Cover image for Battling the inner dummy : the craziness of apparently normal people
Battling the inner dummy : the craziness of apparently normal people
Weiner, David L.
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Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1999.
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466 pages ; 23 cm
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BF175.5.I4 W45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this informative, entertaining, and well-researched book, Weiner explores why it is that people do irrational and compulsive things, sometimes against their better judgment. He intersperses his text with an imaginary conversation with Sigmund Freud, engaged in an advertising campaign to market his concept of the id, or Inner Dummy. The Freud device is meant to simplify the psychiatric concepts of id, ego, and superego, but Weiner does a fine job of that himself. The book is meant to explore the "underlying causes and nature of irrational, neurotic outlooks in a way that would be comprehensible to most of us." Weiner examines a range of irrational behavior, from that of President Clinton in the Monica Lewinski affair to the murderous activities of Slobodan Milosevic and Adolf Hitler. We all have some sort of personality disorder, some better managed or concealed than others, according to Weiner. He also examines treatments for personality disorders. Coauthor Hefter, a clinical psychiatrist, offers commentary at the end of each chapter. Vanessa Bush

Library Journal Review

Drawing on evolutionary psychology theories, imaginary meetings with Sigmund Freud, and a fictitious advertising agency, popular psychology writer Weiner weaves a logical and understandable explanation of why apparently normal people sometimes behave in a totally irrational manner. His collaborator, psychiatrist Hefter (Northwestern Medical Sch.), gives a short, academic-oriented commentary at the end of each chapter. Weiner brings into play Freud's premise that the "id" is what causes people to commit foolish, irrational, and even horrendous acts; he labels this part of the brain the "Inner Dummy." This refreshing book is both interesting and readable; the use of Freud as a literary device adds to the book's uniqueness and value. Highly recommended for popular psychology collections in public and academic libraries.√ĄElizabeth Goeters, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Gilbert M. Hefter
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Forewordp. 13
Introductionp. 17
1. "What Were You Thinking?"p. 25
2. Our Upstairs Computer Was Delivered to Us without a Manualp. 33
3. Priority Mail to the Late Dr. Freudp. 42
4. Our Brain/Mind: It Appears to Have Two Separate Operating Systems, One with Its Own Stubborn Agendap. 44
5. If Dr. Freud Had Been a Better Communicator ... We Might Have Been Way Ahead of the Game Todayp. 55
6. Can the Limbic Brain Literally Capture Our Rationality? Or, Who Is Really in Charge Up There?p. 61
7. Dr. Freud and the Theory of "Limbic Capturing"p. 71
8. Our Core Limbic Drives: The Search for Who and What We Arep. 76
9. Dr. Freud and the "Dummy Programs"p. 87
10. The Intensity Levels of the Power Drive: What's the Level of Testosterone in Our Tanks?p. 94
11. Dr. Freud Challenges the Processp. 111
12. The Strength of Our Sex Drivep. 118
13. Dr. Freud Meets an Image of Himselfp. 136
14. The Strength of Our Territorial Drive: "Please, I Need My Space"p. 145
15. Dr. Freud Weighs the Scalesp. 160
16. Our Capacity to Love and Nurture: Troubles on Both Sides of the Scalep. 165
17. Dr. Freud Meets a Scale Firsthandp. 181
18. Our Drive for Survival: Measuring the Level of Our Irrational Fearsp. 186
19. Dr. Freud Meets a Screen Saverp. 212
20. Limbic Expectations: How the Brain Rewards Us for Doing Stupid Thingsp. 218
21. Dr. Freud on the Pleasure Side of the Pleasure Principlep. 238
22. How Our Limbic Brain Punishes Usp. 243
23. Dr. Freud Confronts the Issue of Punishing Emotionsp. 267
24. The Need for Vengeance: Why We Find It So Hard to Turn the Other Cheekp. 274
25. Dr. Freud on Irrational Vengeancep. 286
26. Shaping Our Limbic Drives: Genes and the Traumas of Lifep. 291
27. Dr. Freud's Encounter with a Punching Bagp. 307
28. How the Power of Reason Can Create Craziness: Our Limbic Drive for Purposep. 314
29. Dr. Freud and the Focus Groupp. 333
30. What Have We Learned?: Coping with and Changing Irrational Outlooks and Behaviorp. 342
31. Dr. Freud and Ego Defensesp. 361
32. Reaching the Inner Dummy: The Value of Talk Therapyp. 365
33. Dr. Freud at the Edgep. 398
34. Other Remedies for Penetrating the Inner Dummyp. 401
35. Dr. Freud's Decisionp. 420
Epiloguep. 437
Bibliographyp. 443
Indexp. 455