The Quick Fix, Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills, by Jesse Singal

Why we act the way we do is fascinating to me.  I find behavioral science interesting in general, and behavioral economics in particular. Daniel Kahneman’s, Thinking, Fast and Slow, for example, is a best-selling book by a psychologist/behavioral economist who won a Nobel Prize in economics. It is a compelling read.

I just finished The Quick Fix, Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills, by Jesse Singal. I plan on giving it another read. In it, he takes aim at the science, or lack of it, underlying such things as the self-esteem movement (that I admittedly bought into in the 80’s and 90’s, hook, line, and sinker). “People with high self-esteem, perhaps unsurprisingly, have a tendency to rate themselves highly in various domains of life, often in a reality-defying manner…”

Other “quick fixes” are targeted by Singal as well: “power posing”; “grit”; IAT (implicit association test – “introduced in 1998, has been a blockbuster success”); and others. There is a difference between good and bad research, says Singal, and the quick fixes targeted by Singal have their share of the latter. 

The troubling thing, though, is the extent to which these quick fixes have permeated policy in government, education, and private industry.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise. Fad psychology provides the quick fixes politicians, government officials, and CEOs seem to yearn for. And it can be very, very lucrative.

King’s Cove Marina v. Lambert Commercial Construction/MN Supreme Court

  1. A commercial general liability insurance policy does not cover property
    damage to an insured’s own completed work under the plain language of a “your work”
    exclusion, which applies to work included in the “products-completed operations hazard.”
  2. A Miller-Shugart settlement agreement that does not allocate between claims
    that are covered and not covered by the insurance policy is not per se unreasonable and
    unenforceable against the insurer.
  3. Determining the reasonableness of an unallocated Miller-Shugart settlement
    agreement is a two-part inquiry that first examines the overall reasonableness of the
    settlement and then determines how a reasonable person in the position of the insured
    would have valued and allocated the covered and uncovered claims at the time of the
    settlement.

Doull v. Foster/MA/Causation

The facts in this case involve medical malpractice but the ruling has ramifications beyond medical malpractice. It is instructive as to multiple causes, i.e. “but for” v. “substantial factor” standards, and legal (proximate) causation v. cause-in-fact.

…we conclude that the traditional but-for factual causation standard is the appropriate standard to be employed in most cases, including those involving multiple alleged causes.