Psychology's Ghosts: The Crisis in the Profession and the Way Back

Author(s) : Jerome Kagan

Psychology's Ghosts: The Crisis in the Profession and the Way Back

Book Details

  • Publisher : Yale University Press
  • Published : 2012
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : 320
  • Category :
    Clinical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 33165
  • ISBN 13 : 9780300178685
  • ISBN 10 : 0300178689

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This book is the product of long thought and profound concern about the state of contemporary psychology. Jerome Kagan, a brilliant thinker and leading researcher in the field, examines current popular practices and assumptions among psychologists. He uncovers a variety of problems that, troublingly, are largely ignored by therapists and researchers alike. Yet solutions are available, Kagan maintains, and his reasoned suggestions point the way to better understanding and treatment of mental illness. Kagan identifies these critical problems in contemporary psychology: the indifference to the setting in which observations are gathered (the assumption is that similar self-reports of well-being by persons from vastly different ages, social classes, ethnicities, and other criteria reflect similar psychological states); the habit of basing inferences on single measures rather than patterns of measures (even though every action, reply, or biological response a researcher measures can result from more than one set of conditions); the defining of mental illnesses by symptom alone, regardless of its origin; and the treatment of mental disorders with drugs and forms of psychotherapy that are nonspecific to the diagnosed illness. The author's candid discussion will inspire debate - exactly what is needed in a field whose promise remains unfulfilled.

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