The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind

Gregory J. Feist

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September 9, 2008
336 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300143270
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth

In this book, Gregory Feist reviews and consolidates the scattered literatures on the psychology of science, then calls for the establishment of the field as a unique discipline. He offers the most comprehensive perspective yet on how science came to be possible in our species and on the important role of psychological forces in an individual’s development of scientific interest, talent, and creativity. Without a psychological perspective, Feist argues, we cannot fully understand the development of scientific thinking or scientific genius.
The author explores the major subdisciplines within psychology as well as allied areas, including biological neuroscience and developmental, cognitive, personality, and social psychology, to show how each sheds light on how scientific thinking, interest, and talent arise. He assesses which elements of scientific thinking have their origin in evolved mental mechanisms and considers how humans may have developed the highly sophisticated scientific fields we know today. In his fascinating and authoritative book, Feist deals thoughtfully with the mysteries of the human mind and convincingly argues that the creation of the psychology of science as a distinct discipline is essential to deeper understanding of human thought processes. 

Gregory J. Feist is associate professor, San Jose State University. He is founding president of the International Society for the Psychology of Science & Technology as well as founding editor-in-chief of Journal of Psychology of Science & Technology. He is the author of Theories of Personality and the forthcoming Introduction to Psychology.

"This book does two things: It provides a comprehensive review of the origins and development of scientific thinking, and it argues for a dedicated study of the psychology of science. . . . The book is entertaining and introduces a perspective on understanding science and the scientific mind that should benefit a wide audience."—Magda Osman, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
 
 

"A fascinating look at the subject of science and scientific knowledge, The Psychology of Science is a worthwhile book for both academic and non-academic audiences."—Shereen Hassanein, Metapsychology

The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind succeeds on many levels. Feist pulls together a vast range of psychological research with clarity and insight, and he advances an intriguing framework for the cognitive origins of scientific thinking. The book makes a strong case for an integrated study of the psychology of science."—David Lagnada, Science

 

“Feist’s own work on the personality dimensions of scientists is reflected in the overall emphasis given to the issues of who becomes a scientist and how scientific talent can be identified, nurtured and retained. . . . This short review only touches on the many merits of this rich and diverse book.”—Ryan D. Tweney, American Scientist

"Feist argues convincingly for an integrated study of the psychology of science. The writing is entertaining and compelling. The book should be of interest to every psychologist and a very wide audience of educated laypersons."—William James Book Award Prize Committee

"No one has even come close to creating the kind of systematic organization for the field of psychology of science that Feist has."—Robert J. Sternberg, Yale University, editor of Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid

Winner of the 2007 William James Book Award, sponsored by the Society for General Psychology (Division 1) of the American Psychological Association