Brainwashing : The Science of Thought Control

3.55 (292 ratings by Goodreads)
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The term 'brainwashing' was first recorded in 1950, but it is an expression of a much older concept: the forcible and full-scale alteration of a person's beliefs. Over the past 50 years the term has crept into popular culture, served as a topic for jokes, frightened the public in media headlines, and slandered innumerable people and institutions. It has also been the subject of learned discussion from many angles: history, sociology, psychology, psychotherapy, and marketing. Despite this variety, to date there has been one angle missing: any serious reference to real brains. Descriptions of how opinions can be changed, whether by persuasion, deceit, or force, have been almost entirely psychological. Brainwashing, Kathleen Taylor's fascinating and informative voyage through the subject, combines the latest findings in social psychology and neuroscience to investigate the incredibly complicated workings of the human brain. In elegant and accessible prose, and with abundant use of anecdotes and case-studies, she looks at the history and myth, psychology, neuroscience, and politics of how we humans manipulate each others' minds.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 158 x 234 x 26mm | 639.58g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • mumerous line drawings, 1 graph, 6 halftones
  • 0192804960
  • 9780192804969

About Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor is a research scientist in the physiology department, Oxford University. In 2003 she won first prize in both the THES/OUP Science Essay competition and the THES Humanities and Social Sciences Writing Prize.
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Table of contents

Preface; PART 1: TORTURE AND SEDUCTION; 1. The birth of a word; 2. God or the group?; 3. The power of persuasion; 4. Hoping to heal; 5. 'I suggest, you persuade, he brainwashes'; 6. Brainwashing and influence; PART 2: THE TRAITOR IN YOUR SKULL; 7. Our ever-changing brains; 8. Webs and new worlds; 9. Swept away; 10. The power of stop-and-think; 11. That freedom thing; PART 3: FREEDOM AND CONTROL; 12. Victims and predators; 13. Mind factories; 14. Science and nightmare; 15. Taking a stand; Notes; References; Further reading; Glossary; Index
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Review quote

Quite a fascinating book whose content tends to linger long after you have put it down. Definitely a must-read for those in the social psychology field and all other psychologists interested in this area. Doody's Journal
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Rating details

292 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 21% (62)
4 34% (99)
3 28% (81)
2 13% (38)
1 4% (12)
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