How to Rethink Human Behavior: A Practical Guide to Social Contextual Analysis

Routledge
Free sample

Developed from the author’s long teaching career, How to Rethink Human Behavior aims to cultivate practical skills in human observation and analysis, rather than offer a catalogue of immutable ‘facts’. It synthesizes key psychological concepts with insights from other disciplines, including sociology, social anthropology, economics, and history.

The skills detailed in the book will help readers to observe people in their contexts and to analyze what they observe, in order to make better sense of why people do what they do, say what they say, and think what they think. These methods can also be applied to our own thoughts, talk and actions - not as something we control from ‘within’ but as events constantly being shaped by the idiosyncratic social, cultural, economic and other contexts in which our lives are immersed.

Whether teaching, studying, or reading for pleasure, this book will help readers learn:

  • How to think about people with ecological or contextual thinking
  • How your thinking is a conversation with other people
  • How to analyze talk and conversations as social strategies
  • How capitalist economies change how you act, talk and think in 25 ways
  • How living in modern society can be linked to generalized anxiety and depression

How to Rethink Human Behavior

is important interdisciplinary reading for students and researchers in all fields of social science, and will especially appeal to those interested in mental health. It has also been written for the general reading public who enjoy exploring new ideas and skills in understanding themselves and other people.
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About the author

Bernard Guerin is Professor of Psychology at the University of South Australia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
May 20, 2016
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9781317302407
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Applied Psychology
Psychology / Interpersonal Relations
Psychology / Social Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Based on the author’s forty years of experience in psychology, philosophy, and the social sciences, How to Rethink Psychology argues that to understand people we need to know more about their contexts than the dominant modes of thinking and research presently allow. Drawing upon insights from sources as diverse as Freud, CBT, quantum physics, and Zen philosophy, the book offers several fascinating new metaphors for thinking about people and, in doing so, endeavors to create a psychology for the future.

The book begins by discussing the significance of the key metaphor underlying mainstream psychology today – the ‘particle’ or ‘causal’ metaphor – and explains the need for a shift towards new ‘wave’ or ‘contextual’ metaphors in order to appreciate how individual and social actions truly function. It explores new metaphors for thinking about the relationship between language and reality, and teaches the reader how they might reimagine the processes involved in the act of thinking itself. The book concludes with a consideration of how these new metaphors might be applied to practical methods of research and understanding change today.

How to Rethink Psychology

is important reading for upper-level and postgraduate students and researchers in the fields of social psychology, critical psychology, and the philosophy of psychology, and will especially appeal to those studying behavior analysis and radical behaviorism. It has also been written for the general reading public who enjoy exploring new ideas in science and thinking.
The world of mental illness is typically framed around symptoms and cures, where every client is given a label. In this challenging new book, Professor Bernard Guerin provides a fresh alternative to considering these issues, based in interdisciplinary social sciences and discourse analysis rather than medical studies or cognitive metaphors.

A timely and articulate challenge to mainstream approaches, Guerin asks the reader to observe the ecological contexts for behavior rather than diagnose symptoms, to find new ways to understand and help those experiencing mental distress. This book shows the reader:

how we attribute ‘mental illness’ to someone’s behavior

why we call some forms of suffering ‘mental’ but not others

what Western diagnoses look like when you strip away the theory and categories

why psychiatry and psychology appeared for the first time at the start of modernity

the relationship between capitalism and modern ideas of ‘mental illness’

why it seems that women, the poor and people of Indigenous and non-Western backgrounds have worse ‘mental health’

how we can rethink the ‘hearing of voices’ more ecologically

how self-identity has evolved historically

how thinking arises from our social contexts rather than from inside our heads.

Offering solutions rather than theory to develop a new ‘post-internal’ psychology, How to Rethink Mental Illness will be essential reading for every mental health professional, as well as anyone who has either experienced a mental illness themselves, or helped a friend or family member who has.

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