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Hans Eysenck : the man and his work by…

Hans Eysenck : the man and his work

by Hamilton B. Gibson

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Recently added bynandadevi, Skerryvore



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Sometimes books are not just worth reading in their own right, but also something of a necessary adjunct to something else you've read. Gibson's 'Eysenck' is definitely the essential medicine for the reader of Eysenck's autobiography, 'Rebel With a Cause'. The perplexities of character (and genius) that are evident in the autobiography are given some essential context and explanation by Gibson.

The importance of Eysenck to the history of psychology is somewhat lost in the publicity (and notoriety) that has swirled around him as a result of his research into race and intelligence. And it must be said that Eysenck's vast ego, combative nature and dismissive scorn for less capable academics and professionals has muddied the picture of his achievements. No history of the tearing down of the myth of the infallibility of Freud and the practice of psychoanalysis, and the creation and expansion of the role of clinical psychologists, cognitive-behaviour therapy and evidence-based therapy would be complete without acknowledgement of Eysenck's pivotal role.

Gibson does a very good job of telling the story, bringing forward anecdotes from his own time in working 'around' Eysenck, and relating the experience and feelings of others who worked closely with (or against) Eysenck through his very long career. Without getting too 'deep' or speculative, Gibson looks at how Eysenck's life and character has shaped his views, and that paradox of Eysenck - that he was as secretive and reserved (and cautious) as he was (or appeared to be) an impassioned publicist for his 'causes' and a strident critic of some other folks' sacred cows.

Highly recommended to any students of psychology, or for those whose interest in the history of psychology has come about through less unnatural channels. ( )
  nandadevi | Apr 28, 2013 |
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