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The Great Ideas of Psychology | [The Great Courses]

The Great Ideas of Psychology

If you’ve ever wanted to delve more deeply into the mysteries of human emotion, perception, and cognition, and of why we do what we do, these 48 lectures offer a superb place to start. With them, you’ll see the entire history of psychology unfold. In the hands of Professor Robinson, these lectures encompass ideas, speculations, and point-blank moral questions that might just dismantle and rebuild everything you once thought you knew about psychology.
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Publisher's Summary

If you’ve ever wanted to delve more deeply into the mysteries of human emotion, perception, and cognition, and of why we do what we do, these 48 lectures offer a superb place to start. With them, you’ll see the entire history of psychology unfold. In the hands of Professor Robinson, these lectures encompass ideas, speculations, and point-blank moral questions that might just dismantle and rebuild everything you once thought you knew about psychology. In fact, you’ll not only learn what psychology is, but even if it is, as Professor Robinson discusses the constantly shifting debate over the nature of psychology itself.

Lecture by lecture, Professor Robinson navigates from one subject to the next, and you’ll follow along as he recreates a Platonic dialogue; explains brain physiology; or explores the intricacies of middle ear construction, the psychological underpinnings of the Salem witch trials, and the history of the insanity defense.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

  • How a brilliant young scientist’s temporary blindness led to pioneering research in sensory psychology
  • How the once-prestigious, now-derided, ”sciences” of phrenology and mesmerism contributed to psychological knowledge
  • What happened when a Stanford psychologist and his students decided to study “being sane in insane places” by getting themselves committed to a mental institution
  • How the brain is able to “rewire” itself to compensate for particular traumas at an early age
  • If high heritability determines how much the environment influences the value of a trait, and more.
    • Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

      ©1997 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1997 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (89 )
5 star
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4.2 (72 )
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4.2 (77 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gare&Sophia Alexandria, VA, United States 01-21-14
    Gare&Sophia Alexandria, VA, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2007

    Private intellectual, writer, and retired academic. Currently R&D director for Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Oxford level of examination of psychology"

    The teaser review that comes up for this course is just plain misguided. As a former Ivy league professor I applaud Professor Robinson's approach to the topic. He puts modern and historic psychology and its underlying theories in the perspective necessary to understand the rational basis from which they were derived.

    I am a scientist and I felt this his approach and coverage of a diverse set of related topics was excellent. I should also point out that my wife who is a mental health professional also found this book to be not only a great read, but an excellent coverage of the topic.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 02-26-14
    Saud 02-26-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent journey into the mind"

    This course explores the development of the field of psychology, going through all the major developments, ideas, and problems it has faced. Your mileage may vary based on how seriously you take psychology as a legitimate field of study. While I have some doubts about some concepts, overall this is an interesting ride on the human understanding of mind, personality, and to a certain degree criminal law.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Booth Albuquerque 05-10-14
    Carrie Booth Albuquerque 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    I am a fan of science, skepticism, and (oddly enough) fantasy. I love thought provoking ideas and intricate character development!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How did Psychology come to be what it is now?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Great Ideas of Psychology the most enjoyable?

    This was so thought provoking. It was very similar to an undergraduate course I took years ago, but at the time I didn't really appreciate it as much as I do now. I love gaining the perspective of how ideas and fields came to be, and what influences the different approaches to psychology in study and practice.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vika Oceanside, CA, United States 11-16-13
    vika Oceanside, CA, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Thorougly enjoyed the lectures"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Things that every educated person should know and consider were discussed.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I was listening to it when commuting and the hour flew by every time!


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew R. Morris-Cook 11-20-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    Story
    "A Bit Jumpy"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The course seems to be divided into purely biological and physical explanations of psychology, but then the last half is 1/10th part Freud, and a mix of sociology and a few other random topics. The information is great, but doesn't appear to be coherently organized.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wanted more about the "armchair" psychological theories, such as Freud, Jung, Erich Fromm, etc.


    What three words best describe Professor Daniel N. Robinson’s performance?

    "Do you see?"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sparrow Marin County, CA 11-18-13
    Sparrow Marin County, CA 11-18-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Misleading Title!! Try History of Philosophy"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Daniel N. Robinson?

    I don't think so -- I believe this is a very misleading title -- and while the professor's credentials are impeccable -- I was four lectures (2 hours) into this series and got so upset I was yelling at the speakers! How is this the Great Ideas of Psychology? Try the History of Philosophy -- starting at the very beginning... Groan!!

    I was really expecting to have a well-thought out, well-defined list of the Great Ideas of Psychology and after listening about Plato and Socrates and the Salem Witchhunts, although entertaining, and spoken with erudition, I FELT CHEATED!!

    The title is misleading. If you can make it past the first two hours with virtually no discernible Psychology, I think at some point he does get into Psychology. However, on principle, I couldn't and wouldn't wade through more of what I didn't want hoping someday this course would fulfill it's promise.


    What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?

    See above


    What does Professor Daniel N. Robinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Don't know


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    No

    11 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omid 11-15-14
    Omid 11-15-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Too wordy"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    people with a lot of time and patience to throw away for very little


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    make it shorter


    How could the performance have been better?

    brief


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Great Ideas of Psychology?

    %70 of the talk


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Julien
    MANCHESTER, United Kingdom
    1/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A stimulating tour de force"
    Where does The Great Ideas of Psychology rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I have listened to, and kept me engaged for all of the 23 hours.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator.


    What does Professor Daniel N. Robinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    n/a


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Impossible: it's 23 hours long.


    Any additional comments?

    Thought-provoking and erudite.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tony C (London)
    West London
    10/18/14
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    Story
    "Excellent"

    A well-structured course of lectures, with each lecture summarised at the start and recapped at the end. Not quite the flair of Prof. Martin's Psychology lectures,-- sometimes he gives the impression of having given the lectures on one too many occasions. Nonetheless, highly recommended. I've no background in psychology but I've now listened to two courses of Psychology lectures -- as well as the audiobook of Ruby Wax's Sane New World.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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