Mind & Society Fads identifies and explores the major fads--both historic and recent--of the realm of science and society. No less than manufactured products, faddish thinking spreads just as rapidly and often has a pernicious effect on our society. Most every field of learning and study has suffered from a quick fix or a specious argument or a convincing guru. Only mention phrenology, the Bermuda Triangle, Albert Einstein, reincarnation, goldfish swallowing, Sigmund Freud, biorhythms, or genius sperm banks and we smile and perhaps wince. From the 1700s to the 1990s, these intellectual fads have lodged themselves in society's belief system and obscured logical thinking. This enlightening volume focuses on these intellectual fads and stresses how these diversions can be beneficial because they prompt a rethinking of our basic assumptions--a type of intellectual housecleaning. General areas covered include:
- faddish theories
- intellectual fads
- fads from the world of science
- widespread societal fads not manifested in a specific genre or productMind & Society Fads continues in the tradition of Arts & Entertainment Fads and Sports & Recreation Fads with short, concise entries in encyclopedic format followed by a bibliography for further research and study by researchers and general readers alike. Appealing to all readers ranging from scholars, popular culture buffs, and those readers just curious about the fads embraced by Americans throughout our short history, this volume is sure to be enlightening and entertaining.