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Psycho-Cybernetics is a self-help book written by Maxwell Maltz in 1960.[1] Motivational and self-help experts in personal development, including Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy have based their techniques on Maxwell Maltz[citation needed]. Many of the psychological methods of training elite athletes are based on the concepts in Psycho-Cybernetics as well.[2] The book combines the cognitive behavioral technique of teaching an individual how to regulate self-concept, using theories developed by Prescott Lecky, with the cybernetics of Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann. The book defines the mind-body connection as the core in succeeding in attaining personal goals.[3]

Maltz found that his plastic surgery patients often had expectations that were not satisfied by the surgery, so he pursued a means of helping them set the goal of a positive outcome through visualization of that positive outcome.[3] Patients thinking that surgery will solve their problems is an example of the XY problem. Maltz became interested in why setting goals works. He learned that the power of self-affirmation and mental visualization techniques used the connection between the mind and the body. He specified techniques to develop a positive inner goal as a means of developing a positive outer goal. This concentration on inner attitudes is essential to his approach, as a person's outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally.


The book rapidly attained best-seller status and has remained in print continuously since its publication in 1960[citation needed].

Posthumous editions[edit]

Several later editions[4] have been produced since Maltz's death in 1975.[5]


  1. ^ Maltz, Maxwell (1960). Psycho-Cybernetics. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671700751.
  2. ^ Gray, Michael C. "Psycho-Cybernetics Book Review". Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  3. ^ a b 'Psycho-Cybernetics' Author; Plastic Surgeon Tries to Heal Inner Scars, Los Angeles Times, November 2, 1973.
  4. ^
    Posthumous Editions
    Year Title Author/Editor Publisher ISBN
    1996 Psycho-Cybernetics 2000 Bobbe Sommer Prentice Hall ISBN 978-0132638494
    2002 The New Psycho-Cybernetics Dan Kennedy Prentice Hall ISBN 978-0735202856
    2015 Psycho-Cybernetics, Updated and Expanded Matt Furey Tarcher Perigee ISBN 978-0399176135
  5. ^ [1] CUMC Obituary Database