General Topics
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
Health Care in America The Happiness of Burnout"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People""How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?"17 Lies That Are Holding You Back20 Jazz Funk Greats50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are TrueA Brief History of the SmileA Child of One's OwnA Citizen Legislature/A People's ParliamentA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Colorful History of Popular DelusionsA Cultural History of Modern Science in ChinaA Cursing Brain?A History of Intelligence and "Intellectual Disability"A History of MarriageA History of PsychiatryA Little F'd UpA Loving Approach to Dementia CareA Man's Guide to Healthy AgingA Mind ApartA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeA Natural History of VisionA Red Heart of MemoriesA Short History of MedicineA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsA Universe of ConsciousnessA User's Guide to the BrainA World Full of GodsABC of Eating DisordersABCs to Positive LivingAbnormal Psychology in ContextAbout FaceAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDActs of ConscienceAdvances in Culture and PsychologyAfter HarmAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAfter the Globe, Before the WorldAgainst the MachineAging Our WayAIDS & People with Severe Mental IllnessAkhenatenAl-JununAlgernon, Charlie and IAll About LoveAllergy ReliefAlone TogetherAlpha GirlsAltered EgosAltered StatesAlways On CallAm I Making Myself Clear?Am I Okay?AM/PM YogaAmerica in the FortiesAmerican Science Fiction Film and TelevisionAmong the Great ApesAn American ObsessionAn Anthropologist on MarsAn Illustrated Book of Bad ArgumentsAn Odd Kind of FameAnatomy of an EpidemicAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnimal ArchitectsAnimal MindsAnimals in TranslationAnother CountryAntimatterAre the Rich Necessary? Updated and Expanded EditionArtemis FowlAs Nature Made HimAsylumAsylum on the HillAsylum to ActionAt Liberty to DieAtonement and ForgivenessAttention Deficit DisorderAttitudeAuthentic HappinessBe Very AfraidBeautiful MindsBeauty's NothingBeckett and AnimalsBecoming a DoctorBeing VirtualBelle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling SinisterBest of the Brain from Scientific AmericanBetrayal TraumaBetter Sex Through YogaBeyond AIBeyond GreekBeyond HealthBeyond ReasonBeyond ToleranceBibliotherapyBipolar DisorderBlack Man in a White CoatBlack MassBlind SpotsBlinkBlood and GutsBodies out of BoundsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBorn Standing UpBrain LongevityBrain-Based Teaching for All SubjectsBrainchildrenBrainwashingBread Upon the WatersBreaking Murphy's LawBreaking WomenBreathingBrian Eno's Another Green WorldBrief EncountersBritain on the CouchBrothelBuddhism and ScienceBuilding Healthy MindsBullspottingBullying PreventionBurn UnitBuzzC StreetCalling Our Spirits HomeCamp ZCancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included)Cato's TearsCaughtChained to the DeskChickenizing Farms and FoodChild Slaves in the Modern WorldChildren's Learning in a Digital WorldChina on the MindChoices and ConflictChoosing CivilityChronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts)Classical Pilates Technique DVDCleopatraClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleClosing the AsylumsCognition, Creativity, and BehaviorCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCollege Inc.Coming of Age in AmericaComing of Age in Ancient GreeceConceptual BlockbustingConcrete ReveriesConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfronting Postmaternal ThinkingConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConsciousnessConsider the LobsterConsuming InnocenceContagiousControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCool WomenCorpora in Language Acquisition ResearchCorrect EnglishCorrupted CultureCount Us InCovered in InkCreative AngerCreative Core AbsCreative ThinkeringCreative Writing In Health And Social CareCreatures of AccidentCrime and Punishment in AmericaCritical ConditionCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical Psychology: An IntroductionCross-Cultural Topics in PsychologyCrossingCrossing the Unknown SeaCruddyCultural Healing and Belief SystemsCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCyber BullyingCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDancing After HoursDangerous EmotionsDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath in the AirDebunked!DeceptionDecoding DarknessDeep GossipDefenders of the TruthDefining Moments in ScienceDefying DementiaDeinstitutionalization And People With Intellectual DisabilitiesDematerializingDementiaDementia Caregivers Share Their StoriesDemons of the Body and MindDemons of the Modern WorldDepression In Later LifeDirty DetailsDiscourse of Twitter and Social MediaDistractedDivine MadnessDMT and the Soul of ProphecyDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoes Science Need a Global Language?Doing GoodDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDon't Get Too ComfortableDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR Case StudiesDuplicityDutiful DaughtersDying for TimeEarthly Bodies, Magical SelvesEastern Body, Western MindEating AnimalsEccentricsEcological MedicineEducating People to Be Emotionally IntelligentEinstein and OppenheimerElectroshockElliott Smith and the Big NothingEmergence and EmbodimentEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmotionEmotional Intelligence at WorkEmotions RevealedEncyclopedia of Asylum Therapeutics, 1750-1950sEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Cas AssessmentEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthics for the New MillenniumEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday IrrationalityEveryday SimplicityEverything Is MiscellaneousEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution in MindEvolution's RainbowExploring the Edge Realms of ConsciousnessExuberanceEyes of SophiaFalling for ScienceFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFamilyFamily Desk Reference to Psychology Fashion and Its Social AgendasFashion, Desire And AnxietyFast, Fresh & GreenFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFearless ConfessionsFeminist Philosophy And Science FictionFinal ExamFine LinesFixing My GazeFlesh of My FleshFlesh WoundsFlirting With DangerFlow and YinFlying ColorsFocusFood for Thought:Food, Medicine, and the Quest for Good HealthFool Me TwiceFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFridaFrom Certainty to UncertaintyFrom Joy Division to New OrderFull Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism MattersFull Steam Ahead!Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and ReligionGang of Four's EntertainmentGender and Its Effects on PsychopathologyGender and Mental HealthGeneration DigitalGenetics of Mental DisordersGeniusGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting Inside Your HeadGetting WastedGilded CityGirl in the CurlGirlfightingGirls Gone MildGirls on the VergeGod and the MultiverseGood FortuneGood KarmaGood MedicineGood WorkGracefully InsaneGrassroots SpiritualityGreat Psychologists and Their TimeGulpHabeas CorpusHalf a Brain Is EnoughHandbook of AttachmentHappinessHappinessHappiness Is.Hate Crimes in CyberspaceHealingHealing SpacesHealth And the MediaHealth OnlineHearing the Person With DementiaHeavier than HeavenHello from Heaven!HelmholtzHelvetica: A documentary filmHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemingway's Second WarHerbs for the MindHere Is New YorkHeroes, Rogues, and LoversHeterophobiaHidden MindsHistory of ShitHistory of SuicideHoly Sh*tHoly WarHooked!Hot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy Hot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHot SpotsHotHouseHouse and PsychologyHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Doctors ThinkHow Emotions WorkHow Our Lives Become StoriesHow Proust Can Change Your LifeHow Science WorksHow to Build a Robot ArmyHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow to Grow OldHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow We AgeHow We Are Changed by WarHumankindHungerHysteria Complicated by EcstasyI Contain MultitudesI Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of PrivacyI of the VortexI Only Say This Because I Love YouI, Little AsylumIdiot AmericaIf Men Could TalkIgnoranceIllness and ImageImagining NumbersImprove Your Writing With NLPIn Bed with MadnessIn Defense of FoodIn Praise of ScienceIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of FatimaIn the Line of DutyIn the Shadows of the NetIn Therapy We TrustIndivisible by TwoInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrative MedicineIntensive CareIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDInvented KnowledgeInvestigating Digital CrimeIrrationalityIs Shame Necessary?It's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaJudo with WordsKanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKids OnlineKilling MonstersKinds of MindsKissing DoorknobsKnowing the Nature of FearKnowledge MonopoliesKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondLandscapes in My MindLaw, Mind and BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st CenturyLessons Learned on My Way HomeLicentious GothamLies! Lies! Lies!Life CoachingLife MakeoversLimboListening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkListening to PainListening to the WorldLittle PeopleLittle Red Riding Hood UncloakedLiving DeeplyLiving Well with Pain and IllnessLiving with ArthritisLiving with SchizophreniaLiving, Thinking, LookingLoneliness as a Way of LifeLong Shadow of Small GhostsLosing My MindLove and Sex with RobotsLove Your Body, Love Your LifeLove, Sex & TragedyLust in TranslationMad Mary LambMade in AmericaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMadnessMadness in CivilizationMaidentripMake It CountMake It Fast, Cook It SlowMaking Babies the Hard WayMaking Dying IllegalMaking SpaceMaking the Big LeapMaking Your Mind MatterMale Female EmailMalefemaleMan As The PrayerManaged Care ContractingMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManic Depression and CreativityManlinessManning UpMapping the MindMarriage ConfidentialMary Pope Osborne's Tales from the OdysseyMaster PassionsMasters of the MindMatters of SubstanceMean GenesMedia ArgumentationMedia in the Digital AgeMediating MadnessMedical AnthropologyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedieval Writings on Female SpiritualityMemoires 1995Memory, Brain, and BeliefMental Health and Social SpaceMental Health MattersMental Illness in Popular MediaMerchants of DoubtMild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's DiseaseMiles to Go for FreedomMillennium GirlsMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind WarsMind, Matter and Quantum MechanicsMindstormsMisconceptionsMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)Mollie Katzen's RecipesMom's OK, She Just ForgetsMoody BitchesMoral PanicsMore Than MedicineMortificationMothers Who Kill Their ChildrenMusicophiliaMy Bloody Valentine's LovelessMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Misspent YouthMy Stroke of InsightNakedNaked CityNarratives in PsychiatryNations Have the Right to KillNatureNear Death ExperienceNeurons and NetworksNeuroscience in Science Fiction FilmsNew Versions of VictimsNew YorkNew York September 11Not by DesignNot Your Mother's LifeNothing to HideNurembergNymphomaniaOath BetrayedObesityObjects of Our DesireObliquityOdd CouplesOf Spirits & MadnessOf Two MindsOld AgeOn BlindnessOn Fact and FraudOn the BrinkOn the Origin of StoriesOne Nation Under TherapyOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOptimizing Teaching and LearningOtherhoodOut of the DustOutliersOutsider ArtOver My HeadOxford Guide to the MindPainParanoia of Everyday LifeParents Do Make a DifferenceParty GirlPassingPassionate VegetarianPathways through PainPeople Like OurselvesPerceptual NeurosciencePersons and ThingsPestos, Tapenades, and SpreadsPhilosophy of MindPhotography and LiteraturePilates for MenPink ThinkPlanning for UncertaintyPoets on ProzacPostcards from the Brain MuseumPosthumanismPotatoes Not ProzacPower HerbsPower Yoga for HappinessPoxPractical ClassicsPractical Plans for Difficult Conversations in MedicinePracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPrader-Willi SyndromePredictably IrrationalPretty in PunkPretty Is What ChangesPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenPrime Ministers of CanadaPrint Literacy DevelopmentPrison MadnessPrivate Life in New Kingdom EgyptProblems in MindProtecting the GiftProust and the SquidPrudePsychiatryPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatrylandPsychologyPsychology and the MediaPsychology for ScreenwritersPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPublic Health LawPunishment in Popular CulturePure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQuantum ArchetypesQuantum LeapsR.I.P.Race in Contemporary MedicineRacial ParanoiaRaising a Self-StarterRaising AmericaReady for AnythingReady or NotReady or Not, Here Life ComesReal SexReckoning With HomelessnessReclaiming Our ChildrenReclaiming Soul in Health CareRed Lotus YogaReligion ExplainedRemaking a WorldRepublic.com 2.0Rethinking CommodificationRethinking Middle YearsReviving OpheliaReviving the LeftRewarding Specialties for Mental Health CliniciansRights, Risk and Restraint-Free Care of Older PeopleSabbathSame DifferenceSamuel BeckettSatisfactionSavedScared SickScienceScience and NonbeliefScience in the MarketplaceScience TalkScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealitySecond OpinionsSeeds of HopeSelected Ambient Works Volume IISelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf-Help NationSelf-Help, Inc.Selling the Fountain of YouthSells like Teen SpiritSerious ShoppingSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSex, Mom, and GodSex, Time and PowerSexing the BodySexual Orientation and School PolicySexy FeminismShadow, Self, SpiritShop Class as SoulcraftShrink RapSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSimulation and Its DiscontentsSinfully VeganSister CitizenSleeping With Extra-TerrestrialsSlut!Snake Oil ScienceSnoopSo Brilliantly CleverSocial RepresentationsSolar Flow Yoga DVDSold on LanguageSome Kind of GeniusSometimes Madness Is WisdomSorting Things OutSoul Made FleshSounds from the Bell JarSoupsSpace, Place and Mental HealthSpeaking Our MindsSpiritual CrisisSpontaneous HealingStates of MindStatus AnxietyStiffedStill HereStill LivesStrange BehaviorStrategies of Commitment and Other EssaysStrength, Grace, HealingStroke DiariesStumbling on HappinessSun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuperstitionSupersurvivorsSurgery JunkiesSwordfishtrombonesSylvia Plath ReadsTalk to HerTalking About RaceTalking Back to PsychiatryTalking Heads' Fear of MusicTalking ScienceTeach Yourself MeditationTeaching OnlineTeaching SexTeen LoveTeenageTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThanks!The 101 Best Graphic NovelsThe Age of American UnreasonThe Alice Behind WonderlandThe American HotelThe American ParadoxThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical PsychiatryThe Americanization of Social ScienceThe Anatomy of HopeThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Antibiotic EraThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Architecture of MadnessThe Arctic IncidentThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Bard on the BrainThe Barmaid's BrainThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better to Eat You WithThe Biotech CenturyThe Birth of PleasureThe Birth of the PillThe Black DeathThe Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge ManagementThe Book of the PenisThe Brain That Changes ItselfThe Breathing FieldThe Bridge to HumanityThe Bully SocietyThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Call of the WeirdThe Cambridge Illustrated History of MedicineThe Case Against SugarThe Childless RevolutionThe Clitoral TruthThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Contemplative HeartThe Couch and the TreeThe Course of Gay and Lesbian LivesThe Creation of the Modern WorldThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Cultural Origins of Human CognitionThe Culture of FearThe Culture of PunishmentThe Da Vinci DogThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Deadly TruthThe Decency WarsThe Disobedience Of The Daughter Of The SunThe Dynamic NeuronThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Emotional BrainThe Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's FamilyThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe End of MaterialismThe End of WarThe English and their HistoryThe Enigma of HealthThe Era of ChoiceThe Eternity CubeThe Event of LiteratureThe Evolving WorldThe f WordThe Fabulous ImaginationThe Faces of TerrorismThe Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State HospitalsThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Fate of Early MemoriesThe Female ThingThe Final LeapThe Firmament of TimeThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The ForgettingThe Game of TruthThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Gift of FearThe Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological InvestigationsThe Good Enough ChildThe Great BetrayalThe Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on WomenThe HandThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Happiness HypothesisThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Hedgehog's DilemmaThe Hero's JourneyThe History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of HistoryThe History of White PeopleThe Homework MythThe Hungry SoulThe Identity CodeThe Immortalization Commission:The Importance of Being LazyThe Indian VegetarianThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Intelligibility of NatureThe Interdisciplinary Science of ConsumptionThe Intuitive WriterThe Invisible PlagueThe Irreducible Needs of ChildrenThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Language ImperativeThe Language Of YogaThe Language PoliceThe Language WarsThe Last PhysicianThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Law Is a White DogThe Lie DetectorsThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Book of HeartbreakThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet HiltonThe Lives of AnimalsThe Lolita EffectThe Lonely PatientThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lucifer EffectThe Lucifer PrincipleThe Madness of Adam and EveThe Madwoman in the AtticThe Magic of RealityThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Manual of EpictetusThe Marketplace of IdeasThe Mature MindThe Measure of Our DaysThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Medical AdvisorThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Metaphysical ClubThe Mind's PastThe Misunderstood GeneThe MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive SciencesThe Monster WithinThe Mood CureThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Mystery of Mary RogersThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe New BrainThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe NineThe Nordic Theory of EverythingThe Norm ChroniclesThe Normal OneThe Omnivorous MindThe Orchid ThiefThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Oxford Book of Modern Science WritingThe Pain AntidoteThe Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of SleepThe Paranoia SwitchThe Passion PlanThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines & Healing TherapiesThe Physics of ConsciousnessThe PlaceboThe Placebo Effect and HealthThe Playful BrainThe Pocket Life CoachThe Portfolio and the DiagramThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Praeger Handbook of Learning and the BrainThe Private Life of the BrainThe Professor and the MadmanThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychology of Religion and CopingThe Psychology Of The InternetThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Quantum UniverseThe Quarter-Acre FarmThe Race for ConsciousnessThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Red DevilThe Republican BrainThe Richer SexThe Rise of Mental Health NursingThe Roman Search for WisdomThe Root of All EvilThe Routledge Companion to Landscape StudiesThe Same Stuff as StarsThe Savage CityThe Science of Good and EvilThe Science of Optimism and HopeThe Scientist In The CribThe Seat of the SoulThe Second SelfThe Secret History of DreamingThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Secret World of Doing NothingThe Seven Sins of MemoryThe ShakeressThe ShallowsThe Social Psychology of StigmaThe Sociology of PhilosophiesThe Sociopath Next DoorThe Soul Knows No BarsThe Spa DeckThe Spiritual Anatomy of EmotionThe Split MindThe Star ThrowerThe Story Is TrueThe Storytelling AnimalThe Strange Case of Hellish NellThe Symmetry of GodThe Talking CureThe Thing You Think You Cannot DoThe Three CulturesThe Three Failures of CreationismThe Toxic ConsumerThe Triumph of NarrativeThe True PathThe Truth About Chronic PainThe UndertakingThe Volitional BrainThe Wages of SinThe War Against BoysThe Way of StretchingThe Weblog HandbookThe Weight of the NationThe Why CaféThe Wild Ass’s SkinThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Wisdom of PsychopathsThe Wisdom of Your DreamsThe Words We Live ByThe World of CaffeineThe Worldwide Practice of TortureThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThe Wow ClimaxTheaters of MadnessTheatre and AnimalsTheories of Scientific MethodTherapeutic LandscapesTheraScribe 4.0Think CatThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThinking With AnimalsThrough Deaf EyesToo Big to FailTooning InTop ChefTortured SubjectsTotal AstangaTotal PilatesTotally WiredTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITrain Your Brain to Get RichTransforming MadnessTraumatic PastsTreatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental IllnessTreatment Kind and FairTribal ScienceTrick or TreatmentTrusting DoctorsTry to RememberTutoring as a Successful BusinessTwelve Examples of IllusionTwinsUnder the Medical GazeUnderstanding and Treating Violent Psychiatric PatientsUnderstanding Child MolestersUnderstanding FitnessUnforgettableUnholy MadnessUnscientific AmericaUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUnto OthersUp From DragonsUrban Tourism and Urban ChangeUseful BodiesValues in ConflictVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVegan ExpressVegetarian Turkish CookingVertigo VisionsVictorian Popularizers of ScienceViniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViolence Against WomenVoices Of Alzheimer'sVoices of CaregivingVoices of MadnessVoluntary SimplicityWaking Up to What You DoWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWall: A World DividedWarWays of KnowingWays of KnowingWe Shall Be No MoreWe Shall Not Be MovedWe've Got BlogWellbeingWhat Emotions Really AreWhat I Learned in Medical SchoolWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Our Children Teach UsWhat Science Offers the HumanitiesWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and LiteracyWhat's Holding You Back? What's So Wrong with Being Absolutely RightWhen a Family Member Has DementiaWhen Experiments TravelWhen Good Thinking Goes BadWhen History Is a NightmareWhen Johnny and Jane Come Marching HomeWhen Mothers KillWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care CommunityWhen Things Fall ApartWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere Good Ideas Come FromWhere is the Mango Princess?Wherever You Go, There You AreWhile They SleptWhispers from the EastWho Rules in ScienceWhy Does E=mc2?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Have Kids?Will They Ever Trust Us Again?WisdomWise Mind, Open MindWitch Beliefs and Witch Trials in the Middle AgesWitchcrazeWith Their EyesWithin ReasonWomanWomen and Mental IllnessWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWriting in FlowYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga Beauty BodyYoga for EveryoneYoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do ItYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Regular Guys DVDYoga In BedYoga on DemandYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYogalosophyYou Are Not Your IllnessYou'd Be So Pretty If . . .Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with LonelinessZen-Brain Reflections

Related Topics
The Origin and Evolution of CulturesReview - The Origin and Evolution of Cultures
by Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson
Oxford University Press, 2005
Review by Sven Walter, Ph.D.
May 16th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 20)

During the seventies, evolutionary theorists started arguing that human behavior is amendable to the same Darwinian treatment as all (other) biological features. Consequently, culture has no longer been the proprietary domain of social scientists, but has been investigated by anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists in various ways, resulting in evolutionary accounts of a wide variety of human characteristics, such as sexual behavior, mate choice, marital systems, homicide, infanticide, religion and so forth. When the dust raised by the sociobiologists in the seventies had settled, four approaches to an evolutionary study of human mind, behavior, and culture emerged.

Human behavioral ecologists use evolutionary reasoning to understand our contemporary behavior on the premise that human behavioral strategies are adaptive across a wide range of ecological and cultural conditions. How, they ask, is the behavior of individuals influenced by the ecological and cultural environments in which they live, and how do the alternative behavioral strategies these individuals adopt to cope with environmental challenges give rise to cultural differences?

Evolutionary psychologists are only indirectly concerned with current adaptive behavior. Rather, they use evolutionary thinking to generate hypotheses about the adaptive problems that the human mind/brain had to solve in the selective environment of our ancestors (during, say, the Pleistocene), and in the evolved structures or mechanisms that are responsible for current behavior (be it adaptive or not).

Memeticists -- the meme being the analogue to the gene as the biological unit of inheritance -- hold that cultural evolution can be modeled by the same basic evolutionary principles of variation and descent with modification as can biological evolution. Different memes, they claim, that is pieces of cultural information, can be transmitted from one individual to another in a process of cultural selection with different rates of success. Those memes that are transmitted are thereby replicated in the same sense genes are replicated in the process of natural selection, giving rise to a Darwinian process of descent with modification in the realm of culture.

Finally, there is the dual-inheritance theory (sometimes also called 'gene-culture coevolution') of, amongst others, the anthropologists Robert Boyd (Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Davis ) and Peter Richerson (Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California at Davis). They agree with the other approaches just mentioned that culture should, repeated allegations of social scientists to the contrary notwithstanding, be modeled as a Darwinian evolutionary process. However, they also discard the attempts of evolutionary psychologists or human behavioral ecologists to base a study of cultural evolution solely on innate, genetically encoded information. They argue, just like memeticists, that transmitted cultural information is too important a factor to be simply ignored -- one of the most striking facts about the human species is that there are important and persistent differences between human groups that are created by culturally transmitted ideas, and not by genetic, physical, or biological differences.

What sets them apart from memeticists, though, is their conviction that there is no analogy between cultural evolution and biological evolution, between memes and genes that can ground a process of cultural evolution strictly analogous to biological evolution. Cultural and biological evolution may be similar in that important information is transmitted between individuals and both create patterns of heritable variation. The differences, however, are much more salient. For instance, culture is not based on direct replication but upon teaching, imitation, and other forms of social learning, the transmission of culture is temporally extended and not restricted to parents and their offspring, cultural evolution is not necessarily particulate, and cultural variation is not necessarily random.

Culture, according to Boyd and Richerson, is part of human biology, but accounts concerned solely with genetic factors are inadequate because they ignore the fact that culture itself can and does shape the adaptive environment in which biological evolution takes place -- culture constrains genetic evolution by creating durable changes in human behavior, so that human genes necessarily evolve in a culturally constructed environment. Conversely, accounts aimed solely at explaining cultural replication are inadequate because they ignore the fact that genes and processes of biological evolution affect cultural evolution, for instance for instance by forming psychological predispositions that bias what people imitate, teach, or are able to learn. Hence, an evolutionary account of culture must acknowledge that genes and culture coevolve. This is the central tenet of dual-inheritance theory, which tries to investigate the circumstances under which the cultural habits adopted by individuals are influenced by their genes, and how, in turn, the natural selection pressures of a population the guide biological evolution may be generated by culture.

Boyd and Richerson initially presented their account in 1985 in their book Culture and the Evolutionary Process (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press). In 'The Origin and Evolution of Cultures', they have now collected twenty papers written in the period 1987 -- 2003. These papers are divided into five sections, each of which begins with a short but informative introduction by Boyd and Richerson.

Part one is entitled 'The evolution of social learning' and addresses the question how our capacity for culture -- our capacity to transmit information by teaching, imitation, and other forms of social learning, which enables us to acquire skills, beliefs and values from the people around us -- has evolved. Does a capacity for social learning increase the fitness of individuals or groups of individuals, and if it does, why does it do so? Under which conditions do selective processes favor individuals able to adopt behavior from others (chapters 1, 2, and 3)? And if, as seems plausible, our capacity for cumulative cultural transmission sets us apart from all other animals and has boosted our fitness compared with the fitness of creatures restricted to individual learning or simple forms of imitation, why has it appeared only so recently in evolutionary history, and why has it not evolved independently in a number of other species as well (chapters 4 and 5)?

Part two, entitled 'Ethnic groups and markers,' is the shortest. Boyd and Richerson develop two models designed to explain under which conditions evolution favors mechanisms of cultural evolution that result in ethnic or social grouping. What are the processes that would cause human populations to split into two groups distinguished by cultural marker traits, and could these processes give rise to cultural variation that is biologically adaptive, i.e. that increases the reproductive success of the group members (chapters 6 and 7)?

Part three is entitled 'Human cooperation, reciprocity, and group selection,' and is by far the longest. Apart from the general idea of gene-culture coevolution, Boyd and Richerson are best known for the work described in the seven papers in this part (chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14). There, they are concerned to show that it is very unlikely that large-scale cooperation among humans can be accounted for solely by the classical idea of reciprocity. Currently, there is a widely held consensus that group selection -- selective processes in which groups, as opposed to individuals or genes are the beneficiaries -- is a highly unlikely hypothesis that can occur only under very restricted circumstances. However, Boyd and Richerson propose an account that views cooperative behavior as the evolutionary result of a process of group selection, not at the level of biological evolution, but at the level of cultural evolution. The basic idea is that theoretical models can be constructed that show that virtually all circumstances that favour social learning also tend to lead to strong within-group conformity, which then, in turn, enables us to understand the evolution of cooperation among humans.

Part four, 'Archaeology and culture history,' contains three relatively long papers in which Boyd and Richerson try to show how an evolutionary theory of cumulative cultural evolution, in particular their own account, can be of interest and of use also for those interested primarily in history and/or archaeology (chapters 15, 16, and 17).

Part five is, as its title 'Links to other disciplines' suggests, the most heterogeneous and contains primarily meta-theoretical or methodological considerations. Boyd and Richerson develop their theory of cultural evolution as a complement of rational choice theory in economics (chapter 18), defend the use of simple mathematical models in giving evolutionary accounts of culture and cultural transmission (chapter 19), and try to show why memetics is inadequate as an approach to the study of human cultural evolution (chapter 20).

As is common among dual-inheritance theorists, Boyd and Richerson rely heavily on mathematical models (similar to those used in population genetics) that take into account specific, but simplifying, hypotheses about human psychology and the nature of human social learning in order to make intelligible how cultural variants can spread in populations, how the adoption of the beliefs, skills, habits and values of others can yield an evolutionary pay-off in terms of an increased fitness, and how and why populations of individuals with a capacity for culture can do, as a whole, better than populations of individuals without such a capacity. This is, as brief as possible, what 'Culture and the Evolutionary Process' is about.

There is much to learn from the work of Boyd and Richerson, and the initiative to bring together some of their scattered papers in this volume is laudable. Many professional anthrologists, biologists, philosophers and psychologists interested in the study of culture and the evolution of mind and behavior will benefit from it -- modulo the slight reservations discussed soon. Is there anything critical to say?

Let me briefly note one quite general point I know many find disappointing about the theoretical approach of dual-inheritance theorists. One of the good things about the alternative approach of evolutionary psychology is that it generates testable hypotheses. This prevents it (if the tests are designed carefully and unbiased) from drifting into mere evolutionary story-telling. If Boyd and Richerson, too, would use their models to generate such testable hypotheses (as they do, for instance, quite nicely in chapters 6 and 7 on the evolution of ethnic markers), this would prevent them from creating the impression of drifting into mere 'model-constructing'. That use of models brings me to a final misgiving I have about 'Culture and the Evolutionary Process.'

Is Boyd and Richerson's book a must-have for anyone interested in evolutionary accounts of culture? Unfortunately, I think, the answer is 'No, not for anyone.' Following the complicated mathematical equations that underlie many of Boyd and Richersons models is tedious, if not outright impossible, for all but the most gifted mathematicians among ordinary anthropologists, biologists, philosophers, psychologists and educated laymen. Boyd and Richerson do little to help those of us not familiar with the subtle art of mathematical models out of their predicament. They do attempt (in chapter 19), to show why the use of simple models is helpful in the study of cultural evolution (which I do not question). However, their focus there is on the question whether simple models are not too simple to yield trustworthy results, while even those 'simple' models will exceed the mathematical skills of the average reader (see, for instance, those contained in chapters 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 or 18). This is unfortunate, because what Boyd and Richerson have to say about cultural evolution and the interaction of genetic and cultural factors is not only interesting, but most of it seems absolutely right and would certainly deserve a wider audience. It might be that, as Boyd and Richerson claim, all serious students of human behavior ought to know enough math to at least appreciate the contributions of simple mathematical models to the understanding of cultural evolution, but 'ought' famously does not imply 'is', and as long as most of us do not know enough math, it would be a great thing if we could nevertheless participate in the interesting and groundbreaking research conducted by Boyd and Richerson.

Fortunately, by the way, we can. Not in The Origin and Evolution of Cultures, but in their jointly authored book Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2005)(reviewed in Metapsychology 9:47), which indeed I recommend as a must-have for anyone who takes a serious interest in the evolution of culture, mind and behavior.

 

© 2006 Sven Walter

 

Sven Walter, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, University of Bielefeld, Germany


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7700 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716