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Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused $21.95

By Sharon Presley, Ph.D.

Offers a practical toolkit that provides specific techniques to help people stand up to and deal effectively with experts in a wide range of contexts. It looks at specific settings in which authorities or experts can bamboozle people, including institutions (e.g., schools, bureaucracies), the workplace (e.g., dealing with bosses, evaluations, and raises), media (e.g., news programs, magazines, self-help books), and services (e.g., medical care, lawyers, customer service, contractors, psychologists). It also explores how to stand up for your rights and the rights of others with the police and other government agencies.

Chapters on dealing effectively with

  • Physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Lawyers, contractors and other professionals
  • Customer reps
  • Bosses
  • City Hall and police
  • Teachers and professors
  • Media


    “I love this book! I wish I would have written this book! This is skepticism for the real world, an introduction on how to think, a manual for the survival of the human race. Sharon Presley is the Ralph Nader of bad ideas, the consumer advocate of bogus claims and phony experts.”
    — Michael Shermer, Ph.D., Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, author of Why People Believe Weird Things,The Borderlands of Science and The Believing Brain.

    “Sharon Presley is a consistent voice of insight and calm reasoning in a world of turmoil and frequent spin. She asks of us what we should ask of ourselves -- critical thinking and respect for our own rights and the rights of others as human beings…Presley helps readers to make sense in the midst of the nonsensical and to engage in a process of searching for truth.”
    — Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

    "A sensible, practical, easy-to-read book that could literally save your career, your sanity, or even your life..shows us how to think for ourselves and to protect our rights in difficult and even life-threatening situations when dealing with authorities and experts"
    — Peter R. Breggin, MD, author of Talking Back to Prozac and Medication Madness

    "With this book, Sharon Presley has done a great service not just to those of us who want to resist undue authority influence but to those of us who want to understand the psychology of how such influence occurs.”
    — Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. Author, Influence: Science and Practice

    “Direct and to the point, Sharon Presley offers her readers great insights into why we sometimes succumb to being victims, and how to find our inner strength and practical solutions.”
    — Arlyne Diamond, Ph.D., Management consultant, Diamond Associates

    “Sharon Presley earned her Ph.D. in social psychology with Stanley Milgram, the man who shocked the world with his ground-breaking research on obedience to authority. Her new book, Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated and Abused is a must read, not just for students of psychology, but for others as well. After all, who among us has not wanted to say “no” to a request from an authority figure, but didn’t know how to do it? This book will teach you how.”
    — Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Communications, University of Michigan

    “This sensible advice will really help people.”
    — Patricia King, Patricia King Partners Author of Monster Boss and Never Work for a Jerk


    "...sensible the spirit and tradition of the late Ann Landers”
    — Jeff Riggenbach Blog

    “First-rate advice backed by wide familiarity with the academic literature, but not full of academic jargon.”
    — Alan Bock, Orange County Register

    “One excellent feature of this book is the fact that Presley bases her advice on the experience of hundreds of real people; there are no made-up characters. Another is that she seems to have consulted every book, article, and website in the field of “critical thinking,” personal power relations, and just plain good advice for the contemporary world. She tells you which texts she thinks are useful, and why. That’s a big gain.”
    — Stephen Cox, Liberty

    "Knowledge is power and power can corrupt. Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abusedis a discussion of keeping one's opinions and ideas strong when even experts and authorities are human and can be wrong.
    Encouraging skepticism and not to simply accept everything as gospel from the powers that be,
    Standing Up to Experts and Authorities is a useful read for anyone who never stops questioning."
    Midwest Review of Books


    Dr. Sharon Presley is a social psychologist and retired college professor who has frequently written and spoken on obedience and resistance to authority. She is the Executive Director of Resources for Independent Thinking and the co-editor of Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre. She is currently working on a sequel to Standing Up to Experts and Authorities discussing how women can more effectively deal with authority and experts, with an eye toward problems that women face more frequently than men. Her many years of teaching Psychology of Women have provided her with many useful insights for this new book in progress.

    Pb., ISBN: 978-0-934923-87-2, 358 pp., 2010

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This book was added to our catalog on Tuesday 23 February, 2010.
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