Two books that had a profound impact on me are Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey and Tough Minded Optimist by Norman Vincent Peale. But they are not a result of rigorous scientific research.
Similarly, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Tuesdays With Morrie had positive impact in many lives. These two are not based on scientific research either.
I'm sure there are countless other books, which are not based on scientific research but are inspiring millions around the world.
But the academics routinely dismiss such self-help books which are not based on scientific research. Recently I listened to a motivational talk as part of leadership workshop. The speaker, a Ph.D. in Psychology, dismissed these books because they are not based on scientific research. One might argue that this argument is limited to self-help genre of books publishing industry. Not quite true.
Let us consider that one of the Dabbawalas publish their success story (contrast to a study by Harvard Business School).
Would you read it even though it is not based on scientific research?
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