A rich and engaging guide to psychology, the science devoted to understanding human nature
What really drives our decisions? Where do language and memory come from? Why do our minds sometimes seem to work against us? Psychologists have long attempted to answer these questions, seeking to understand human behaviour, feelings, and thoughts. But how to explore something so elusive?
In this fascinating history, leading expert Nicky Hayes tells the story of psychology across the centuries and around the world. Hayes introduces key thinkers, including Carl Jung, Anna Freud, Frantz Fanon, and Daniel Kahneman. We see how they tried to expand our understanding, from Pavlov and his dogs to Milgram and his famous electric shock experiments to the CIA’s secret mind-control projects. Hayes explores key concepts like child development, the inferiority complex, and PTSD and shows how psychological research has been used for both good and ill.
This Little History shines a light on the ever-advancing study of psychology, how the field has evolved over time—and how much more we need to learn.
Nicky Hayes has been involved in psychology for 50 years and is the author of over 25 celebrated books, including What Are You Thinking?, Your Brain and You, and Fundamentals of Social Psychology. She is currently the president of the British Psychological Society.
“Nicky Hayes has written an engaging, comprehensive, and consummately readable history of the field of psychology as a science. Even those familiar with the field will gain new insights by reading this book. The book is such a wonderful contrast to the usual history of psychology, which can be so dry, dull, and hard to get through. I recommend the book enthusiastically to anyone who seeks an appealing and delightful introduction to the field.”—Robert Sternberg, Professor of Psychology, Cornell University
“In lively prose, Nicky Hayes presents the principal ideas, findings, controversies, and personalities in the field of psychology.”—Howard Gardner, author of Five Minds for the Future
“Nicky Hayes guides readers through the fascinating history of psychology in this engaging account of the dynamic tug-of-war between science and culture that has historically animated the discipline of psychology.”—Erika Dyck, author of Psychedelic Psychiatry
"This enchanting and insightful little history is a must-read for anyone with an interest in psychology. Hayes is a sure-footed, humane and knowledgeable guide, covering numerous key psychological concepts on the way. They include attitudes, attachment, and antipsychiatry; control, cognition, and confirmation bias; intelligence, identity and individualism; psychoanalysis, psychometrics, and perception; as well as social learning, stress and serotonin. As we learn about behaviourism, cognitivism, developmentalism, gestalt, humanism, and social and positive psychology, we meet famous as well as lesser known contributors to the field – Descartes and Darwin, Freud and Fanon, Pavlov and Piaget, and Szasz and Seligman.”—Anna Katharina Schaffner, author of The Art of Self-Improvement
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