Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review: Fifty Great Myths of Popular Psychology

So you may or may not have noticed that this book has been listed under the "Currently Reading" heading for, well, forever.  To be fair, that had nothing to do with the book itself, but more to do with me having to write and defend my thesis, graduate, move to a new city, and start a new post-doc.  However, I am happy to announce that I have finished the book, and I must say, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  When I started this blog, my intent was to post about common myths and misperceptions in neuroscience.  After having numerous conversations with people who would say things like " we only use 10 percent of our brains" or "I'm more of a right-brained kind of person", I felt that someone needed to write up the research that debunks these ideas... and luckily, someone has, and well. While the book has a bit of an academic feel (design-wise this seems inevitable because the publisher, Wiley, is an academic publisher), BUT, aside from the fact that all of the research is meticulously referenced, the book reads like popular-non-fiction.  There are references to modern films, music, and even to episodes of the Simpsons.  The writing style is informal and the explanations are simply written, and there is even a bit of humor running throughout.  Of course, for me, the information was key, and while I wouldn't have stopped at just 50 myths, the authors did a good job of pointing out some really popular myths and debunking them clearly and eloquently, while also listing many more popular misconceptions at the end of each chapter.  As I said above, I highly recommend it.  And if you want an example of content from the book, you can check out an earlier post I had when I first started reading the book.

No comments:

Post a Comment