James C. Coyne, PhD is Professor of Health Psychology at University Medical Center, Groningen, the Netherlands where he teaches scientific writing and critical thinking. He is also Visiting Professor, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy & Aging Research, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Coyne is Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, where he was also Director of Behavioral Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center and Senior Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He has served as External Scientific Advisor to a decade of European Commission funded community based programs to improve care for depression in the community. He has written over 350 articles and chapters, including systematic reviews of screening for distress and depression in medical settings and classic articles about stress and coping, couples research, and interpersonal aspects of depression. He has been designated by ISI Web of Science as one of the most impactful psychologists and psychiatrists in the world. His books include Screening for Depression in Clinical Settings: An Evidence-Based Review edited with Alex Mitchell (Oxford University Press; 2009). He also blogs and is a regular contributor to the blog Science Based Medicine and to the PLOS One Blog, Mind the Brain. He is known for giving lively, controversial lectures using scientific evidence to challenge assumptions about the optimal way of providing psychosocial care and care for depression to medical patients. All views that Professor Coyne expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of PLOS or other institutional affiliations.
This edition of Mind the Brain continues an odd and fascinating story of an aggressive promotion of a positive psychology self-help book. In this chapter, I tell how the promotion is being aided by the