50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior / Edition 1

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior / Edition 1

by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, Barry L. Beyerstein
     
 

ISBN-10: 140513111X

ISBN-13: 9781405131117

Pub. Date: 02/16/2010

Publisher: Wiley

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology uses popular myths as a vehicle for helping students and laypersons to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
• Uses common myths as a vehicle for exploring how to distinguish factual from fictional claims in popular psychology
• Explores topics that readers will relate to, but often misunderstand, such as

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Overview

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology uses popular myths as a vehicle for helping students and laypersons to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
• Uses common myths as a vehicle for exploring how to distinguish factual from fictional claims in popular psychology
• Explores topics that readers will relate to, but often misunderstand, such as "opposites attract," "people use only 10% of their brains," and handwriting reveals your personality
• Provides a "mythbusting kit" for evaluating folk psychology claims in everyday life
• Teaches essential critical thinking skills through detailed discussions of each myth
• Includes over 200 additional psychological myths for readers to explore Contains an Appendix of useful Web Sites for examining psychological myths
• Features a postscript of remarkable psychological findings that sound like myths but that are true
• Engaging and accessible writing style that appeals to students and lay readers alike

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405131117
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Series:
Great Myths of Psychology Series
Pages:
354
Sales rank:
1,274,981
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction The Wide World of Psychomythology 1

1 Brain Power Myths about the Brain and Perception 21

#1 Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power 21

#2 Some People Are Left-Brained, Others Are Right-Brained 25

#3 Extrasensory Perception Is a Well-Established Scientific Phenomenon 29

#4 Visual Perceptions Are Accompanied by Tiny Emissions from the Eyes 33

#5 Subliminal Messages Can Persuade People to Purchase Products 36

2 From Womb to Tomb Myths about Development and Aging 45

#6 Playing Mozart’s Music to Infants Boosts Their Intelligence 45

#7 Adolescence Is Inevitably a Time of Psychological Turmoil 49

#8 Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in Their 40s or Early 50s 52

#9 Old Age Is Typically Associated with Increased Dissatisfaction and Senility 56

#10 When Dying, People Pass through a Universal Series of Psychological Stages 60

3 A Remembrance of Things Past Myths about Memory 65

#11 Human Memory Works like a Tape Recorder or Video Camera, and Accurately Records the Events
We’ve Experienced 65

#12 Hypnosis is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events 69

#13 Individuals Commonly Repress the Memories of Traumatic Experiences 73

#14 Most People with Amnesia Forget All Details of Their Earlier Lives 78

4 Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks Myths about Intelligence and Learning 83

#15 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Certain Groups of People 83

#16 If You’re Unsure of Your Answer When Taking a Test, It’s Best to Stick with Your Initial Hunch 87

#17 The Defining Feature of Dyslexia Is Reversing Letters 89

#18 Students Learn Best When Teaching Styles Are Matched to Their Learning Styles 92

5 Altered States Myths about Consciousness 100

#19 Hypnosis Is a Unique “Trance” State that Differs in Kind from Wakefulness 100

#20 Researchers Have Demonstrated that Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning 104

#21 Individuals Can Learn Information, like New Languages, while Asleep 108

#22 During “Out-of-Body” Experiences, People’s Consciousness Leaves Their Bodies 110

6 I’ve Got a Feeling Myths about Emotion and Motivation 116

#23 The Polygraph (“Lie Detector”) Test Is an Accurate Means of Detecting Dishonesty 116

#24 Happiness Is Determined Mostly by Our External Circumstances 122

#25 Ulcers Are Caused Primarily or Entirely by Stress 126

#26 A Positive Attitude Can Stave off Cancer 129

7 The Social Animal Myths about Interpersonal Behavior 135

#27 Opposites Attract: We Are Most Romantically Attracted to People Who Differ from Us 135

#28 There’s Safety in Numbers: The More People Present at an Emergency, the Greater the Chance that Someone Will Intervene 139

#29 Men and Women Communicate in Completely Different Ways 143

#30 It’s Better to Express Anger to Others than to Hold It in 147

8 Know Thyself Myths about Personality 153

#31 Raising Children Similarly Leads to Similarities in Their Adult Personalities 153

#32 The Fact that a Trait Is Heritable Means We Can’t Change It 158

#33 Low Self-Esteem Is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems 162

#34 Most People Who Were Sexually Abused in Childhood Develop Severe Personality Disturbances in Adulthood 166

#35 People’s Responses to Inkblots Tell Us a Great Deal about Their Personalities 171

#36 Our Handwriting Reveals Our Personality Traits 175

9 Sad, Mad, and Bad Myths about Mental Illness 181

#37 Psychiatric Labels Cause Harm by Stigmatizing People 181

#38 Only Deeply Depressed People Commit Suicide 186

#39 People with Schizophrenia Have Multiple Personalities 189

#40 Adult Children of Alcoholics Display a Distinct Profile of Symptoms 192

#41 There’s Recently Been a Massive Epidemic of Infantile Autism 195

#42 Psychiatric Hospital Admissions and Crimes Increase during Full Moons 201

10 Disorder in the Court Myths about Psychology and the Law 209

#43 Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent 209

#44 Criminal Profiling Is Helpful in Solving Cases 212

#45 A Large Proportion Of Criminals Successfully Use the Insanity Defense 216

#46 Virtually All People Who Confess to a Crime Are Guilty of It 220

11 Skills and Pills Myths about Psychological Treatment 227

#47 Expert Judgment and Intuition Are the Best Means of Making Clinical Decisions 227

#48 Abstinence Is the Only Realistic Treatment Goal for Alcoholics 232

#49 All Effective Psychotherapies Force People to Confront the “Root” Causes of Their Problems in Childhood 236

#50 Electroconvulsive (“Shock”) Therapy Is a Physically Dangerous and Brutal Treatment 239

Postscript Truth is Stranger than Fiction 247

Appendix

Recommended Websites for Exploring Psychomythology 253

References 255

Index 319

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