Allison B. Kaufman

Allison B. Kaufman is Research Scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, where she is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology.

  • Pseudoscience

    Pseudoscience

    The Conspiracy Against Science

    Allison B. Kaufman and James C. Kaufman

    Case studies, personal accounts, and analysis show how to recognize and combat pseudoscience in a post-truth world.

    In a post-truth, fake news world, we are particularly susceptible to the claims of pseudoscience. When emotions and opinions are more widely disseminated than scientific findings, and self-proclaimed experts get their expertise from Google, how can the average person distinguish real science from fake? This book examines pseudoscience from a variety of perspectives, through case studies, analysis, and personal accounts that show how to recognize pseudoscience, why it is so widely accepted, and how to advocate for real science.

    Contributors examine the basics of pseudoscience, including issues of cognitive bias; the costs of pseudoscience, with accounts of naturopathy and logical fallacies in the anti-vaccination movement; perceptions of scientific soundness; the mainstream presence of “integrative medicine,” hypnosis, and parapsychology; and the use of case studies and new media in science advocacy.

    Contributors David Ball, Paul Joseph Barnett, Jeffrey Beall, Mark Benisz, Fernando Blanco, Ron Dumont, Stacy Ellenberg, Kevin M. Folta, Christopher French, Ashwin Gautam, Dennis M. Gorman, David H. Gorski, David K. Hecht, Britt Marie Hermes, Clyde F. Herreid, Jonathan Howard, Seth C. Kalichman, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Arnold Kozak, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emilio Lobato, Steven Lynn, Adam Marcus, Helena Matute, Ivan Oransky, Chad Orzel, Dorit Reiss, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Kavin Senapathy, Dean Keith Simonton, Indre Viskontas, John O. Willis, Corrine Zimmerman

    • Hardcover $40.00 £30.00
    • Paperback $34.95 £27.00

Contributor

  • Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Complexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication

    D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

    Experts investigate communicative flexibility (in both form and usage of signals) as the foundation of the evolution of complex communication systems, including human language.

    The evolutionary roots of human communication are difficult to trace, but recent comparative research suggests that the first key step in that evolutionary history may have been the establishment of basic communicative flexibility—the ability to vocalize freely combined with the capability to coordinate vocalization with communicative intent. The contributors to this volume investigate how some species (particularly ancient hominids) broke free of the constraints of “fixed signals,” actions that were evolved to communicate but lack the flexibility of language—a newborn infant's cry, for example, always signals distress and has a stereotypical form not modifiable by the crying baby. Fundamentally, the contributors ask what communicative flexibility is and what evolutionary conditions can produce it. The accounts offered in these chapters are notable for taking the question of language origins farther back in evolutionary time than in much previous work. Many contributors address the very earliest communicative break of the hominid line from the primate background; others examine the evolutionary origins of flexibility in, for example, birds and marine mammals. The volume's interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives illuminate issues that are on the cutting edge of recent research on this topic.

    Contributors Stéphanie Barbu, Curt Burgess, Josep Call, Laurance Doyle, Julia Fischer, Michael Goldstein, Ulrike Griebel, Kurt Hammerschmidt, Sean Hanser, Martine Hausberger, Laurence Henry, Allison Kaufman, Stan Kuczaj, Robert F. Lachlan, Brian MacWhinney, Radhika Makecha, Brenda McCowan, D. Kimbrough Oller, Michael Owren, Ron Schusterman, Charles T. Snowdon, Kim Sterelny, Benoît Testé, Gert Westermann

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99