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Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, the human mind has been shrouded in mystery. But with the latest advancements in both our understanding of the brain and the technology we use to look inside it, scientists have vastly improved their grasp of the human mind. Now, more than at any other point in human history, we can better explain and describe how the human mind has evolved; how our genes and environments work together to mold the people we become; and the sources, symptoms, and potential treatment methods for debilitating mental disorders like depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and many others.

The human mind and its complexities lie at the heart of who we are as human beings. And grasping its origins, no matter how mysterious they can sometimes be, is essential to a well-rounded understanding of answers to questions that have fascinated and perplexed humanity throughout history.

This 24-lecture series is your guide to the latest information and viewpoints on what scientists know about this fascinating subject. Taught by an award-winning teacher whose training as a clinical psychologist straddles both the science of the mind and its impact on individual lives, their comprehensive approach reveals how that science applies to the life of our species - and to your own life as well.

The lectures explore theories about how the mind works on both an evolutionary and individual scale. Each offers its own fascinating insights. But by examining them both individually and together, Professor Hinshaw reveals similarities and differences in viewpoints and approaches that wouldn't be apparent from a focus on just one - providing you with the best possible picture about what the mind truly is.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Very enlightening...

reading! Hinshaw's brilliantly constructed course blends biology, psychology, sociology, developmental science and philosophy to pursue the nature and origins of the most complicated known system in the universe: the human mind. Always intellectual and scientific in approach, Hinshaw never floats too far into speculation, and yet he does not commit the sin of the Functionalists in dismissing the mind as a "mere byproduct of the brain." Intelligent, thought-provoking and challenging even for someone who has spent years in this line of study, this course is one of the best Great Courses I have come across.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Coherent, organized, well-balanced, informative!

Where does Origins of the Human Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 5%.

What did you like best about this story?

The lecturer truly invests himself in the course and manages to cover an amazing amount of ground. The insights I have gained into the development of personality, the interaction of environmental and genetic influences, diseases of the mind and life stages have profoundly influenced by understanding of the human condition.

What does Professor Stephen P. Hinshaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The lecturer is convincing, yet not overwhelming or opinionated. All of this is conveyed very effectively through intonation, pacing and emotional warmth. The personal story at the end is told with such emotional engagement that the lecturer's voice is still with me as I recall every detail. This biographical detail was truly welcome in an otherwise impersonal corpus.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to this course three times now and still feel that I need to repeat the experience. There is so much to take in and so much to think about.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • P
  • 10-30-13

Great material, great prof, scope too wide

Where does Origins of the Human Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top half

What other book might you compare Origins of the Human Mind to and why?

It's a course, so this isn't applicable

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The professor is engaging and his use of his personal experience with a family mental disorder illustrated a subset of his lessons in a compelling way. Three stars is in comparison to professional narrators.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

This is a great topic. But it is necessarily complex. I finished each lesson wanting more depth. The professor gamely tried to provide real insight but this required him to move too fast so he could hit all the points he wanted to make. Even as a survey, the scope should be smaller. That said, I very much enjoyed this and would recommend it. It provides a great 10,000 foot view and does so in a way that drew me in.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • geoff
  • statesville, NC, United States
  • 09-07-13

The next best thing to being in class.

Very good teacher. I would recommend this book to all people, but especially to young people. These lectures help us to understand ourselves and others better. The brain, genes, and environments. This is in lecture format, so if at first you find them boring, do not stop. You will not know what you missed, but you will miss what you don't know.
Love this series of teaching lectures. Great addition to Audible.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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good but sometimes superficial

i felt that some chapters and ideas deserved more examples and depth, sometimes felt that one chapter tackels to many ideas in 30 minutes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Stephen Hinshaw makes this all seem easy.

Any additional comments?

I listen to it over and over again and it doesn't get old.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Em
  • 05-16-15

Antivax

He gives credence to the vaccination hypothesis of autism without acknowledging the massive body of scientific research disproving it.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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As a MGTOW I must say I greatly enjoyed this

Every person I know would benefit from knowing this. Now I will listen to it again.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • brandi
  • PITTSBURGH, PA, United States
  • 09-13-15

Fascinating! Comprehensive! Enthralling!

I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in what makes humans tick. The professor is brilliant /articulate/skilled at describing cognitive processes/evolution of mind/relevant social contexts. I'm looking forward to listening to future courses given by this talented professional.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wide Range of Topics

Loved it, maybe not every chapter but was well worth it especially the sections on adhd

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-17

Inreresting - but.

Interesting, and mostly very thoughtful. arbitrarily and unhelpfully dismisses neurodiversity, however. I am autistic (+ irked).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • saeed Kohan
  • 03-22-17

did not have sufficient depth

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The first part on the actual neurobiological origins of human behaviour were somewhat superficial.

If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

on the similar topic I found Prof. Sapolsky's writings much more in depth and robust in argument and background knowledge. I believe those interested in neurobiology would find his lectures far more interesting.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Professor Stephen P. Hinshaw?

no

If this book were a film would you go see it?

no