Opening Skinner's Box

Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

Lauren Slater (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

Through ten examples of ingenious experiments by some of psychology's most innovative thinkers, Lauren Slater traces the evolution of the century's most pressing concerns—free will, authoritarianism, conformity, and morality.

Beginning with B. F. Skinner and the legend of a child raised in a box, Slater takes us from a deep empathy with Stanley Milgram's obedience subjects to a funny and disturbing re-creation of an experiment questioning the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. Previously described only in academic journals and textbooks, these often daring experiments have never before been narrated as stories, chock-full of plot, wit, personality, and theme.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 2005
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32655-0
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“I've been riveted by her witty explorations of everything from lying to Prozac.” — David Sedaris, Entertainment Weekly

“Worth reading for the provocative questions it asks and for the way it lingers over the fragile, human side of psychology.” — Joy Press, Village Voice

“Astonishing stories full of quirky personalities, told with wit and warmth.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Slater creates for the reader a sense of intimacy with scientists and their subjects.” — Erik Strand, Psychology Today

“It is precisely [Slater's] intimate confessional approach that is able to reveal the poetry latent in the sterile laboratory…A powerful and even inspiring meditation on the strengths and weaknesses hidden in our nature.” — Eric Wargo, Washington Times

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