email page print pageAll 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 American SicknessAn Anthropologist on MarsAn Illustrated Book of Bad ArgumentsAn Odd Kind of FameAnatomy of an EpidemicAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnimal ArchitectsAnimal MadnessAnimal MindsAnimals in TranslationAnother CountryAntimatterAre the Rich Necessary? Updated and Expanded EditionArt and PoliticsArtemis 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 ZCampus Sexual AssaultCan't You Hear Them?Cancer 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 MultiverseGoing Into TownGood 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 CareInto the Gray ZoneIntroduction 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, LookingLocking Up Our OwnLoneliness 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 MindMathematical DoodlingsMatters 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 ForgetsMonsters, Demons and PsychopathsMoody 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 FilmsNever Out of SeasonNew 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 SquidPrudePsyche on the SkinPsychiatryPsychiatry 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 CliniciansRick SingsRights, 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 Brooklyn Nobody KnowsThe 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 Digital MindThe 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 EvangelicalsThe 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 Guide for White Women Who Teach Black BoysThe 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 Nature FixThe New BrainThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe NineThe Nordic Theory of EverythingThe Norm ChroniclesThe Normal OneThe Obesity EpidemicThe Omnivorous MindThe Orchid ThiefThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Origin of AnxietiesThe Oxford Book of Modern Science WritingThe Pain AntidoteThe Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of SleepThe Paranoia SwitchThe Passion PlanThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PatchThe 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 and Fall of Classical GreeceThe 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 PastsTreating People WellTreatment 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 EastWhite RageWho Rules in ScienceWhy Are We Attracted to Sad Music?Why 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
Absurdly irrational arguments can be hugely entertaining; but in the wrong context they can also be very dangerous, warns Robyn Dawes, and he uses numerous examples to highlight some worryingly common reasoning errors. Unfortunately the most pernicious philosophical errors, which he doesn't highlight, are embodied in his own over-zealous scientific analysis.
Parts of this book are worth salvaging. The true force behind his charges of irrationality is the neglect of contrary evidence: you cannot establish a rule without checking evidence that may disconfirm it. This principle is captured in basic tenets of psychological research: include a control group and test the null hypothesis. Psychologists who ignore this advice - and there are many - arrive at very unsafe conclusions. A related principle is familiar to philosophers: avoid the fallacy of affirming the consequent. If a patient shows key signs of schizophrenia, resist the diagnosis until you've processed the statistics for the normal population: statistically, it may be more likely that the person is not schizophrenic. This wise advice is reinforced with examples throughout the book.
However, Dawes' main contribution is to propose a simple, but misconceived, shortcut to resolving philosophical problems. He tries to show, by means of reductio ad absurdum, that unpalatable conclusions are logically absurd, not just factually wrong or implausible. He has a strong motivation for this: it's easier to defeat an argument decisively on a point of logic than on a point of fact or plausibility.
He begins by defining irrationality very narrowly as self-contradiction. However, none of his examples strictly contradicts itself. To force a contradiction, he augments the arguments with some "obvious" implicit premises, processes the logic (or Bayesian probabilities), and rolls out an absurdity or improbability. In this manner, he discards dubious conclusions for being logically inconsistent, when he has surreptitiously planted the inconsistencies himself. In philosophy class, we had a name for this technique: cheating. The trick lies in augmenting your opponents' premises to imply a contradiction, then pointing to the contradiction as proof of an error.
This technique is very easy and effective when the target is an obviously nutty argument. Daft conclusions always conflict with an obvious fact, and if your opponent accepts the obvious fact, then he or she is being logically inconsistent. The addition of the fatal implicit premise is uncontroversial.
However, Dawes applies this "implicit premise" technique to areas of deep controversy, neatly avoiding difficult philosophical issues. For instance, the politicians who deferred his advice to subsidize safe drug abuse to combat the spread of HIV, are branded not merely morally misguided but illogical. He is not bothered that his Republican opponents do not actually endorse the implicit premise (a naïve strain of consequentialism) that proves fatal to their argument: he believes it should be obvious to everyone. Consequently, on Dawes' view, to reject his ethical advice is to flout the principles of logic. Logicians and moral philosophers would say otherwise.
Emotional convictions, according to Dawes, are irrelevant to the logic of an argument: people construct arguments for any number of personal reasons, he says, but the objective logic of the argument itself is untouched by such considerations. This is fine, unless the argument is value-based, as some of his test cases are. He doesn't resist slipping his own values into the premises.
Next, Dawes introduces a pocket method for invalidating popular explanations in psychoanalysis, history and sociology: use statistics to prove that these retrospective rationalizations are grossly unscientific. First, generalize the causal explanation so it becomes a categorical hypothesis. Then examine other cases to see whether the hypothesis holds statistically. If not, the explanation is spurious. The truth is in the statistics.
For example, it is a mistake to attribute a serial killer's homicidal fanaticism to bad parental relations, because lots of people have bad parental relations without becoming homicidal fanatics. Statistical reflection undermines the story's deceptively plausible hypothesis. By the same token, Dawes undermines the forensic analysis of a specific plane crash, historical accounts of the rise of Nazism in Germany, and sociopsychological explanations of the Unabomber's warped psychology. He concludes that retrospective stories, however intuitively appealing, are poor science and have only tentative speculative value. So much for the humanities, then.
Once again the error is introduced by Dawes. Most historians, psychoanalysts and whoever else, would refuse his first step. Dawes assumes that story-based explanations support simple generalization. Yet proper science demands a ceteris paribus ('all else being equal') clause; the examples Dawes condemns are too complex to support ceteris paribus generalization. Stories, being contextual, can handle this kind of complexity; general laws cannot. The truth is in the specifics.
By Dawes' logic, we can prove (statistically) that no-one dies of a heart attack, and contributing factors don't cause cot death or chronic fatigue. The weakness of his approach becomes frankly disturbing when he dismisses allegations of ritual abuse as "sexual abuse hysteria", citing various statistics from studies of isolated abuse. If, on average, 60% of abused children fail to report sexual abuse, and all 10 children in one particular case have been silent up to the time of the investigation, then the likelihood that they have all been abused, but silent, is 0.006. Although the abuse is not impossible, it's extraordinarily unlikely. So we can close the case without further investigation. Simple! Of course, for the statistics to hold, we have to ignore any systematic differences between ritual abuse and isolated abuse, research into cultural mind-control, and any other plausible story-based rationalization. Dawes is happy to do so. The truth, for him, lies in whichever numbers can prove his point. The misuse of statistics here is as dangerous as the faulty arguments he criticizes. In fact his own explanation for the phenomenon -- teleological manipulation by psychologists -- rests, as with most of his other examples, on precisely the kind of intuitive plausibility appeal that he disallows. Reductio ad absurdum, anyone?
Dawes' writing suffers from an unsettling tone of opinionated pedagogy, and his statistical discussions are laborious. His critique of dubious conclusions is well-intentioned, and there are some morsels of genuinely useful advice here, but his formal analysis is fundamentally misconceived and -- when he misapplies it -- even more pernicious than the faulty reasoning he denounces.
Further reading: Once Upon A Number (Penguin, 1998), by the mathematician John Allen Paulos, carefully compares the merits and demerits of statistical logic and intuitively plausible story-based explanations, and serves as a balanced contrast for Dawes' misguided radical formalism. Sam Brown is writing up a PhD on the neuroscience of emotional intelligence. He has an MA in Philosophy and an MPhil in Cognitive Science from the University of Dundee. He has particular interest in neuroscience and naturalist philosophy, focusing on the pathology of emotional disorders and the epistemology of intuition. He works as an IT tutor and database consultant.
© Sam Brown, 2001