Reviewed Books & Films

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February 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is It Unethical to Advertise to Young Children?

APA In her review of Fennis and Stroebe's The Psychology of Advertising, Debra Merskin states:

Just as other applications/appropriations of psychology have been under fire in terms of the ethical implications of using what we know to guide, for example, interrogation of prisoners, informing advertisers of more precise methods of persuasion should raise ethical questions about the use of it to lower resistance to selling messages.
Is it ethical to advertise products to young children? Adults have the cognitive and affective resources to defend against advertising, and they are mature enough to make informed choices. Children are still developing these skills.This question is especially relevant for products that may be considered unhealthy, such as candy or fast food. Relatedly, is it unethical for psychologists to help with these advertising efforts using their knowledge of attitude change or focus groups of children to develop ads that will be persuasive to that age group?

Read the Review
ReviewMinding Ads
By Debra Merskin
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(7)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Autism and Alternative Treatments

APA Dr. Donald Oswald, a renowned scholar in autism spectrum disorders, reviewed The Horse Boy, a film about a family who takes extensive measures to identify an alternative treatment for their son's autism. Oswald reviews the literature on complementary/alternative treatments for autism, including the use of animals in treatment (e.g., horses, dolphins, dogs), and he explores the issues parents confront as they search for miracles: "Faced with parents' desperate inclination to try any new intervention that is promulgated on TV or the Internet, clinicians are frequently called upon to take some stance."

As a clinician, have you had to take a stand in favor of or against a controversial treatment suggested by one of your clients? How did you approach the situation with your client?

Autism in particular has received significant media attention over the last decade. One of the issues raised and recently debunked has been the idea that vaccinations cause autism. How much of an impact do the media have on important decisions parents will make for their children? How might parents best balance contradictions from what they hear in the media and what health professionals say? What role do you, as a psychologist, have to play in this?

Read the Review
ReviewHorses and Autism
By Donald Oswald
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(6)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Can We Bring Creativity to the Classroom?

APA In her review of Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom, Giselle B. Esquivel summarizes the main premise of the book—that creativity can be integrated with traditional academic teaching methods to facilitate learning. She notes, however, that this is far from being a widely accepted view as evidenced by the perception that creativity is irrelevant to education and by legislative funding priorities that undermine the need for creativity and the arts in school. Given the theoretical and empirical support for incorporating creativity into the classroom, how might school administrators and legislators be persuaded to provide support, including financial resources, for this endeavor?

Read the Review
ReviewCreativity Returns to the Schoolhouse: Will Wise and Prodigal Brothers Embrace?
By Giselle B. Esquivel
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(5)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lie Detection Within Psychotherapy

APA In his review of Jeffrey Kottler's The Assassin and the Therapist: An Exploration of Truth in Psychotherapy and in Life, Jeffrey E. Barnett writes:

…Kottler liberates us. He gives us permission to focus our conscious attention on our own doubts, questions, and fears. He assists us to better understand ourselves, to better understand our clients, and thus to better assist our clients in psychotherapy. He also assists us to understand clients' lying in a clinical context, which can enable us to work with our clients, not at cross-purposes with them.
How does a therapist distinguish between what is a lie and what is truth? Within the therapeutic context, is this distinction even relevant? What factors and processes impact this decision?

Read the Review
ReviewLiving With Lies and Deceit in Psychotherapy
By Jeffrey E. Barnett
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2010 Vol 55(43)

Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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