BOOK REVIEW: The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You) by Simon M. Laham | Science News

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BOOK REVIEW: The Science of Sin: The Psychology of the Seven Deadlies (and Why They Are So Good For You) by Simon M. Laham

Review by Nick Bascom

By
11:22am, February 24, 2012

Contrary to popular belief, experiencing anger may make a person more optimistic and more likely to change long-held opinions. Swelling with pride can increase agreeability, while growing lusty could make a person more attentive, more creative and even more charitable, suggests Laham in this promising debut.

With a provocative wit (in the first chapter he encourages readers to grab a bra so that they can experience a study firsthand), Laham, an experimental psychologist, reveals how indulging in the seven deadly sins can be advantageous. After briefly explaining the history of the deadlies — Pope Gregory the Great, elaborating on the work of monks, popularized them in the sixth century — Laham explores recent research into the “fascinating complexity” of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy and pride and their effects on the human psyche.

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