Popular Psychology
An Encyclopedia
by Luis A. Cordón
January 2005, 296pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32457-4
$87, £65, 73€, A125
eBook Available: 978-0-313-06276-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A readable and fascinating guide to what is unproven and blatantly false and what is based on decades of reliable evidence.

A lot of what is marketed to the public as psychology is actually quite unscientific. Attempting to counteract the tide of misinformation about what psychology really is, Popular Pscyhology: An Encyclopedia is a concise guide for anyone seeking to understand the true scientific nature of psychology. Self-help books; television specials; and articles in the popular press all serve to obscure the true intellectual and scientific premises on which the field of psychology is based. The serious work of the great psychological thinkers and schools of psychological thought is lost to the average person. High school and college students as well as the interested lay reader will want to consult this work to understand what is good in the popular presentation of psycholgy and what is unworthy of serious attention.

A lot of what is marketed to the public as psychology is actually quite unscientific. Attempting to counteract the tide of misinformation about what psychology really is, this book is a concise guide for anyone seeking to understand the true scientific nature of psychology. Self-help books; television specials; and articles in the popular press all serve to obscure the true intellectual and scientific premises on which the field of psychology is based. The serious work of the great psychological thinkers and schools of psychological thought is lost to the average person. High school and college students as well as the interested lay reader will want to consult this work to understand what is good in the popular presentation of psychology and what is unworthy of serious attention.

A unique and especially helful feature of Popular Pscyhology: An Encyclopedia is the Guide to Related Topics. Major topic sections list the individual entries pertinent to that idea. For example, major sections include Biological Bases of Behavior; Drugs and Chemicals; Popular Gurus and Movements; Pseudoscience; Psychological Theories and Ideas; Treatments. There are 121 entries covering such subjects as: acupuncture; alien abduction; aromatherapy; birth order; brainwashing; chemical imbalance; drpressants; Down’s Syndrome; emotional intelligence; facilitated communication; Howard Gardner; gingko biloba; insanity defense; intelligence; kava; learning disability; Dr. Phil; mood disorders; Mozart Effect; nervous breakdown; parenting styles; post-traumatic stress disorder; psychiatry; seasonal affective disorder; sleep and dreaming; Tourette Syndrome. Ideas and persons familiar to the general reader or to the high school and college student are discussed in an engaging yet knowledgeable style. A general bibliography as well as further reading following each entry and a complete index make this accessible and informative work a useful addition to any library.

Reviews

"Cordon's surprising encyclopedia explains the accuracies and fallacies of contemporary popular psychology when compared to the discipline practiced by professional psychologists. Cordon attempts to counteract the tide of misinformation about the field and provide a concise guide to what the well-informed student should know about psychology....[a]ddresses controversial topics forthrightly, clearly describing proponents' viewpoints and the scientific challenges each issue faces....Recommended. General readers; undergraduates."—Choice, July 1, 2005

"[T]his is a very good little book, well worthy of our recommendation... this is the sort of book that all public libraries should consider stocking."—Reference Reviews, December 1, 2005

"After explaining psychology and pseudoscience, the author deftly covers a wide variety of topics including acupuncture, alien abductions, emotional intelligences, Sigmund Freud, and satanic ritual abuses in an encyclopedic format....Because psychology and self-hlep books are popular in today's society, this book will serve as a good introduction to many topics. Psychology classes would be able to use this volume for quick answers and a guide to further study. Recommended."—Library Media Connection, December 1, 2005

"This encyclopedia is for high school and college students and general readers. Major themes include the biological basis of behavior, drugs and chemicals, popular movements, pseudoscience, psychological theories and ideas, and treatments."—SciTech Book News, June 1, 2005

"Popular Psychology is easy to read, easy to browse, and would be of value in public and undergraduate libraries that have limited information on this topic. It would also be appropriate in high-school libraries, where it could be used as a basic reference for class-based study."—Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin, May 15, 2005

"Luis Cordon's reference is actually an encyclopedia, providing a basic guide for high school to college students who want to understand the foundations of serious psychology."—MBR Bookwatch/Donovan's Bookshelf, April 1, 2005

"[P]rovides a concise guide for anyone seeking to understand the true scientific nature of psychology....Self help books, experts on daytime television, and articles in the popular press all serve to obscure the true intellectual and scientific premises on which true psychology is based. This book attempts to counteract the tide of misinformation."—Library Media Connection, March 1, 2005
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