Great Ideas in Psychology

Pages: 320
Subject: Psychology
Imprint: Oneworld Academic

Great Ideas in Psychology

A Cultural and Historical Introduction

Fathali M. Moghaddam

An innovative introduction to nineteen key ideas that have revolutionised the study of psychology, with subjects ranging from development to neuroscience.
9781851683796 (27 Jun 2005)
RRP £29.00 / US$42.00

The Book

This book focuses on the key ideas of the most important modern psychologists. Nineteen classic "great ideas" in psychology are critically assessed in their cultural and historical context, with topics ranging from neuroscience to personality, development to socio-cultural issues. The simple narrative style and chapter structure, combined with "critical thinking questions" and a shortlist of essential readings for further study at the end of each chapter, provides an ideal approach for anyone interested in learning about the key ideas and theories in psychology

Additional Information

Subject Psychology
Pages 320
Imprint Oneworld Academic


About the Author

Author Fathali Moghaddam is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University. A highly respected academic and writer, he has written numerous books and articles, including Social Psychology: Exploring Universals across Cultures (1998, Freeman), and has had many years experience of teaching psychology at undergraduate level.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Working Out and Working In

What makes an Idea Great?

Great Ideas and Orientations in Psychology

Concluding Comment

2. The Psychological Laboratory

The Laboratory Becomes Central to


Critically Assessing the Psychology Laboratory

Concluding Comment

3. Placebo Effect

Factors to Consider in Testing for the Placebo Effect

Meaning and the Active Placebo

Complicating Factors

Concluding Comment

4.The Freudian Unconscious

Early History of the Unconscious

The Freudian Unconscious

The Unconscious Re-assessed

Concluding Comment

5.The Memory Trace: Long Term Potentiation (LPT)

Pioneering Ideas

Pioneering Experimental Research

Debate Over Long-Term Potentiation

Concluding Comment


The Law of Effect and Classical Conditioning

The American Context and Instrumental Learning

Learning, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Culture

Concluding Comment

7.Intelligence Tests

Why Are Intelligence Tests Important?

At What Age, If Ever, Does Intelligence Become Fixed?

What Are the Contributions of Nature and Nurture to Intelligence?

Is There One or Multiple Intelligence?

Concluding Comment

8.Artificial Intelligence

The Context of Artificial Intelligence

The ‘Long Debate' and Artificial Intelligence

Concluding Comment

9.Stage Models of Development

The Major Stage Models

Core Assumptions

Concluding Comment

10.The Zone of Proximal Development

Assumptions of the Traditional Approach

A Vygotskian Approach to Child Development

Concluding Comment


The Historical Context of the Idea

Bowlby's Four Phase Model

Variations on the Attachment Theme

Concluding Comment

12.Displaced Aggression

The Idea of Displaced Aggression in Wider Context

The Assumed Association Between Frustration and Aggression

Displaced Aggression and Freud's Intergroup Psychology

Concluding Comment

13.Personality Traits

Methodological Dilemmas

Conceptual Dilemmas

Concluding Comment

14.The Self

The Sense of Self



Concluding Comment

15.Conformity to Group Norms

Conformity to Arbitrary Norms

Power, Norms, and Conformity

Concluding Comment

16.Obedience to Authority

The Experimental Study of Obedience

Why Are Milgram's Obedience Studies Important?

Lessons From Psychological Research on Obedience

Concluding Comment

17.Feminist Psychology

The Cultural and Historical Context

Discovering and Interpreting Gender Differences

Concluding Comment

18.Multicultural Psychology

Assimilation and Identity

Multiculturalism and Identity

Concluding Comment

19.Evolutionary Psychology

The Historical Context of Darwin's Evolutionary Theory

Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology

Genes as ‘Causes' of Behavior

Concluding Comment

20.Social Constructionism

The Context and Background of Social Constructionism

The Main Implications of Social Constructionism

Concluding Comment