What is it that makes you "you"? What produces your likes and dislikes, fear and fantasies? What makes you different from other people, and what makes you the same as them? For thousands of years, people have tried to identify the spirit, soul, or mind that makes us human. And they have tried to work out how and why it makes our identity. Answers have ranged from the physiological to the psychological - the influence of early experiences and upbringing. The study of psychology, which emerged from philosophy during the 19th century, addresses such questions as what makes us what we are as individuals; how we learn, know, and reason; whether we have any innate knowledge or are born with a mind that is a "blank slate"; whether we have freewill; and what is the balance between nature and nurture in forging the individual. Experiments in psychology often probe the darker recesses of the mind - how cruel will we be? How important is it to fit in? How far can the mind be tricked? Author Anne Rooney brings together the threads that have made up psychology, from the musings of the ancient Greeks to the findings of functional MRI scanning. The Story of Psychology is a narrative of how we have tried to approach the very core of our being - of what makes us ourselves.
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