experiencing China's Civil Service Exams
      For centuries, the imperial civil service exams selected candidates for important government positions. Trace the dramatic history of the examinations, which involved years of intensive study, a grueling testing ordeal, and life-changing benefits for the successful. Take account of the profound social and cultural significance of the exams and their role in the administration of the empire. x
    • 24
      China's Last Dynasty: Fall of the Manchus
      Finally, examine the factors that led to the dissolution of China’s empire. Contrast the powerful military machine of the early Manchu dynasty with its degradation by the 19th century. Grasp how the three pillars of Manchu power—its military, its cultural/economic influence, and its subjects’ loyalty—were systematically undermined, culminating in the abdication of the last emperor in 1912. x
  • The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life

    Clinical Sport Psychologist Eddie O'Connor, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life, clinical sport psychologist Eddie O’Connor, Ph.D., shares the best ways for you to reach your personal performance goals based on the latest scientific research—whether your performance environment is music, dance, business, or sport. These often surprising research results will make you rethink your own strategies, offering approaches you might never have considered and busting myths you might have taken as truth.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Sport and Performance Psychology
      Sport psychology uses psychological knowledge and skills to help athletes achieve optimal performance, while caring for their overall well-being and development. This lecture begins your introduction to a relatively new field, revealing the science behind the most appropriate cognitive and physical practices leading to top performance. x
    • 2
      Deliberate Practice: Essential for Experts
      You say you don’t have athletic talent? You’ll be surprised to learn talent is overrated and can even become a disadvantage in the long run. Instead, discover the benefits of focusing your attention on practice—deliberate, purposeful practice with well-defined goals. That’s the way to challenge your brain and body to grow and adapt to achieve expertise. x
    • 3
      How Values and Goals Drive Performance
      If you want to reach your best performance level, you'll need to answer this one very important question: Why? Identifying what you want your performance life to be about will help determine your goals and values, and they will guide you through the hard work, wins, and losses ahead. x
    • 4
      The Benefits of Mindfulness in Performance
      Performers in any sport or art must be aware, intentional, and purposeful in focus, attention, and action. While the application of mindfulness meditation to sports performance is in its infancy, initial scientific studies reveal both short- and long-term benefits. Learn about the three major models of mindfulness and how to best apply them to your practice and performance. x
    • 5
      When Positive Thinking Doesn't Work
      We’ve all heard it: “Think positive! You can do it!” But when it comes to peak performance, is positive thinking a help or a hindrance? Cognitive defusion can help you see your thoughts for what they really are—experiences inside your head and nothing more. Gain the power of choosing which thoughts to follow and which to ignore. x
    • 6
      Acceptance and the Willingness to Feel
      All human emotions are based upon these basic four: anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. So why should you expect to be happy and positive all the time? That's only one out of four! Learn to accept the full range of your thoughts and emotions in order to free up your energy to focus on your performance goals and values. x
    • 7
      Commitment Means "No Matter What"
      If you want to achieve your peak performance potential, you know you must be committed. But committed to what? To the behaviors that lead to success. Will you prioritize commitment to your art, your sport, team, coach—or to the long-term goals and values you set for yourself? Learn how that choice affects your performance. x
    • 8
      Finding Internal Motivation
      What keeps elite performers motivated, continually sacrificing so much for their art or sport? Although coaches and parents sometimes think they are in charge of motivation, self-determination theory says humans have an inherent need for three things: competence, relatedness, and autonomy—to be good, to have connections to other people, and to be in control of their own lives. Understand your intrinsic motivation and see how it is the activating force for maximal growth. x
    • 9
      Using Imagery to Prepare for Action
      Athletes and coaches have believed in the power of visualization and have used it in their practice for decades. Now, medical imaging reveals exactly how imagery impacts the brain and the body's nervous system. See how musculature, respiration, and circulation are all stimulated for the betterment of eventual performance when this mental rehearsal is used to its best advantage. x
    • 10
      Confidence and Self-Talk
      Self-efficacy and sport confidence affect your ability to reach your practice and performance goals. But what are the sources of self-efficacy and how can you incorporate them into your life? Learn the ways in which instructional and motivational self-talk can work in your favor as a part of your training routine. x
    • 11
      Developing Focused Attention
      Focused attention is the single most important psychological skill for all performers, whether executive or athlete. But is it possible for us to fully control our attention? And what can go wrong when we try? Learn why hyper-accessibility will inevitably lead to problems and how the five principles of effective concentration can improve your performance outcomes. x
    • 12
      Superstitions, Rituals, and Routines
      What’s the difference between an athlete’s legitimate pre-performance ritual and a long-held superstition? Routines are always under the athlete’s control and directly improve performance. Superstitions—which tend to be more prevalent among athletes the higher their achievement level and number of years played—include some magical thinking and are not directly helpful. So why are there so many superstitious performers? x
    • 13
      Peak Performance: Getting in the Zone
      If you’ve ever stumbled into “the zone,” you know you want to get there again. Also known as flow, the zone is that time when you’re doing your sport, art, or job without thinking, just flowing from moment to moment, completely immersed. Learn how to prepare mentally and physically to increase your chances of entering this optimal performance state. x
    • 14
      Performance Anxiety and Choking
      Anxiety is normal, and every performer is familiar with its physiological symptoms. But it does not have to negatively affect your performance. Learn about Quiet Eye training and how it can be applied in a variety of athletic or artistic situations. QE techniques can help draw internal attention away from anxiety and refocus attention on the critical physical actions of performance. x
    • 15
      Being the Perfect Perfectionist
      Perfectionism is a paradox faced by almost all elite performers. It energizes achievement and contributes to success, but can also undermine performance and/or the enjoyment of success. Learn how to become a “perfect perfectionist,” using its positive attributes to your benefit while avoiding the perfectionist’s battle with feelings of shame and lack of self-worth. x
    • 16
      Self-Compassion for Self-Improvement
      Athletes know all about boxing up their feelings in order to get tough, get the job done, and cope with crises. But research shows routinely taking time to acknowledge and process your feelings affects the psychological variables that improve performance. Learn how specific exercises can help you increase self-compassion and get results. x
    • 17
      Burnout and the Need for Recovery
      The consequences of burnout can be devastating. Beginning with an exhaustion no amount of rest can relieve, burnout spirals downward through declining performance, frustration, decreasing motivation, and devaluation. Explore the underlying causes behind burnout, how to avoid and treat the problem, and the serious issue of burnout in today's youth sports. x
    • 18
      Pain Tolerance and Injury Rehabilitation
      If you’re an athlete striving for your highest performance level, pain and injury are just part of the game. But pain is never experienced in a vacuum. See how, for each athlete, pain exists within a unique bio-psycho-social context—the matrix that influences the athlete’s individual relationship to pain and the choice of association or dissociation strategies for moving forward. x
    • 19
      The Dangerous Pursuit of the Ideal Body
      Athletes can feel tremendous pressure to achieve the “ideal body” as early as elementary school. Consequently, although most of us recognize disordered eating and performance-enhancing drugs as problems, athletes can see them as short-term positives despite long-term damage. What does the latest research reveal regarding the health risks of methods many athletes use to improve sport performance? x
    • 20
      Fan Psychology, Identification, and Violence
      Teams need their fans, and fans need their teams. Uncover what the latest research says about the difference in the social and emotional health of higher- and lower-identified fans. Learn how being a fan can make you happy. Explore as well the risks and darker side of passionate fandom—not only does your level of identification affect your mood and enjoyment, but also your potential for anger and violence. x
    • 21
      Four Qualities of a Successful Team
      Learn how the four correlates of teamwork—cohesion, cooperation, role relationships, and leadership—function together to best enable sport teams to reach their goals. No matter whether you’re in the world of sports or business, the Team Captain’s Leadership Model will show you how to lead by example to better your team and yourself. x
    • 22
      Talent: A Developmental Process
      Understand why the typical talent identification model works against the development of athletic talent in youngsters. Instead, turn to another model, the Developmental Model of Sports Participation, which research shows promotes the physical health and psychosocial development of all children involved in youth sport—in addition to most effectively promoting the development of specialized expertise. x
    • 23
      How to Be a Great Sport Parent
      Whether parents want to help their children develop into successful achievers in sports, art, music, or life, it’s important to remember that everything you say and do matters. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes sports parents make—words and actions that work against your child’s goals and your own—and what you can say that your child always needs to hear. x
    • 24
      Aging Athletes: Competing and Retiring
      Learn what it takes to keep up skills and performance levels as we age. With appropriate planning, older athletes can often compete well beyond the age of peak performance and even remain competitive compared to their younger peers. But the time will eventually come to retire from your sport, and the sooner you start preparing for that transition, the better you will feel about it. x
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