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Classifying Psychopathology

Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds

Harold Kincaid

In this volume, leading philosophers of psychiatry examine psychiatric classification systems, including the <I>Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders </I>(DSM), asking whether current systems are sufficient for effective diagnosis, treatment, and research. Doing so, they take up the question of whether mental disorders are natural kinds, grounded in something in the outside world. Psychiatric categories based on natural kinds should group phenomena in such a way that they are subject to the same type of causal explanations and respond similarly to the same type of causal interventions. When these categories do not evince such groupings, there is reason to revise existing classifications. The contributors all question current psychiatric classifications systems and the assumptions on which they are based. They differ, however, as to why and to what extent the categories are inadequate and how to address the problem. Topics discussed include taxometric methods for identifying natural kinds, the error and bias inherent in DSM categories, and the complexities involved in classifying such specific mental disorders as "oppositional defiance disorder" and pathological gambling.<B>Contributors</B>George Graham, Nick Haslam, Allan Horwitz, Harold Kincaid, Dominic Murphy, Jeffrey Poland, Nancy Nyquist Potter, Don Ross, Dan Stein, Jacqueline Sullivan, Serife Tekin, Peter Zachar

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Climate Trauma

Foreseeing the Future in Dystopian Film and Fiction

E. Ann Kaplan

Each month brings new scientific findings that demonstrate the ways in which human activities, from resource extraction to carbon emissions, are doing unprecedented, perhaps irreparable damage to our world. As we hear these climate change reports and their predictions for the future of Earth, many of us feel a sickening sense of déjà vu, as though we have already seen the sad outcome to this story.
 
Drawing from recent scholarship that analyzes climate change as a form of “slow violence” that humans are inflicting on the environment, Climate Trauma theorizes that such violence is accompanied by its own psychological condition, what its author terms “Pretraumatic Stress Disorder.” Examining a variety of films that imagine a dystopian future, renowned media scholar E. Ann Kaplan considers how the increasing ubiquity of these works has exacerbated our sense of impending dread. But she also explores ways these films might help us productively engage with our anxieties, giving us a seemingly prophetic glimpse of the terrifying future selves we might still work to avoid becoming. 
 
Examining dystopian classics like Soylent Green alongside more recent examples like The Book of Eli, Climate Trauma also stretches the limits of the genre to include features such as Blindness, The Happening, Take Shelter, and a number of documentaries on climate change. These eclectic texts allow Kaplan to outline the typical blind-spots of the genre, which rarely depicts climate catastrophe from the vantage point of women or minorities. Lucidly synthesizing cutting-edge research in media studies, psychoanalytic theory, and environmental science, Climate Trauma provides us with the tools we need to extract something useful from our nightmares of a catastrophic future.    

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A Clinician's Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care

An Applied Behavioral Approach

Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D.

Keith J. Slifer, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, draws on practice and research to help health care practitioners provide better care for children with chronic conditions and children undergoing rehabilitation after traumatic injury or surgery. By better understanding the behavior, emotions, and developmental challenges of children, health care professionals in practice and in training can solve a range of problems, from getting a distressed child to cooperate with a physical examination or diagnostic test, to teaching a child to adhere to medical self-care. More than nine million children in the United States regularly visit health care professionals for treatment of chronic or recurrent health conditions. These children experience multiple doctors’ visits, trips to the Emergency Department, hospital admissions, anesthesia, surgery, medications, needle sticks, wound cleaning, seizures, nausea, vomiting, pain, and fear. While most of these children are developing typically in terms of their intellectual and cognitive functioning, many children with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities also require frequent medical care, and as chronic health conditions increase so do the chances of having developmental, learning, emotional, and behavioral problems. A Clinician's Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care will benefit both health care professionals and children as practitioners aim to improve medical care and prevent the children’s behavior from disrupting clinics and distressing and frustrating health care workers and family caregivers. This book is for pediatric psychologists, pediatricians, family medicine practitioners, physician’s assistants, nurse specialists, pediatric subspecialists, and students in these fields—and for family members dedicated to helping their children cope with medical procedures and get the best possible medical care.

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Codes of Conduct

Behavioral Research into Business Ethics

Despite ongoing efforts to maintain ethical standards, highly publicized episodes of corporate misconduct occur with disturbing frequency. Firms produce defective products, release toxic substances into the environment, or permit dangerous conditions to existin their workplaces. The propensity for irresponsible acts is not confined to rogue companies, but crops up in even the most respectable firms. Codes of Conduct is the first comprehensive attempt to understand these problems by applying the principles of modern behavioral science to the study of organizational behavior.

Codes of Conduct probes the psychological and social processes through which companies and their managers respond to a wide array of ethical dilemmas, from risk and safety management to the treatment of employees. The contributors employ a wide range of case studies to illustrate the effects of social influence and group persuasion, organizational authority and communication, fragmented responsibility, and the process of rationalization. John Darley investigates how unethical acts are unintentionally assembled within organizations as a result of cascading pressures and social processes. Essays by Roderick Kramer and David Messick and by George Loewenstein focus on irrational decision making among managers. Willem Wagenaar examines how worker safety is endangered by management decisions that focus too narrowly on cost cutting and short time horizons. Essays by Baruch Fischhoff and by Robyn Dawes review the role of the expert in assessing environmental risk.

Robert Bies reviews evidence that employees are more willing to provide personal information and to accept affirmative action programs if they are consulted on the intended procedures and goals. Stephanie Goodwin and Susan Fiske discuss how employees can be educated to base office judgments on personal qualities rather than on generalizations of gender, race, and ethnicity. Codes of Conduct makes an important scientific contribution to the understanding of decisionmaking and social processes in business, and offers clear insights into the design of effective policies to improve ethical conduct.

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Coethnicity

Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action

Ethnically homogenous communities often do a better job than diverse communities of producing public goods such as satisfactory schools and health care, adequate sanitation, and low levels of crime. Coethnicity reports the results of a landmark study that aimed to find out why diversity has this cooperation-undermining effect. The study, conducted in a neighborhood of Kampala, Uganda, notable for both its high levels of diversity and low levels of public goods provision, hones in on the mechanisms that might account for the difficulties diverse societies often face in trying to act collectively. The Mulago-Kyebando Community Study uses behavioral games to explore how the ethnicity of the person with whom one is interacting shapes social behavior. Hundreds of local participants interacted with various partners in laboratory games simulating real-life decisions involving the allocation of money and the completion of joint tasks. Many of the subsequent findings debunk long-standing explanations for diversity’s adverse effects. Contrary to the prevalent notion that shared preferences facilitate ethnic collective action, differences in goals and priorities among participants were not found to be structured along ethnic lines. Nor was there evidence that subjects favored the welfare of their coethnics over that of non-coethnics. When given the opportunity to act altruistically, individuals did not choose to benefit coethnics disproportionately when their actions were anonymous. Yet when anonymity was removed, subjects behaved very differently. With their actions publicly observed, subjects gave significantly more to coethnics, expected their partners to reciprocate, and expected that they would be sanctioned for a failure to cooperate. This effect was most pronounced among individuals who were otherwise least likely to cooperate. These results suggest that what may look like ethnic favoritism is, in fact, a set of reciprocity norms—stronger among coethnics than among non-coethnics—that make it possible for members of more homogeneous communities to take risks, invest, and cooperate without the fear of getting cheated. Such norms may be more subject to change than deeply held ethnic antipathies—a powerful finding for policymakers seeking to design social institutions in diverse societies. Research on ethnic diversity typically draws on either experimental research or field work. Coethnicity does both. By taking the crucial step from observation to experimentation, this study marks a major breakthrough in the study of ethnic diversity.

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Committed

The Battle over Involuntary Psychiatric Care

Dinah Miller, MD, and Annette Hanson, MD foreword by Pete Earley

Battle lines have been drawn over involuntary treatment. On one side, there are those who oppose involuntary psychiatric treatments under any condition. Activists who take up this cause often don’t acknowledge that psychiatric symptoms can render people dangerous to themselves or others. They also don’t allow for the idea that the civil rights of an individual may be at odds with the heartbreak of a caring family. On the other side are groups pushing for increased use of involuntary treatment. These proponents are quick to point out that people with psychiatric illnesses often don’t recognize that they are ill, which (from their perspective) makes the discussion of civil rights moot. They may gloss over the sometimes dangerous side effects of psychiatric medications, and they often don’t admit that patients, even after their symptoms have abated, are sometimes unhappy that treatment was inflicted upon them. In Committed, psychiatrists Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson offer a thought-provoking and engaging account of the controversy surrounding involuntary psychiatric care in the United States. They bring the issue to life with first-hand accounts from patients, clinicians, advocates, and opponents. Looking at practices such as seclusion and restraint, involuntary medication, and involuntary electroconvulsive therapy—all within the context of civil rights—Miller and Hanson illuminate the personal consequences of these controversial practices through voices of people who have been helped by the treatment they had as well as those who have been traumatized by it. The authors explore the question of whether involuntary treatment has a role in preventing violence, suicide, and mass murder. They delve into the controversial use of court-ordered outpatient treatment at its best and at its worst. Finally, they examine innovative solutions—mental health court, crisis intervention training, and pretrial diversion—that are intended to expand access to care while diverting people who have serious mental illness out of the cycle of repeated hospitalization and incarceration. They also assess what psychiatry knows about the prediction of violence and the limitations of laws designed to protect the public.

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Committed to the Sane Asylum

Narratives on Mental Wellness and Healing

In Committed to the Sane Asylum: Narratives on Mental Wellness and Healing, artist Susan Schellenberg, a former psychiatric patient, and psychologist Rosemary Barnes relate their own stories, conversations, and reflections concerning the contributions and limitations of conventional mental health care and their collaborative search for alternatives such as art therapy. Patient and doctor each describe personal decisions about the mental health system and the creative life possibilities that emerged when mind, body, and spirit were committed to well-being and healing.

Interwoven patient/doctor narratives explain conventional care, highlight critical steps in healing, and explore varied perspectives through conversations with experts in psychiatry, feminist approaches, art, storytelling, and business. The book also includes reproductions of Susan’s mental health records and dream paintings.

This book will be important for consumers of mental health care wishing to understand the conventional system and develop the best quality of life. Rich personal detail, critical perspective, clinical records, and art reproductions make the book engaging for a general audience and stimulating as a teaching resource in nursing, social work, psychology, psychiatry, and art therapy.

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The Company of Strangers

A Natural History of Economic Life

Paul Seabright

The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.

Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Paul Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundations of social trust that we need in our everyday lives. Even the simple acts of buying food and clothing depend on an astonishing web of interaction that spans the globe. How did humans develop the ability to trust total strangers with providing our most basic needs?

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The Complete Retirement Handbook

The Most Authoritative Guide Available

Forest J. Bowman

If you are 20 or 30 years of age and just starting out in a career, this book can serve you as an excellent road map for your future retirement. If you are 40 to 50 years of age, this book can become the life-saver that can make your shortly-to-come retirement more full. If you are over 50 years of age, you need to rush out and get this book to keep from suffocating during your impending retirement. In other words, this book is an excellent volume for anyone who is in the American work force.

The author begins the book with the basic premise that everyone who works for a living will one day retire, if that individual lives long enough. As a result, each person has a right to have a say in his or her retirement. Accepting that premise, the writer discusses the reason for a healthy attitude of looking forward to retirement. He points out that simply looking forward is not enough. One must consider whether to remain in one's locale or to move to a more favorable climate; Bowman discusses the pros and cons of the issue.

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Compulsive Acts

A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Elias Aboujaoude

In this compelling book, we meet a man who can't let anyone get within a certain distance of his nose, two kleptomaniacs from very different walks of life, an Internet addict who chooses virtual life over real life, a professor with a dangerous gambling habit, and others with equally debilitating compulsive conditions. Writing with compassion, humor, and a deft literary touch, Elias Aboujaoude, an expert on obsessive compulsive disorder and behavioral addictions, tells stories inspired by memorable patients he has treated, taking us from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship. Into these interconnected vignettes Aboujaoude weaves his own personal experiences while presenting up-to-date, accessible medical information. Rich in both meaning and symbolism, Compulsive Acts is a journey of personal growth and hope that illuminates a fascinating yet troubling dimension of human experience as it explores a group of potentially disabling conditions that are too often suffered in silence and isolation.

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