email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
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 WizardAbductedAbout FacesAccounts of InnocenceAction, Emotion and WillAdapting MindsAddiction and Self-ControlADHD & MeADHD in AdultsAdieu to GodAdolescence and Body ImageAdult Bipolar DisordersAdvances in Culture and PsychologyAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAffect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of SelfAffective MappingAgainst EmpathyAgainst HappinessAges and StagesAll Joy and No FunAll Out!All We Have to FearAlterations of ConsciousnessAmerican Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical NeurosciencesAn Argument for MindAncient Bodies, Modern LivesAnd BreatheAnimal MadnessAnimal Tool BehaviorAnimals in TranslationAnomalous CognitionAping MankindArtificial ConsciousnessAspects of PsychologismAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAttachedAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutism and the Myth of the Person AloneAutopsy of a Suicidal MindBecoming an Effective PsychotherapistBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing No OneBelievingBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond BlueBeyond BullyingBeyond MadnessBeyond MelancholyBeyond the BrainBeyond the DSM StoryBig DreamsBiofeedback for the BrainBipolar ChildrenBipolar DisorderBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBlind SpotsBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlubberlandBlushBodiesBody ConsciousnessBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBody SenseBody WorkBorderline Personality DisorderBorderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational ModelBorn DigitalBorn to Be GoodBorn Together - Reared ApartBounceBoundaries in Human RelationshipsBounded RationalityBozo SapiensBrain and CultureBrain and the GazeBrain Arousal and Information TheoryBrain BugsBrain Change TherapyBrain Circuitry and Signaling in PsychiatryBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-Based Therapy with AdultsBrain-WiseBrainstormBrainstormingBraintrustBrainwashingBrandedBreaking Murphy's LawBright-SidedBuddha's BrainBullying and TeasingBuyologyCan't You Hear Them?CaptureCare of the PsycheCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCerebrum 2007Cerebrum 2010Cerebrum 2015Cerebrum Anthology 2013Changing the SubjectCharacter Strengths and VirtuesCheating LessonsChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness Chomsky NotebookClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyClinical Psychology in Practice ClosureCognition and PerceptionCognition and the BrainCognitive BiologyCognitive DissonanceCognitive FictionsCognitive Mechanisms of Belief ChangeCognitive PragmaticsCognitive ScienceCognitive ScienceCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Therapy of Anxiety DisordersCognitive Unconscious and Human RationalityCold-Blooded KindnessComing of Age in Second LifeCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchComprehending ColumbineConfessions of a SociopathConquering Shame and CodependencyConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the Social BrainConsciousness EmergingConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Self-Consciousness, and the Science of Being HumanConstructing PainConsumer NeuroscienceContemporary Debates in Cognitive ScienceConversations on ConsciousnessConviction of the InnocentCooperation and Its EvolutionCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCredit and BlameCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychologyCritical Thinking About PsychologyCross-Cultural PsychologyCrowdsourcingCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCuriousDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous and Severe Personality DisorderDaniel DennettDaughters of MadnessDeafness In MindDeath and ConsciousnessDeath of a ParentDecomposing the WillDeep Brain StimulationDeep ChinaDefining DifferenceDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions of GenderDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDeparting from DevianceDescartes' BabyDescartes's Changing MindDescribing Inner Experience?Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Destructive EmotionsDevelopment of Geocentric Spatial Language and CognitionDevelopment of PsychopathologyDialogues on DifferenceDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Digital HemlockDirty MindsDisgust and Its DisordersDisorders of VolitionDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Doing without ConceptsDrunk Tank PinkEducating People to Be Emotionally IntelligentEffective IntentionsEffective Writing in PsychologyEffortless AttentionEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbracing MindEmbracing UncertaintyEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotionally InvolvedEmotionsEmotionsEmotions and LifeEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions RevealedEmotions, Aggression, and Morality in ChildrenEmotions, Stress, and HealthEmpathyEnjoymentErotic MoralityEscape Your Own PrisonEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthically Challenged ProfessionsEveryday Mind ReadingEvidence for PsiEvidence-Based Mental Health PracticeEvil MenEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution and LearningEvolution, Games, and GodEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolutionary Psychology as Maladapted PsychologyExacting BeautyExperiences of DepressionExperimenterExplaining the BrainExplaining the BrainExplorations in Neuroscience, Psychology and ReligionExploring TranssexualismExpression and the InnerExtending Self-Esteem ResearchExtraordinary BeliefsFact and Value in EmotionFaking ItFatigue as a Window to the BrainFavorite Activities for the Teaching of PsychologyFeeling GoodFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFinding Meaning, Facing FearsFitting In Is OverratedFive Constraints on Predicting BehaviorFlourishingFlow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceFolk Psychological NarrativesFooling HoudiniForever YoungFormulation in Psychology and PsychotherapyFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Psychological ThoughtFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom EvolvesFrom Axons to IdentityFrom Madness to Mental HealthFrom Neurons to Self-ConsciousnessFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Symptom to SynapseFrontiers of ConsciousnessGay, Straight, and the Reason WhyGenerosityGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGenetic Nature/CultureGeniusGetting Under the SkinGlued to GamesGoing SaneGot Parts?Group GeniusGrowing Up GirlGuilt, Shame, and AnxietyGut ReactionsHallucinationHandbook New Sexuality StudiesHandbook of Closeness and IntimacyHandbook of Critical PsychologyHandbook of Emotion RegulationHandbook of EmotionsHandbook of Personality DisordersHandbook of PsychopathyHandbook of Self and IdentityHandbook of Self and IdentityHandbook of Spatial CognitionHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness at WorkHappiness Is.Happy at LastHard to GetHardwired BehaviorHatredHealing the SplitHidden ResourcesHope and DespairHot ThoughtHot ThoughtHouse and PsychologyHow Animals Affect UsHow Animals GrieveHow Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Doctors ThinkHow Enlightenment Changes Your BrainHow Families Still MatterHow History Made the MindHow Infants Know MindsHow Many Friends Does One Person Need?How People ChangeHow Professors ThinkHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Change Someone You LoveHow We ReasonHow We RememberHughes' Outline of Modern PsychiatryHumanHuman BondingHuman Reasoning and Cognitive ScienceHume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary PsychologyHypnotismHysteriaiBrainIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIdentifying the MindiDisorderImagination and the Meaningful BrainImitation and the Social MindImpulse Control DisordersImpulsivityIn an Unspoken VoiceIn Defense of SentimentalityIn DoubtIn Search of HappinessIn the Wake of 9/11Individual and Collective Memory ConsolidationInner Experience and NeuroscienceInner PresenceInside the American CoupleIntegrated Behavioral Health CareIntegrating Evolution and DevelopmentIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntellectual DisabilityIntelligenceIntelligence, Destiny, and EducationIntentions and IntentionalityInterdependent MindsInterpreting MindsInto the Minds of MadmenIntoxicating MindsIntrospection VindicatedIntuitionInventing PersonalityInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIs There Anything Good About Men?Issues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJane Sexes It UpJoint AttentionJoint AttentionJudgment and Decision MakingJust a DogJust BabiesJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKarl JaspersKey Thinkers in PsychologyKidding OurselvesKids of CharacterKilling MonstersLack of CharacterLanguage OriginsLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw, Mind and BrainLess Than HumanLet Kids Be KidsLet's Talk About DeathLiving NarrativeLiving with Mild Cognitive ImpairmentLonelinessLooking for SpinozaLossLOT 2Love at Goon ParkMachine ConsciousnessMacrocognitionMade for Each OtherMadnessMadness and Modernism: Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought Making a Good Brain GreatMaking Habits, Breaking HabitsMaking Minds and MadnessMaking Up the MindMale SexualityMan and WomanMan's Search for MeaningMan, Beast, and ZombieManic MindsManlinessMapping the MindMarking the MindMarvelous Learning AnimalMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaningMeaning, Mortality, and ChoiceMedical MusesMeditating SelflesslyMeetings with a Remarkable ManMemoryMemory and DreamsMemory and EmotionMemory And UnderstandingMental BiologyMental IllnessMental Time TravelMetacognitionMetacognition and Theory of MindMethods in MindMindMindMind and BrainMind and ConsciousnessMind Games:Mind in LifeMind TimeMind to MindMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMinding AnimalsMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds, Brains, and LawMindsightMindworldsMirrors in the BrainMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)Models of MadnessMoodMoral Development and RealityMoral MindsMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Mothers and OthersMotivation and Cognitive ControlMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMovies and the MindMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessMultiplicityMuses, Madmen, and ProphetsMy Family AlbumMyths about SuicideNarrative IdentitiesNarrative PsychiatryNarratives in PsychiatryNaturalizing Intention in ActionNature and NarrativeNature Via NurtureNeither Bad nor MadNerveNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeurochemistry of ConsciousnessNeurodiversityNeuroethicsNeuroLogicNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neuroscience and PhilosophyNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNot By Genes AloneNot Much Just Chillin'Not So Abnormal PsychologyNurturing the Older Brain and MindOn AnxietyOn Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive PersonOn Being HumanOn Being MovedOn Deep History and the BrainOn DesireOn KillingOn Nature and LanguageOn PaedophiliaOn PersonalityOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOn the Origins of Cognitive ScienceOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOnflowOpen MindsOpening Skinner's BoxOrigin of MindOrigins of PsychopathologyOther MindsOut of Our HeadsOut of the WoodsOvercoming Depersonalization DisorderPanpsychism and the Religious AttitudePanpsychism in the WestParenting and the Child's WorldPassionate EnginesPathologies of the WestPatient-Based Approaches to Cognitive NeurosciencePediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople Types and Tiger StripesPerception & CognitionPerception beyond InferencePerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPersonal Development and Clinical PsychologyPerspectives on ImitationPhantoms in the BrainPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhrenologyPhysical RealizationPhysics in MindPieces of LightPlaying with FirePositive PsychologyPositive PsychologyPostcards from the Brain MuseumPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPoverty and Brain Development During ChildhoodPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical Management of Personality DisorderPractical Management of Personality DisorderPredicative MindsPredictably IrrationalPreference, Belief, and SimilarityPrenatal Testosterone in MindPrivileged AccessProcess-Based CBTProcrastinationProust Was a NeuroscientistPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychological AgencyPsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychological Dimensions of the SelfPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychologyPsychologyPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology for ScreenwritersPsychology of Women: A Handbook of Issues and TheoriesPsychology's GhostsPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology's TerritoriesPsychopathologyPsychopathyPsychosis and EmotionPsychotherapy, American Culture, and Social PolicyPutnam CampPutting a Name to ItQuantum Memory PowerQuietRadical DistortionRadical Embodied Cognitive ScienceRadical ExternalismRadical GraceRapeRe-Visioning PsychiatryReal MaterialismReality CheckReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecovery in Mental IllnessRecreative MindsRedirectReducing Adolescent RiskRegulating EmotionsRelational BeingRelational Mental HealthRelational Suicide AssessmentReliability in Cognitive NeuroscienceRemembering HomeRemembering Our ChildhoodResearch Advances in Genetics and GenomicsResearching Children's ExperienceResilience in ChildrenRestoring ResilienceRethinking ADHDRethinking Learning DisabilitiesRethinking Middle YearsRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfRevolution in PsychologyRoadmap to ResilienceRomance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging AdulthoodSchadenfreudeSchizophrenia RevealedSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologyScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologySecond NatureSecond NatureSecond That EmotionSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySecrets of the MindSee What I'm SayingSee What I'm SayingSeeing and VisualizingSeeing RedSelf and SocietySelf Comes to MindSelf Control in Society, Mind, and BrainSelf-Awareness Deficits in Psychiatric PatientsSelf-CompassionSelf-Consciousness and 'Split' BrainsSelf-RegulationSelf-Representational Approaches to ConsciousnessSelfless InsightSelvesSerial KillersSex at DawnSex on the BrainSex, Time and PowerSexual Coercion in Primates and HumansSexual DisordersSexual FluiditySexual ReckoningsSexualized BrainsShame and GuiltShatteredSimulating MindsSisyphus's BoulderSleepyheadSNAPSocial NeuroscienceSocial NeuroscienceSocial NeuroscienceSocial Psychology and DiscourseSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSoul DustSparkSpiral of EntrapmentSplendors and Miseries of the BrainSports Hypnosis in PracticeStanding at Water's EdgeStich and His CriticsStillpowerStop OverreactingStructure and Agency in Everyday LifeStructures of AgencyStuffStumbling on HappinessSubjectivity and SelfhoodSubstance Abuse and EmotionSuicidalSupersizing the MindSweet DreamsSynaptic SelfTales from Both Sides of the BrainTalking Oneself SoberTalking to BabiesTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeleological RealismTen Years of Viewing from WithinTestosterone RexThat's DisgustingThe 5 Elements of Effective ThinkingThe Accidental MindThe Age of EmpathyThe Altruism EquationThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical PsychiatryThe Anatomy of BiasThe Anxious BrainThe Archaeology of MindThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Art InstinctThe Art of HypnosisThe Asymmetrical BrainThe Bifurcation of the SelfThe Big Book of ConceptsThe Big DisconnectThe Birth of IntersubjectivityThe Birth of the MindThe Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge ManagementThe Blank SlateThe Body Has a Mind of Its OwnThe Bounds of CognitionThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe BrainThe BrainThe Brain and the Meaning of LifeThe Brain SupremacyThe Brain That Changes ItselfThe Brain's Way of HealingThe Brain: Big Bangs, Behaviors, and BeliefsThe Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive ScienceThe Cambridge Handbook of Situated CognitionThe Character of ConsciousnessThe Chemistry Between UsThe Choice EffectThe Clinical Science of Suicide PreventionThe Cognitive Approach to Conscious MachinesThe Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-By-Step ProgramThe Cognitive NeurosciencesThe Cognitive-Emotional BrainThe College Fear FactorThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Compass of PleasureThe Compassionate ConnectionThe Concepts of ConsciousnessThe Conscious BrainThe Conscious SelfThe Consuming InstinctThe Creating BrainThe Creative BrainThe Crucible of ConsciousnessThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Cure WithinThe Dao of NeuroscienceThe Developing MindThe Developing MindThe Development of PsychopathologyThe Disappearance of the Social in American Social PsychologyThe Dissolution of MindThe Duty to ProtectThe Educated ParentThe Ego TunnelThe Elephant in the RoomThe Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human ExperienceThe Emotional Foundations of PersonalityThe Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's FamilyThe Encultured BrainThe Encyclopedia of StupidityThe Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer'sThe Epidemiology of SchizophreniaThe Essential DifferenceThe Ethical BrainThe Evolution of BeautyThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Evolution of CooperationThe Evolution of LanguageThe Evolution of MindThe Evolving BrainThe Executive BrainThe Faces of TerrorismThe Feeling BrainThe Feeling of What HappensThe First IdeaThe Folly of FoolsThe Folly of FoolsThe Folly of FoolsThe Foundations of Cognitive ArchaeologyThe Fundamentalist MindsetThe GapThe Gender TrapThe Geography of BlissThe Gift of ShynessThe Good LifeThe Good LifeThe Happiness HypothesisThe Happiness of PursuitThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy Aging BrainThe Heart of TraumaThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of PsychologyThe Human FaceThe Human SparkThe Hypomanic EdgeThe Imagery DebateThe Immeasurable MindThe Imprinted BrainThe Incredible Shrinking MindThe Innate MindThe Innate MindThe Integrated SelfThe Intentional BrainThe Language of ThoughtThe Languages of the BrainThe Lexicon of Adlerian PsychologyThe Lie DetectorsThe Lives of the BrainThe Lonely AmericanThe Lust for BloodThe Madness of WomenThe Male BrainThe Man Who Lost His LanguageThe Man Who Shocked the WorldThe Man Who Tasted ShapesThe Man Who Wasn't ThereThe Matter of the MindThe Mature MindThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Meaning of EvilThe Meaning of OthersThe Meaning of the BodyThe Measure of MadnessThe Measure of MindThe Medicalization of Everyday LifeThe Mind and the BrainThe Mind in ContextThe Mind of the ChildThe Mind of the HorseThe Mind's EyeThe Mind, the Body and the WorldThe Mind-Gut ConnectionThe Mindful BrainThe Misleading MindThe Moral MindThe Most Dangerous AnimalThe Most Human HumanThe Mother FactorThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of Depression as DiseaseThe Myth of Mirror NeuronsThe Myth of Self HelpThe Myth of Self-EsteemThe Myth of the Spoiled ChildThe Nature of the SelfThe Necessity Of MadnessThe Neuro RevolutionThe Neuron and the MindThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New BrainThe New Science of DreamingThe New Science of the MindThe New UnconsciousThe Normal PersonalityThe Origins of FairnessThe Overflowing BrainThe Oxford Companion to the MindThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of MindThe Paradoxical PrimateThe Perfectionist's HandbookThe Peripheral MindThe Phenomenology ReaderThe Philosopher's Secret FireThe Philosophical BabyThe Political MindThe Politics of HappinessThe Positive Side of Negative EmotionsThe Postnational SelfThe Postpartum EffectThe Power of PlayThe Praeger Handbook of TranssexualityThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Primate MindThe Prism of GrammarThe Psychobiology of Trauma and Resilience Across the LifespanThe Psychological Construction of EmotionThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of HappinessThe Psychology of LifestyleThe Psychology of Religious FundamentalismThe Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific MindThe Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific MindThe Psychology of SpiritualityThe Psychology of StereotypingThe Psychology of SuperheroesThe Psychophysiology of Self-AwarenessThe Pursuit of PerfectThe Quest for Mental HealthThe Rational ImaginationThe Ravenous BrainThe Reasons of LoveThe Righteous MindThe Routledge Companion to Philosophy of PsychologyThe Routledge Companion to Philosophy of PsychologyThe Routledge Handbook of ConsciousnessThe Science of EvilThe Science of Intimate RelationshipsThe Science of Shame and its Treatment The Second SelfThe Secret History of EmotionThe Secret Lives of BoysThe Self and Its EmotionsThe Self-Sabotage CycleThe Sense of SelfThe Sensitive SelfThe Shape of ThoughtThe Social AnimalThe Social Nature of Mental IllnessThe Social Neuroscience of EmpathyThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Story of Intellectual DisabilityThe Structure of ThinkingThe Survivors ClubThe Talking ApeThe Teenage BrainThe Tell-Tale BrainThe Temperamental ThreadThe Tender CutThe Tending InstinctThe Time ParadoxThe Trauma MythThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trouble with IllnessThe True PathThe Truth About GriefThe Turing TestThe Uncertain SciencesThe Undoing ProjectThe Unhappy ChildThe Upside of IrrationalityThe War for Children's MindsThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the MonsterThe Winner's BrainThe Wisdom in FeelingThe Woman RacketThe World in My Mind, My Mind in the WorldThe Wow ClimaxThe Yipping TigerThemes, Issues and Debates in PsychologyTheoretical Issues in Psychology: An IntroductionTheory of AddictionTheory of MindThings and PlacesThink CatThink Confident, Be ConfidentThinking about AddictionThinking and SeeingThis Emotional Life: In Search of Ourselves...and HappinessThought and LanguageThought in a Hostile WorldTo Have and To Hurt:Toward an Evolutionary Biology of LanguageToward Replacement Parts for the BrainTrauma and Human ExistenceTrauma, Tragedy, TherapyTreating Attachment DisordersTreating Self-InjuryTreating Self-Injury: A Practical GuideTrue to Our FeelingsTrusting the Subject?Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality DisorderUnderstanding ConsciousnessUnderstanding ParanoiaUnderstanding PeopleUnderstanding TerrorismUndoing Perpetual StressUnlock the Genius WithinUnsettled MindsUnstrange MindsUnthinkingUnthoughtUs and ThemViolent PartnersVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVision and MindVisual AgnosiaWarrior's DishonourWe Who Are DarkWednesday Is Indigo BlueWelcome to Your BrainWhat Do Women Want?What Dying People WantWhat Have We DoneWhat Intelligence Tests MissWhat Is an Emotion: Classic and Contemporary ReadingsWhat Is Emotion?What is Intelligence?What Is Mental Illness?What Is Thought?What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite What the Best College Students DoWhat the Dog SawWhat We Know about Emotional IntelligenceWhat We Say MattersWhat's Wrong With Morality?When Boys Become BoysWhen Perfect Isn't Good EnoughWhen the Impossible HappensWhen Walls Become DoorwaysWho's Been Sleeping in Your HeadWho's in Charge?Why Humans Like to CryWhy Love MattersWhy Lyrics LastWhy People CooperateWhy People Die by SuicideWhy Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human BehaviorWhy Smart People Can Be So StupidWhy the Mind is Not a ComputerWhy Us?Why We LieWhy We LoveWhy We SleepWider than the SkyWilliam James at the BoundariesWilling, Wanting, WaitingWittgenstein And PsychologyWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWorking MindsYoga and PsychologyYou Are What You RememberYoung Minds in Social WorldsYour Brain on CubsYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Brain on YogaYour Child in the BalanceZombies and Consciousness
Polity Press advertises their Key Concepts series as "a series of concise and accessible textbooks exploring core concepts in the social sciences." "The books" they tell us, "focus on concepts that have a high degree of complexity surrounding them, and they get to the heart of debates about meaning and usage." The concept of irrationality is certainly a prime candidate for such treatment.Irrationality is Lisa Bortolotti's second book for the series (after her 2008 Introduction to the Philosophy of Science). Irrationality is certainly concise and accessible, but it may not represent the sort of general introduction that one might expect from a series of this sort.
Irrationality is not a general introduction to the concept of irrationality. It does not provide a broad overview of different conceptions, nor does it provide an historical overview. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is contrary to what many might expect from a key concepts series; these sort of series are, after all, primarily aimed at undergraduate students who are encountering concepts for the first time. What Irrationality is, is an argument for a certain conception of irrationality within a certain range of discussions. This conception is presented through examinations of four "conceptions of irrationality," which are presented for didactic purposes rather than as views for the students to ultimately take seriously.
Bortolotti's main argument is that irrationality plays a prime and often positive role in our lives. In this sense, the book could perhaps have been better titled: "In Defense of Irrationality," or something similar. Indeed, at many points readers may get the sense that this is an apologetics for irrationality. Bortolotti has three aims: 1) Descriptive: She examines "some of the dominant conceptions of irrationality and highlight[s] elements of continuity and discontinuity among them." 2) Argumentative: Her "second aim is to challenge the assumption that human agency is rational agency." Her main argument is that "irrational behaviour should not be seen as the exception, as an unexpected deviation from the norm that needs to be explained away, but as a core feature of the behaviour of human agents." 3) Prescriptive: Her "third aim is to reassess the relation between the cognitive and the affective, and between intuitive or associative processes and deliberative ones" (p. 1). Here she argues for the value of emotions in "attitude formation, problem-solving, and decision-making," arguing that we can trust "emotions and intuitions in some contexts." "By the end of the book" she tells us, she "will have sketched a psychologically realistic, but not entirely pessimistic account of the relation between human agency and rationality" (p. 2). And in this regard the book is indeed a success.
A great part of the book's value lies in its portrayal of a reasonable middle-ground view of rationality and irrationality, of deliberation and intuition, and of reason and emotion. Her use of recent research in psychology and cognitive science contributes greatly to the success of this aim. And exposure to some of these debates and trends will be very beneficial for students.
Bortolotti rightfully points out that "irrationality" is primarily a pejorative term. It is used to describe behaviour that fails to satisfy some norms of "rationality." Just what these norms may be differs widely from context to context. Irrationality is, in a sense, in the eye of the beholder; it is a judgement passed on a person or their behaviour. Bortolotti defines "irrationality" as a breach in (contingent) norms of rationality. This is an important notion for students to understand. I would have liked to have seen some discussion of the historical uses of this term, which could have brought up the converse point: that "rationality" itself has, to a great extent, been defined by its other, "irrationality."
Bortolotti focuses her discussion of irrationality on the question of human agency. Her argument is that people generally take irrationality to "compromise" human agency, but this is not always the case. Her second major aim – "to challenge the notion that human agency is rational agency" – could also benefit from an historical introduction. There is a long and rich tradition of thought that does not presuppose that human beings are 100% rational actors or calculating machines, or even that we are primarily so.
Her focus on agency and agents as "those who act" (p. 2) entails a focus on goals and questions of costs vs. benefits. This is a profitable way to discuss irrationality, and a brief mention of the important role that the concept of irrationality has played in economic thought would have been a useful addition. The questions of cost and benefit in turn are related to questions of success or failure that loom large in the book. Bortolotti argues that we can be "successful" agents even if, and, in many cases because we are irrational. She combats the view that "one needs to engage in reflective deliberation to be a rational and successful agent." She tells us that "philosophical orthodoxy tells us that failure to let reason prevail over emotion is the main obstacle to living a good life and making wise choices" (p. 6). Bortolotti disagrees; and she presents compelling evidence from psychology and cognitive science to support this view. She argues that, far from being the norm, epistemic rationality is instead "an aspiration for human agents, but when its often demanding standards are not met, then it is still possible for humans to exercise agency, and to exercise it with some degree of success" (p. 10).
The book is broken up into four chapters as well as a brief introduction and conclusion. The chapters each follow a formula: Each chapter opens with an example from literature that depicts the kind of irrationality the chapter discusses. Then the chapter presents a conception of irrationality, which it then problematizes. Bortolotti defines the relevant conception of irrationality and shows the ways in which it is overly simplistic, where it is inaccurate, but also in which ways it may be prescient. And this, in turn, leads to a more balanced and positive view of this form of irrationality.
Chapter 1, "Irrationality and Interpretation," presents the problem of "reading" other people. It contests and complicates the idea that we can only successfully ascribe certain intentional states to others and predict their behaviour if they are rational (if their beliefs correspond to reality and are consonant with each other, if their thinking does not violate the basic standards of logic, and so on). The conception of irrationality she describes in this chapter is irrationality as precisely a breach of these supposed conditions of interpretability. She effectively shows that people break these conditions all of the time, and yet, we are still often (and mostly) able to predict their behaviour and correctly ascribe particular intentional states. She argues that intelligibility, rather than rationality is the key to interpretation and that we are often perfectly able to understand behaviour and ideas that break the so-called "rationality constraint." She presents a more balanced, modified interpretationalism that has much to recommend it. (Those interested should consult her book on delusions, listed below.)
Chapter 2, "Irrationality and Mental Health," focuses on a conception of irrationality as "the violation of the epistemic norms that allegedly underlie normal functioning." Here she argues against the idea that insanity and irrationality are one and the same thing or that the one causes the other, "that mental illness just is a breakdown of rationality and self-knowledge" and that mental illness necessarily negates agency (p. 8). Foucault frames her discussion of conceptions of "insanity" and "madness" (terms not currently used prominently in psychiatry). Her prime argument in this chapter is that "the irrationality of human agents is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for their insanity" (p. 47).
Psychiatrists may take pause at the fact that the first authority she discusses – in this chapter, which deals prominently with psychiatry – is Thomas Szasz, a prominent member of the anti-psychiatry movement. Bortolotti acknowledges that Szasz' views might be over-simplified, and she points to work being done in neurobiology, which is making it more difficult to "preserve the distinction between organic and functional disorders" for which Szasz argues. Bortolotti argues for a rethinking of the role that irrationality plays in the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, exploring this through a discussion of Schizophrenia. "Widespread irrationality" she tells us, "is a feature of normal cognition and is not reserved to those who have a diagnosis of mental illness" (p. 73). Irrationality is neither sufficient nor necessary to diagnose mental illness and "there is no necessary link between insanity and irrationality" (p. 78). Instead, "people with mental illness are distinguished… by the extent to which contact with reality is lost and the severity of the consequences… for their psychological well being and social functioning" (p. 79).
Chapter 3, "Irrationality and Choice," argues against the view that human agents primarily make choices by rational deliberation. This argument has two components, each backed up with examples: 1) We do not utilise rational deliberation in our decision-making most of the time. In fact, most of our decision-making involves emotions, intuition, and heuristics, and often we cover this up by rationalising our decisions post hoc. 2) Rational deliberation does not always lead to the "best" decisions. Our non-rational decision-making processes often lead to better results, or more "success."
Bortolotti's arguments and examples are here are good, but students may be left wondering who actually thinks that people are primarily rational calculating machines (and to return to the question of the lack of historical perspective: who, post-Freud, thinks this?). The kind of popular, common sense "folk psychological" knowledge that she points to so effectively in Chapter 1 (in relation to our ability to understand irrational behaviour and ideas), will also form a large part of the background knowledge (or baggage) that students will bring to this book. And in this realm of popular knowledge the notion that people are irrational much of the time, and that "trusting your gut" is often successful may not be seen as particularly novel.
And herein lies a pedagogical concern. Each chapter opens with a view of irrationality that is over-simplified and often obviously inaccurate and then proceeds to show that it is over-simplified and inaccurate. This is, of course, a traditional pedagogical approach. But it is an approach that can be off-putting to a student. Some may find it very helpful and engaging, but others may react differently. And instructors should take this into consideration when choosing textbooks. Overall, I find that Bortolotti is at her best when she responds to specific thinkers and ideas (such as her engagement with Dennett and Davidson in Chatper 1), and less compelling when she talks about "the typical portrayal" (p. 8), how things are "often regarded" (p. 119), what "philosophical orthodoxy tells us" (p. 6), or the ways we supposedly generally see X or Y issue, which can be frustrating. This is not, of course, to argue that some people do not see the world as either black or white, but that it should not come as a surprise to most reflective people that there is in fact a great deal of grey.
Chapter 4, "Irrationality and the World," focuses on a conception of irrationality that "involves the alleged clash between epistemic and pragmatic ends." Bortolotti challenges the view that the "epistemically rational agent is like a good scientist: she forms beliefs that are well supported by evidence and revises or abandons them when counter-evidence becomes available" (p. 10). Bracketing the question of how widespread is the belief that "human agents are (expected to be) everyday scientists" (p. 143), Bortolotti's arguments against this view are cogent and her evidence convincing.
In Chapter 4, Bortolotti argues that "cognitions that violate key norms of epistemic rationality may have pragmatic benefits in the context of the limitations of human cognition" and that failures of epistemic rationality do not always "compromise knowledge and happiness" (p. 10). Her arguments for this point are good, but her discussion of the history and philosophy of science in this chapter is dated. This is a complaint that a previous reviewer had with her Introduction to the Philosophy of Science in this same series (Machamer, Science & Education, 2012). The reviewer also pointed to issues with the level of detail that are also present in Irrationality: if one knows the field then there is little that is new (which is not a concern for introductory texts), but if one does not know the field there is not always enough information to situate oneself (which is a problem for introductory texts).
An example of this problem is her discussion of "belief," which assumes a particular philosophical conception, rooted in a particular philosophical debate. This could have been better explained to the student readers, who might take "belief" to mean "holding X to be true" and might be baffled by the question of whether some who holds X to be true has a belief, or is "actually engaging in an act of believing" (p. 42). The question of whether "beliefs can be ascribed to agents who believe impossible things" is formulated in a way that may be puzzling to students without further background information and explaining (p. 38, emphasis added). More explicit definition of key terms as the reader encounters them would help, as would a glossary.
Bortolotti's Irrationality is an interesting book, and it presents a range of ideas and questions that students would benefit greatly by examining. But it is not a general introduction to the concept of irrationality, which is what one might expect from a key concepts book. This book will not provide a broad introduction to the concept, its history, and the various positions and conceptions represented by the vast field of thinkers who have addressed this topic, or the many different disciplines and discussions in which irrationality has played an important role (the question of religion, for instance, is totally absent). One might expect a key concepts book to be a doorway that opens up to a broader world for students to go out into and explore. But Irrationalityoften feels like a self-contained ecosystem.
There is, however, much here that is valuable. And, as long as the reader is aware of what the book is and is not, Irrationality can be very rewarding for students. As a general introduction to the concept the book leaves much to be desired, but it is an excellent introduction to a specific set of issues within the philosophical/psychological discussion of irrationality. As such, it could be an excellent supplementary text in a course that gives the broader picture and puts Bortolotti's arguments into context.
© 2015 Mason Tattersall
Bortolotti, Lisa. Delusions & Other Irrational Beliefs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Machmar, Peter. "Lisa Bortolotti: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. Polity Press, 2008." Science & Education (2012) 21:287-288.
Mason Tattersall, Oregon State University