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David H. Peterzell PhD PhD RSS Feed (Boulder, CO United States)

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Study Less, Learn More: The Complete Guide for Busy Students
Study Less, Learn More: The Complete Guide for Busy Students
Price: $3.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, May 28, 2014
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Short and sweet, this little book is full of good information and ideas about effective studying. After 35 years of university teaching and research, I'm unaware of other books quite like this one. I would recommend it to all sorts of students (including young students, but also adult and senior learners). But I would recommend it especially to students studying psychology or students interested in applying psychological principles to their own lives. Why? Because the book draws upon a wealth of empirically validated ideas from psychological science. It draws upon topics that psychology students are likely to encounter in courses on learning, motivation, cognition, and social psychology, among others. So the book itself, while improving study skills, can also enhance one's appreciation of topics in courses on psychological topics by helping to make them personal and useful. There are easy to follow sections on learning, beliefs and theories, attention, memory, studying, class, motivation, taming text anxiety, getting good sleep, mastering mindfulness, and issues pertaining to female and ethnic minority students. You may not have heard of such things as "the curse of expertise" afflicting your professors, "mnemonic techniques," "stereotype threat," "memory consolidation," light interfering with sleep and cognitive functions, (individual differences in) "learning styles," or benefits of a mindfulness practice, but these and many other topics are elucidated in concise and useful ways. And while the book avoids giving advice that doesn't have a scientific basis, it is clear that the author has years of experience interacting with students and becoming familiar with what is helpful to them. Having discovered this book, I plan to recommend it to students (and use it myself, actually, to remind myself of useful approaches). So... recommended.


The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher (Kindle Single)
The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher (Kindle Single)
Price: $1.99

51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and convincing, January 30, 2014
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I wonder if it would do any good to send an Italian translation of this to the court that is currently deciding the Knox-Sollecito trial in Florence. Do the facts even matter to them? It seems so obvious. Rudy Guede committed the murder during a botched robbery, after which he fled the country

This book provides a concise and internally consistent account of what almost certainly happened, starting with the data at the crime scene. The authors detail the overwhelming -and straightforward- evidence to suggest that Guede was the murderer and acted alone. Along the way, the authors detail the inept or corrupt (more often corrupt, I see) behaviors -and apparent motives- of police, DNA "experts," prosecutors, and the courts (and the media and internet fanatics). At only 81 pages (it costs almost nothing), it is concise, clear and convincing. The authors other opinions, commentary and updates can be found at the Injustice in Perugia website.

I found the second, third and fourth chapters especially compelling, as they were written by forensic and legal experts assessing 1) data obtained from the crime scene itself (Douglas and Olshaker), 2) known aspects of the investigation (Moore), and 3) court findings (Heavey and Lovering). I strongly recommend these three chapters to anyone interested in reviewing actual data from the crime, the investigation, and trials that followed. I wonder if this book has the power to change minds of those who think Knox and Sollecito are guilty. I would hope so - the case as presented by prosecutors and police seems to be completely discredited.

The authors of these three chapters often times paint a compelling picture of the motives and missteps of Guede, the prosecutors, and the courts. Each analysis incorporates keen observations and analysis by experts who often point out the neglected but obvious. Among other things, the chapter on the crime scene includes sensible attempts at profiling the criminal, while also discussing evidence to suggest a single offender. The chapter on the investigation is perhaps the most chilling. Moore begins by documenting "target fixation" upon Knox and Sollecito, but then documents evidence to suggest that the prosecutors and others were in fact lying, suppressing evidence, and fabricating data to convict the two. Moreover, Moore explains the absurd conditions under which Knox's "confession" (actually NOT a confession) was extracted. The chapter on the courts details the strange maneuvering of the judge in the first trial, as well as the evidence-based no-nonsense approach taken by the appeals judge. But a chilling aspect of the third trial is that it seems motivated by, and perhaps supports, a trial based on insinuation as opposed to fact-based descriptions. A guilty verdict could restore pride in a system that was determined to be completely wrong in the second trial. The authors note that in an omenous move, the Nencini court denied all defense requests in a preliminary hearing while agreeing to those of the prosecution.

There's much more here than what I've described. By better understanding the murderer (Guede), the evidence and its implications, and what motivated the travesty that followed, one is in a better position to understand what happened... and why Guede is clearly guilty... and why Knox and Sollecito are clearly innocent.

UPDATE January 31, 2014. The most recent verdict may have been predictable. But to anybody who has followed the case honestly, and examined the evidence, it is clear that Sollecito and Knox are innocent. My solution? I make occasional donations to the Sollecito and Knox defense funds, which can be found at the Injustice in Perugia website.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2014 3:20 PM PDT


Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox
Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $10.38

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Add me to the list, August 30, 2013
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First off, I have made a donation to the legal defense at Sollecito's website. Glad I did.

Add me to the list of people who found this to be riveting, with Sollecito's (usually invisible, thanks to many in the press) humanity shining through repeatedly along with his internally consistent narrative. Having read Amanda Knox's book (recommended), I found Honor Bound to add considerably to my image of events. It was already pretty clear to me that these two had been railroaded by corrupt and hostile prosecutors and law enforcement. I remain astonished that others see it differently, including Kercher family. Sollecito names names where Knox often did not. More importantly, he provides an insider's view of various cultures within Italy, and insights into the motives of his family, friends, and adversaries, which can explain much. Sollecito also provides insightful portraits of key personalities, including his own, as he learns but does not lose forever his creativity and expressiveness. His sensible strength of will in standing up for his innocence, as well as that of Amanda Knox, looms large. He could have easily "lost it."

Sollecito begins with a simple explanation of events, as best he understands them:
"To an outsider this must sound more like a conspiracy-laden plotline from Umberto Eco than the workings of a public prosecutor's office. I wish I were making it up. But this was the mind-set we were dealing with: a grand, baroque imagination that could never be satisfied with the banalities of a brutal, straightforward murder by a man with a clearly established criminal history. From the beginning, the notion that a burglar broke in, came across Meredith unexpectedly, and killed her in a panic-- the simplest and most plausible explanation of the scene at Via della Pergola-- could not have been further from the prosecutor's mind."
As the book progresses and ends, he provides his own interpretation of what probably happened, and it holds more water than any of the prosecution's mean spirited projections.

As I said in my review of Amanda Knox's book, I've been interested (as a psychologist and neuroscientist) for many years in false and distorted memory, including false confessions. Sollecito does not disappoint in describing, repeatedly, the low road / worst practices employed by law enforcement and the procecution. To wit:
"It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn't blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense. Our interrogators resorted to time-honored pressure techniques practiced by less-than-scrupulous law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. They brought us in at night, presented us with threats and promises, scared us half senseless, then offered us a way out with a few quick strokes of a pen. The CIA once produced a document about such techniques and essentially itemized all the emotional stages we traveled through that night-- confusion, fear, guilt, an irrational dependence on our interrogators, and a sense that the whole world had gone topsy-turvy. As my friend and supporter, Steve Moore, a twenty-five-year FBI veteran, described it from the police perspective: "If you're trying to determine facts and truth, you want your suspect clear, lucid, and awake. If you want to coerce your suspect into saying what you want them to say, you want them disoriented, groggy, and confused." "

Neither Knox nor Sollecito say much in their books to address the unfortunate behavior of the Kercher family. I suspect that it is deeply NOT in their interests to do so. In the end, I think is one thing for the Kerchers to mourn the profound loss of their beautiful relative. But it another to continue the witch hunt after the murderer has been caught and convicted, and the hostile, flawed and fraudulent investigation has been exposed. And yet through their comments and legal actions, they continue to pursue two clearly innocent people. I can imagine that it is difficult to accept that someone as substantial as their daughter was killed by someone as small as Rudy Guede. But by continuing to support the prosecution in the face of zero compelling evidence to link Sollecito and Knox to the crime, the Kerchers have themselves become guilty. The loss of their daughter, however unimaginable, does not justify their actions.

Recommended.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 8:34 AM PDT


Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir
Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $8.89

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. And the section on false confessions... (Kassin), July 27, 2013
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Add me to the list of people who found this both entertaining and convincing... and remarkably honest.

As a university professor (cognitive/perceptual neuroscientist and clinical psychologist), I teach about memory in my undergrad and grad classes, and spend a lot of time discussing false memories, including false confessions. I emphasize the excellent research of Saul Kassin, among others. I always imagined that Amanda Knox's confession was false because, even through the filter of a sometimes biased media, the interrogation seemed to fit textbook descriptions of shoddy and malicious tactics. I was happy to see Kassin's science (and Kassin) emphasized in Amanda Knox's book. People (including Alan Dershowitz, who should know better) put plenty of weight on Knox's confession and implication of another innocent individual. But so many people misunderstand the fragility of memory and its vulnerability in classic interrogation scenes. So I'm gonna use poignant passages from this book in my classes from now on.

Something else that seems clear as I read the book is that so many people involved in prosecuting her (in the legal system and the media) didn't have a "schema" for Amanda Knox. They rather unabashedly projected their own issues on to this complex individual, seeing in her what they somehow wanted to see, for better or worse. They hung their own pictures on her, not realizing that in attacking her, they were actually attacking their own constructed images. I suppose that many of her supporters did the same thing, idealizing her rather than seeing her. Maybe that's why her book didn't sell as many copies as expected; people are clinging to their own idealized images of her and didn't want that overwritten by deeper and complex truths. Knox seems to have became the ultimate Rorschach test.

Amanda Knox talks repeatedly in the book about wanting to set the record straight, but I think that what she has really done is clue us in to who she really is. I think that's the part that I enjoyed most about the book; the self-portrait of the individual that emerged from the ashes. I suspect that she and the publishers could have sold more copies if they had bombarded us with all sorts of pictures of her and her model good looks. I really liked the fact that they didn't do this, and that the book wasn't used as a photo op. Who she is (and was) seems rather intricate. As Amanda Knox emerged from immaturity, naiveté, injustice, persecution and other peoples' scripts, she revealed herself as a creative and resourceful soul. In her captivity, she was forced to be adaptive, charming, cunning, aesthetic, intuitive, emotionally intelligent and smart in order survive.

So this portrait of the artist as a falsely accused person was plenty interesting, and I recommend the book. I hope that the Italians figure things out so that she can move on to creative and authentic pursuits. I'm curious to see what comes next.

Updated Aug 30: Posted a review of Sollecito's book today. Made donations to both of their online defense funds. Another thing to note in AN's book is her discussion about being constantly offered antidepressants. She constantly turned them down, which I believe was an especially wise move. It doesn't surprise me that some medical doctors would hand these out like candy. I think the highly limited value of these things has been misrepresented and underreported in the media, though the science (e.g. as reviewed by David Antonnucio) is remarkably uncompelling.

Neither Knox or Sollecito say much in their books to address the unfortunate behavior of the Kercher family. I suspect that it is deeply NOT in their interests to do so. In the end, I think is one thing for the Kerchers to mourn the profound loss of their beautiful relative. But it another to continue the witch hunt after the murderer has been caught and convicted, and the hostile, flawed and fraudulent investigation has been exposed. And yet through their comments and legal actions, they continue to pursue two clearly innocent people. I can imagine that it is difficult to accept that someone as substantial as their daughter was killed by someone as small as Rudy Guede. But by continuing to support the prosecution in the face of zero compelling evidence to link Sollecito and Knox to the crime, the Kerchers have themselves become guilty. The loss of their daughter, however unimaginable, does not justify their actions.

Recommended
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2014 4:02 PM PST


Scout's Honor (Codhill Press)
Scout's Honor (Codhill Press)
Price: $12.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This latest novel by Charley Rosen is his best basketball book to date!", April 28, 2013
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Well today, my tragic 2012-13 Lakers will almost certainly be eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the perennially strong San Antonio Spurs. It has been a tough few years for this fan, watching the owner's son (now the owner) seem to screw up what looked like a good thing. Not coincidentally, I woke up this morning and found that I was more eager to begin reading Charley Rosen's new book than to watch the game. (I love reading Charley Rosen's stuff, whether it is a novel, a book of non-fiction, or a current HoopsHype article about basketball) The double entendre in the title, "Scout's Honor," was enough to get me going this time. And while this book is "fiction," it seems soooo on target. So here goes...

I'm two chapters and one great Phil Jackson preface into this book. "This latest novel by Charley Rosen is his best basketball book to date!"--Phil Jackson. And having read more than a few of Rosen's books previously, I can believe that this one might top the list. I find the human drama and honest humor compelling. So far, the protagonist has described his "initial contact with a backboard and a rim" in elementary school, his first "kill" on the basketball court, his first marriage ("the ball never lies"), and his first ref-free game. All I can say is keep an eye out for these things and see if you are affected by both the depth and the comedy....

Recommended.


Your Statistical Consultant: Answers to Your Data Analysis Questions
Your Statistical Consultant: Answers to Your Data Analysis Questions
by Rae R. Newton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $59.34
47 used & new from $55.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Unusual, September 28, 2012
This is an excellent book authored by two of my colleagues at the Fielding Graduate University. It offers a straightforward yet sage, anti-cookbook approach to statistics. It isn't a stats textbook, but rather it contains the sort of pragmatic advice you might get from a good statistics consultant. It doesn't tell you what to do so much as provide the information you need to dig out of holes and do a first-rate analysis.

Of special value is the unusual, informative and well-balanced discussion of limitations and controversies surrounding various statistical approaches. For instance, there has been considerable and longstanding controversy swirling around the use of the null hypothesis significance testing. Most undergraduate, graduate and postgraduates who engage in hypothesis testing are unaware of these controversies, in part because they are rarely covered in popular statistics textbooks. The authors explain the controversy in a masterful chapter titled "Rethinking Traditional Paradigms: Power, Effect Size, and Hypothesis Testing Alternatives." I can imagine embattled researchers consulting this book while arm-wrestling over statistical issues with others, including dissertation committee members and journal reviewers.

The book contains excellent and informative Illustrations. For instance, I think figures 12.1 and 12.2 from a chapter titled "The Big Picture" are especially important because they capture the commonalities among a wide variety of statistical techniques.

Recommended.


Reading The Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C.G. Jung's Liber Novus
Reading The Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C.G. Jung's Liber Novus
by Sanford L. Drob
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.45
28 used & new from $20.60

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. A compensatory dream for contemporary psychology., September 28, 2012
I'm really enjoying this new book from my colleague at Fielding Graduate University. In the past, I've thumbed through the pages of Jung's Red Book and been both puzzled and amused by the tangled and oddly beautiful work that I found. Although I've dabbled a bit in Jung's work over the years, I don't think I understood much about the Red Book, from my perspectives as a clinical and cognitive-perceptual-developmental-neuro-scientist (puzzled), or as an integrative psychologist (amused).

Drob's book provides a schema for understanding and interpreting the Red Book, or at least the written part of the book. And while this schema links the Red Book to other works of Jung, Drob has shown that The Red Book may have considerable relevance for contemporary psychology. The book, according to the author, is psychology's "compensatory dream," ripe with important messages for contemporary psychologists. Our current field, with its focus not just on science but scientism, often ignores and even dismisses its philosophical, literary, spiritual origin. (Note: For other compelling challenges scientism, see the recent work of John Smythies, another author I recommend highly. See, e.g., Smythies' short essay The Fight For Truth.)

After reading the preface and introduction, I skipped to the last chapter, titled "The Red Book and Contemporary Psychology," and found gold. Now I'm gradually going through the Red Book again, with Drob's insightful Interpretive Guide in hand.

Here are a few essential quotes from the last chapter, which have helped motivate me to take a deeper look at Jung's Red Book, and Drob's Interpretive Guide:

"...Jung often spoke of dreams as compensating for a one-sided conscious standpoint... What conscious attitude on the part of psychology does The Red Book challenge or serve as a compensation for? To answer this question, we need to think in rather broad historical manner about the developments in psychology since Jung's death in 1961. In the past 50 years psychology has become increasingly scientized, far more so than in Jung's own time, and the practice of both psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment has become increasingly medicalized ... What Jung, in the Red Book, refered to as the "spirit of this time" (the scientific, hyper-rational mode of thinking) is, within the discipline of psychology, gaining a stranglehold on the academy and profession."

"The Red Book's compensatory message, however, is that while the pursuit of rational, scientific psychology is important and justified, it risks leaving out other of psyche's voices that must be heard. This point, made discursively in Psychological Types, is made narratively, artistically, and experientially in The Red Book. Jung's idea is that our quest to attain a full perspective on the psyche or soul must be initiatedd from positions that are not only rational and scientific, but also experiential, intuitive, and imaginative, and, in short, inclusive of the whole man. A psychologist, one might be inclined to say, must not only pursue psychological knowledge, but must also be open to the lived experience, imaginative possibilities, and artistic and spiritual pursuits that complement and give live to that knowledge. This not only means that psychology should reopen its boundaries to other disciplines, including those that are artistic and literary, but that it should also consider the possibility that things of great significance can be better or only expressed in modalities such as music, art, and literature that are neither scientific nor rational in the narrow sense of the term. Jung's use of mandalas and other paintings as a vehicle for achieving and expressing "wholeness" is a case in point."

"Indeed, Liber Novas might be a virtual nightmare for the new and growing field of "positive psychology."

"The Red Book, like some prehistoric insect preserved in amber, has the power to strike us as virtually "new," and perhaps for this reason, shake us from our routinized ways of thinking and living."

Recommended!

David Peterzell,
Fielding Graduate University, UC-San Diego, and Center for Integrative Psychology


Treating the Trauma of Rape: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD
Treating the Trauma of Rape: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD
by Edna B. Foa
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.08
39 used & new from $9.44

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, recommended, August 26, 2012
Here's my response to another person's Amazon review. That reader used the terms "grossly unempathic and moralistic," "cruel," "hurtful" to describe the book.

John, Good luck finding the book you misplaced. I think it would be a shame if rape victims avoided the authors' treatment approaches based on your misinformed rant.

The approaches, in the hands of competent therapists, are overflowing with empathy and non-judgement. [Maybe THAT is the key. Find the right therapist! To be sure, any therapeutic approach is compromised in the hands of grossly un-empathic, moralistic, cruel, hurtful, or well-intentioned incompetent hands. But competent therapists can offer plenty.] And the therapy has been shown to safe, in contrast to your claims, John. CBT therapies including the ones in this book have have been assessed for safety repeatedly over the decades, in research and clinical settings. They've had to be scrutinized for safety as part of their evidence-based development. Well-meaning therapeutic approaches with less scrutiny and validation of safety are the ones I'd worry about.

The approaches of Foa and Rothbaum, fine-tuned over decades, have been shown to be especially helpful for many people. That's what we know from looking at outcomes, including measures of quality of life, client satisfaction, and reduction of PTSD symptoms, among many other things. All I can add is that it is great to see people become re-empowered to live their lives following successful therapies like these.

Maybe you have a problem with CBT in general [as if this is "typical" CBT]. Or maybe you have a problem with exposure therapies and cognitive restructuring approaches, but these approaches are gold. The authors present plenty of science and scientific theory, to be sure. The facts are not presented in a warm, fuzzy, sanitized manner... Maybe you have a problem with that. But to be helpful to rape victims, therapists need to know the scientific facts presented by the authors. And clients often appreciate having the scientific evidence, and treatments, at their fingertips, presented transparently in a clear and collaborative manner.

I'll add that Foa and Rothbaum are remarkable and inspirational clinicians and researchers. Check them out online... They have spent years developing and testing their approaches, and training therapists, with countless successful outcomes and grateful clients.


How To Think Straight About Psychology (9th Edition)
How To Think Straight About Psychology (9th Edition)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, enjoyable read, April 25, 2012
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I KNOW this is often used as a textbook in undergrad and even grad courses. That's fine, but I'd like to suggest that this a good read for anybody interested in critical thinking and psychology.

I'm a psych professor. I've been teaching and doing scientific psychology for years. I teach research design and methods, and critical thinking, among other things. But I bought this book for myself, and I'm glad I did. I kept running into friends' and acquaintances' misconceptions about psychology, as well as some aggressively uncritical thinking. That was especially true in some of the "integrative" worlds I've been drawn to (e.g., yoga, "mindfulness," meditation, "personal growth," post-modernist "thinking"), and some of the people who inhabit them. And then there was the ever-present notion that human behavior and mental phenomena could be adequately understood through unaided common sense or reference to the non-empirical pseudosciences. Having heard enough uncritical and magical stuff, I bought this book as a sort of mental defense...

This book is well worth it. It begins by noting "the Freud problem"; the fact that most people don't have a clue about psychology or the psychologists who are central to the field. They've heard of Freud, and that's about it. The author seems frustrated by that, and I share that frustration. The book covers all sorts of issues related to critical thinking, as well as evidence-based approaches and controlled experimentation. (As much as I like to use case studies in my own research, I found the rather critical chapter on case studies to be interesting, important and... correct, IMHO). My favorite chapter was the last one, "The Rodney Dangerfield of Sciences," with its coverage of pseudoscience and the "self-help" world.

Anyway, two thumbs up!


Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology
Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology
Price: $73.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, April 25, 2012
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I recently chose to include this book as a required text in the course on research methods and design that I teach at Fielding Graduate University (School of Psychology, Clinical Psychology Program). Many of the students I teach have had undergraduate and perhaps masters level courses on this topic. I believe that these chapters will be helpful to grad students who are aware of basic issues, but may be a bit rusty. I'll write more after I've used the book this term.


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