Pop psychology books

Blind spots had a lot of potential. It’s a really interesting area, and an important one. Which made it even more disappointing that it didn’t live up to that potential.

The book is about the intersection of ethics and psychology; interesting material, with important implications. But it reads tediously, with that tone that you sometimes get in airports books, as though the announcer at an airport is reading a children’s book. The points the authors were making were obvious, and widely punctuated.

The book actually seemed reminiscent of several others I’ve read; all of them are poorly written, and seem designed to take advantage of the boom in pop psychology. They talk about interesting psychology experiments (usually if not always with slightly counterintuitive results, or results that are made to appear so), but fail to hold together an interesting underlying thesis, or to communicate it well. I think of them as ‘flop psychology’ books. For a pop psychology book that is interesting, and important, I’d recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow, which was excellent.

I may give Blind spots a try and finish it again later; but if I do it’ll be for the topic, and not for the quality of the writing.


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