New Books In Psychology

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Interviews with Psychologists about their New Books


  • B. Earp and J. Savulescu, Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    B. Earp and J. Savulescu, "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" (Stanford UP, 2020) )

    11/05/2020 Duration: 01h11min

    Consider a couple with an infant (or two) whose lives have become so harried and difficult the marriage is falling apart. Would it be ethical for them to take oxytocin to help them renew their emotional bonds, or would this be an unethical evasion of the hard work that keeping a marriage going requires? What if someone has sexual desires that they consider immoral – should they be able to take a drug to suppress those desires, or alternatively can society force them to? Debates about the ethics of using drugs for enhancement rather than treatment usually focus on the individual, such as doping in sports. In Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford University Press, 2020), Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu consider the case for using drugs to alter our love relationships. Earp, who is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and and Health Policy at Yale University, and Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, note that drugs that alter sexua

  • Leslie M. Harris, Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    Leslie M. Harris, "Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies" (U Georgia Press, 2019)

    28/04/2020 Duration: 59min

    Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as P

  • Richard G. Tedeschi, Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018)

    Richard G. Tedeschi, "Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications" (Routledge, 2018)

    21/04/2020 Duration: 01h26s

    During this global pandemic, many of us will experience trauma, which the authors define as a severely stressful life-altering event. A traumatic event is like an earthquake, shattering an individual’s coherent world-view the way an earthquake can shatter the foundations of buildings. A traumatic event is undesirable in the extreme and significant enough to challenge “the basic assumptions about one’s future and how to move toward that future…such as the loss of loved ones, of cherished roles or capabilities, or of fundamental, accepted ways of understanding life.” Posttraumatic Growth: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2018), Richard G. Tedeschi and his colleagues (Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Kanako Taku and Lawrence G. Calhoun rework and overhaul the seminal 2006 Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth. It provides a wide range of answers to questions concerning knowledge of posttraumatic growth (PTG) theory, its synthesis and contrast with other theories and models, and its applications in diverse setting

  • Baptiste Brossard, Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana UP, 2019)

    Baptiste Brossard, "Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease" (Indiana UP, 2019)

    20/04/2020 Duration: 51min

    Alzheimer's disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the interactions they encounter progressively change. Baptiste Brossard's new book Forgetting Items: The Social Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease (Indiana University Press, 2019) focuses on that social experience of Alzheimer's, delineating the ways disease symptoms manifest and are understood through the interactions between patients and the people around them. Mapping out those interactions takes readers through the offices of geriatricians, into patients' narratives and interviews with caregivers, down the corridors of nursing homes, and into the discourses shaping public policies and media coverage. Revealing the everyday experience of Alzheimer's helps us better understand the depth of its impact and points us toward more knowledgeable, holistic ways to help tre

  • Peter Carruthers, Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Peter Carruthers, "Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    14/04/2020 Duration: 01h03min

    Do nonhuman animals have phenomenally conscious mental states? For example, do they have the types of conscious experiences we have when, in our case, we experience the smell of cinnamon or the redness of a ripe tomato? In Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest (Oxford University Press, 2019), Peter Carruthers argues that there is no fact of the matter as to whether they do or not. On Carruthers’ view, nonhuman animals have those types of consciousness identified as being awake and being aware. Moreover, he agrees the mental lives of humans and nonhumans share quite a lot based in recent empirical research, and he adopts a reductive theory of phenomenal consciousness that identifies it with globally broadcast nonconceptual content. What is indeterminate is whether nonhumans have the all-or-nothing what-it’s-like quality that our first-personal concept of phenomenal consciousness appears to pick out. Nevertheless, Carruthers – who is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at

  • George Scialabba, How To Be Depressed (U Penn Press, 2020)

    George Scialabba, "How To Be Depressed" (U Penn Press, 2020)

    08/04/2020 Duration: 35min

    George Scialabba is a prolific critic and essayist known for his incisive, wide-ranging commentary on literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. He is also, like millions of others, a lifelong sufferer from clinical depression. In How To Be Depressed (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), Scialabba presents an edited selection of his mental health records spanning decades of treatment, framed by an introduction and an interview with renowned podcaster Christopher Lydon. The book also includes a wry and ruminative collection of "tips for the depressed," organized into something like a glossary of terms—among which are the names of numerous medications he has tried or researched over the years. Together, these texts form an unusual, searching, and poignant hybrid of essay and memoir, inviting readers into the hospital and the therapy office as Scialabba and his caregivers try to make sense of this baffling disease. In Scialabba's view, clinical depression amounts to an "utter waste." Unlike heart surger

  • Amy Koerber, “From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History (Penn State UP, 2018)

    Amy Koerber, “From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History" (Penn State UP, 2018)

    07/04/2020 Duration: 01h04min

    On this episode of New Books in Language, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they) interviews Dr. Amy Koerber (she/hers), Professor at Texas Tech University, on the groundbreaking book From Hysteria to Hormones: A Rhetorical History (Penn State University Press, 2018). Filled with fresh takes on classical rhetorical theories, From Hysteria is an engaging exploration of the study of “women’s problems” (take the air quote seriously there). Dr. Koerber shows that the boundary between older, nonscientific ways of understanding women’s bodies and newer, scientific understandings is much murkier than we might expect. From womb to brain to hormones, the book links our contemporary understanding of women’s bodies to antiquated roots, illuminating the ways in which the words we use today to discuss female reproductive health aren’t nearly as scientifically accurate or socially progressive as believed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Anna Arstein-Kerslake, Restoring Voice to People with Cognitive Disabilities: Realizing the Right to Equal Recognition Before the Law (Cambridge UP, 2017)

    Anna Arstein-Kerslake, "Restoring Voice to People with Cognitive Disabilities: Realizing the Right to Equal Recognition Before the Law" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

    06/04/2020 Duration: 55min

    The right to decision making is important for all people. It allows us to choose how to we our lives – both on a daily basis, and also in terms of how we wish to express ourselves, to live in accordance with our values and desires. However, the right to make decisions has been, and continues to be, routinely denied to people with disabilities – sometimes by family members and carers, or by institutions and courts. In this conversation, Anna Arstein-Kerslake discusses situations where people with cognitive impairments are unjustifiably denied the right to make their own choices. She shares her own experiences to demonstrate how this unjustifiably and unnecessarily discriminates against people with disabilities. But it need not be this way; both in Restoring Voice to the People with Cognitive Disabilities (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and in this episode, Anna takes us through examples of how bringing greater equality for people with cognitive impairments can be of benefit to the entire community. Her boo

  • Ray Dorsey, Ending Parkinsons Disease: A Prescription for Action (Public Affairs, 2020)

    Ray Dorsey, "Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action" (Public Affairs, 2020)

    06/04/2020 Duration: 42min

    Brain diseases are now the world's leading source of disability. The fastest growing of these is Parkinson's: the number of impacted patients has doubled to more than six million over the last twenty-five years and is projected to double again by 2040. Harmful pesticides that increase the risk of Parkinson's continue to proliferate, many people remain undiagnosed and untreated, research funding stagnates, and the most effective treatment is now a half century old. In Ending Parkinson's Disease: A Prescription for Action (Public Affairs, 2020), Ray Dorsey MD, Todd Sherer PhD, Michael S. Okun MD, and Bastiaan R. Bloem MD PhD provide a plan to help prevent Parkinson's, improve care and treatment, and end the silence associated with this devastating disease. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Owen Whooley, On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing (U Chicago Press, 2019)

    Owen Whooley, "On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

    03/04/2020 Duration: 01h02min

    Psychiatry has always aimed to peer deep into the human mind, daring to cast light on its darkest corners and untangle its thorniest knots, often invoking the latest medical science in doing so. But, as Owen Whooley’s sweeping new book tells us, peering deep into the human mind is, well, really hard. On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing (University Chicago Press, 2019) begins with psychiatry’s formal inception in the United States in the 1840s and moves through two centuries of constant struggle simply to define and redefine mental illness, to say nothing of the best way to treat it. Whooley’s book is no anti-psychiatric screed, however; instead, he reveals a field that has muddled through periodic reinventions and conflicting agendas of curiosity, compassion, and professional striving. On the Heels of Ignorance draws from intellectual history and the sociology of professions to portray an ongoing human effort to make sense of complex mental phenomena using an imperfect set of

  • Baptiste Brossard, Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life (Indiana UP, 2018)

    Baptiste Brossard, "Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life" (Indiana UP, 2018)

    30/03/2020 Duration: 50min

    Why does an estimated 5% of the general population intentionally and repeatedly hurt themselves? What are the reasons certain people resort to self-injury as a way to manage their daily lives? In Why do We Hurt Ourselves? Understanding Self-Harm in Social Life (Indiana University Press, 2018), sociologist Baptiste Brossard draws on a five-year survey of self-injurers and suggests that the answers can be traced to social, more than personal, causes. Self-injury is not a matter of disturbed individuals resorting to hurting themselves in the face of individual weaknesses and difficulties. Rather, self-injury is the reaction of individuals to the tensions that compose, day after day, the tumultuousness of their social life and position. Self-harm is a practice that people use to self-control and maintain order—to calm down, or to avoid "going haywire" or "breaking everything." More broadly, through this research Brossard works to develop a perspective on the contemporary social world at large, exploring quests fo

  • Matt Cook, Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020)

    Matt Cook, "Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy" (MIT Press, 2020)

    30/03/2020 Duration: 54min

    Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. In Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020), Matt Cook and a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed and resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts―and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction. The journey begins with “a most ingenious paradox” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Readers will then travel from Ancient Greece to cutting-edge laboratories, encounter infinity and its diffe

  • Great Books: Peter Brooks on Freuds Civilization and its Discontents

    Great Books: Peter Brooks on Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents"

    03/03/2020 Duration: 52min

    We want to be happy, we want to get what we want, we want to love and be loved. But life, even when our basic needs are met, often makes us unhappy. You can't always get what you want, Freud noted in his 1930 short book, Civilization and its Discontents. Our desires are foiled not by bad luck, our failures, or the environment -- but by the civilization meant to make life better. So why isn't civilization set up to maximize our happiness and pleasure? Why does more civilization also mean more psychological suffering? In his trenchant short book, Freud shows how culture is not the refinement of humanity but an effort to socialize everyone into a system that produces the types of "discontents" and "unease" which characterize modern existence. I spoke with Peter Brooks, an expert on Freud who has taught at Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of Virginia and other universities. He's authored many books, including: Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature (2000), Psychoanalysis and St

  • Elise Berman, Talking Like Children: Language and the Production of Age in the Marshall Islands (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Elise Berman, "Talking Like Children: Language and the Production of Age in the Marshall Islands" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    02/03/2020 Duration: 01h02min

    Since World War II, the fate of the Marshal Islands has been tied to the United States. The Marshalls were a site of military testing, host a US military base, and many Marshallese migrate to the US to pursue education and economic opportunity. Yet there are few books about Marshallese culture which are short and readable. In Talking Like Children: Language and the Production of Age in the Marshall Islands (Oxford University Press, 2019), Elise Berman shows us the complexities of Marshallese life and reveals the way that age, a central part of Marshallese culture, is not biologically given but culturally constructed. It's an accessible, short book that will appeal to both academic and nonacademic audiences with an interest in Marshalls or Micronesian culture more generally. In this podcast host Alex Golub talks with Berman about being an American doing fieldwork in the Marshalls, what age is and how it is achieved through interaction, the differences between American (and broadly Western) approaches to langua

  • Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)

    25/02/2020 Duration: 42min

    How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis of how critics confront the different types of uncertainty associated with their practice. The book explores how reviewers get matched to books, the ethics and etiquette of negative reviews and ‘punching up’, along with professional identities and the future of criticism. The book is packed with interview material, coupled with accessible and easy to follow theoretical interventions, creating a text that will be of interest to social sciences, humanities, and general readers alike. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Sarah Fawn Montgomery, Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (Mad Creek Books, 2018)

    Sarah Fawn Montgomery, "Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir" (Mad Creek Books, 2018)

    24/02/2020 Duration: 38min

    If you live in America, chances are good you’ve heard the term “mental health crisis” bandied about in the media. While true that anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders seem to be on the rise—especially among young people—resources for addressing them remain scarce and stigmatized, and the conditions themselves remain poorly understood. Even doctors and scientists don’t have all the answers. For example, is the development of a mood disorder the product of nature or nurture? Why are more women diagnosed with anxiety and depression than men? And in an industry that pathologizes everything from anger to arrogance, what actually constitutes “normal” human behavior? In her debut book of nonfiction, Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (Mad Creek Books, 2018), author Sarah Fawn Montgomery explores these questions using both her own experiences and research as dual lenses to understanding mental illness, especially generalized anxiety disorder. From the fraught history of mental illness, to the fascinating s

  • Matthew Gutmann, Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short (Basic Books, 2019)

    Matthew Gutmann, "Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short" (Basic Books, 2019)

    12/02/2020 Duration: 01h01min

    In Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short (Basic Books, 2019), Matthew Gutmann examines how cultural expectations viewing men as violent and sex driven becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dubious interpretations of the scientific study of the effects of testosterone, comparisons to the animal kingdom and the persistence of sex segregation reinforces ideas about what is natural. The idea that masculinity is the result of biology allows the “boys will be boys” excuse and reinforces patriarchal values harmful to women and setting false limits for male behavior. Presenting a cross-cultural survey Gutmann demonstrates how the variations across culture from Mexico to China contradict notions of a fixed masculinity. Seeing masculinity as a product of culture and malleable allows us to reimagine fathering, who is capable of leadership and offers new possibilities for how men and women will relate to each other. Matthew Gutmann is professor of anthropology at Brown University. Lilian Calles Barger, ww

  • Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider, Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (Polity, 2018)

    Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider, "Why Does Patriarchy Persist?" (Polity, 2018)

    10/02/2020 Duration: 42min

    Activists have been working to dismantle patriarchal structures since the feminist and civil rights movements of the last century, and yet we continue to struggle with patriarchy today. In their new book, Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (Polity, 2018), Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider use psychoanalysis and psychology as frameworks for understanding the vexingly enduring power of this social structure. They offer a cogent and eye-opening theory addressing the fear of loss against which patriarchy aims to protect us, and the consequent impingements on our ability to enter into genuine relationships. In our interview, Carol and Naomi talk about how this book came about and what their ideas offer for our understanding of current political events. Carol Gilligan is a writer, activist, University Professor at New York University, and the author of In a Different Voice, one of the most influential feminist books of all time. Naomi Snider is a research fellow at New York University, co-founder of NYU’s Radical Listening

  • David Adger, Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power (Oxford UP, 2019)

    David Adger, "Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    04/02/2020 Duration: 02h52min

    David Adger is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London, where he is Head of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film. He has served as President of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain since 2015, and has authored a number of monographs on syntactic theory, in addition to the widely used undergraduate textbook Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach (Oxford University Press, 2003). In his book, Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power (Oxford University Press, 2019), Adger brings foundational ideas in the cognitive science of language to a popular audience. The book moves quickly from an engaging call to linguistics to the three deep explanatory features of human language that frame the rest of the book, namely: our “sense” of syntactic structure; compositionality; and recursivity. Adger explores these deep aspects of language in areas such as how children learn languages, why some kinds of languages are unlearnable, and the apparent uniqueness of human lingui

  • K. Linder et al., Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus Publishing, 2020)

    K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers" (Stylus Publishing, 2020)

    30/01/2020 Duration: 39min

    If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career has basically consisted of higher ed, switching isn’t so easy. PhD holders are mostly trained to work as professors, and making easy connections to other careers is no mean feat. Because the people you know were generally trained to do the same sorts of things, an easy source of advice might not be there for you. Thankfully, for anybody who wishes there was a guidebook that would just break all of this down, that book has now been written. Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus Publishing, 2020) by Kathryn E. Linder, Kevin Kelly, and Thomas J. Tobin offers practical advice and step-by-step instructions on how to decide if you want to leave behind academia and how to start searching for a new career. If a lot of career advice is too vague

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