Opening Skinner's Box

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

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In "Opening Skinner's Box", psychiatrist and writer Lauren Slater sets out to investigate the twentieth century through a series of fascinating, witty and sometimes shocking accounts of its key psychological experiments. Beginning with the behaviourist B. F. Skinner, she describes his work with animals in the 1930s, in which he demonstrated the power of rewards and reinforcements to shape behaviour, and probes the truth behind the legend of the child raised in a box. From deep empathy with participants in Stanley Milgram's controversial 1950s experiment designed to explain obedience to authority to a post-Holocaust world, she moves to David Rosenhan's disturbing 1970s experiment that questioned the validity of psychiatric diagnosis itself. With her we observe cognitive dissonance among cult members whose apocalypse fails to arrive, and see the groundwork being laid for a pill that promises to rescue the failing memory. Previously buried in academic journals and textbooks, these often daring experiments concerned with free will, authoritarianism, violence, conformity, and morality are now seen now seen in their full context and told as stories, rich in plot, wit and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 158 x 234 x 34mm | 598.75g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747563179
  • 9780747563174

About Lauren Slater

Lauren Slater is the author of WELCOME TO MY COUNTRY, PROZAC DIARY, and has written articles and contributed pieces to THE NEW YORK TIMES, HARPER'S, ELLE and NERVE. Her essays are widely anthologized and she is a frequent guest on US radio shows, including 'This American Life and 'The People's Pharmacy' on NPR. Bloomsbury will also publish Slater's LOVE WORKS LIKE THIS in January more

Rating details

1,990 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 29% (587)
4 41% (815)
3 22% (441)
2 5% (107)
1 2% (40)
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