Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused

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9780934623872: Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused

Dr. Sharon Presley offers a how-to toolkit that provides specific techniques to help people stand up to and deal effectively with experts in a wide range of contexts. This book looks at specific settings in which authorities or experts can bamboozle people, including institutions (e.g., schools, bureaucracies), the workplace (e.g., dealing with bosses, evaluations, and raises), media (e.g., news programs, magazines, self-help books), and services (e.g., medical care, lawyers, customer service, contractors, psychologists). It also explores how to stand up for your rights and the rights of others with the police and other government agencies.

Michael Shermer, author of Why People Believe Weird Things, says I love this book! I wish I would have written this book! This is skepticism for the real world, an introduction on how to think, a manual for the survival of the human race. Sharon Presley is the Ralph Nader of bad ideas, the consumer advocate of bogus claims and phony experts.

A sensible, practical, easy-to-read book that could literally save your career, your sanity, or even your life...Sharon Presley shows us how to think for ourselves and to protect our rights in difficult and even life-threatening situations when dealing with authorities and experts writes Peter R. Breggin, MD, author of Medication Madness and Talking Back to Prozac.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Sharon Presley has written and spoken extensively on obedience and resistance to authority. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center where her mentor was Stanley Milgram, author of the classic study, Obedience to Authority. She recently retired from teaching psychology and critical thinking classes at California State University, East Bay. Her specialties also include gender issues and forensic psychology.

Dr. Presley is the founder and Executive Director of Resources for Independent Thinking, a nonprofit educational organization. She is the co-editor of an anthology of 19th century libertarian feminist and resister to authority Voltairine de Cleyre, titled Exquisite Rebel, published by SUNY Press. She is currently working on an anthology of 19th century American women resisters to authority.

Review:

From Alan Bock's review: "How to stand your ground with authorities" ...[Sharon Presley's] longtime interest in how and why people sometimes bow to authorities and authority figures when they really shouldn't has come to fruition in an excellent and very practical book, "Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused."

Having taught at a number of colleges and universities, she begins with a useful chapter, incorporating the most recent academic research, on how to think critically about why most of us defer to experts most of the time, for reasons sound and unsound. Not only do humans seek social approval, they are subject to what Ms. Presley calls "the seduction of the situation" in which credentials, titles and even body language can influence us to abandon our critical thinking capacity and just go along.

The problem is that experts can be wrong, and they don't always understand your best interests or have them at heart. But we have a right to question, and if we exercise it intelligently we can often obtain satisfaction in situations that don't look very promising at first. We can use "psychological kung fu" to turn the tables and get an advantage by taking notes, appearing professional, asking specific questions and insisting on answers, and recognizing when to be polite and when to be more assertive. The theory, blessedly free of academic jargon, is quickly followed by detailed and practical advice for dealing with a wide variety of experts. Each section includes a useful list of websites, books and articles that go into more detail about the particular authority or professional involved....

It usually turns out that standing up to authorities involves some hard work involving learning, figuring out who has the capacity to change policies, being able to put your concerns in writing without going overboard, and psyching yourself up for personal encounters. In the final chapter there's a section on recognizing when it is wise to listen to authorities. Sometimes they are right, after all.

Ms. Presley closes this way: "If you don't want to be a victim, you must stop acting like a victim. Recognize your rights. Every human being should be treated with dignity and respect. But the world isn't a just place, and there will be many times when you will not be treated well or fairly. You can continue to let it happen or you can stand up and say 'no.' The choice is yours."

© Copyright 2010 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved. --Orange County Register,12-3-10

"Getting Your Way" by Stephen Cox

...Presley's practical advice is divided into sensible categories: dealing with doctors, lawyers, teachers, bosses, merchants, and so on. The subheading of one of her chapters reveals her primary concern: Dealing with Bosses without Getting Fired. A book of psycho-babble would focus on taking back your power by communicating your feelings and expressing your true identity. Presley isn't opposed to such goals, but she doesn't want you to lose your job, either. You don t have much power if you don t have a job. Presley wants you to be yourself and keep your paycheck, too in other words, to have your cake and eat it. Sounds good to me.

One excellent feature of this book is the fact that Presley bases her advice on the experience of hundreds of real people; there are no made-up characters. Another is that she seems to have consulted every book, article, and website in the field of critical thinking, personal power relations, and just plain good advice for the contemporary world. She tells you which texts she thinks are useful, and why. That s a big gain.

I want to compliment Presley for her constant and persuasive suggestion that adults should act like adults. What she wants them all of us to succeed. She doesn' t mind getting down to basics: Develop a skill that you can succeed at. If you already have a skill, keep that in mind when you feel as if you can't do things right. Perhaps there was a time when you were able to stand up to an authority figure. You lived through it, didn t you? Remember your successes, not your failures.

Isn t that good advice? Wouldn't we all be happier if we followed it? It's a matter of perspective. Rather than banging the computer keys and screaming at that poor technical consultant in India, have some coffee, think about the good things you ve done in your life, and turn to the chapter where Presley suggests how to deal with the immediate problem. --Liberty magazine, Feb. 2011

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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