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This Fifteenth Edition of TAKING SIDES: PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES presents 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. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.
UNIT 1 RESEARCH ISSUES Issue 1. Should Animal Research in Psychology Be Eliminated?
YES: Peter Singer, from Animal Liberation (Ecco, 2002)
NO: R.G. Frey, from "Justifying Animal Experimentation: The Starting Point," in Ellen Frankel Paul and Jeffery Paul, eds., Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research (Transaction, 2001)
Bioethicist Peter Singer asserts that to engage in animal research is to commit speciesism (similar to racism), often without any important research findings at all. Professor of philosophy R. G. Frey expresses support for the similarity that Singer and others note between animals and humans but ultimately argues that animals should be used for research because their quality of life is lower than that of most humans.Issue 2. 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 (2006)
NO: Brent D. Slife and Dennis C. Wendt, from "The Next Step in the Evidence-Based Practice Movement," APA Convention Presentation (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, no matter how diverse, severely limit viable alternative options to patients and practitioners and thus are not sufficient in providing evidence for psychological practices.Issue 3. 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, becauseparticipants 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.UNIT 2 BIOLOGICAL ISSUES Issue 4. Are Humans Naturally Violent?
YES: Michael L. Wilson and Richard W. Wrangham, from "Intergroup Relations in Chimpanzees," Annual Review of Anthropology (2003)
NO: Robert W. Sussman, from "Are Humans Inherently Violent?" in Ruth Osterweis Selig, Marilyn R. London, and P. Ann Kaupp, eds., Anthropology Explored: The Best of Smithsonian AnthroNotes, 2nd ed. (Smithsonian Books, 2004)
Field researcher Michael L. Wilson and biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham argue that humans are innately violent because their closest non human relatives—chimpanzees—are themselves violent and aggressive. Biological anthropologist Robert W. Sussman asserts that neither humans nor chimpanzees are inherently violent, but culture and upbringing are significantly involved in the violence evident in both speciesIssue 5. Do Women and Men Communicate Differently?
YES: Julia T. Wood, from Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture, 4th ed. (Wadsworth, 2001)
NO: Laura L. Winn and Donald L. Rubin, from "Enacting Gender Identity in Written Discourse: Responding to Gender Role Bidding in Personal Ads," Journal of Language and Social Psychology (December 2001)
University professor and communication researcher Julia T. Wood explains how communication styles differ in men and women by examining gender roles in typical childhood games, men’s and women’s communication practices, and common misunderstandings between the sexes. Professors and researchers Laura L. Winn and Donald L. Rubin describe an empirical study aimed at understanding social roles and argue that these contextual factors, not biological sex, play the defining role in communication styles.Issue 6. 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, summarize their recent research findings, suggesting that reading disabilities stem from “brain glitches” that advances in medicine and reading research can virtually eliminate. Educational psychologist Gerald Coles disputes the claim that neurological procedures can identify reading disabilities and produce methods to help children read, because he believes that learning “disabilities” come from myriad sources, and each source needs to be considered when diagnosing and treating these disabilities.UNIT 3 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Issue 7. Does the Environment Influence Human Development More than Genes?
YES: Paul Ehrlich and Marcus Feldman, from "Genes and Cultures: What Creates Our Behavioral Phenome?" Current Anthropology (February 2003)
NO: Gary Marcus, from "Making the Mind: Why We've Misunderstood the Nature-Nurture Debate," Boston Review (December 2003/January 2004)
Stanford University professors of biology Paul Ehrlich and Marcus Feldman argue that because humans possess relatively few genes, any complete account of human behavior must place a great deal more emphasis on environment (especially culture) than biology. Psychologist and researcher Gary Marcus states that genes are more influential than experience because they provide the parameters that limit behavioral possibilities and interact through immensely complex networks to create virtually unlimited developmental differences.Issue 8. Does the Divorce of Parents Harm Their Children?
YES: Judith S. Wallerstein, from "Growing up in the Divorced Family," Clinical Social Work Journal (Winter 2005)
NO: E. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly, from For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered (W. W. Norton, 2002)
Clinical psychologist Judith S. Wallerstein argues not only that children are harmed when their parents divorce but also that these negative side effects continue into their adult lives. Developmental psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington and writer John Kelly do not deny that divorce can have harmful immediate effects on children, but they contend that most of these children eventually become well adjusted.Issue 9. Does Research Show That Homosexual Parenting Has No Negative Effects?
YES: Ellen C. Perrin and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, from "Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents," Pediatrics (April 2002)
NO: Richard N. Williams, from "The Effect on Children of the Sexual Orientation of Parents: How Should the Issue Be Decided?" Invited Address to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (2000)
Professor of pediatric medicine Ellen C. Perrin and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health review four areas of research to show that parental sexual orientation creates no unusual or additional risk to children. Social psychologist Richard Williams reviews the research literature and finds both that a political agenda pervades these studies and that potentially meaningful differences were not mentioned or pursued.UNIT 4 COGNITIVE PROCESSES Issue 10. Are Human Activities Determined?
YES: John A. Bargh and Tanya L. Chartrand, from "The Unbearable Automaticity of Being," American Psychologist (July 1999)
NO: Amy Fisher Smith, from "Automaticity: The Free Will-Determinism Debate Continued," An Original Article Written for This Text (2006)
Psychologists John A. Bargh and Tanya L. Chartrand assert that people are controlled not by their purposeful choices and intentions but by the environment through automatic cognitive processes. In response, psychologist Amy Fisher Smith agrees that people do, in fact, have automatic behaviors but she believes these behaviors can be explained by mental processes akin to a free will.Issue 11. 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 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.UNIT 5 MENTAL HEALTH Issue 12. Does ADHD Exist?
YES: Russell A. Barkley, from "International Consensus Statement on ADHD," Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review (June 2002)
NO: Sami Timimi et al., from "A Critique of the International Consensus Statement on ADHD," Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review (March 2004)
Russell A. Barkley, a professor in the department of psychiatry and neurology, leads a team of researchers who claim that current scientific evidence, particularly evidence provided by heritability and neuro-imaging studies, points unarguably toward ADHD’s validity and existence. Another group of researchers, led by psychiatrist Sami Timimi, claims the current ADHD epidemic is the result of unrealistic expectations for today’s children and the pharmaceutical companies’ desire to sell more drugs.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, 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. Does Low Self-Esteem Lead to Antisocial Behavior?
YES: M. Brent Donnellan, Kali H. Trzesniewski, Richard W. Robins, Terrie E. Moffitt, and Avshalom Caspi, from "Low Self-Esteem Is Related to Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, and Delinquency," Psychological Science (April 2005)
NO: Roy F. Baumeister, Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger, and Kathleen D. Vohs, from "Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth," Scientific American (January 2005)
Psychology professor M. Brent Donnellan and his colleagues describe a series of empirical investigations they interpreted as showing that low self-esteem is highly predictive of many externalizing problems, including antisocial behavior. Social psychologist and long-time critic of self-esteem Roy Baumeister and his associates draw on a literature review of self-esteem studies to argue that low self-esteem generally has little correlation with and influence on negative outcomes such as antisocial behavior.UNIT 6 PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENTS Issue 15. Should Psychologists Be Able to Prescribe Drugs?
YES: Patrick H. DeLeon and Debra Lina Dunivin, from "The Tide Rises," Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Fall 2002)
NO: William N. Robiner et al.,, from "Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: A Looming Health Hazard?" Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (Fall 2002)
Psychologists Patrick H. DeLeon and Debra Lina Dunivin assert that granting prescription authority to psychologists will improve the quality of psychological care because they will be able to treat a patient’s mind and body. Psychologist William Robiner and his colleagues object to the idea of giving psychologists prescription privileges because psychologists do not receive the same rigorous medical training as those who can prescribe medicine.Issue 16. Is Treating Homosexuality Ethical?
YES: Christopher H. Rosik, from "Motivational, Ethical and Epistemological Foundations in the Treatment of Unwanted Homoerotic Attraction," Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (January 2003)
NO: Robert-Jay Green, from "When Therapists Do Not Want Their Clients to Be Homosexual: A Response to Rosik's Article," Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (January, 2003)
Psychologist Christopher Rosik affirms that a therapist can ethically assist a patient in changing his or her sexual orientation as long as it is the patient’s desire to do so. Psychologist Robert-Jay Green voices concern with sexual orientation therapy on the grounds that any attempt to sexually reorient a patient implies a moral disapproval of homosexuality.UNIT 7 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Issue 17. 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 "Media Violence Research and Youth Violence Data: Why Do They Conflict?" Academic Psychiatry (Summer 2004)
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, a professor of psychiatry, contends that further research is needed because there is so little current evidence of a substantial connection between exposure to violent video games and serious real-life violence.Issue 18. Can Sex Be Addictive?
YES: Patrick J. Carnes, from "Sexual Addiction Q & A," http://www.sexhelp.com/sa_q_and_a.cfm (November 11, 2006)
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 (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.