Taking Sides volumes present current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript or challenge questions. Taking Sides readers feature an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites. An online Instructor’s Resource Guide with testing material is available for each volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit www.mhhe.com/takingsides for more details.
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Table of Contents
TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues, Seventeenth Edition
TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues
• Unit 1 Biological Issues
• Issue 1. Is Addiction a Brain Disease?
YES: National Institute on Drug Abuse, from “The Science of Addiction,” Drugs, Brain, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction, rev. ed. (National Institutes of Health, 2007)
NO: Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld, from “Singing the Brain Disease Blues,” AJOB Neuroscience (January 2010)
A publication from the National Institute on Drug Abuse argues that addiction is a brain disease and that scientific information is available about the nature, prevention, and treatment of this disease. Psychiatrist Sally Satel and psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld object to the brain disease characterization of drug addiction, asserting that addiction is an activity whose course can be altered by its foreseeable consequences.
• Issue 2. 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 3. 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, 2009)
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 2 Research Issues
• Issue 4. 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 5. Are Traditional Empirical Methods Sufficient to Provide Evidence for Psychological Practice?
YES: APA Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, from “Report of the 2005 Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice,” 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 6. Does Teaching Scientific Determinism Lead to Bad Behavior?
YES: Kathleen D. Vohs and Jonathan W. Schooler, from “The Value of Believing in Free Will: Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increases Cheating,” Psychological Science (vol. 19, no. 1, 2008)
NO: Eddy Nahmias, from “Why ‘Willusionism’ Leads to ‘Bad Results’: Comments on Baumeister, Crescioni, and Alquist,” Neuroethics (July 31, 2009)
Marketing professor Kathleen Vohs and psychology professor Jonathan Schooler attempt to demonstrate that a scientific belief in determinism (that humans lack free will) leads to a host of bad behaviors such as lying, cheating, and stealing. Eddy Nahmias, a philosopher with the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, counters the claim that such scientific beliefs cause bad behavior by arguing that laypersons fail to understand what scientists are actually saying about determinism.
• Unit 3 Development Issues
• Issue 7. 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.
• 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.
• Unit 4 CognitiveEmotional Issues
• Issue 9. Can Positive Psychology Make Us Happier?
YES: Julia K. Boehm and Sonja Lyubomirsky, from “The Promise of Sustainable Happiness.” In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2009)
NO: Laurel C. Newman and Randy J. Larsen, from “How Much of Our Happiness Is Within Our Control?” An original article written for this text (2009)
Health researcher Julia Boehm and psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky argue that empirical research has established that people can use multiadaptive strategies to increase their levels of happiness. Psychologists Laurel Newman and Randy Larsen challenge the external validity and sustainability of the effects of these strategies, arguing that most of what influences our long-term happiness is outside our control.
• Issue 10. Is Emotional Intelligence Valid?
YES: John D. Mayer, Peter Salovey, and David R. Caruso, from “Emotional Intelligence: New Ability or Eclectic Traits?” American Psychologist (September 2008)
NO: Edwin A. Locke, from “Why Emotional Intelligence Is an Invalid Concept,” Journal of Organizational Behavior (January 2005)
Psychologists John Mayer, Peter Salovey, and David Caruso maintain that some individuals have a greater emotional intelligence (EI), a greater capacity than others to carry out sophisticated information processing about emotions. Social science professor Edwin A. Locke argues that “emotional intelligence” is not a form of intellectual ability.
• Unit 5 Mental Health Issues
• Issue 11. 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 Renee 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.
• 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, 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 Facebook Have Generally Positive Psychological Effects?
YES: Amy L. Gonzales and Jeffery T. Hancock, from “Mirror, Mirror on My Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem,” Cyberspcyhology, Behavior, and Social Networking (January/February 2011)
NO: Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, and Council on Communications and Media, from “Clinical Report—The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families,” Pediatrics (April 2011)
Social scientists Amy Gonzales and Jeffery Hancock present empirical research suggesting that selective self-presentation, such as Facebook profiles, enhances self-esteem. Pediatricians Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson caution that inappropriate use of online social networks like Facebook may pose dangers to adolescents, such as isolation and depression.
• Unit 6 Psychotherapy Issues
• Issue 14. Are All Psychotherapies Equally Effective?
YES: Benjamin Hansen, from “The Dodo Manifesto,” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy (December 2005)
NO: Jedidiah Siev, Jonathan D. Huppert, and Dianne L. Chambless, from “The Dodo Bird, Treatment Technique, and Disseminating Empirically Supported Treatments,” The Behavioral Therapist (April 2009)
Psychologist Benjamin Hansen agrees that psychotherapeutic techniques clearly differ among the various approaches, but he argues that all such psychotherapy techniques produce similar outcomes. Psychologists Jedidiah Siev, Jonathan Huppert, and Dianne Chambless assert that outcomes among the various psychotherapies differ primarily because one technique or therapy is better than another.
• Issue 15. Should Therapists Be Eclectic?
YES: Jean A. Carter, from “Theoretical Pluralism and Technical Eclecticism,” in Carol D. Goodheart, Alan E. Kazdin, Robert J. Sternberg, eds., Evidence-Based Psychotherapy: Where Practice and Research Meet (APA, 2006)
NO: Don MacDonald and Marcia Webb, from “Toward Conceptual Clarity with Psychotherapeutic Theories,” Journal of Psychology and Christianity (Spring 2006)
Counseling psychologist Jean Carter insists that the continued improvement and effectiveness of psychotherapy requires that techniques and theories include the different approaches of psychological theory and practice through an eclectic approach. Professors of psychotherapy Don MacDonald and Marcia Webb contend that eclecticism creates an unsystematic theoretical center for psychological ideas and methods that ultimately limits overall therapeutic effectiveness.
• Unit 7 Social Issues
• Issue 16. Should Psychologists Abstain from Involvement in Coercive Interrogations?
YES: Mark Costanza, Ellen Gerrity, and M. Brinton Lykes, from “Psychologists and the Use of Torture in Interrogations.” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (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 (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 17. Does the Evidence 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.
• Issue 18. 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.