Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

by Lauren Slater
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Through ten examples of ingenious experiments by some of psychology's most innovative thinkers, Lauren Slater traces the evolution of the century's most pressing concerns—free will, authoritarianism, conformity, and morality.

Beginning with B. F. Skinner and the legend of a child raised in a box, Slater takes us from a deep empathy with Stanley Milgram's obedience subjects to a funny and disturbing re-creation of an experiment questioning the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. Previously described only in academic journals and textbooks, these often daring experiments have never before been narrated as stories, chock-full of plot, wit, personality, and theme.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393326550
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/28/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 15,943
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lauren Slater is a psychologist and writer. She is the author of Opening Skinner's Box and Blue Beyond Blue, among other books. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Opening Skinner's Box 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
vegetarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A brief, readable history of psychological experiments on animals and humans. Fails to draw out many of the ethical implications of such research.
snarkhunt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pure poetry. Laura uses the structure of foundational experiments in social psychology to raise deep questions about medicine, free will, obedience, and the ethics of experiments that involve conscious beings.I've reconsidered long held ideas because of this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough for people who are unfamiliar with how brains work but don't want to wade through the dry details.If Mary Roach wrote about psychology, but actually had something to say, she might write this book.
ACQwoods on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about ten controversial and revolutionary psychological experiments of the twentieth century. You'll probably recognize some of them, such as Stanley Milgram's obedience research, but others will be brand new. In fact, it was fascinating to see how two experiments could appear to completely contradict each other yet still be valid. My only criticism of the book was that sometimes the author got too wrapped up in her own experience with the experiments and didn't elaborate on them as much as she could, but overall it's a fun way to learn about some really interesting experiments without getting bogged down in the technical side of things.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a quick read and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't use it as my first reference source for information about any of the experiments described. The author has made some effort to interview the experimenters, subjects, or family members of participants in a set of well-known psychological experiments. Each chapter is a very subjective story of the experiment, and the impact it has had on our understanding of the human mind, and of the effect the experiment had on the author. While the author's emotional reaction to her research did make it easy to identify with the 'characters' in the story, this reads like a third hand memoir. I was also bothered by how people's religion was almost always identified, even when it had no bearing on the subject of the experiment.So - an entertaining read, OK for getting an overview, might be good to hook someone looking at the subject for the first time, but I'd advise readers to also look at other sources.
donkeytiara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
...a clever and sometimes difficult book to read about major groundbreaking experiments in psychology in the 1900 until now. The wire mother is in here, as well as lobotomies, free will, and many other looks into experiments, their accidental biases and how they effected humanity. MUCH easier to read than a textbook, that's for sure!!
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't rave enough about this book. Fascinating subject, beautifully told. This is a non-fiction account of some of the most significant psychological experiments of the 20th century, putting them and their creators in context and showing you the impact of the studies on the world and the psychologists who thought them up. Very informative and equally readable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been more excited to read about psychology in my life. This was truly a phen. book- I love the moral background and questions she leaves you with at the end of each chapter
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It was helpful for my daughter's english literature class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I paid for this book. I regret that commitment. I'd thought that it would be an introduction to a topic i have an interest in but know little about and although there seem to be facts in there, its difficult to believe or get to grips with them because of the author's perplexingly random outbreaks of mills and boon-esque description and supposition. As a complete novice to psychology i'd appreciate an approach that wasn't overly empirical but this book was like a kid's ramblings. It seemed flimsily based on fact and was irritating. I suspect the author's guilty of bias, whimsy and sloppiness. The bad grammar and malapropisms throughout the book also suggest that her editors have indulged her narcissism. I am shocked at how strongly I feel about this book. It is truly awful and should not have been published.