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Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using Psychological Science to Think Critically about Popular Psychology
This revised and updated handbook features a selection of essay-style book reviews by Carol Tavris, written for the Times Literary Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Scientist, and The New York Times Book Review. These reviews apply psychological research and principles of scientific thinking. They aim to show how critical thinking can help people asse ...more
Paperback, 101 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Pearson
(first published January 28th 1997)
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I tend to hold books that profess to expose poor thinking to a higher standard than most other books. On this level, Psychobabble and Biobunk had its problems. There are a few places where the author overstates her case to make a point, but in the very act of doing so engages in psychobabble, as when she says specifically that there is "zero" correlation between personality traits of adoptive children and the adoptive parent..."if home environment had a strong influence." She surely knows that " ...more
Carol Tavris is a smart and engaging writer, but this collection of essays – book reviews, actually – is too scatter-shot, despite being broken down into four loosely connected sections, and moreover too dated to really be of great lasting value. Some of the titles she references or critiques are of interest, particularly to those already with an interest in psychotherapy and related fields, and she delves into some genuinely intriguing topics, like the FBI’s behavioral science unit or the so-ca ...more
Carol Tavris earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary program in social psychology at the University of Michigan, and ever since has sought to bring research from the many fields of psychology to the public. She is author of The Mismeasure of Woman, which won the Distinguished Media Contribution Award from the American Association from Applied and Preventive Psychology, and the Heritage Publicati ...moreMore about Carol Tavris