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Taking Sides Psychological Issues : Clashing Views on Controversial Psychological Issues,9780072917178

Taking Sides Psychological Issues : Clashing Views on Controversial Psychological Issues



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This updated thirteenth edition of Taking Sides: Psychological Issues is designed to introduce students to controversies in psychology. The readings reflect a variety of viewpoints and have been selected for their liveliness and substance and because of their value in a debate framework. By requiring students to analyze opposing viewpoints and reach considered judgements, Taking Sides actively develops critical thinking skills. This title is also supported by the Student Web site, Dushkin online (http: //

Table of Contents

PART 1. Biological Issues

ISSUE 1. Are Humans Naturally Violent?

YES: Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, from Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (Houghton Mifflin, 1996)

NO: Robert W. Sussman, from “Exploring Our Basic Human Nature,” Anthro Notes (Fall 1997)

ISSUE 2. Does Evolutionary Psychology Explain Human Sex Differences?

YES: David M. Buss, from “Psychological Sex Differences: Origins Through Sexual Selection,” American Psychologist (March 1995)

NO: Anne Fausto-Sterling, from “Beyond Difference: A Biologist’s Perspective,” Journal of Social Issues (Summer 1997)

ISSUE 3. Are Genetic Explanations of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Faulty?

YES: Jay Joseph, from “Not in Their Genes: A Critical View of the Genetics of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” Developmental Review (December 2000)

NO: Stephen V. Faraone and Joseph Biederman, from “Nature, Nurture, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” Developmental Review (December 2000)

After reviewing the literature on the genetic causes of ADHD, professor of psychology Jay Joseph concludes that such claims are unsupportedand that psychosocial causes need further exploration. Clinical psychologists Stephen V. Faraone and Joseph Biederman reject Joseph’s conclusions on the grounds that he makes errors in scientificlogic and ignores much of the relevant research.

PART 2. Research Issues

ISSUE 4. Should Animal Research in Psychology Be Eliminated?

YES: Peter Singer, from Animal Liberation (Ecco, 2002)

NO: R. G. Frey, from “Justifying Animal Experimentation: The Starting Point,” in Ellen Frankel Paul and Jeffrey Paul, eds., Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research (Transaction, 2001)

ISSUE 5. Classic Dialogue: Was Stanley Milgram’s Study of Obedience Unethical?

YES: Diana Baumrind, from “Some Thoughts on Ethics of Research: After Reading Milgram’s ‘Behavioral Study of Obedience,’” American Psychologist (vol. 19, 1964)

NO: Stanley Milgram, from “Issues in the Study of Obedience: A Reply to Baumrind,” American Psychologist (vol. 19, 1964)

Psychologist Diana Baumrind argues that Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience did not meet ethical standards for research, becauseparticipants were subjected to a research design that caused undue psychological stress that was not resolved after the study. Social psychologist Stanley Milgram, in response to Baumrind’s accusations, asserts that the study was well designed, the stress caused toparticipants could not have been anticipated, and the participants’ anguish dissipated after a thorough debriefing.

ISSUE 6. Is the Consumer Reports Conclusion That “Psychotherapy Helps” Valid?

YES: Martin E. P. Seligman, from “The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports Study,” American Psychologist (December 1995)

NO: Neil S. Jacobson and Andrew Christensen, from “Studying the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: How Well Can Clinical Trials Do the Job?” American Psychologist (October 1996)

Psychotherapy researcher Martin E. P. Seligman defends the conclusion of Consumer Reports that psychotherapy is effective bypointing to the importance of client satisfaction in the actual settings in which the clients are treated. Psychotherapy researchers Neil S. Jacobson and Andrew Christensen contend that the Consumer Reports study is essentially the sameas 40-year-old studies that have long been rejected as inadequate.

PART 3. Human Development

ISSUE 7. Do Mothers Who Work Outside the Home Have a Negative Effect on Their Children?

YES: Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Wen-Jui Han, and Jane Waldfogel, from “Maternal Employment and Child Cognitive Outcomes in the First Three Years of Life: The NICHD Study of Early Child Care,” Child Development (July/August 2002)

NO: Thomas M. Vander Ven et al., from “Home Alone: The Impact of Maternal Employment on Delinquency,” Social Problems (May 2001)

ISSUE 8. Does the Divorce of Parents Harm Their Children?

YES: Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, from The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A Twenty-Five Year Landmark Study (Hyperion, 2000)

NO: E. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly, from For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered (W. W. Norton, 2002)

PART 4. Cognitive Processes

ISSUE 9. Should Psychology Adopt a Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

YES: Howard Gardner, from “A Multiplicity of Intelligences,” Scientific American Presents (Winter 1998)

NO: Linda S. Gottfredson, from “The General Intelligence Factor,” Scientific American Presents (Winter 1998)

Psychologist Howard Gardner argues that humans are better understood as having eight or nine different kinds of intelligence rather than ashaving one general intelligence. Psychologist Linda S. Gottfredson contends that despite some popular assertions, a single factor for intelligence can be measured with IQtests and is predictive of success in life.

ISSUE 10. Do Adults Repress Childhood Sexual Abuse?

YES: May Benatar, from “Running Away From Sexual Abuse: Denial Revisited,” Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services (May 1995)

NO: Susan P. Robbins, from “Wading Through the Muddy Waters of Recovered Memory,” Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services (October 1995)

May Benatar, a clinical social worker and lecturer, asserts that recent publicity on memories of sexual abuse has focused more on the“hype” of sexual abuse rather than on the actual prevailing act of sexual abuse. She maintains that repressed memories are a common response tochild sexual abuse and that they can be recovered in adulthood. Susan P. Robbins, an associate professor of graduate social work, contends that there is little support for the idea of repressed ordissociated memories of child sexual abuse in scientific studies. She also argues that outside sources can trigger or influence many inaccuratememories of child abuse.

ISSUE 11. Is Drug Addiction a Choice?

YES: Jeffrey A. Schaler, from Addiction Is a Choice (Open Court, 2000)

NO: Alice M. Young, from “Addictive Drugs and the Brain,” National Forum (Fall 1999)

ISSUE 12. Do Multiple Personalities Exist?

YES: Frank W. Putnam, from “Response to Article by Paul R. McHugh,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (July 1995)

NO: Paul R. McHugh, from “Resolved: Multiple Personality Disorder Is an Individually and Socially Created Artifact,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (July 1995)

Psychiatrist Frank W. Putnam defends the diagnosis of multiple personalities on the basis of research that demonstrates agreed-upon criteriaof validity. Psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh rejects the notion of a multiple personality disorder and proposes that its appearance is a product of therapistsuggestion.

PART 5. Psychological Treatment

ISSUE 13. Does Drug Abuse Treatment Work?

YES: John B. Murray, from “Effectiveness of Methadone Maintenance for Heroin Addiction,” Psychological Reports (vol. 83, no. 1, 1998)

NO: Robert Apsler, from “Is Drug Abuse Treatment Effective?” The American Enterprise (March/April 1994)

ISSUE 14. Is Treating Homosexuality Ethical and Effective?

YES: Warren Throckmorton, from “Efforts to Modify Sexual Orientation: A Review of Outcome Literature and Ethical Issues,” Journal of Mental Health Counseling (October 1998)

NO: Barry A. Schreier, from “Of Shoes, and Ships, and Sealing Wax: The Faulty and Specious Assumptions of Sexual Reorientation Therapies,” Journal of Mental Health Counseling (October 1998)

Warren Throckmorton, director of college counseling and an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, maintains that effortsto assist homosexually oriented individuals to modify their patterns of sexual arousal have been effective and can be conducted in an ethical manner. Barry A. Schreier, coordinator of training and a psychologist at the Counseling and Psychological Services of Purdue University, countersthat homosexuality is not an illness, so there is no need to treat it.

ISSUE 15. Does Electroshock Therapy Cure Depression?

YES: Max Fink, from Electroshock: Restoring the Mind (Oxford University Press, 1999)

NO: Leonard R. Frank, from “Shock Treatment IV: Resistance in the 1990s,” in Robert F. Morgan, ed., Electroshock: The Case Against (Morgan Foundation, 1999)

Physician Max Fink argues that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe procedure that will reduce the cost of patient care in the longterm. Leonard R. Frank, editor and cofounder of the Network Against Psychiatric Assault, protests that ECT is a dangerous, brainwashing practiceno matter what modifications have been made to make it safer.

PART 6. Social Psychology

ISSUE 16. Is Media Violence Harmful to Children?

YES: W. James Potter, from On Media Violence (Sage, 1999)

NO: Jib Fowles, from The Case for Television Violence (Sage, 1999)

ISSUE 17. Does the Internet Have Psychological Benefits?

YES: James E. Katz and Philip Aspden, from “A Nation of Strangers?” Communications of the ACM (December 1997)

NO: Robert Kraut et al., from “Internet Paradox: A Social Technology That Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-Being?” American Psychologist (September 1998)

Research scientist James E. Katz and Philip Aspden, executive director of the Center for Research on the Information Society, contend thatthe Internet has positive effects on the lives of its users. They also maintain that the Internet creates more opportunities for people to fosterrelationships with people, regardless of their location. Robert Kraut, a professor of social psychology and human computer interaction, and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University question howbeneficial Internet use really is. They argue that Internet use reduces the number and quality of interpersonal relationships that one has.

ISSUE 18. Is Pornography Harmful?

YES: Diana E. H. Russell, from Dangerous Relationships: Pornography, Misogyny, and Rape (Sage, 1998)

NO: Michael C. Seto, Alexandra Maric, and Howard E. Barbaree, from “The Role of Pornography in the Etiology of Sexual Aggression,” Aggression and Violent Behavior (vol. 6, 2001)

Sociology professor Diana E. H. Russell argues that pornography is profoundly harmful because it predisposes men to want to rape women andundermines social inhibitions against acting out rape fantasies. Michael C. Seto, Alexandra Maric, and Howard E. Barbaree, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, contend that evidence for a causallink between pornography use and sexual offense remains equivocal.

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