Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helping To Demystify The Mind, 31 May 2010
This review is from: Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
At first sight I was not won over by the subtitle of this book. 'Great Psychological Experiments Of The Twetieth Century' conjures up images of lab monkeys with electrodes attched to shaven heads and all matter of convulsive therapies - definitely not the light reading I was in need of. And yet Lauren Slater has performed the near miraculous feat of turning research into some of the more lugubrious and disarming of human traits and disorders into a thoroughly readable, understandable and entertaining, yes entertaining, book.That she has written this with a human and personal voice throughout makes it even more approachable; her own experiences as a psychologist, a wife and a mother make this an emotive and therapeutic read, helping to dispel the phantoms of Stanley Milgram's studies in obedience, Harry Harlow's somewhat misguided experiments with primates and surrogate mothers and, most disturbingly, Eric Kandel's attempts to develop a medication which will enable us to improve memory retention and recall.
In all eleven of the last century's most prominent and/or notorious scientists are dissected by the scalpel like sharpness of Slater's words and in most cases her conclusions are that the progress that has been made in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and psychosurgery as a result of the work generated by these eleven far outweigh our moral outrage and attempts to brand them Orwellian, Frankenstein esque or followers of a Huxley type miopeia. On the question of the ethical legacy of the last century's mind experimenters Slater is reassuring when she says that it is unlikely that we will see another Milgram today. Unfortunately political torture is not a fiction and, we can be very certain of this, there are still countries who can and do use the findings of Milgram et al to subjugate and punish their prisoners/citizens. Perhaps the main lesson to be learned from this excellently argued book is to ensure that Skinner, whose ultimate vision was of a government of behavioral psychologists with the means to train its citizens into ultra obedient robots, and his modern day equivalents never receive the encouragement or the research grants to turn vision into harsh reality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: salford

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,219