Psychology's Grand Theorists : How Personal Experiences Shaped Professional Ideas book cover
1st Edition

Psychology's Grand Theorists
How Personal Experiences Shaped Professional Ideas

ISBN 9780805851083
Published July 16, 2004 by Psychology Press
216 Pages

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Book Description

Psychology's Grand Theorists argues that the three schools in psychology that have been dominant historically--the psychodynamic, behavioral, and phenomenological--have resulted in large part from the personal experiences of their originators. Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, and Carl Rogers each believed that he had discovered the truth about human nature, yet their truths are entirely different. This book explores how the lives of these men influenced the divergent theories they developed, through a close examination of letters, diaries, biographies, autobiographies, and professional writings. Uncovering the subjective sources of these theories, the book gives the reader a greater sense of intimacy with each man's ideas, and promotes critical inquiry into their scientific status. The book is written in an engaging style that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Intended as a supplement in courses on personality, clinical psychology, and/or the history of psychology, it will also be of interest to clinicians or counselors who use one or more of these theoretical models in their therapeutic work.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. The Psychodynamic Approach: Sigmund Freud. The Behavioral Approach: B.F. Skinner. The Phenomenological Approach: Carl Rogers. Conclusion.

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"Amy Demorest has written an elegant and insightful book about how the personal lives of psychology's most well-known theorists deeply influenced the theories they produced. Her careful reading of autobiographical sources and her innovative analysis set new standards for scholarship in the study of eminent lives. This beautifully written book is a must-read for anybody interested in the nature and origins of personality theory, the history of psychology, or the psychological study of the individual person."—Dan P. McAdams, Ph.D. Northwestern University

"Amy Demorest has put the person back at the center of personality theory....she shows how the individual psychologies and personal preoccupations of three giants in the field are reflected in their respective theories. Her accessible and fascinating study will be valued by undergraduate and graduate students, academic psychologists, psychotherapists, and others interested in the origins of seminal ideas."—Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"This book is a winner....Professor Demorest tells compelling stories which draw readers in....She writes about the most influential thinkers in the field of psychology.... in a way that brings them to life... and she presents a model that can be applied to every major theorist, as well as every other person we meet in life."—Richard P. Halgin, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst