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The Story of Psychology

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  420 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Mesmer, William James, Pavlov, Freud, Piaget, Erikson, and Skinner. Each of these thinkers recognized that human beings could examine, comprehend, and eventually guide or influence their own thought processes, emotions, and resulting behavior. The lives and accomplishments of these pillars of psychology, expertly assembled by Morton Hun ...more
Paperback, 896 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Anchor (first published 1993)
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John M.
Jan 07, 2013 John M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way that this book was constructed. It is basically a history of psychology and doesn't get bogged down in any single topic for too long. Contrary to some other readers, I enjoyed the chapters concerned with early philosophical speculation about the origin and nature of mental processes. It greatly added to my knowledge in this area which previously consisted of what I learned in an Intro to Philosophy course. The section on the "proto-psychologists" was highly enlightening ins ...more
May 15, 2011 Lily rated it it was amazing
This book is like an extended spark notes on the history of psychology. I would recommend reading one or two of the later chapters first and then going back to the beginning. That way the book goes faster. It's slower reading in Part I because one is less familiar with the concepts (although it's much easier than reading the primary sources!). It was very enjoyable to review some previously considered material while filling in gaps in my knowledge. It begins with Greek philosophers, who obviousl ...more
May 23, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: boyfriend #1
This book solidified my desire to be a psychologist.
Pam Severini
Jul 18, 2012 Pam Severini rated it it was amazing
Extensive and through history of psychology. Very long but flows well.
May 29, 2014 Ryan added it
Tom picked up this 900-page monster for me at one of his book festivals, and I set it aside thinking I would probably never get to it. Even when I started it, I thought I'd read a few chapters, take a break, read something else, and come back to it several times before I finished it. But to my delight once I started it I sped through it pretty quickly. Despite the potentially dry subject matter, the book isn't written dryly at all, actually, and I appreciate the author's reluctance to get too bo ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychology majors, minors
Ok, this is a history book so it's quite dry. But if you've read or heard about Edward G. Boring's (not kidding about that name) tome on the history of psychology, Hunt's book is a delightful read.

If you are a psychology major or thinking about heading in to grad school, you might find this book helpful / interesting because it shows the progression of schools of psychological perspectives (how/why did neo-Freudians break from true Freudians?) and evolution of other perspectives (how/why did exi
Blue Caeruleus
Mar 09, 2012 Blue Caeruleus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: psychologists, psychiatrists
Shelves: psychology, favorites
By far my favorite work of non-fiction. Most psychology books these days are either too vague or only provide information on one specific area of study. (After reading this book, I can see why.) This book, unlike all the others I've looked at, aswered nearly all of the questions that I had about psychology and provided information that I hadn't iquired after but found most enjoyable to learn. This book should be required reading!
SK CintaZeni
Feb 03, 2014 SK CintaZeni rated it it was amazing
Still reading but enjoying it MUCH.

Much was said about Imam Ghazali r.a. and the philosophers for his 20-point refutations but (someday, I will expound on this!), Imam Ghazali r.a. actually extended their views on mental processes via Qalb, Nafs, Ruh and Aql.
Let me give you an example from the book -

(On Plato)
Yet he was a sensible man with wide experience of the world, and some of his psychological conjectures about the soul are down-to-earth and sound almost contemporary. In some of the middle
Jan 17, 2009 Shalyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This is a pretty interesting book if you want to read all you ever could in one book on psychology. The background of the psychologist themselves are pretty interesting and their basic theories and contributions are reviewed, which isn't super exciting. Of course, I read this for one of my classes, but I might actually have picked it up to read parts of it out of curiousity as well.
Interesting, and useful as a reference on the people who developed various theories and methods in the field; limited, because it says little about how to apply those theories and methods, but I guess that wasn't the author's aim. This would come in handy for anyone studying for the kind of licensing exam that focuses on this category of information, i.e. psychological trivial pursuit.
Having a hard time not skipping right to the modern psychology part. Oh Freud - I shake my tiny fist at you!
Aug 02, 2012 Broodingferret rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, history
Extensive and detailed, The Story of Psychology is a must read for any student of psychology. While quite lengthy and a bit dry, the writing is easily accessible and moves along at a good pace. Hunt also does an admirable job of giving the various movements and schools of thought within the discipline their proper dues as regards their influence over the years, though there are a few glaring and frankly inexplicable omissions of important individuals. Ramón y Cajal, for example was never mention ...more
Oct 23, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, basic history of Psychology. Published in 1994, the "current" research, especially on neurology, is quite dated, and a good deal of the research you learned in Psych 101, but i really enjoyed the broad contextualization of the movements, ideas and big questions in psychology. Grounded a lot of the bits and pieces I already knew in a more coherent cloth.
Jul 28, 2011 Miklos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a 600+ page magnum opus on the history and development of psychology, from the days of mysticism to a more respectable science/art. If you have any interest in psychology or want to pursue a related field, reading this from first page to last (as I did) or even reading it as a reference, I would highly recommend this book.
Tim Petersik
Aug 28, 2013 Tim Petersik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written survey of Western psychology. It's long, but nonetheless not too much time is spent on any single person or topic. It's largely a "great person" analysis of this history. Though I would also enjoy a cultural or more zeitgeist-oriented approach, it IS still fun to look at the personalities who shaped the field.
Aug 15, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
So far it is very interesting especially since I love stories. It tells you all about the great psychologists.
Mohammad.F Jaber
Of all the subjects I am interested in, psychology is by far the most absurd. I can't get myself to consider it a science because it is, in simple terms, the aspiration of the human brain to understand its complexity, but equally unavoidable are the scientific traits and applications of such a field. In this book several things have been discussed in this book:

1. The philosophical background of psychology.
2. The birth of psychology as a separate science.
3. Psychoanalysis and Freud.
4. Behaviori
Feb 25, 2014 Mo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good lay introduction to the history of psychology. Hunt has done his work for the most part, so no faults there. However, there is an element of drama/gossip to the narrative that is somewhat unnecessary. I realize this is probably great for non-psychology people; it's a bit grating for psychologists to read. With that in mind, though, if you are interested in how the discipline of psychology came to be, this is a decent place to start.
Sep 09, 2014 Karyad rated it really liked it
The first 100 pages blitz through the beginning of identifiably psychological / psuedopsychological ideas all the way up to the 19th century...phew! A very skilled retelling too, which I enjoyed very much. That alone was worth checking it from the library; I got what I needed out of it and felt no further motivation to continue. Now I can talk about Socrates and Plato with my friends and actually have an inkling of what's what!
Margy Levine Young
The first part is skippable, since it’s really about philosophy, before psychology was invented. The rest is a fascinating history of the field and its various branches and researchers. Thank goodness our obsession with behaviorism is over.
Selina Mahmood
This should be renamed a Eurocentric Story of Psychology. In the long history of the human mind this book has presented a series of white men after white men, with a token Turkish man and a few women towards the end.
Mariella Liezl
Hi. This is my first time to this app. The story of Psychology, I really want to read this. But I don't know how? I can't find how to read this. Anyone? please help me. Thankyou.
It's a pleasure to learn about the giants in the field of psychology. Morton makes at least one apology for his focus on "great men in history." While he admits that the times in which these men lived contributed to their ideas and work, Hunt is much more concerned about how individual pioneers shaped psychology in particular and popular thought in general. I had little use for the early chapters about the Greek and European thinkerss whose ideas anticipated psychology. Things became much more i ...more
Dave Comerford
Nov 24, 2011 Dave Comerford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book has to be special to merit 5 stars. This book is not special, it's just really, really good at doing what it claims to do. The theories are well explained, the biographies are entertainingly presented and the two are woven together in such a way that a story emerges that is well worth listening to. I like that Morton Hunt is largely absent from the text. Speculation in this book is rare and reserved for how biographical events might have served as moments of inspiration, which I enjoy thi ...more
Finshed through the philosophers and thinkers, didn't make it to modern phychologists. I'll finish it another time, it was a good adventure while it lasted. This tome is cumbersome to cart around.
Kevin J. Rogers
This was proving to be highly informative, but not terribly useful in terms of my purposes. I'm going to lay it aside for the moment and wait until I have more time for it. Really it's a history of the development of psychology as a discipline, and thus better suited to casual reading. Definitely on my list for the summer.
Jeff Bush
Jun 17, 2012 Jeff Bush rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of the field of psychology. It can be a little tedious at times, because Hunt paints psychology with such a broad brush (there are entire chapters which seem like they are in the wrong book). However, when the book stays within the confines of psychology it's a oretty interesting read, with good information.
Jan 07, 2012 Michael is currently reading it
Reading this puppy in the manner of a textbook. Seems well organized and well-stuff'd with information. Dives to the furthest reaches of recorded history and conceptually builds on itself. It'll be a while working through this, but looking forward to it.
Jul 01, 2015 Chelsey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-books
I read this for my history of Psychology class and I loved it! The information was presented in a light manner and was actually fun and interesting to read! I'd love to reread this again on my own time.
Pretty dry reading but I learned quite a bit. Don't know if anyone would be interested in this unless they were a psychologist or forced to read it for a class (like I was)
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Date of Birth: 1920

Morton Hunt is an award winning science writer who has writen for The New Yorker,The New York Times Magazine and Harper's among many other publications. He is the author of "The Natural History of Love", and "The Universe Within". He lives in Gladwyne, PA.
More about Morton Hunt...

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“Historians are wont to name technological advances as the great milestones of culture, among them the development of the plow, the discovery of smelting and metalworking, the invention of the clock, printing press, steam power, electric engine, lightbulb, semiconductor, and computer. But possibly even more transforming than any of these was the recognition by Greek philosophers and their intellectual descendants that human beings could examine, comprehend, and eventually even guide or control their own thought process, emotions, and resulting behavior.

With that realization we became something new and different on earth: the only animal that, by examining its own cerebration and behavior, could alter them. This, surely, was a giant step in evolution. Although we are physically little different from the people of three thousand years ago, we are culturally a different species. We are the psychologizing animal.”
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