50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior

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50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology uses popular myths as a vehicle for helping students and laypersons to distinguish science from pseudoscience.
  • Uses common myths as a vehicle for exploring how to distinguish factual from fictional claims in popular psychology
  • Explores topics that readers will relate to, but often misunderstand, such as 'opposites attract', 'people use only 10% of their brains', and 'handwriting reveals your personality'
  • Provides a 'mythbusting kit' for evaluating folk psychology claims in everyday life
  • Teaches essential critical thinking skills through detailed discussions of each myth
  • Includes over 200 additional psychological myths for readers to explore
    Contains an Appendix of useful Web Sites for examining psychological myths
  • Features a postscript of remarkable psychological findings that sound like myths but that are true
  • Engaging and accessible writing style that appeals to students and lay readers alike
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About the author

Scott O. Lilienfeld is a Professor of Psychology at EmoryUniversity. He is a recipient of the 1998 David Shakow Early CareerAward for Distinguished Contributions to Clinical Psychology fromDivision 12 (Society for Clinical Psychology) of the APA, pastpresident of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, anda Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Dr.Lilienfeld's principal areas of research are personality disorders,psychiatric classification and diagnosis, pseudoscience in mentalhealth, and the teaching of psychology.

Steven Jay Lynn is a Professor of Psychology at the StateUniversity of New York at Binghamton. He is past President of theAPA’s Division of Psychological Hypnosis, and the recipientof the Chancellor's Award of the SUNY for Scholarship and CreativeActivities. His major areas of research include hypnosis andmemory.

John Ruscio is an Associate Professor of Psychology atThe College of New Jersey. His scholarly interests includequantitative methods for psychological research and thecharacteristics of pseudoscience that distinguish subjects withinand beyond the fringes of psychological science.

Barry Beyerstein (the late) was Professor of Psychologyat Simon Fraser University and chair of the British ColumbiaSkeptics Society. He was Associate Editor of the ScientificReview of Alternative Medicine, and he co-authored manyarticles in the Skeptical Inquirer and professionaljournals.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Sep 15, 2011
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781444360745
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was—that our psychological adaptations were designed tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In this provocative and lively book, David Buller examines in detail the major claims of evolutionary psychology—the paradigm popularized by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate and by David Buss in The Evolution of Desire—and rejects them all. This does not mean that we cannot apply evolutionary theory to human psychology, says Buller, but that the conventional wisdom in evolutionary psychology is misguided.

Evolutionary psychology employs a kind of reverse engineering to explain the evolved design of the mind, figuring out the adaptive problems our ancestors faced and then inferring the psychological adaptations that evolved to solve them. In the carefully argued central chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes several of evolutionary psychology's most highly publicized "discoveries," including "discriminative parental solicitude" (the idea that stepparents abuse their stepchildren at a higher rate than genetic parents abuse their biological children). Drawing on a wide range of empirical research, including his own large-scale study of child abuse, he shows that none is actually supported by the evidence.

Buller argues that our minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene, but, like the immune system, are continually adapting, over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes. We must move beyond the reigning orthodoxy of evolutionary psychology to reach an accurate understanding of how human psychology is influenced by evolution. When we do, Buller claims, we will abandon not only the quest for human nature but the very idea of human nature itself.

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