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50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology - Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior (Great Myths of Psychology) Paperback – 4 Sep 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (4 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781405131124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405131124
  • ASIN: 1405131128
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.9 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Written in an accessible and entertaining style, the book examinesa wide range of myths from all areas of psychology. . .Accordingly, the book is a much-needed antidote to the avalanche ofmisinformation that masquerades as psychology and should berequired reading for anyone with a passing interest in psychologyor, for that matter, the human condition." (Department ofPsychology, 1 June 2011)

"Not only does the book illustrate just how often our intuitionsare wrong, it also shows us how - in comparison to the truth -uninteresting they are. Shallow judgments imply over-confidence, assumption and monotomy. Assuming that you know something prior togiving any consideration to where that knowledge comes from is amistake for many reasons but perhaps most of all because suchpresumption precludes surprise. To be surprised - shocked, provoked, scandalized - is a pleasure. . . 50 Great Myths ofPopular Psychology tells us that we need urgently to deal with ourtendency to judge books by their covers. And just maybe, ratherthan considering any idealistic appeal to our rationalism, weshould deal with this problem by considering an inversion similarto Kubrick's: for now at least, when it comes to presentingdiscoveries about the mind, we ought not to try in vain to changeour nature - our tendency towards prejudice - but instead dosomething simpler: tell better stories, and design better covers."(The Skeptic, 2011)

"As you can tell from my reactions above I found this a veryinformative book and I'm only touching on particular things with mycomments. If you're a writer, this book should be read post-hasteso you don't keep repeating things you thought were true andobviously aren't. For everyone else, the revelations should makeyou sit up and take heed of what not to be taken in by."(SFCrowsnest.co.uk, 1 May 2011)

"This would be an ideal book to have in offices where peoplehave to spend some time waiting for appointments." (EducationDigest, November 2010)

"This book would suit educators involved in study skills andcritical thinking courses who might be looking for some new angleswith which to update or spruce up their courses. It should beequally digestible to the A-level student and the first-yearundergraduate." (PLATH, December 2010)

"I love 50 Great Myths and used it in my winter seminar. This should be on every psychologist's shelf." (Dartmouth AlumniMagazine, October 2010)

"This is a refreshing and fun look at many of the concepts thathave been accepted as fact by our popular culture." (Book EndBabes, September 01, 2010)

"At the end of each sub-section covering an individual myth is alist of anti-factoids about related matters and their factualantidotes. By this means a considerable range of topics iscovered." (Education Review, July 2010)

"Maybe we should pay more attention to books like 50 Great Mythsof Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions aboutHuman Nature. The four psychology professors who authored thisenlightening book are up against the roughly 3,500 self-helptitles, a lot of them based on false premises, that are publishedin the U.S. every year." (Poe'sDeadly Daughters, April2010)

"Scott Lilienfeld and his team ... have a history in delvinginto the dark myths of science, and pseudoscience ... .They areback. As with their other works, these authors manage to write wellfor ease of reading so many facts, and do so with theircharacteristic humor and cutting edge science. This book is[an] illumination, and vital reading for professionals and evenlaymen." (Metapsychology, June 2010)

"Who should read this book? Anyone interested in psychology andor the scientific method. The book is written in an easy toread fashion, is well referenced and includes a wide array oftopics. The book teaches the value of critical thinking, andtells us it's all right to question authority. In conclusion, 50Great Myths of Popular Psychology is a must read for psychologymajors, therapists and anyone who wishes to gain knowledge aboutthe diverse field of psychology. I wish this book wasavailable when I was studying psychology in college." (Basil& Spice (Jamie Hale), May 2010)

"Popular psychology is a prolific source of myths. A new bookdoes an excellent job of mythbusting: 50 Great Myths of PopularPsychology. Some myths I had swallowed whole and the book'scarefully presented evidence made me change my mind. They cover 50myths in depth, explaining their origins, why people believe them, and what the published research has to say about the claims.Everything is meticulously documented with sources listed. Theauthors have done us a great service by compiling all thisinformation in a handy, accessible form, by showing how sciencetrumps common knowledge and common sense, and by teaching us how toquestion and think about what we hear. I highly recommend it."(Dr. Harriet Hall for Skeptic Magazine, February2010, and ScienceBasedMedicine.org, November2009)

"50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology is written in an engagingstyle and is valuable for both professionals and the generalpublic. I highly recommend it." (Skeptical Inquirer, February 2010)

"Delightful and important book ... .This is a fine tool forteaching critical thinking. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology ismuch more than an entertaining put-down of popular misconceptions.Any psychologist can put [this book] to good use.Certainly teachers can use it as a supplement to aid in teachingcritical thinking and to suggest ideas for research on othermyths.We can give it to family members and friends who are curiousabout what psychology has to contribute and might themselves engagein some myth busting." (PsycCritiques, January 2010)

"If you are familiar with other books by the same authors, youknow that the writing style is incredibly engaging andeasy-to-read, making the book accessible to those with littleknowledge of psychology and well as those with considerableeducation in the field. While we certainly won't stop combatingclinical psychology myths here at PBB, it's always exciting to comeacross like-minded folks also providing valuable material!"(Psychotherapy Brown Bag, October 2009)

"50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology is a fascinating book, andwhile reading, I cheered the authors on. If you have questionedscience as some of us have, this book will reassure you that yourthinking was perfectly logical and correct. 50 Great Myths ofPopular Psychology clarifies things about which I have alwayswondered, but never challenged. Myths about aging, memory, learning, emotions and motivation, and mental illness are among thesubjects covered. The reading is enlightening, refreshing andinteresting.You don't have to be a Ph.D, or even a student ofpsychology to enjoy this book. It's is written in languageall can understand and the information is easily digested."(Basil & Spice, October 2009)

"Scott Lilienfeld and his coauthors explore the gulf betweenwhat millions of people say is so and the truth. Some of thesemyths are just plain fascinating." (US News and WorldReport, October 2009)

From the Back Cover

In a society in which psychological knowledge is shaped as much, if not more, by supermarket tabloids, talk shows, and self-proclaimed "self-help gurus" as it is by the latest scientific advances, there is a pressing need for a book that helps students and the public distinguish fact from fiction in the world of psychology. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology answers this need by using popular myths as a vehicle for distinguishing science from pseudoscience. Organized around key topic areas of modern psychology such as brain functioning, perception, development, memory, emotion, intelligence, learning, personality, mental illness, and psychotherapy, this book will help students and laypersons to critically evaluate the information and misinformation that is generated by popular psychology.

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