Archive of 2010 PsycCRITIQUES® Sample Searches Podcasts
How Big Is This Tent?
The PsycCRITIQUES blog post on September 28th featured "Psychology's History for the Postmodern Student," Bruce Henderson's review of Wade Pickren and Alexandra Rutherford's A History of Modern Psychology in Context. The post is interesting for the review itself, which set up criteria for an ideal history of psychology textbook and then evaluated Pickren and Rutherford's text by those criteria.
In one of his opening sentences, Henderson commented that "the history course…has to pull together the threads of a discipline our students frequently view as overspecialized, overly technical, and fractionated." But in this piece, we are actually going to look at a thread in the comments on the post, several of which latch onto the roles of specialists in psychology for both teaching and, more specifically, for the reviews themselves.
The issue of who does the reviewing seems relevant to all the probable users of PsycCRITIQUES: librarians who use reviews to help them in purchasing decision, psychologists interested in new resources in their field, faculty looking for textbooks for courses, and students who are looking for research ideas and ways to immerse themselves in their new profession.
Here is a selection from the post and comments; I'd also encourage you to read the review, the blog post, and the whole discussion on the PsycCRITIQUES Blog.
Henderson: "History is frequently taught by amateurs; few teachers of [the history of psychology] course have formal training in the history of philosophy of psychology."
Commenter 1: "It is only in the largest universities and colleges that there is a specialist in every area of psychology…In smaller institutions, people have to be flexible."
Commenter 2: "I have…been a specialist in history of psychology for 25 years and I had not previously heard of [Bruce Henderson]…I find it surprising that he considers himself to be in a position to outline the 'ideal' textbook on the history of psychology. It is not so much the amateurs who teach history of psychology that worry me but the amateurs who write book reviews for PsycCRITIQUES."
Henderson: "I have (a) been an ardent student of the history of psychology literature since my student days…; (b) taught my department's history of psychology course, using a half-dozen or more different textbooks, for a major portion of my 34 year teaching career…; (c) published several pedagogy-related articles on the history course in Teaching of Psychology; (d) previously written reviews on history-related books for PsycCRITIQUES; and (e) reviewed at least five different textbooks on the history of psychology for publishers.
Commenter 2: "I stand by my remarks…Here we have a text that is written by two of the best historians of psychology…yet someone with no background or standing in the field considers it appropriate to criticize their work."
PsycCRITIQUES Action Editor: "An editor and six associate editors take care of editing all reviews for PsycCRITIQUES. Our job is to maintain standards of composition, so that reviews will be interesting and understood by any psychologist. All of us have specialized scholarly interests, and also general knowledge of related areas…The book by Pickren and Rutherford is a textbook, not a specialized scholarly work, and an experienced teacher is particularly well qualified to review it…It often is difficult for us to find reviewers because the 'experts' are too busy, so we need more psychologists with broad interests."
PsycCRITIQUES Editor: "I often go out of my way to identify psychologists who aren't necessarily big names in the field. This especially applies when I'm recruiting early career professionals, international scholars or minority reviewers." [to quote the first editor of Contemporary Psychology]
"To whom is CP to be interesting? First to American Psychologists, the APA's fourteen thousand and others. CP is not the place for electroencephalographers to write to electroencephalographers. It is the place for electroencephalographers to write to religious psychologists who wish they were something more than religious psychologists, and for religious psychologists by being irresistibly interesting to usurp the attention of electroencephalographers." (Boring, 1956, p. 13).
What voices do you find compelling? Please join the conversation!
More Trick Than Treat
It's almost Halloween again, and once more, parents who buy costumes for their young daughters have a full range of options: Lolita, sexy cat, rakish devil, Goldilocks in a miniskirt, Tin Man in a miniskirt (yep), sex worker in a miniskirt (well, maybe not that, precisely, but one could be excused for making that mistake).
Rarely is the sexualization of girls quite so in-your-face as at Halloween, with costumes aimed at the very young that tend to portray female identity in terms that are at best of an idealized and stereotypical beauty and at worst portray girls primarily as sex objects. Every parent, psychologist, and person who isn't a hermit must deal with our potent cultural mixture of consumer marketing and sex that is aimed at ever younger children.
If one was looking for resources in PsycCRITIQUES on the sexualization of children, among the resources they could find are the following recent reviews:
In "Shock and Arggghhh: More Notes From the Trenches of the War Against the Sexualization of Childhood," Sharon Lamb reviewed The Sexualization of Childhood (Olfman, 2009). Pitched to an academic audience, this edited work is a collection of essays written by an eminent group of scholars discussing how children are now routinely exposed to toxic ideas about sexuality, the harm it does to them as children, how it carries over to their adult lives, and what it does to society.
The volume includes chapters on how boys are exposed to sexualization, with a concentration on how video games depict sexuality (e.g., "The Ladies of Liberty City" allows players to have sex with prostitutes and then kill them). The chapter on "Childified Women: How the Mainstream Porn Industry Sells Child Pornography to Men" is particularly chilling in that it clearly lays out the known and possible effects of the sex industry on children and how it seduces men themselves into its culture. Less raw but no less real are chapters on selling girls on the princess image and on fashion and girlhood toys that promote gender stereotypes of female helplessness, dependence, and entitlement.
The volume brings to one place the best and worst examples of the sexualization of children, and many chapters review up-to-date research.
In "Three Going on 30: Combating the Media's Sexualization of Young Children," Nicole Else-Quest reviewed So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids (Levin & Kilbourne, 2008). The authors drew heavily on the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007), and they have crafted a work aimed primarily at parents, which offers a blend of solid psychological theory and evidence of the destructive marriage of commerce and sexuality aimed at children. In addition to being a compelling account of the problem, it also offers sound advice that describes warm, authoritative, and involved parenting and provides an ambitious and comprehensive prescription for change.
These and other resources can be found in the PsycCRITIQUES database. There is material appropriate for a variety of audiences available.
Making the Grade
Recently, a student who had just returned to graduate school after a hiatus of some years called APA because she was feeling overwhelmed and hoped for suggestions on how to make effective use of her research time and the resources available to her. She has enrolled in a forensic psychology program and specifically plans to focus on children and adolescents in the legal system.
We suggested that in her situation a little time invested with PsycCRITIQUES could repay her many times over. That research will help ground her in the forensic milieu. And by scanning the new issues as they become available and setting personal alerts, she can explore new directions in relevant research, be apprised of new sources as soon as they are reviewed, and have the advantage of the (peer-reviewed and professional) reviewer's assessment of the source.
Let's look at some of the material that's currently in the database. Limiting a search to PsycCRITIQUES and searching "forensic" in the thesaurus gives us the choices of Forensic Evaluation, Forensic Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychology—and, of course, all the other terms in those records. Choosing to limit to Forensic Evaluation and a keyword search of variations of child and adolescent, we have 17 records currently in the database that deal explicitly with literature on evaluating children in the court system.
They include the following:
"Fraught With Hazards: Evaluating Disputants in Child Custody Litigation" (Randall, 2007) was a review of the American Psychological Association Psychotherapy Videotape Series video Child Custody (Benjamin, 2006). The video author is a psychologist and family lawyer; he walked the viewer through key phases of the evaluative phases in child custody cases and showed actual footage from a particularly challenging case he worked. Our forensic psychologist in training might find video a particularly useful means to study the vital clues of body language and personal interaction.
She might also find useful "Practical Guideposts for Evaluating Children for the Courts" (Barnes, 2006), a review of Forensic Mental Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents (Sparta & Koocher, 2006). Though psychologists have provided expert services in the field for years, only comparatively recently has there been formal training in forensic assessment of children and adolescents, and this has typically been on-the-job training. Sparta and Koocher have brought together experts from law and psychology, creating a resource that is essential to anyone entering the field, or indeed, to the experienced clinician.
To ensure that she's getting the best use out of the resource, our student would also be wise to set up search alerts that proactively search the literature for her. She could use a search composed of relevant thesaurus terms, or she could set up a search that makes use of the classification code limit 4200, which is the category specifically devoted to forensic psychology and legal issues, to have new relevant research delivered directly to her. By taking that extra step, she can be comfortably sure that she's on the cutting edge of her new field.
The Blog and a Hard Problem for a Summer Afternoon
Writer T. J. Huxley marveled: "how it is that any thing so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as the result of irritating nervous tissue is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin when Aladdin rubbed his lamp." He's stating the so-called "Hard Problem of Consciousness," or the alchemy whereby the sensory and emotional data we take in is mysteriously translated to consciousness.
This fascinating issue is discussed in a recent PsycCRITIQUES blog post and reply. PsycCRITIQUES is a resource that can make psychology come alive. As a source for book and film reviews, it can be used for developing reading lists and staying abreast of the literature. It can also be used to challenge the mind and fire the imagination. Even if you don't have a PsycCRITIQUES subscription, you can refer students or researchers to the blog if they're seeking inspiration.
A researcher interested in human consciousness would find the August 3, 2010 post on Mirror Neurons and Understanding Human Behavior instructive. It poses the question what do mirror neurons add to our understanding of human behavior and development? In the featured review, Stephen Truhon examined The Intersubjective Mirror in Infant Learning and Evolution of Speech (2009), by Stein Bråten, in which the author offers new theories on the evolution and development of human intersubjectivity.
In his book, Bråten emphasized that infants are not the egoctentric creatures described by Freud but are instead altercentric, or centered outward. He proposed that that each person has a bodily self and a virtual self and that to communicate, our virtual self must actually "be" the other with whom it communicates. Bråten draws from many research areas ranging from evolutionary biology to computer science, but major support for his theory comes from new research in mirror neurons, whose discovery was one of the major advances in neuroscience during the 1990s.
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, mirror neurons encode abstract concepts of actions. They may help the observer to learn and recognize motor actions, but they may also play an important role in the development of empathy and language. Concomitantly, impairments of the mirror nervous system could result in disturbances in imitation and social cognition and create what Bråten calls the "broken mirror in autism."
A comment in reply to the post by Eugene Taylor also looks at Bråten's theory of mirroring from a Jamesean standpoint, turned toward the science-making process itself. In mirroring and the idea of merger with an outside "other" phenomenology, neuroscience researchers are directly studying the hard problem, and the humanistic implications are staggering. A new psychology can emerge, "more person-centered, more intersubjective, and therefore more robust with regard to the actual nature of reality as a whole, which must account reflexively for both the observer and what is observed, not for what is observed alone."
Merriam-Webster tells us that happiness is "a state of well-being and contentment." Charles Schulz told us that happiness is a warm puppy. But the study of happiness is also a science, and that study is part of the positive psychology movement. Though the term "positive psychology" was first used by Maslow, the father of the modern movement was Martin Seligman, who made its development his theme during his term as APA president in 1998.
The goal of positive psychologists has been to take an approach to psychology that emphasizes optimism and positive human functioning instead of psychopathology and dysfunction. Studying happiness fits neatly into its ambit.
If you were interested in finding resources on happiness and positive psychology in the PsycCRITIQUES database, what could you find? A few examples from about 30 reviews include the following sampling:
- "The Psychology of Happiness: A Good Human Life" (2010) by Samuel S. Franklin, reviewed by Jeffrey A. Daniels. Franklin's work, dedicated to psychological perspectives on happiness, begins with that foundational statement of this country: "we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable Rights…among these [is] the pursuit of Happiness." Franklin reviewed the thinking of great philosophers to define happiness and how people may go about pursuing it and then examined them through the lens of psychology, with particular reference to Aristotle's notion of virtue as "the vehicle by which we may attain happiness."
- "Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth" (2008) by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, reviewed by Raymond D. Fowler. This work drew from a large body of research on the basic concepts that underlie the understanding of happiness. Ed Diener is "widely recognized as the dean of happiness research" and is referred to by Martin Seligman in the foreword as "the leading professional scientist of happiness in the world." Over the past 30 years Ed Diener's pioneering research has made happiness, a subject that previously had been largely ignored by behavioral scientists, a legitimate area of scientific study. His research on thousands of people in more than 100 countries has demonstrated the importance of happiness for health, wealth, and life satisfaction.
- "Positive Psychology at the Movies: Using Films to Build Virtues and Character Strengths" (2008) by Ryan M. Niemiec and Danny Wedding, reviewed by Dana S. Dunn. This work contains the scholarship of many positive psychologists who describe, define, and in many cases provide measurement guidelines for 24 character strengths as embodied in six virtues (i.e., courage, humanity, transcendence, temperance, justice, wisdom, and knowledge). The authors counseled treating the text as a reference book designed to "point readers and 'grazers' in the right direction when seeking to match a research topic to an illustrative film." (In case you were wondering, It's a Wonderful Life ranks as Number 1 among the top 100 inspirational movies.)
On January 12, 2007, the Washington Post (Weingarten) ran an experiment in "context, perception, and priorities," in which one of the world's great violinists, Joshua Bell, played some of the world's greatest music on one of the world's great violins and did so incognito at a Washington metro station during rush hour. Out of 1,097 people who passed, seven stopped to listen; 27 gave money. There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch; however, video showed that every time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch, responding with an immediacy and interest that most adults either didn't share or didn't act on. Of the many interesting questions raised by the event, one is what dictated the adults' seemingly irrational lack of response to or even notice of a performance that our culture rewards at the rate of $100 for even a bad seat in a concert venue?
PsycCRITIQUES is a resource that can make psychology come alive. Use it for developing reading lists and staying abreast of the literature. In this case, the issue seems to be primarily economic and to come down to the adults not being able to appropriately value what was being offered in the context in which it was offered. A search of the PsycCRITIQUES database limited to adults and searching by the keywords "behavioral economics" yielded a number (56) of interesting results.
Several entries look specifically at the biology of decision making. In one, Neuroeconomics: A Guide to the New Science of Making Choices (Politser, 2008), reviewed by Gordon Pitz, the author combined behavioral economics, an integration of psychology and economics, with the neurosciences for help in finding out how people make decisions. Politser addressed the neural and biological research findings relevant to an individual engaged in choice behavior, such as consumer or leisure decisions, reviewing brain imaging relevant to choice.
In another source, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Ariely, 2008), reviewed by Krueger and Evans, the author noted "most people don't know what they want unless they see it in context." The book examined decision making under a variety of traditional and nontraditional settings. In one experiment, people's evaluations of drinks only partially depend on their physical experience of taste. "Esteem for the brand and knowledge of added ingredients…also play a role." The integration of specific stimulus information with general background knowledge was frequently a component in making comparisons and arriving at judgments.
In the Bell experiment, exactly one person recognized the musician; a woman who had attended a recent concert arrived late in the experiment and stopped, transfixed. She alone gave a significant amount of money ($20), but she also alone among those who stopped was more interested in the musician than the music.
You've Come a Long Way, Baby
A revolution began 50 years ago in May 1960, when "the pill" was first made available in the United States. An effective contraceptive was an essential ingredient in the cultural changes manifested in the post-World War 2 world. In tracing birth control as a key factor in a social history and movement, one cannot overstate its importance to the rapid changes that have occurred since motherhood became more a choice than a consequence. If a scholar was interested in finding materials discussing the history of contraception in this country, what could she or he find?
PsycCRITIQUES is a resource that can make psychology come alive. As a source for book and film reviews, it can be used for developing reading lists, and staying abreast of the literature. In the following search example, we will use it for retrospective research.
For this search, by limiting our search to Classification Code 2970, Sex Roles and Women's Issues, and keywords Contraception, "Birth Control," or Pregnancy, we'd find reviews of many books and films. Let's further limit our search to between 1970 and 1980 and thereby to some sources published in the first full decade after oral contraceptives became available when societal changes really began to take hold.
Rosenblith and Hassol reviewed Contemporary Sexual Behavior: Critical Issues in the 1970's (Zubin & Money, Eds., 1973) in "From Sexual Behavior to the Human Sexual Experience: A Scientific Journey Just Begun." The landmark volume got a big boost from the work of Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, giants in the field of human sexuality research. The book brought together research from leading scholars on such issues as relations between types of birth control and mood, cultural biases against sensuality, and emerging sex roles in the culture wars of the time.
In the mid-70s, Henry David reviewed several works that examined the grim history of contraception options and pregnancy resolution prior to birth control becoming available. They included Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America (Gordon, 1976) and From Private Vice to Public Virtue: The Birth Control Movement and American Society Since 1830 (Reed, 1978). Each took a fascinating look at the means used to control fertility before the arrival of modern contraceptives; the relative roles of medical communities, moralists, and early proponents of birth control; and the lives of women and their families when they did not have birth control information or options.
The 1970s also brought reviews by Lopiccolo of Human Sexuality: A Text With Readings (Wilson, Strong, Clarke, & Johns, 1977), David's reviews of The Birth Control Book (Shapiro, 1977) and Natural Sex (Shivanandan, 1979). Natural Sex was actually a response to fear of modern contraceptives and a reversion to more traditional roles and values.
The Elephant in the Room
In Dr. Seuss's book Are You My Mother?, a lonesome nestling travels the barnyard asking various animals the title question. Though it's doomed to a series of disappointments before finding its real mom, it otherwise comes to no harm. (This is somewhat surprising given that it chirps its question to a number of meat eaters.)
Increasingly, scientists and bioethicists are asking a variant of that question. Humankind doesn't occupy this planet in isolation, nor is the animal world as different from us as Descartes would have had us believe. Various animals can clearly think and feel, some use tools and create, and many are shown to be subject to mental stresses comparable to those in humans. Are they then, in some sense, our brothers?
PsycCRITIQUES is a resource that can make psychology come alive. Use it for developing reading lists, and staying abreast of the literature. A search on keywords Ethics and Interspecies Interaction in PsycCRITIQUES, limited to the past 3 years, would bring us to, among other works, two reviews by Ronald Baenninger on two books about elephants: "Remembering Elephants: Our Future Together," a review of Elephants and Ethics: Toward a Morality of Coexistence (Wemmer & Christen, 2008) and "Transpecies Parallels," a review of Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us About Humanity (Bradshaw, 2010).
Elephants and Ethics was based on a symposium conducted by the Smithsonian Institute, in which 37 authors looked at the ethics of human interaction with elephants. The book reviewed the current status of elephants—endangered for Asian, threatened for African—and took a look at our long shared history. Asian elephants have been our partners in warfare, transportation, work, entertainment, and religion. As most of the entries point out, some graphically in text and image, it's been a one-sided partnership, and elephants have consistently been on the losing end. Writings cover animal rights theory, natural law theory, and the utilitarian point of view.
Elephants on the Edge looked at how elephant culture and its disruptions mirror our own. Quoting Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bradshaw says "in their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis." His book shows the elephant equivalent of concentration camps, slavery, and prisons, and describes the pathological symptoms of elephants in captivity in terms of posttraumatic stress disorder: "Having your mother killed before your very eyes (as most young elephants captured as youngsters have witnessed) will do that to you, whether you are a pachyderm or a person." He notes that "like human societies, elephant social systems are complex and may be shattered by human violence." Fortunately, he also finds some room for hope, in part because of changes on the human side, and in part because elephants, however long their memories, are astonishingly forgiving.
The Cry Heard Round the World
For researchers, students and instructors, and the general public, the story of Kitty Genovese remains haunting more than 45 years after her death. The attack became a chilling example of bystander inaction, as Genovese was killed in repeated attacks over the course of about half an hour and under the windows of numerous witnesses. What would an instructor or researcher interested in the case find in the PsycCRITIQUES database about this pivotal event today?
Using keywords "Kitty Genovese" or Bystander, one would find that in 2009, PsycCRITIQUES published a double review by Harold Takooshian: "The 1964 Kitty Genovese Tragedy: Still a Valuable Parable." Takooshian reviewed a third edition of Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case (Rosenthal, 2008), reprinted from the 1964 classic that drew worldwide attention to the tragedy. In addition, he reviewed the newly released Twisted Confessions: The True Story Behind the Kitty Genovese and Barbara Kralik Murder Trials (Skoller, 2008).
Takooshian noted that among college audiences today, over 90 percent typically raise their hand when asked, "Who is familiar with the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese?"
That continued notoriety is largely the result of Rosenthal's book, a work of such unparalleled impact that Takooshian stated it "directly spawned two, if not three, new specialties within psychology that barely existed before the Genovese murder: prosocial behavior, urban psychology (the classic field experiments by Stanley Milgram, 1970), and the relation of law and cognition (the surveys by Harry Kaufmann, 1967/1978)."
While Rosenthal's book is focused on the witnesses and on society, Skoller's book is focused on the facts of the Genovese case. Skoller was the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Genovese's murderer. A book 44 years in the making, it provides "a trove of unknown new details." Skoller reported avoiding all prior writing on the Genovese case, and combined a "razor-sharp mind with deft pen and a rare, eidetic memory to relive the tiniest details from 40 years ago."
Until the September 11 attack, this tragedy was by far the single most-cited incident in the social psychology literature (Takooshian citing Dowd), and these companion volumes are a valuable addition for any researcher or instructor looking for resources on this most vital of cases.
Rebel in the Rye
The author J. D. Salinger has died. A pivotal literary figure for the generations since WWII, the famously reclusive author's best known work, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), has also been a cultural bellwether. Banned by many school systems in this country for its teenage antihero's raw language and discussion of sexuality, it is also frequently assigned in classes because so many young people have related to Holden Caulfield.
Though we usually focus on new material added to PsycCRITIQUES, the database also offers a mine of historic material. Today, let's time-travel back to the decade the book was published and Holden was a harbinger of a new kind of troubled youth. What did researchers at the time make of "alienated" teenagers?
An instructor looking for possible resources could search for materials from 1951 through 1960, using adolescent or teenager and alienat*, rebel*, or delinqu* to see the 50s teen in the context of the time. A number of resources discuss disaffected adolescents as a social phenomenon. Much of the research involved group dynamics, or the problems of youth in aggregate, especially in gangs.
One example, Barber's "Dynamics of Delinquency," (1956) reviewed Cohen's Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang. Cohen defined a set of characteristics of the juvenile subculture, stating that cultural, social structural, and psychological factors are specifically and precisely interrelated with one another in juvenile delinquency.
Another work, by criminologist Sheldon Glueck and sociologist Eleanor Glueck, Physique and Delinquency (1956), compared photographs of 500 delinquent and 500 control youths, concluding that mesomorphs (who put on muscle mass easily) are more prone to delinquency than are 13 other body types.
Other works focused on the individual. For instance, in "The Mythology of Adolescence," Richard Walters (1959) reviewed two books theorizing about adolescence, Adolescence and Conflict of Generations (Pearson, 1958) and Emotional Problems of Adolescents (Gallagher & Harris, 1958). Both books depict adolescents as confused, rebellious, and unpredictable. The reviewer, however, noted that this picture may be a cultural myth perpetuated by "the James Deans and J. D. Salingers of our day." Other works focus on teenagers and media, teenagers and depression, and teenagers and suicide, each a potential source for period research.
It's Too Darn Hot
The recent global climate conference in Copenhagen has helped to focus international attention on the issues of climate change and global warming. Still, it remains true that climate change as an issue remains on the back burner for most Americans. Per an October 2009 Pew Research Center poll, only 35% of Americans considered global warming to be a serious problem. One reason posited for the relative disinterest is that people find it hard to come to grips with a problem that seems remote from them in space and time. What reviews are there in the PsycCRITIQUES database that might help an instructor find useful research to make this important issue more relevant to students?
Restricting the search to the past 2 years and searching with the APA Thesaurus index terms "climate change" or "environmental attitudes," one would find a number of potentially helpful resources. For example, a teacher of young children could find the review "Saving the Environment Through Our Children" (Wilmoth, 2008). Wilmoth reviewed the film Arctic Tale, which personalized the issue of global warming by following the birth, development, and struggle for survival of two animals, a polar bear and walrus. The film is appropriate to younger children, as it's an adventure and uses humor and music to engage their attention, yet it celebrates the beauty of the Arctic and its animals while showing the profound effects the changing environment has on their migration and behavioral patterns.
Instructors dealing with college-level students might look for a work that challenges their students to look at global warming from a variety of perspectives to help them get a better grasp of the issue. One potentially useful resource is Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction, and Opportunity (Hulme, 2009), reviewed by Susan Clayton. Hulme has taken a multidisciplinary approach to the way the climate change discussion has been created, framed, and discussed in the public domain. Drawing from the fields of history, political science, and economics as well as psychology, he discussed different public conceptualizations of climate change and their implications.
In Clayton's analysis, this is a book more about asking the reader to be thoughtful about the issue's complexity and our options for our social and ecological systems than it is about a course of action on climate change. It provides students with a "careful analysis of the way in which the idea of climate change emerged not just from the physical evidence but also as a social construction, colored by subjective values and used to convey particular messages."
Explanation of the complexity of the issue and how fraught it is with variables in addition to science could be an invaluable teaching tool to make the issue more real.