The Great Ideas of Psychology : The Great Courses: Psychology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Daniel N. Robinson
  • Series: The Great Courses: Psychology
  • 23 hrs and 27 mins
  • Lecture

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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

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?


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- Sparrow

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses