In this elegantly written book, Jerome Kagan melds the history of the field of psychology during the past 50 years with the story of his own research efforts of the same period and an analysis of what he terms "the currently rocky romance between psychology and biology." As Kagan unwinds his own history, he reveals the seminal events that have shaped his career and discusses how his assumptions have changed. With full appreciation for the contributions to psychology of history, philosophy, literature, and neuroscience, he approaches a wide range of fascinating topics, including:
* the abandonment of orthodox forms of behaviorism and psychoanalysis
* the forces that inspired later-twentieth-century curiosity about young children
* why B. F. Skinner chose to study psychology
* why the study of science less often ignites imaginations today
* our society's obsession with erotic love
* the resurgence of religious fanaticism and the religious Right
Embedded in Kagan's discussions is a rejection of the current notion that a mature neuroscience will eventually replace psychology. He argues that a complete understanding of brain is not synonymous with a full explanation of mind, and he concludes with a brief prediction of the next five decades in the field of psychology.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"'In this compelling academic memoir, Kagan draws on decades of his own and others' research in education and child development to challenge the assumption that early childhood experience determines adult disposition... Written with masterly clarity and accessibility, Kagan's history of a young science and of his own contributions to it will inspire and enrich all those interested in educational and child psychology." Publishers Weekly (starred review)"