Lawrence Tabak is a widely published feature writer, essayist and novelist. He is the father of two boys. He has worked as a tennis teaching professional, an executive at the United States Tennis Association and in corporate communications positions in the financial services industry. His essays and feature stories have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the in-flight magazines for TWA, United, American and Continental; Fast Company, Tennis Magazine,, the New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly. He was educated at Northwestern University and the University of Iowa, from which he holds a M.A. in English. He has been a finalist for Best American Essays and a recipient of Tennis Week’s Magazine’s Great American Tennis Writing Award.

IN REAL LIFE, a young adult novel centered on a computer gaming prodigy, was published in 2014 by Tuttle Publishing.

His series for Belt Magazine on industrial giant Foxconn’s Wisconsin project received a “Best of 2017” recognition from Longreads.

Contact: Twitter @lawrencetabak, email: LTMadison at aol period com

1 reply on “Bio”

Problem with use of your Fast Company article on the Yale Study

Hi Lawrence,

(Or perhaps it’s Larry). A heads up about a book that’s doing well in the UK and is coming to the US in a few weeks: Oliver Burkeman’s The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. It’s set to be released in November in the US and may do pretty well.

When you get a chance, you should check what he writes about your article. (You can actually get the book now from In it, he describes the Yale study and part of your article, saying that your piece was published in 2007, possibly to make it seem more current.

He stops his description of your article before the point at which you contact Beverly Waters. He then says that *he* decided to get to the bottom of things (hiding the fact that you had successfully debunked the Yale study 15 years before) by calling–guess who–Beverly Waters. Based on his “reporting” with Beverly, he announces that he is now able to say once and for all that the Yale study never existed.

It would be one thing if he were just a second-rate Malcolm-Gladwell wannabe, but he writes *extremely* well, has been very successful in England, and, I think, the book is going to get a lot of attention in the US.

So you may (or may not) want to address his distortions–if no where else, in an Amazon review. I’m a psychologist and know the goal research literature and have found he misrepresents research on a fairly regular basis. The Yale Study and your Fast Company article is just the most blatant example.

And for what it is worth, I read your piece years ago (it did come out in 1996, correct?) and have periodically re-read it since then. I appreciate your work.

There are now some powerful research-based approaches to goal attainment that, in fact, are very effective. Simply writing down a goal, unfortunately, isn’t one of them.

Warm regards,
Ben Dean PhD
MentorCoach LLC
4400 E. W. Hwy/Ste 1104, Bethesda, MD 20814
301.986.5688 (o)

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