Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Excellent, enjoyable read
on April 25, 2012
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!