Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Psy-Q by Ben Ambridge

Psychology 101 as you wish it were taught: a collection of entertaining experiments, quizzes, jokes, and interactive exercises 

Psychology is the study of mind and behavior: how and why people do absolutely everything that people do, from the most life-changing event such as choosing a partner, to the most humdrum, such as having an extra donut. Ben Ambridge takes these findings and invites the reader to test their knowledge of themselves, their friends, and their families through quizzes, jokes, and games. You’ll measure your personality, intelligence, moral values, skill at drawing, capacity for logical reasoning, and more—all of it adding up to a greater knowledge of yourself, a higher “Psy-Q”. 

Lighthearted, fun, and accessible, this is the perfect introduction to psychology that can be fully enjoyed and appreciated by readers of all ages. 

Take Dr. Ben’s quizzes to learn: 

- If listening to Mozart makes you smarter 
- Whether or not your boss is a psychopath 
- How good you are at waiting for a reward (and why it matters) 
- Why we find symmetrical faces more attractive 
- What your taste in art says about you

Received for review.

While this is supposed to be "lighthearted" and "fun" this was neither for me.  This book of tests and "games" seems like it should be a nice way to spend a couple hours but it really isn't.  Regardless of your actual intelligence the book appears to be designed to make you feel bad about yourself.  Which is ironic since I did find this to be quite interesting and rated it rather well.  Perhaps this makes me a masochist.  I'm sure the author would have some nasty remark to make about that.

The tests themselves are not enjoyable, with nasty names such as "Are You Stupider Than a Monkey?" which I gather are supposed to be funny, but they're not.  

However there was one ray of sunshine though.  The best bit of the entire book was "The Fool Hath Said in His Heart, "There is No God"" which had this fascinating tidbit:

Religious people are less intelligent than atheists.  A 2013 review that pooled the results of no fewer than sixty-three previous studies found a negative correlation between religious belief and intelligence. ... IQ tests given in childhood predict levels of religious belief later in life:  The more intelligent you are as a child, the less likely you are to be religious as an adult.

Overall, this was not a pleasurable experience at all.  Perhaps the author will tell me that I'm just too stupid to fully appreciate it (as most fellow book bloggers have been telling me for ages now).  I did find it educational, but not enjoyable.  If you already know you're brilliant and want someone to reinforce that for you then this is the book for you.  You can pat yourself on the back repeatedly as you ace all the tests.  

★★★☆☆ = Liked It

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