Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using Psychology to Think Critically about Issues in the News / Edition 2

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This selection of opinion essays and book reviews by Carol Tavris--written for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Scientific American, and other publications--applies psychological research and principles of scientific and critical thinking to issues in the news. As readers work their way interactively through the essays--thinking through the author's position and their own on the various issues, they engage and strengthen their critical thinking skills--e.g., asking questions and wondering; defining terms; examining the evidence; analyzing assumptions and biases--one's own and those of others; avoiding emotional reasoning; not oversimplifying; considering other interpretations; and tolerating uncertainty. Focuses on important areas such as Science vs. Pseudoscience, Controversies in Child Development, The Politics and Science of Gender Research, Applying Psychology to Social Issues, and Mental Disorder and Treatment. Individual essay topics include, for example, The Popularity of Predictions; Thinking Critically About Alternative Medicine; Thinking Critically About Mystical Messages; The Working Mother Debate; How Much Influence Do Mothers Have?; How Much Influence Do Parents Have?; How Critical Are the First Years of Life?; The Interpretation of Differences; The Paradox of Gender; Biological Politics and the Study of Gender; Emotional Epidemics and Their Consequences; The Daycare Sex-abuse Scandals; Adolescent Violence; The Limits of Medication; and Thinking Critically About Psychotherapy. For anyone who wants to explore the psychological basis of current popular culture issues and to engage in, and strengthen, the critical thinking skills.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130279866
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 107
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents


1. The Appeal of Pseudoscience: Astrology Thrives on the Gullibility Gene.
2. The Popularity of Predictions: Call Us Unpredictable.
3. The Misuses of Opinion Polls: For Whom Do the Polls Toll? The Silenced Majority.
4. The Misuses of Pop-Psych Surveys: Method Gets Lost in the Imagery of Social Science Fiction.
5. Stories versus Statistics: Anecdotes: Coat Hangers of Truth.
6. Illusory Correlations: The Illogic of Linking Pornography and Rape.
7. Thinking Critically about Alternative Medicine: Review of The Alternative Medicine Handbook, Barrie Cassileth.
8. Thinking Critically about Mystical Messages: Review of Nonconscious Movements: From Mystical Messages to Facilitated Communication, Herman Spitz.


9. The Working Mother Debate: Review of A Mother's Place, Susan Chira.
10. How Much Influence Do Mothers Have?: Even Moms Can't Guarantee a Perfect Life.
11. How Much Influence Do Parents Have?: Review of The Nurture Assumption, Judith Rich Harris.
12. How Critical Are the First Years of Life?: Review of The Myth of the First Three Years, John T. Bruer.


13. Are Men and Women "Opposite Sexes"?: Disarmament for the Gender Wars.
14. The Interpretation of Differences, I: How Friendship was "Feminized."
15. The Interpretation of Differences, II: Misreading the Gender Gap.
16. The Paradox of Gender: Review of The Two Sexes, Eleanor Maccoby.
17. Biological Politics and the Study of Gender: Rules of the Road for Biological Research.


18. Emotional Epidemics and Their Consequences: Review of Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media, Elaine Showalter.
19. The Day-Care Sex-Abuse Scandals: A Day-Care Witch Hunt Tests Justice in Massachusetts.
20. The Death Penalty: Passion's Posse Claims a Victim.
21. The War on Drugs: Drop the Iron Fist and Try Rules of Moderation.
22. Adolescent Violence: Violence Is a Symptom, Not an Inevitability.
23. Bystander Apathy: In Groups, We Shrink from Loner's Heroics.
24. The Sources of Happiness: Review of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
25. The Meanings of Self-Esteem: Who Stole Grit from Self-Esteem?
26. Sexual Orientation: Review of The Invention of Homosexuality, Jonathan Ned Katz


27. Medicating the Mind: Review of Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer.
28. The Limits of Medication: We're Only Hearing about the Quick Fix.
29. The Politics of Diagnosis: "PMS" and the DSM: You Haven't Come Very Far, Baby.
30. Thinking Critically about Psychotherapy: Review of House of Cards, Robyn Dawes.

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