WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: A Look at Psychology by Elizabeth Hall

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: A Look at Psychology

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Hall's introduction covers much of the same territory as a beginning college text -- personality, culture, adjustment, motivation, emotion, learning, memory, language -- at an undemanding level but generally without the condecension and superficiality of Alice Fleming's Psychiatry (KR, 1972). All the concepts are liberally illustrated with reports of laboratory studies, and if Hall is sometimes too quick to lead us to conclusions from isolated studies (a hazard with this sort of once-over approach) or to pronounce on a matter of controversy (as in her assurances regarding the implications of behavior control), the cited investigations have their own fascination. (Most impressive perhaps is Sarah the chimp who learned to ""read"" and ""write"" over 120 words -- represented by plastic tokens and including adjectives, prepositions, verbs and nouns -- and to combine them in ""sentences."") Her unobtrusive behaviorist orientation (thinking is implicitly equated with problem solving and learning defined in terms of changed behavior, and schedules of reinforcement receive a good share of attention) doesn't preclude reference to Rogers' and Maslow's self-actualization nore nore nor nor definite: language structures, and all in all this is a handy, reasonable survey for young people new to the notion of psychology as a science.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1973
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin