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book reviews

Working with Ethnicity, Race and Culture in Mental Health: A Handbook for Practitioners Hari Sewell Every practitioner working in multicultural mental health services in the UK should find this book indispensable as it uncovers the importance of preconceived biases when working with service users from black and minority ethnic groups. Though the writing style is didactic and prescriptive, the recommendations are based on grounded research findings that emphasise changes that need to take place. Both from personal and managerial standpoints, the author forces the reader not to turn a blind eye to individual and institutional racism. Sewell engages his audience in self-awareness by using examples based on mundane practice. The chapters are terse but accurate, and therefore can be seen as a summative piece of the current state of knowledge in relation to the multi-ethnic service-user groups in mental health. But if the reader is looking for an international perspective or policy analysis this is not the book to start with. The main strength of this read is that it is reflective of the current British patient cohort and as a result provides up-todate practical knowledge to delivering and achieving to race equality.

Rational thinking for an irrational society Bad Science Ben Goldacre If you too grimace at those scare-mongering psycho-babble headlines or ads for ‘intelligence’-enhancing games, then this is the book you’ll want all your less sceptical friends (and everyone else) to read. Known for his Guardian column, Goldacre critically appraises numerous dubious scientific ‘facts’ from several disciplines, including psychology. Goldacre considers why people don’t seek out evidence and take what is presented as fact, and explores the role of the media in perpetuating this. He questions, for example, why British schoolchildren are taught, via the Brain Gym programme, that rubbing ‘the brain buttons’ on their chests improves brain performance. Goldacre discusses the placebo effect, the need for controlled experiments, statistics and ethics. Goldacre is passionate, engaging and humourous, yet educational also. This is a book for every reader, from the psychology student needing to learn more critical tools, to the astute cynic who wonders why people believe such quackery to begin with. I Fourth Estate; 2008; Pb £12.99 Reviewed by Fidelma Butler who is an occupational psychologist in training

I Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2009; Pb £18.99 Reviewed by Huda Shalhoub who is in the Department of Psychology, Brunel University

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Concise and relevant The Visual World in Memory James R. Brockmole (Ed.) This book offers a collection of chapters authored by the leaders of the field in current visual memory research. From memory for real-world scenes by Andrew Hollingworth, to expectancies, emotion and memory reports for visual events, by Deborah Davis and Elizabeth Loftus, this book encompasses a breadth of research whilst offering detailed analyses of current research directions and findings of each distinctive research strand. For this reason, the book would appeal not only to academics in search of current detailed analyses and discussions, but also to students requiring a breadth of information. Edited by James Brockmole, this book examines the way in which we remember what we have previously seen, with a particular focus on how specific advances in technology, such as eyetracking, virtual reality and

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Up to date and practical

neuroimaging, have changed the face of visual memory research in recent years. It begins with an in-depth discussion of the nature of visual and spatial working memory, moving on to visual memory for features, faces and scenes, followed by considerations of the role of memory in real-world tasks, and concluding with a chapter concerned with recent neuroimaging advances in visual mental imagery. What makes this book particularly interesting is the way in which it brings together the many strands of visual memory research in a concise and relevant manner. This book manages to present the most up to date research available in one single resource, something which has unfortunately been lacking in the visual cognition literature to date. I Psychology Press; 2009; Hb £39.95 Reviewed by Helen Henshaw who is a PhD student at the University of Leicester

Sample titles just in: Rhyming Reason: The Poetry of Romantic-Era Psychologists Michelle Faubert Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness Emmy van Deurzen Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You Sam Gosling Everyday Emotional and Psychological Problems and How to Overcome Them Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman Children’s Reading and Spelling: Beyond the First Steps Terezinha Nunes and Peter Bryant For a full list of books available for review and information on reviewing for The Psychologist, see Send books for potential review to The Psychologist, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR


Profile for The British Psychological Society

The Psychologist, June 2009  

The Psychologist is the monthly publication for members of the British Psychological Society (see For more info and to...

The Psychologist, June 2009  

The Psychologist is the monthly publication for members of the British Psychological Society (see For more info and to...