In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Daniel M. Wegner told subjects not to think about white bears. Of course, they found it impossible to avoid thinking of the bears—just as it often seems impossible to stop thinking about forbidden foods, a painful memory, or everyday fears and worries. Synthesizing a wealth of scientific knowledge in an accessible, engaging style, this book reveals that the more we attempt to push away or avoid unwanted thoughts, the deeper they take hold. Wegner offers compelling insights into how unpleasant or obsessive thoughts get out of control—and what we can do to break free of them. Written for general readers, the book has been widely used in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses.