First published in 1890, this book established psychology as a science and served as the quintessential work in the field for decades. James' intricate studies and paradigm-shifting ideas transformed the way we look at human thought and action. The text covers the core concepts of what it means to be human - brain function, consciousness, discrimination, memory, sensation, imagination, reasoning, and instinct. Chapters on four central ideas - habit, stream of consciousness (stream of thought, as James put it), emotion, and will - remain the definitive treatments of the topics.
James' work influenced all major branches of psychology that followed, including psychoanalysis, Würzburg, gestalt, behaviorism, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral economics. No credible psychologist of the last hundred years fails to cite William James and the Principles of Psychology as a major influence.
The book is published in two volumes, the first containing Chapters I through XVI and the second continuing from XVII to XXVIII.
Found this book to be very straight forward, many of his insights were applicable to my own thinking
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Despite outdated science, the philosophical discussion and insightful, penetrating writing style of James' investigation into Psychology make this a classic. Another reader complained of the speed of narration; you can change the speed in the Audible app. To me the narration was an exhilarating jump into the stream of thought of a genius.
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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Needs a far more measured and skilled delivery. Narrator sounds rushed, even slurped from a drink on three occasions. Digital chapters end and begin in the middle of sentences, a clear sign this was rushed and given little or no production value
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Rushed. I honestly thought (and checked to see, multiple times) it was running at fast-forward speed. As mentioned above, he slurps drinks while narrating, for heavens sake. It doesn’t get worse than that
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Classic material of course,but you are probably aware of that by the time you read these reviews
Any additional comments?
Badly rushed production on all levels. Most disappointed.
What made the experience of listening to The Principles of Psychology, Vol. I the most enjoyable?
This is the foundation of all modern psychology and it is astounding to see how farseeing James was in his work. He deals with some pretty complex stuff, but has a knack for bringing the science into very accessible stories and explanations.
What does Christian Chapman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narrator seemingly effortlessly handles a variety of scientific, Latin, German, and French. Very talented!
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Any additional comments?
Shame on the editor's of New Classic Books (if indeed there were any) for not moderating the breathtaking speed at which this great and timeless classic was read. I tried decreasing the speed on my phone to 0.75, but then the narrator sounds as if he were on Prozac. I have waited for years for this wonderful book to appear, which made it all the more painful to see it
read so as to make it almost unintelligible. Any competent editor, or narrator, would have realized the problem and made appropriate adjustments.
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