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The Great Pheromone Myth Hardcover – January 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (January 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080189347X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801893476
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,936,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Simply delightful reading. In a concise but totally convincing manner, Richard Doty sweeps away the pervasive mythology of pheromones.

(Floyd E. Bloom, Scripps Research Institute)

The field of mammalian pheromones is a bit sloppy and human pheromones a complete mess. This book will make a major contribution to the field by either galvanizing people to prove Doty wrong or applying brakes to a field that may be fast moving down the wrong track.

(Donald A. Wilson, author of Learning to Smell: Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to Behavior)

Doty shakes up the field by challenging the sloppy research that some pheromone claims are based on.

(Australian Science)

Richard Doty has set the standard through many years for smell function tests in humans. Here he performs a great service by turning his critical eye on the many claims for pheromone communication between animals. His book provides a thorough review of all the relevant literature, laying out the case against the evidence supporting pheromones in mammals, including humans. The book is written in an easily accessible manner. It will help investigators and the public alike understand our ignorance and misconceptions, and should stimulate renewed research to clarify this fascinating subject.

(Gordon Shepherd, Yale University)

A very thorough review of the literature on presumed mammalian pheromones.

(PsycCRITIQUES)

In this book, he brings together a wide-ranging and extensive literature to conclusively make his point. Along the way, he presents a fascinating tour of the diversity and complexity of chemical communication in mammals.

(Choice)

More than a survey of pheromones, this considers the entire perspective of chemical effects on behavior and is a pick for any college-level health collection.

(Midwest Book Review)

If this book were just a critique of mammalian pheromones, it would be a valuable contribution. It, however, goes further showing us how the pheromone concept has blinded us to the complex and multimodal character of olfactory phenomena and perception.

(American Journal of Human Biology)

The Great Pheromone Myth is a lovely mural of important developmental questions and phenomena.The book is also an excellent guide to a field of inquiry, a conceptual framework, and an admirable product of scholarship. It offers much to professionals and advanced students in wide range of sensory, behavioral, ecological, physiological, and even clinical fields.

(Developmental Psychobiology)

This is an important book as it challenges simplistic thinking by forensically and systematically dissecting studies that purport to adduce the evidence for mammalian pheromones... The Great Pheromone Myth will undoubtedly engender considerable debate, a debate that is long overdue.

(The Biologist)

When you read this book you are very likely to experience a shift from frustration to enlightenment. Far from thwarting your path to knowledge, Doty will remove some much neglected clutter and smooth the way to new understanding.

(ChemoSense)

The research of advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers will be improved if these workers carefully read the author's critiques of experimental design and research protocols.

(Ann Eileen Miller Baker Quarterly Review of Biology)

About the Author

Richard L. Doty is a professor and director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania, inventor of the widely used UPSIT test for assessing smell function, and author or editor of over 350 scientific publications and books, including the Handbook of Olfaction and Gustation, Taste and Smell in Health and Disease, and, most recently, The Neurology of Olfaction, coauthored with Christopher Hawkes.


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Great Pheromone Myth comes from an olfaction expert who rejects the idea of pheromones as triggers for behaviors - and who rejects the fact of pheromones themselves. Studies which supposedly revealed the existence of mammalian pheromones are debunked and the author maintains there is no accepted scientific definition of what constitutes a mammalian pheromone. More than a survey of pheromones, this considers the entire perspective of chemical effects on behavior and is a pick for any college-level health collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ling Zhou on March 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Great Pheromone Myth" is the perfect read for anyone interested in science and biology. Dr. Richard Doty, a world renowned expert in smell and taste, systematically argues that pheromones have long been misunderstood. For the layman, the book is well-written and will be an eye-opening experience for any curious individual. For the scientist, the book is a wonderful exercise in the scientific method, as the author methodically supports his arguments with decades of research and clinical experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Fogg on September 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Summary:
The Great Pheromone Myth is written by Richard Doty who is the director of the University of Pennsylvania's Smell and Taste Center in Philadelphia. Doty describes pheromones and specifically their function in mammals as to chemosensation. He describes the extensive amount of research that has been done on animals, including invertebrates and their pheromones but that little has been investigated with mammalian pheromones. His last chapters include how he is critical of human pheromones because there have been no definitive studies finding these pheromones. He finally argues that humans do not have pheromones because they do not have an organ that can detect pheromones.
Chapters of the Great Pheromone Myth:
The Great Pheromone Myth is divided into 8 different chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the concepts that Doty describes later. Chapter 2 illustrates how there are many differing opinions from scientists as to the actual definition of pheromones. Some scientists believe that the pheromones are volatile and others thing that they are nonvolatile, some others believe that they come from specific glands. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss the complexity of certain mammalian behaviors that are mediated by chemicals and how the pheromone concept interferes with these behaviors. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss how several claims that have been identified releaser and primer pheromones have 3 problems. They are either not reproducible, are based on novelty plays, or have chemicals that do not act in normal endocrine processes. Chapter 7 discusses specifically about human pheromones and how there is limited research and the findings that have been found so far consist of questionable inferences and are based on poor research. Chapter 8 is the closure.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danielle R. Reed on December 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Drawing on knowledge acquired over a lifetime, the author concludes that the narrow definition of `pheromone' as a chemical that controls behavior is a word that has no place in the lexicon of mammalian physiology. Scholarly and at times scathing, this is a historical treatise and modern day exegesis of research and researchers working on this always-fascinating topic
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