TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues, Sixteenth Edition, Expanded
TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues, Sixteenth Edition, Expanded
• Unit 1 Research Issues
• Issue 1. Are Traditional Empirical Methods Sufficient to Provide Evidence for Psychological Practice?
YES: APA Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, from “Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology,” American Psychologist (May/June 2006)
NO: Brent D. Slife and Dennis C. Wendt, from “The Next Step in the Evidence-Based Practice Movement,” APA Convention Presentation (August 2006)
The APA Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice assumes that a variety of traditional empirical methods is sufficient to provide evidence for psychological practices. Psychologist Brent D. Slife and researcher Dennis C. Wendt contend that traditional empirical methods are guided by a single philosophy that limits the diversity of methods.
• Issue 2. Classic Dialogue: Was Stanley Milgram’s Study of Obedience Unethical?
YES: Diana Baumrind, from “Some Thoughts on Ethics of Research: After Reading Milgram’s ’Behavioral Study of Obedience,’” American Psychologist (vol. 19, 1964)
NO: Stanley Milgram, from “Issues in the Study of Obedience: A Reply to Baumrind,” American Psychologist (vol. 19, 1964)
Psychologist Diana Baumrind argues that Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience did not meet ethical standards for research, because participants were subjected to a research design that caused undue psychological stress that was not resolved after the study. Social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in response to Baumrind’s accusations, asserts that the study was well designed, the stress caused to participants could not have been anticipated, and the participants’ anguish dissipated after a thorough debriefing.
• Issue 3. Does the Research Support Evolutionary Accounts of Female Mating Preferences?
YES: David M. Buss, from Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, 3rd Edition (Allyn and Bacon, 2008)
NO: David J. Buller, from Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature (MIT Press, 2005)
Professor of Psychology David M. Buss contends that the research data indicate an evolved female preference for high-status, resource-possessing males. Philosopher of Science David J. Buller argues that the research data support several alternative explanations for Buss’s findings.
• Unit 2 Biological Issues
• Issue 4. Are Gender Differences in Communication Biologically Determined?
YES: Louann Brizendine, from The Female Brain (Morgan Road Books, 2006)
NO: Brenda J. Allen, from Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity (Waveland Press, 2004)
Physician Louann Brizendine argues that gender differences in communication are the necessary result of “hard wired” differences in female and male brains. Professor of Communications Brenda J. Allen contends that communication differences between genders are the result of social and contextual influences and that changing these influences could change communication styles.
• Issue 5. Is Homosexuality Biologically Based?
YES: Qazi Rahman, from “The Neurodevelopment of Human Sexual Orientation.” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (October 2005)
NO: Stanton L. Jones and Alex W. Kwee, from “Scientific Research, Homosexuality, and the Church’s Moral Debate: An Update,” Journal of Psychology and Christianity (Winter 2005)
Professor of Psychobiology Qazi Rahman claims that the current research on the biology of homosexuality supports prenatal biological determination and refutes learning models of sexual orientation. Professor of Psychology Stanton L. Jones and Clinical Psychologist Alex W. Kwee claim the current research on the biology of homosexuality provides no firm evidence for biological causation and leaves room for learning models of sexual orientation.
• Issue 6. Is Evolution a Good Explanation for Psychological Concepts?
YES: Glenn Geher, from “Evolutionary Psychology Is Not Evil! (… And Here’s Why…)” Psychological Topics (December 2006)
NO: Edwin E. Gantt and Brent S. Melling, from “Evolutionary Psychology Isn’t Evil, It’s Just Not Any Good,” An Original Essay Written for This Volume
Evolutionary psychologist Glenn Geher maintains that evolution provides the best meta-theory for explaining and understanding human psychology. Theoretical psychologists Edwin Gantt and Brent Melling argue that an evolutionary account of psychology omits many important and good things about humans.
• Unit 3 Human Development
• Issue 7. Does Divorce Have Positive Long-Term Effects for the Children Involved?
YES: Constance Ahrons, from We’re Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce (HarperCollins, 2004)
NO: Elizabeth Marquardt, from “The Bad Divorce,” First Things (February 2005)
The founding co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, Constance Ahrons, argues not only that the commonly assumed negative effects on children of divorced families are myths but also that these children actually emerge stronger, wiser, and with closer family connections. Director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values, Elizabeth Marquardt, addresses perceived flaws in Ahrons’ study and claims from her own work and experience that divorce negatively affects children for the rest of their lives.
• Issue 8. Do Online Friendships Hurt Adolescent Development?
YES: Lauren Donchi and Susan Moore, from “It’s a Boy Thing: The Role of the Internet in Young People’s Psychological Wellbeing,” Behavior Change (vol. 21, no. 2, 2004)
NO: Patti M. Valkenburg and Jochen Peter, from “Online Communication and Adolescent Well-Being: Testing the Stimulation Versus the Displacement Hypothesis,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (vol. 12, issue 4, 2007)
Psychologists Lauren Donchi and Susan Moore report that adolescent males who rate online friendships higher than face-to-face friendships are more likely to be lonely and experience low self-esteem. Professors of communication Patti M. Valkenburg and Jochen Peter maintain that online relationships actually enhance an adolescent’s face-to-face peer relations and psychological wellbeing.
• Issue 9. Are Today’s Youth More Self-Centered Than Previous Generations?
YES: Jean M. Twenge, Sara Konrath, Joshua D. Foster, W. Keith Campbell, and Brad J. Bushman, from “Egos Inflating Over Time: A Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory,” Journal of Personality (August 2008)
NO: Kali H. Trzesniewski, M. Brent Donnellan, and Richard W. Robins, from “Do Today’s Young People Really Think They Are So Extraordinary? An Examination of Secular Trends in Narcissism and Self-Enhancement.” Psychological Science (February 2008)
Psychologist Jean Twenge and colleagues argue that the evidence suggests that young people are more egocentric than the previous generation. Professor Kali Trzesniewski and colleagues maintain that the evidence shows there is no change in the over-all level of narcissism since the previous generation.
• Unit 4 Cognitive Processes
• Issue 10. Is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences Valid?
YES: Howard Gardner, from Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons (Basic Books, 2006)
NO: John White, from “Howard Gardner: The Myth of Multiple Intelligences,” Lecture at Institute of Education, University of London (November 17, 2004)
Psychologist Howard Gardner argues for the validity of his theory of multiple intelligences because it both reflects the data collected about intelligent human behavior and explains why people excel in some areas but fail in others. Educational philosopher John White believes that Gardner cannot prove the existence of multiple types of intelligence and argues that people who are generally able to adapt well will excel in whatever field they choose.
• Issue 11. Are the Recovered Memories of Psychological Trauma Valid?
YES: David H. Gleaves, Steven M. Smith, Lisa D. Butler, and David Spiegel, from “False and Recovered Memories in the Laboratory and Clinic: A Review of Experimental and Clinical Evidence,” Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Spring 2004)
NO: John F. Kihlstrom, from “An Unbalanced Balancing Act: Blocked, Recovered, and False Memories in the Laboratory and Clinic,” Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Spring 2004)
Psychologist David H. Gleaves and his colleagues use experimental and clinical evidence to argue that blocked and recovered memories of trauma are valid phenomena. Psychologist John F. Kihlstrom challenges the validity of blocked and recovered memories of trauma, arguing that false memories of trauma are damaging both to clients and to those they may accuse of abuse.
• Unit 5 Mental Health
• Issue 12. Is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a Real Disorder?
YES: National Institute of Mental Health, from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (NIH Publication No. 3572), Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2006)
NO: Rogers H. Wright, from “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What It Is and What It Is Not,” in Rogers H. Wright and Nicholas A. Cummings, eds., Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well Intentioned Path to Harm (Routledge, 2005)
The National Institute of Mental Health asserts that ADHD is a real disorder that merits special consideration and treatment. Psychologist Rogers H. Wright argues that ADHD is not a real disorder, but rather a “fad diagnosis” that has resulted in the misdiagnosis and overmedication of children.
• Issue 13. Does Taking Antidepressants Lead to Suicide?
YES: David Healy and Chris Whitaker, from “Antidepressants and Suicide: Risk-Benefit Conundrums,” Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience (September 2003)
NO: Yvon D. Lapierre, from “Suicidality with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: Valid Claim?” Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience (September 2003)
Psychiatrist David Healy and statistician Chris Whitaker argue that psychological research reveals a significant number of suicidal acts by individuals taking antidepressants and, thus, they recommend stricter controls on these drugs. In response, psychiatrist Yvon D. Lapierre maintains that the research on suicidality and antidepressants is unconvincing, recommending that conclusions from these findings should be severely limited.
• Issue 14. Do Brain Deficiencies Determine Learning Disabilities?
YES: Sally E. Shaywitz and Bennett A. Shaywitz, from “Reading Disability and the Brain,” Educational Leadership (March 2004)
NO: Gerald Coles, from “Danger in the Classroom: ’Brain Glitch’ Research and Learning to Read,” Phi Delta Kappan (January 2004)
Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, codirectors of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, suggest that reading disabilities stem from “brain glitches”. Educational psychologist Gerald Coles believes that learning “disabilities” come from myriad sources, and each source needs to be considered when diagnosing and treating disabilities.
• Unit 6 Social Psychology
• Issue 15. Should Psychologists Abstain from Involvement in Coercive Interrogations?
YES: Mark Costanzo, Ellen Gerrity, and M. Brinton Lykes, from “Psychologists and the Use of Torture in Interrogations.” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) (December 2007)
NO: Kirk M. Hubbard, from “Psychologists and Interrogations: What’s Torture Got to Do with It?” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (ASAP) (December, 2007)
Psychologists Mark Costanzo, Ellen Gerrity, and M. Brinton Lykes assert that all psychologists should be banned from any involvement in interrogations that involve torture or other unethical forms of coercion. Psychologist and intelligence consultant Kirk M. Hubbard argues that a ban on a psychologist’s involvement in coercive interrogations would overly restrict the ways in which psychologists can ethically contribute to their country’s intelligence needs.
• Issue 16. Do Video Games Lead to Violence?
YES: Douglas A. Gentile and Craig A. Anderson, from “Violent Video Games: The Newest Media Violence Hazard,” in Douglas A. Gentile, ed., Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals (Praeger, 2003)
NO: Cheryl K. Olson, from “The Electronic Friend? Video Games and Children’s Friendships,” Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research Newsletter (October 2008)
Developmental psychologist Douglas A. Gentile and department of psychology chair Craig A. Anderson assert that violent video games cause several physiological and psychological changes in children that lead to aggressive and violent behavior. Cheryl K. Olson, professor of psychiatry and co-author of a recent book on violent video games, suggests not only that there is insufficient research to say that such games lead to violence but also that they may even have pro-social consequences.
• Issue 17. Can Sex Be Addictive?
YES: Patrick Carnes, from “Understanding Sexual Addiction,” SIECUS Report (June/July 2003)
NO: Lawrence A. Siegel and Richard M. Siegel, from “Sex Addiction: Recovering from a Shady Concept,” An Original Essay Written for Taking Sides: Human Sexuality, 10th edition 2007)
Sexual addiction expert Patrick J. Carnes argues not only that sex can be addictive but that sex can be as addictive as drugs, alcohol, or any other chemical substance. Sex therapists Lawrence A. Siegel and Richard M. Siegel believe that while some sexual behaviors might be dysfunctional, calling those behaviors “addictive” confuses a moralistic ideology with a scientific fact.
• Issue 18. Is American Psychological Research Generalizable to Other Cultures?
YES: Gerald J. Haeffel, Erik D. Thiessen, Matthew W. Campbell, Michael P. Kaschak, and Nicole M. McNeil, from “Theory, Not Cultural Context, Will Advance American Psychology,” American Psychologist (September 2009)
NO: Jeffrey J. Arnett, from “The Neglected 95%, a Challenge to Psychology’s Philosophy of Science,” American Psychologist (September 2009)
Haeffel and his colleagues believe that psychological studies of American people often generalize to people of other cultures, especially when basic processes are being studied. Jeffrey Arnett, psychological research professor, argues that culture is central to the functioning of humans and thus to psychological findings.
• Issue 19. Does an Elective Abortion Lead to Negative Psychological Effects?
YES: Priscilla K. Coleman, Catherine T. Coyle, Martha Shuping, and Vincent M. Rue, from “Induced Abortion and Anxiety, Mood, and Substance Abuse Disorders: Isolating the Effects of Abortion in the National Comorbidity Survey,” Journal of Psychiatric Research (May 2009)
NO: Julia R. Steinberg and Nancy F. Russo, from “Abortion and Anxiety: What’s the Relationship,” Social Science & Medicine (July 2008)
Associate Professor Priscilla K. Coleman and colleagues argue that the evidence suggests that abortion is causal to psychological problems. Researchers Julia R. Steinberg and Nancy F. Russo counter that other factors, common to women who abort, are responsible for later psychological problems.