A brilliant scientific deathblow to such profoundly unscientific theories as ‘repression’ (Freud) and ‘dissociation’ (Janet)… Perhaps a dry read for some… I found it well build-up and well written…

Although Steven Reiss doesn’t really go into the details of personality per se, he does outline a new and profoundly exciting way of thinking about personality in general. Too much of personality research has focussed on ‘abnormality’ and this is the first time since The Big Five model of personality, that someone has come up with an easy and clear new model. For obvious reasons Reiss cites his own work, which is profound, and thereby shows the validity (both face and construct) and reliability of his model.
His motivational and value based model is lightyears ahead from the ‘Galenus-like’ personality model currently used in psychiatry (derived from the haluciogenic mind of cocain-addict Sigmund Freud), I therefor like it a lot!
Although just a start of a new way of thinking about personality, I hope it will bring a fruitfull new line of research into this field…

Wouldn’t you want to know…? It is however a tough read for those new to the subject… I advice reading Gerald Edelman first (“bright air, brilliant fire”)…

It substantiated my opinions about how neuronal networks, like oscillators reaching an equilibrium in a chaotic system, have a ‘stable’ activity in this case named concepts. And it further explains how these concepts, on different levels, are called phonemes, words, sentences etcetera… For me it closed the discussion between Noam Chomsky (who believes there is a genetic basis for grammar) and those who believe grammar is learned through interaction. Grammar is based on the fundamental way our brain is wired and neuronal networks reach stable patterns of activity.

If you want to understand the origins of our moral (and other) behaviour…read it!!

The basics of the theory on neural groupings and selection (the basic mechanism of neural networks and thus our brain)…, and so very readable…

A good book, well written, arguments are built up nicely… Yet it wasn’t the earth shattering experience I was expecting… But maybe that was because I already was of the opinion Damasio tries to drive home..

If you want to know how sexual selection produces diversity and, in the case of the human species, our consciousness… Brilliant… For me it was the final piece in the puzzle for understanding human behaviour… And NO don’t tell me Freud already said something about the importance for sexuality for human behaviour… First of all he said so much nonsense that there will always be something for someone to find… And second, his blabbering about sexuality doesn’t even come close to the ray of light this book shines on the subject…

Brilliant book. It utterly destroys anyone’s belief in the tabula rasa hypothesis (as it should). Well written with lot of references to back up his claims. No genetic predestination mind you, but a thorough case for human nature and the limits of the influence of environment.

Very good book that summarizes the history of psychiatry in Western civilization and thoroughly addresses one of the most controversial periods in its history: the rise and fall of psychoanalysis. Refreshingly blunt about how this weird concoction of theories and schools was able to gain so much momentum when even Freuds contemporaries were underwhelmed by his arguments and supportive evidence for his outrageous hypotheses. A good read!

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2 Responses

  1. Rob van Ojen
    Rob van Ojen 16/07/2012 at 14:23 |

    Mooie site Jeroen, maar toch blijf ik het gevoel houden dat je Freud onderschat. Wist je dat hij één van de eersten was die de theorie van Darwin omzette (of dat probeerde althans) in een hypothese (!) over onze onbewuste (lees: biologische) driften (lees: drijfveren)? En dat hij groot voorstander was van wetenschappelijke toetsing, hoe lastig ook bij dergelijke hypothesen? Vervolgens probeerde hij met die zo hopeloos mislukte ‘psycho-analyse’ een brug te slaan tussen biologische hypothese en klinische praktijk, maar ook dat is op zich denk ik geen volstrekt verwerpelijk streven.
    Freud hoort natuurlijk in de geschiedenisboekjes en niet in de moderne psychiatrische praktijk. En toch…

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