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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.

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

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

67 of 72 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

I teach these concepts to graduate students and still learned a lot. I also wrote Dr Robinson to thank him--and he wrote back.

I cannot recommend this course enough to the serious student of humanity.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Only if you like a lot of talk about the Greeks

Really informative and interesting. Overall it leans heavily into pholosophy and the history of thought with quite a few hours dedicated to (fawning over) aristotle. So quite different to any psych course focusing more on modern experimental theories, though they are in there too. Maybe not for everyone but I gave it full marks as it is a great listen, the speaker is engaging and I learned a lot.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Oh my god, just say it.

Now, I'm in love with psychology and enjoyed the first book in the great courses series, but I can't get through this droning.
It's not to say the content isn't interesting, but the presenter is constantly moving backwards and forwards without actually saying anything for minutes on end.
In an attempt to move to a new point in chapter 6 he introduces the topic, why it might be important, people who influenced it (but not why), what things are called in other languages, pointless opinions on the youth in the audience, "what I'm going to demonstrate is", "you don't really need to know x about it at your level"... well thanks, I've entirely forgot what you were at least going to talk about because you've said nothing about it for what seems an eternity.
I am now analyzing him and his love of his own voice and pretentiousness and lost all interest in the supposed topic all together.
6 chapters in and I feel nothing at all has been said and I just have been sitting here waiting for the lecture to start.
if you want to take notes on a lack of direction and focus on lectures, this is for you. If you're looking for a laundry list of things to independently look up, also for you. If you're actually looking for insightful conteent, look elsewhere.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting lecture

Interesting subject, well read. The author not only commands the topics but has an extraordinary vocabulary, making it a great listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Review

Wonderful broad view of psychology with a sprinkling of philosophy. I recommend it for all students of psychology.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very informative and enjoyable

Fantastic narrator, needs a bit of updating, and I would have liked to have heard a bit about transactional analysis by Eric Berne. Enjoyed the full production very much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So far, so bad!

Any additional comments?

Imagine going to hear a lecture of theories of chess moves, but instead of explaining the ideas and or the theories of chess moves, the lecturer proceeds to give you a history of how chess pieces are made, how we perceive chess pieces, the different kinds of wood that are used to make chess pieces. Would you be disappointed with the content. Absolutely. The science provided in the first six lectures could be used for anything, as it is so specifically scientific and yet so extremely generalized when it comes to the ideas or theories of psychology. Save your credit and get something else.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mirenda Rosenberg
  • 03-30-15

Perfect!

I'm taking an Intro to Psychology class. The Great Ideas of Psychology is the perfect supplement. I've re-listened to several chapters whilst studying relevant information in class.

This audiobook is very enjoyable. No prior knowledge of psychology is needed, however this is not an audiobook that can be listened to passively. Many of the concepts presented require your full attention. I've often had to pause the audiobook and take a moment to process the information Id just heard.

I've enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it highly to sony one with a serious interest in Psychology.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony C (London)
  • 10-18-14

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-18

Interesting, but...

The lecturer's engaging, the irrelevant, cringeworthy and insulting references to autism less so. It was jarring to be listening to a lecture and then have, well, basically my very existence lamented. This had happened a couple of times with these psychology lectures. It's like there is some sort of death drive for the lecturers to refer, by the way, to The Tragedy of Autism. It's really unhelpful for them to be perpetuating that view. Autistic people (who are very various across the "spectrum") can face challenges, sure, but bring referred to as tragic is (for the many of us who reject that rhetoric) one of them. It feels awkward to pay money to be insulted and discriminated against. On the upside, the lecturer is really charismatic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Julien
  • 01-03-14

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Pre
  • 12-02-15

Great introductory course

Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Ideas of Psychology to be better than the print version?

This course was structured as 30-35 minutes lectures, which each of them covers an individual topic. Perfect for my daily commute.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The lecturer,who is very articulate and has a good sense of humour.

Any additional comments?

The course covers a wide range of topics in Psychology. Since this is a relatively young discipline, the lecture also attempts to provide a historic view. In addition, prof. Robinson is enthusiastic about the subject, which make it interesting and easy to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • wells
  • 11-08-15

great course

loved it, comprehensive overview. I learned so much from witch craft to mental illness, homosexuality , fundamental attribution error etc , amazing stuff . it's also beautifully narrated, bravo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LC
  • 02-25-18

Great overview

Great overview on a wide range of related topics. Lack of depth of analysis though, with various flawed arguments being presented without pointing out the flaws.

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  • J. ELARIO
  • 08-23-17

awe inspiring

clear narration and absolutely intriguing content that's mostly out of my depth of understanding but educational nonetheless.
thanks for this great compilation of talks

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Johan Rintamaa
  • 06-10-17

Quite, quite basic.

Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Daniel N. Robinson?

Professor Robinson's voice takes some getting used to.

Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

Yes, I'll be more selective about the subject matter.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Modulate his voice.

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  • stryder
  • 06-01-16

Great Courses Psychology courses really dire

This is the second Great Courses psychology related course I have tried to listen to. First time I thought it was because the course was an intro to the subject. I had higher hopes for this one. I found the course content really dull and boring, giving no real info. Verbose and academic. I am interested in psychology for a variety of personal and professional reasons. There are far better resources for psychology. I have like Great Courses material previously but having to bad experiences in a row I am reconsidering my preference for them.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ModsterMan
  • 06-05-17

Hilarious and Incredibly Detailed

Any additional comments?

This is an EXHAUSTIVE review of psychology that I doubt could EVER be improved! Professor Robinson starts from physical stimulus to perception to interpretation to social interactions and culture. Psychology on so many levels, with humour and an abundance of personal experiences that describe the history of attempting to explain and correct abnormal behaviour with all the approaches possible. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful