Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Jon Ronson - a better alternative in pop psychology reading?

I've just had a quick look at a most fascinating and grimly amusing magazine article about what a dangerous joke the "profession" of psychiatry is and how it harms and misdiagnoses children in the United States (the name Jani comes to mind), and it also explores a theme that I've been exploring myself a lot of late - the issue of psychiatrists not being "up front" about professional conflicts of interest involving large pharmaceutical companies (reminds me of a bloke named Patrick). This dynamite article is by Jon Ronson and it can be found in the latest edition of New Scientist magazine.

Now that Mr Ronson has grabbed my undivided attention, I've just had a quick look at a review in Time magazine of his new book. It looks to me as though this book might be a much better choice to read than Baron-Cohen's recent pop psychology book, if you are in the mood to read about the psychology and neurology of those who genuinely do lack empathy. I love the way this writer doesn't beat around the bush about what really matters in these stories - money talks louder than science, and those who lack empathy appear to be designed to succeed in our corrupt capitalist world.

Bipolar kids: Victims of the 'madness industry'?
08 June 2011 by Jon Ronson
New Scientist.print citation: June 4th 2011 Number 2815 p. 44-47.

Mind Reading: When You Go Hunting for Psychopaths, They Turn Up Everywhere
By Maia Szalavitz
Friday, June 3, 2011


krex said...

Both were interesting reading . While perusing the site also found....

"[Cognitive empathy is understanding another person's perspective; emotional empathy is feeling their emotions.]

On tests of cognitive empathy, people on the spectrum score lower, but on emotional empathy, they actually score higher than typical folks."

I have never heard it described that way and it certainly fits my own experience .

Also think it fits the idea that a psychopath tends to feel less anxiety then an autistic and the anxiety is what restrains us from having any desire to hurt others . for me...causing pain causes me pain and more anxiety .

I also believe that I am prone to black and white thinking when it comes to ethics and just because "everyone else does it" has never been a good reason to act against my own ethics any more then it is for my other life choices or beliefs .

Lili Marlene said...

I think a lot of autistics experience things the same way that you do Krex, including myself.