Magazine July 1, 2021, Issue

How Flawed Social Science Leads Us Astray

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The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can’t Cure Our Social Ills, by Jesse Singal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 352 pp., $28)

There are two classes of people in the world, the old saw goes, those who divide hu­manity into two classes, and those who do not.

The charms of easy categorization and broad generalization have tempted social scientists for centuries. But the trend has picked up speed, especially in psychology, over the last several decades, as Jesse Singal capably demonstrates in The Quick Fix, his engaging and persuasive examination of the growing, unfortunate popularity of faddish theories and their prosperous purveyors.

A heterodox liberal who wrote for various center-left outlets before succumbing to the Substack revolution and starting a popular podcast with fellow

This article appears as “Fixing the Fixers” in the July 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Michael M. Rosen — Mr. Rosen is an attorney and writer in Israel and an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Instead of leading the scientific consensus, Anthony Fauci merely stands in front of it, even as it contradicts itself.

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