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Showing posts from June, 2021

Positive Psychology - A Book Review

  POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY: The scientific and practical explorations     of human strengths By C. R. Snyder &   Shane Lopez Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton "What is right about people?" The authors welcome their readers with the ubiquitous challenge of the positive psychology movement to consider what is right rather than what is wrong with people (p. 3). The authors designed the book as a textbook to provide a comprehensive overview of topics in the field. This is the third collaboration of the two University of Kansas authors. Unfortunately, it will be their last because senior author, C. R. (Rick) Snyder died January 17, 2006, a little more than a month after delivering the final draft of the manuscript (xxv), Readers will experience an extensive tour of the expansive landscape of positive psychology with 19 chapters organized in 8 parts followed by 60 pages of references, along with author and subject indexes. Part I contains chapters 1-4, which provi

The Happiness Hypothesis - A Book Review

 The Happiness Hypothesis:  Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom Why the Meaningful Life is Closer Than You Think     By      Jonathan Haidt Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton   The Happiness Hypothesis is one of the best positive psychology books available in 2006 because Haidt integrates lessons from ancient sages with scientific evidence about a meaningful life. Haidt begins by explaining two important systems in the mind as seen by ancient thinkers like the apostle Paul who considered the common problem of the battle between desires of the flesh and desires of the spirit. Haidt uses the metaphor of a rider atop an elephant to illustrate the difficulty in controlling the habitual ways of a large elephant charging through life with little cognitive awareness. The second powerful idea is the time-honored truth that a happy or meaningful life often hangs upon the view people take toward life events. Our experience with people shows matches the evidence that people e

The Sociopath Next Door- Book Review

 The Sociopath Next Door      By   Martha Stout Reviewed by    Jaimée Allman     and Geoffrey W. Sutton In The Sociopath Next Door , Dr. Martha Stout, psychologist and Harvard Professor, asserts that monsters do not hide in closets or under the bed, but rather in our neighborhoods, businesses, churches, and families. In this 241-page book, Stout draws on over two decades of experience to provide the reader with a manual for identifying and responding to the sociopaths of society. According to Stout, four percent of Americans can do virtually anything without a single trace of remorse; the other 96 percent of us have both the right and responsibility to protect ourselves.            Stout begins by asking the reader to imagine what it would be like to live without conscience, to have the unique ability of moving through life without emotional attachment to anyone or anything. Fortunately, this is an impossible task for most readers. The introduction provides the reader with a basic bu

Kissing Fish- Progressive Christians – A Book Review

  Kissing Fish Christianity for people who    don’t like Christianity By   Roger Wolsey Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton   “This book is an attempt to understand and explain how I, a postmodern,[3] politically liberal Gen-Xer, have come to be an intentional follower of Jesus—who actually calls himself a “Christian.” My larger purpose is to share about progressive Christianity—the approach to the Christian faith that inspires and feeds me. I probably couldn’t be a Christian if it were not for this approach to the faith.” Wolsey, p. 17 ********** Roger Wolsey was raised as a Methodist. Following a call to vocational ministry, he attended seminary and became a pastor. He perceived that his liberal beliefs would not be acceptable to most in his first congregation. Like many educated clergy, he learned religious double-speak—he did not feel safe to share his views about God and faith. His spiritual journey is the subject of Chapter 1 and provides the context for this boo

The Malleability of Memory- Elizabeth Loftus A Book Review

The Malleability of  Memory: A conversation  With Elizabeth Loftus By    Howard Burton Reviewed  By Geoffrey W. Sutton This is an informative short overview of Elizabeth Loftus’ memory research presented as an interview. The informed host asks pertinent questions to which Loftus responds with answers about her memory findings as well as   The personal context of how she got ideas and her need for protection because of death threats. Loftus’ work has had considerable impact on the justice system. Thanks to her laboratory studies and the work of many psychological scientists, we understand that our memories can contain errors brought about by responding to questions or rethinking about past events. In addition, we can create false memories, which appear real and true but are nevertheless false. False memories can be purposely created by someone else or by ourselves. At one point, her work was particularly challenging when some psychotherapists were encouraging patients to recall represse