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Great Myths of the Brain (Great Myths of Psychology) Paperback – November 17, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1118312711 ISBN-10: 1118312716 Edition: 1st

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Great Myths of the Brain (Great Myths of Psychology) + 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"THESE days you can't go to a children's birthday party without one of the adults making a knowing comment about the excited scamps being "high on sugar". In fact, there's no evidence that sugar makes children hyperactive. But the remark illustrates the way false beliefs about how our brains work permeate most aspects of life – as does the burgeoning of buzzwords like neuromarketing or neuroleadership. Such "neurobollocks", to borrow the title of a popular science blog, is ably and entertainingly demolished by Christian Jarrett in Great Myths of the Brain. As a journalist in this field, I thought I would know most of these myths, but there was plenty here that was new and interesting to me." New Scientist, December 2014

"The book is also very impressive in its scope, covering things like the historical notion that the heart was actually the source of consciousness, to modern-day problems like how fMRI scans are believed to be far more powerful than they actually are. The writing is often very clear but without compromising accuracy or thoroughness, which is an impressive feat in its own right." The Psychologist, Autumn 2014

“Christian Jarrett’s Great Myths Of The Brain is the sort of book that every amateur brain enthusiast should have on his or her shelf. The book is an effort to assemble all the common and not-so-common myths about the brain, past and present, and explain why they’re all wrong using genuine neuroscience.” BBC Focus Magazine, January 2015

 “As you can tell from the length of this review, there is a lot to be learnt from this book. I certainly learnt a few things even if I wasn’t always taken in by some of the myths out there. The brain is a remarkable organ and clearing away the myths to see what is really there will show its true strengths and if you use in your fiction, make for better up-to-date stories. Read, digest, learn and dispel those myths.” (SFCrowsnest.org.uk, 1 November 2014)

CHRISTIAN JARRETT’S GREAT Myths Of
The Brain is the sort of book that every
amateur brain enthusiast should have on
his or her shelf. The book is an effort to
assemble all the common and not-socommon
myths about the brain, past and
present, and explain why they’re all
wrong using genuine neuroscience.

Review

The more we are interested in the brain and how it explains our behaviour, the more important it is that we rid ourselves of untruths and half truths. Myth buster extraordinaire, Christian Jarrett, is an engaging and knowledgeable guide who spring cleans the cobwebs of misinformation that have accumulated over recent years. You will be surprised at some favourite beliefs that turn out to be scare stories or wishful thinking. Yet, Jarrett conveys a strong optimism about fresh approaches that will result in new knowledge.  All claims are well substantiated with references. It will be fun to learn from this book.—Professor Uta Frith, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Christian Jarrett is the ideal guide to the fascinating, bewildering and often overhyped world of the brain. He writes about the latest discoveries in neuroscience with wonderful clarity, while cleanly puncturing myths and misinformation.—Ed Yong, award-winning science writer, blogger and journalist

Great Myths of the Brain' provides and incredibly thorough and engaging dismantling of neurological myths and misconceptions that abound today. For anyone overwhelmed by copious bogus neuroscience, Christian Jarrett has generously used his own mighty brain to clear this cloud of misinformation, like a lighthouse cutting through the fog.—Dr Dean Burnett, Guardian blogger, Cardiff University

Lots of people cling to misconceptions about the brain that are just plain wrong, and sometimes even dangerous. In this persuasive and forceful book, Christian Jarett exposes many of these popular and enduring brain myths. Readers who want to embrace proper neuroscience, and arm themselves against neurononsense will enjoy this splendid book, and profit greatly from doing so.—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine

Christian Jarrett, one of the world’s great communicators of psychological science, takes us on a neuroscience journey, from ancient times to the present.  He exposes things we have believed that just aren’t so.  And he explores discoveries that surprise and delight us.  Thanks to this tour de force of critical thinking, we can become wiser—by being smartly skeptical but not cynical, open but not gullible—David G. Myers, Hope College, author, Psychology, 11th Edition

A masterful catalogue of neurobollocks.—Dr Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science and Bad Pharma

In this era of commercialized neurohype, Christian Jarrett’s engaging book equips us with the skills for spotting the authentic facts lost in a sea of brain myths. With compelling arguments and compassion for the human condition, Jarrett teaches us that the truth about the brain is more complicated, but ultimately more fascinating, than fiction.—The Neurocritic, neuroscientist and blogger

Christian Jarrett has written a wonderful book that is as entertaining as it is enlightening. When it comes to brain science, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Jarrett has done us all a great service by peeling back the layers of hype to reveal what we really do know - and don't know - about how the brain functions.—Prof Christopher C French, Goldsmiths, University of London

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Myths of Psychology
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (November 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118312716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118312711
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Christian Jarrett is a psychologist turned writer, specialising in all things mind, brain and behaviour. He's founding editor of the British Psychological Society's award-winning Research Digest blog; he writes the Brain Watch blog for WIRED; and a regular column for 99U, the New York-based creativity think tank. He's author of The Rough Guide To Psychology and Great Myths of the Brain, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in the Fall of 2014. He was editor and lead author of 30-Second Psychology; co-author of This Book Has Issues, Adventures in Popular Psychology; and he contributed to 30-Second Brain, 30-Second Theories and Mind Hacks. Christian's writing has also appeared in The Times, The Guardian, New Scientist, BBC Focus, Psychologies, Wired UK, Outdoor Fitness, and many other outlets.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephen D. A. Hupp on December 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
10% of my brain loved this book! To be fair, I can only speak for other right-brained thinkers with less-balanced but perfectly designed computer-like brains.

All silliness aside, some of my favorite sections included these topics: lobotomies, lucid dreaming, telekinesis, evil spirits, near death experiences, neurofeedback, and braintraining bunkum. Especially notable was the discussion regarding the final myth in the book. Namely, the notion that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance.

If I had to complain about something, I would point out that the Table of Contents makes it seems like the book covers 41 myths, when in fact the book covers more than twice that many.

Kudos to Christian Jarrett's brain.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. F. Crowl on January 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I should have given this only four stars, because the Kindle version has some irritating issues. First, a half blank page often turns up; ie, a page will only have text on the upper third/half and not on the rest. Usually this corrects itself if you move back and forth between the pages; sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes the top line of any boxed text is cut off, particularly in the latter part of the book. Secondly, Jarrett time and again refers the reader to a page further on in the book, or previous to what we're currently reading. This is fine in a print version, but in a Kindle version is of course impossible. It would have been good to have had links to these.
Thirdly, while I know it would require a bit of cutting and pasting, having up to 120 notes following a chapter is rather irritating when you're reading an e-version, necessitating constant 'page' turning to get to the next chapter. I guess I could have avoided this by using the 'go to' tool on my Kindle but that only occurred to me after I'd finished the book! Anyway, for users of other e-devices this may not be an option.
That's all the complaints. The book is full of marvellous information. Jarrett, of course, isn't just setting out to debunk myths, he's also offering us the alternatives, the things that are the realities about the brain - where they're known. A lot of things aren't yet known about the brain, something that may come as a surprise to many readers.
Time after time I learned something that I'd never heard in regard to neuroscience and the brain. I highlighted so much of the book it's probable that Amazon won't let see half my highlights!
The section towards the end on depression, and the one on dementia and Alzheimer's were both very enlightening, and corrected mistaken ideas I held.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous23 on January 7, 2015
Format: Paperback
I love this book. The author takes a contrarian stance on myths of neuropsychology while showing that some have validity. He also doesn't pull any punches when it comes to exposing hucksters and bad journalism. Research on the biochemistry of the brain is in its infancy and the author doesn't shy away from simply outlining where further research needs to take place. All this would make the book an intellectually stimulating read. Which would warrant a 4 star review. The authors writing style and presentation make this an entertaining read and deserving of 5 stars.
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