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Busting Big Myths in Popular Psychology

Pop psych lore is a bewildering mix of fact and fallacy. Here we shatter some widely held misconceptions about the mind and human behavior
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Parts of this article are adapted from 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior, by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio and Barry L. Beyerstein. Copyright © Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Popular psychology has become a fixture in our society, and its aphorisms, truths and half-truths permeate our everyday existence. A casual stroll through our neighborhood bookstore reveals dozens of self-help, relationship, recovery and addiction books that serve up heaping portions of advice for steering us along life’s rocky road. About 3,500 self-help books are published every year, and numerous new Internet sites on mental health sprout up every month.

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