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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!
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on October 15, 2010
The concepts in this book should be required understanding in all introductory science classes. The book explains how to think scientifically, so they don't develop false beliefs about the natural world and behavior. In today's world, our science classes teach students facts about the world but don't give them the tools to figure out what to believe and what not to outside the classroom.

How do we recognize pseudoscientific claims? Clinical Psychologist Scott Lilienfield (2005, p. 40) lists:

* The claim is unfalsifiable. There are no control standards and every outcome can be explained after the fact.
* An emphasis on confirmation rather than refutation
* Place the burden of proof on the buyer rather than the maker of the claim
* Excessive reliance on anecdotal and testimonial evidence to substantiate claims
* Evasion of scientific peer review
* Failure to build on existing scientific knowledge (lack of connectivity)
The book tackles all these issues, as well as chance, multiple causation, probabilistic reasoning, artificial settings for experimentation, and correlation and causation. Stanovich develops the book extremely well, with hundreds of references and powerful statistics as he tackles some of the most prominent pseudoscience of our day. He gives countless examples, including facilitated communication (where an aide supposedly could help autistic children communicate and became such a fad in the 90's that many parents went to jail on the sexual abuse charges that "came out"), infomercials with celebrity endorsements but no scientific success, miracle pills, esp, and much of popular "psychology".

This book gives you the tools to understand scientific claims. It's extremely powerful and only 200 pages. When you understand the tools to evaluate if something sounds to good to be true, you'll become a much more informed citizen.
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on March 11, 2014
After purchasing the 10th Edition Kindle version and the 9th edition hard copy version. I am nearly positive that the Kindle version that I received is not an authentic work by the author. The 9th edition hard copy appears reputable and thus far I've enjoyed reading it.

J. West
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on October 11, 2013
I'd heard good things about this book and it's a fantastic read. The book actually doesn't focus THAT much on psychology and can be read as a source to understand some of the scientific process along with illuminating the many misconceptions the public has about science due to the mass media.

I would highly recommend this book.
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on February 26, 2016
Stanovich lays out many of the common biases and traps that most people fall into. A relatively easy read, though probably for scholars and not the average laymen, it functions nicely as an additional resource for those taking quantitative methods.
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on February 10, 2011
I read the 1st edition, short of a year ago. I was very impressed with Dr. Stanovich clear explanations of the systematic methodolgy that is scientific psycholgoy. The significant majority of clinical psychologiest do not seem to be aware or at best ignore most of the work and research available in the field.
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on February 22, 2016
Listing is for the 9th edition and I received the 10th edition. This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that my professor specifically told us NOT to buy the 10th edition. So thanks for that I guess.
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on May 15, 2014
I thought that the book gave a lot of information, but i think you are able to get similar information from an intro to psychology book
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on October 16, 2013
I needed the book for school. So it worked out well. The book was delivered in a timely manner and I was able to use it for my test.
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on June 17, 2014
I enjoyed this book very much, i wasn't bothered by the highlighting at all it was actually useful. thanks again!
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