Psychology
Schadenfreude
The Joy of Another's Misfortune
By Tiffany Watt Smith
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 11th 2018.
Schadenfreude by Tiffany Watt SmithWe take pleasure in the misfortune of some other people. The fancy German name for this pleasure is Schadenfreude. Tiffany Watt Smith has written a whole book on it. Naturally it is slim volume at a little over 150 pages since how much there can be there to say on this topic? But one starts to wonder pretty early on whether it would have been better as a blog post. Certainly there are many different kinds of misfortune, and many different kinds of relating to the persons who suffer it that make us feel entitled to feel pleasure at it. We are pleased when arrogant people get their comeuppance,
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Sleepyhead
The Neuroscience of a Good Night's Rest
By Henry Nicholls
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 4th 2018.
This popular science book is part memoir and part examination of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Nicholls himself has narcolepsy, and he examines a variety of sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea. He says that, unexpectedly, writing this book helped him dramatically improve his own sleep problems. In the process of research, he found that he also had catalepsy, which means he is prone to seizures that include a loss of sensation and rigidity of the body. It turns out that narcolepsy and catalepsy are frequently associated with each other. Nicholls is a talented writer who combines pe
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Sleepyhead by Henry Nicholls

Suicidal
Why We Kill Ourselves
By Jesse Bering
Review by Roy Sugarman on Tue, Nov 20th 2018.
Suicidal by Jesse BeringPsychologists write often about suicide, but seldom about why they, despite being successful, think about suicide.  Recently, given the prominence of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and others, I have been asked again and again as to why someone, who is otherwise seemingly basking in the glory of success, as Bering was, would contemplate and even go ahead taking their own life. The awkward answer I give is that they reach a point in their lives where they realize they are living out of sync with their values, and don't know how they got there. It is a sure way to misery, and many do it, h
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The Emotional Foundations of Personality
A Neurobiological and Evolutionary Approach
By Kenneth L. Davis and Jaak Panksepp PhD
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Nov 13th 2018.
In The emotional foundations of personality: A neurobiological and evolutionary approach, Ken Davis and Jaak Panksepp offer a reasoned argument for the adoption of a personality model informed by neuroscience. In addition, they present a novel personality inventory (i.e., Affective Neuroscience Personality Scale, ANPS) based on the proposed model. The basic assumption upon which the authors’ proposal relies is that emotional processes are key to understanding individual differences. Indeed, they suggest that individual differences arise from specific brain mechanisms whose variable
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The Emotional Foundations of Personality by Kenneth L. Davis and Jaak Panksepp PhD

The Heart of Trauma
Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships
By Bonnie Badenoch
Review by Brian Morreale on Tue, Oct 23rd 2018.
The Heart of Trauma by Bonnie BadenochMany people experience traumatic experiences in their lives or need therapy to cope with tragic life events. The body's response to those experiences and memories can sometimes prevent the person from functioning in their daily life. Moreover, the distress caused by a traumatic event can put pressure on relationships and reduce job opportunities. Overall, it is paramount to overcome these feelings of distress to return to a quality of life prior to that traumatic event. The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships, by Bonnie Badenoch, describes the body'
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The Compassionate Connection
The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening
By David Rakel, MD; with Susan K. Golant, MA
Review by Iraklis Ioannidis on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
By its title, David Rakel's The Compassionate Connection: The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening might seem like another book about empathy and mindfulness. That, however, would be a premature diagnosis, one that would betray a not so careful reading of the book. This book, though, is all about giving care and connecting with others, be it with "an ailing friend or a loved one," with "a patient or client or coworker" (p. 230), or with a "manager" or a "parent" (p.150). If empathy and mindfulness are the essential conditions for connecting with others, then Rakel is writin
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The Compassionate Connection by David Rakel, MD; with Susan K. Golant, MA

A New Understanding of Mental Disorders
Computational Models for Dimensional Psychiatry
By Andreas Heinz
Review by Jesse Butler on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
 A New Understanding of Mental Disorders by Andreas HeinzPsychiatry has always involved a fair degree of controversy and debate, but many now regard the field to be in a fundamental state of change concerning its underlying theoretical foundations. In this book, Andreas Heinz follows suit with this view of psychiatry and presents a synthesis of ideas intended to establish a new foundation for the field to move forward in a progressive and integrated manner. The central goal of Heinz’ proposal is to situate our understanding of mental disorders in relation to basic learning mechanisms and what we know about them through the study of computation
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Addiction and Self-Control
Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience
By Neil Levy (Editor)
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 14th 2018.
This collection of 12 papers by philosophers and psychologists has important contributions to the field of addiction studies, mainly addressing the question of whether addicts have the ability to control their own behavior. It overlaps with moral philosophy, with some papers also addressing whether addicts should be blamed when their addictive behavior leads to the harm of others. There are a couple of papers on Ainslie's picoeconomic approach to understanding gambling addiction, which sees the irrationality of addictive behavior largely as a matter of hyperbolic discounting of our preference
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Addiction and Self-Control by Neil Levy (Editor)

 
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A New Understanding of Mental Disorders A Theory of Feelings Addictions Memory and the Self"Intimate" Violence against Women1001 Solution-Focused Questions101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using Hypnosis50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God8 Keys to Body Brain BalanceA Brief History of Modern PsychologyA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Conceptual History of Psychology: Exploring the Tangled Web A Cooperative SpeciesA Guide to Teaching Introductory PsychologyA History of Modern Experimental PsychologyA History of Psychology in AutobiographyA History of Social PsychologyA History of the BrainA History of the MindA Hole in the HeadA Matter of SecurityA Mind of Its OwnA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Place for ConsciousnessA Short Introduction to Promoting Resilience in ChildrenA Social History of PsychologyA Stroll With William JamesA System Architecture Approach to the BrainA Theory of FreedomA Very Bad 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