This diverse set of essays traces Epstein's experimental and theoretical work over a 15 year period. Four of the essays were coauthored by the eminent psychologist B.F. Skinner. The book demonstrates how the scientific study of behavior can increase our understanding and effectiveness in many domains: creativity and innovation, parenting, artificial intelligence, self-improvement, and even world peace. Reviewers have praised the volume as an impressive effort by one of America's most notable psychologists.
Epstein's goals in writing this book were (a) to present some relatively interesting papers that can stand alone and (b) to organize and edit them so that sections have some integrity and so that the overall volume paints a fairly consistent picture of his evolving views on cognition, creativity, and behavior. Parts I and II focus on generativity research and theory and on some Columban (pigeon) simulations of human behavior, and Part III includes some related laboratory studies. Part IV is concerned with efforts to create a comprehensive science of behavior, and Part V includes essays about Skinner, one of the principle architects of behaviorism. Part VI includes forays into artifical intelligence, child rearing, categorization research, and other topics, and Part VII takes the volume to some uncertain reflections on growing older, and to a modest proposal for a day of world peace.
About the Author:
Robert Epstein received his PhD in psychology from Harvard University. At Harvard, he worked closely with B.F. Skinner for five years and edited two books of his writings, Notebooks and Skinner for the Classroom. Epstein is the founder and Director Emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts. He has served as professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology at National University in San Diego and was recently appointed the university's first Research Professor. He is the author of over 70 scholarly and scientific articles. His research has been reported in Time magazine, the New York Times, and Discover magazine, and his popular writings have appeared in Parenting, Reader's Digest, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.