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3.6 out of 5 stars11
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 June 2012
First things first, this is not a book about hedonism or sex. Although the title talks of joy, this is more a attempt to present some interesting behavioural psychology using a quirky framework. So if you're looking for smut or slut, this is not the book for you!

What the book does do is attempt to take the famous "7 deadly sins", and examine them from a psychological point of view rather than a moral one. Many of the sins in question (anger, for example) are not inherently wicked, but simply are emotions that have positive and negative aspects. The author looks to explore some of those more positive aspects, especially those which are interesting.

This is a fairly light read, and I finished the book quickly. The research is presented in a simplistic fashion, but that is good as it helps to avoid getting too bogged down in detail. This is a coffee table book rather than an in-depth study aid, although there are still references and bibliography for further reading if you should wish. After a while you notice that there is a constant phrasing along the lines of: "So they thought it might happen. Did it happen? That's exactly what happened". It can get a little irritating after a while to have these constant affirmative set ups, and I've never come across a writing style that uses it before (for good reason I would now argue!)

My only worry with this book is that it's not especially profound or revelatory. Granted it is intended more as a light read, but I do wonder if I will forget everything in it after a couple of weeks.
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on 12 July 2012
If you've ever wondered what modern scientific psychology can do for you, this book provides a range of fascinating and often surprising answers to questions you may (or may not) have asked yourself over the years. What are the benefits of being lustful, lazy, greedy or gluttonous? In a witty and highly readable style, Simon Laham surveys the scientific literature covering these and many other interesting questions. Not only is the Joy of Sin (titled 'the Science of Sin' in the US) a pleasurable read, but you'll learn about some ingenious psychology experiments and gain insights into what makes us the way we are: sinners. From an avid reader of popular science books, this one comes highly recommended.
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on 7 September 2015
Skim read and found so many historical and theological inaccuracies I couldn't be bothered wasting my time reading more. Probably seems OK if you have confined your wider reading to one or two disciplines.

As for the Parable of the Good Samaritan; that is a complete twisting of the test; eisegesis and not exegesis big time, and thus disallowed in scholarly terms. Actually the Good Samaritan did good by being busy; he bandaged his wounds, he took him to a hostel. All hot dusty wok from a fit guy. He paid for him. He put himself out. He showed sacrificial love. Where is the pride, the avarice, the lust, envy, greed, anger and slothe there, exactly? Thoroughly faulty analysis.

Not in any sense a good book. It also implicitly endorse those who judge people on their clothing. Shallow or what?
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on 19 November 2012

I'm not sure quite what I expected ... perhaps to be mildly entertained, perhaps to have a few sweetly contentious ideas to offer at the next dinner party.
Well, I got both of those in GRANDE size.

What I certainly hadn't counted on was being so well educated - I learnt more than I could have expected and every page presented the information in such a fantastically engaging and easy manner that reading the book was a real joy.

HIGHLY recommended!
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on 18 March 2014
Lots of implications for 'nudge', motivation, organisations, those concerned with behaviour change. Really well written, acknowledging where there are uncertainties, introducing some technical language from brain physiology without drowning the general reader - a nice book. The sins thing is a bit of a conceit, but pardonable.
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on 9 December 2012
An interesting explanation behind the Seven Deadly Sins - particularly liked the test environments and the parable of the Good Samaritan was well explained in that the other characters were too busy to stop but the Samaritan had little to do so had the time to spare. Well worth a read!
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on 8 November 2012
This is a clever idea for a book, well written and clearly divided into 7 chapters (unsurprisingly). Being written by a Psychologist rather than a journalist makes it far more compelling.
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on 23 November 2012
i did not choose this book-it was put on by someone else-not my cup of tea---but sure it is brilliantly written
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on 9 April 2012
I'm a psych student who loves reading psychology books and this is one of the best. It's brilliantly written in that there's a lot for someone who studies psychology to learn but it's still approachable enough that I've been able to loan it to friends who haven't read a psychology book in their life. The collection of studies is incredible and it's very fun while still being educational.

5/5. I would heartily recommend this to anyone.
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on 1 May 2013
Hoping that the book is as good as it has been promoted. Always interested in increasing my knowledge and passing on any information.
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