Opening Skinner's Box

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

By (author) Lauren Slater


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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.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • 18 Mar 2005
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New York
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0393326551
  • 9780393326550
  • 95,510

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Author Information

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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Review quote

"A very readable, if highly personal, account of what we know, and don't know, about human nature, and of the ethical issues raised by our efforts to find out more." -- Peter Singer "I've been riveted by her witty explorations of everything from lying to Prozac." -- David Sedaris "Worth reading for the provocative questions it asks and for the way it lingers over the fragile, human side of psychology." -- Joy Press "A vivid, insightful account...Told with wit and warmth." "Neither clinical nor dispassionate... This combination of expert scientific and historical context, tough-minded reporting and daringly subjective re-creation." "Slater creates for the reader a sense of intimacy with scientists and their subjects." -- Erik Strand "It is precisely [Slater's] intimate confessional approach that is able to reveal the poetry latent in the sterile laboratory... A powerful and even inspiring meditation on the strengths and weaknesses hidden in our nature." -- Eric Wargo

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Review text

Beginning with B. F. Skinner and the legend of a child raised in a box, she takes us from a deep...

show more