The Psychology of The Simpsons - Content

Content

The book contains content from twenty-nine contributors, including psychologists, counselors and school therapists. It also includes content from Brown and Logan. General topics discussed in the work include family, alcohol abuse, relationships, self-esteem, sex and gender, and personality. Specific topics in the field of psychology include clinical psychology, cognition, abnormal psychology, evolutionary psychology, gambling addiction, Pavlovian conditioning and family therapy. Contributor Denis M. McCarthy, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, analyzes risk factors for alcoholism presented in The Simpsons. McCarthy cites Bart's passive-avoidance learning as a risk factor, and notes that Maggie is at a high risk for substance abuse due to violent tendencies.

Though each chapter contains material comparing The Simpsons episodes to academic psychology themes, the chapter titles are less serious, including "Which One of Us is Truly Crazy" and "Looking For Mr. Smarty Pants." Editor Chris Logan explained: "The book’s content is very serious, but it's not presented in an overly serious way." The Simpsons Archive also described the balance between humor and academia in the book, noting: "Fortunately, despite numerous references to various psychological theories and academic studies, the essays steer clear of becoming too serious, and manage to stay entertaining throughout the book."

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