50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know

Part of the “50 Ideas You Really Need to Know” series apparently, this book by Adrian Furnham breaks down into 50 4-page sections giving a quick introduction to various concepts in psychology.

It is not available on eBook format, so I had to get the print.

It was pretty rubbish. I was sold on the title really need, but that is not the case. It contained a lot of stuff on abnormal psychology and concepts that were irrelevant to me. I do not need to know that stuff; I need to know about psychological biases that affect my everyday life – the kind of stuff Kahneman writes about. So when I took a quick look at it and saw “Gambler’s Fallacy” I thought it would be a good revision book. It was not.

The stuff that was in there was interesting, but I knew most of it.

There was some useful knowledge, or at least reminders in there though. Happiness tends to return to the base level regardless of what happens. Good to know if you are worried something awful will happen and leave you less happy than you are now.

In general, the summations of a topic were excellent. IQ for example strongly matches up with what Ritchie says in his recent book Intelligence: All That Matters. There is also an interesting discussion regarding the Flynn effect – do we get worse at problem-solving as we age, or are we simply comparing people to younger generations, who are constantly gaining IQ?

It also rubbishes multiple intelligences (which do not exist), though the “condensed idea” which is a one-line summary for each section says there may be multiple intelligences. I assume this was summing up the idea that it then rubbished, but it was rather confusing.

Furnham does not shy away from controversy either. One section discusses the differences in standard deviation and average IQ of both gender and racial groups. It’s all evidence-based of course, but can often be a taboo subject nonetheless.

Other points that perked my interest was that everybody dreams. Even if you don’t think you do, it means you just don’t remember them – they almost certainly do happen. Also, group brainstorming can be less productive than working individually because people are embarrassed to put their ideas forward or like to free-ride along.

Ultimately, I do not think I would recommend this book, because the material in it is just not useful enough.




Don't have time to check my blog? Get a weekly email with all the new posts. This is my personal blog, so obviously it is 100% spam free.


Tags: , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2015 at 11:26 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.