Handbook Of Psychobiography

Hardcover | June 17, 2005

EditorWilliam Todd Schultz

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This exceptionally readable and down-to-earth handbook is destined to become the definitive guide to psychobiographical research, the application of psychological theory and research to individual lives of historical importance. It brings together for the first time the world's leadingpsychobiographers, writing lucidly on many of the major figures of our age - from Osama Bin Laden to Elvis Presley. The first section of the book addresses the subject of how to construct an effective psychobiography. Editor William Todd Schultz introduces the field, provides valuable definitionsof good and bad psychobiography, discusses an optimal structure for biographical data. Dan McAdams explores the question of what psychobiographers might learn from current research in personality psychology. Alan Elms delivers wise advice on the tricky subject of theory choice in psychobiography.William Runyan asks why Van Gogh cut off his ear, and in the process explains how one evaluates competing interpretations of the same event in a subject's life. And Kate Isaacson describes a template for use in multiple-case psychobiography. Never before has method in psychobiography been soclearly and explicitly addressed. Those just getting started in the field will find in Section One a detailed roadmap for success. The remaining sections of the book are composed of richly engaging case studies of famous artists, psychologists, and politicians. They address compelling questionssuch as: What are the subjective origins of photographer Diane Arbus's obsession with freaks? In what ways did the early loss of Sylvia Plath's father affect her poetry and presage her suicide? Out of what painful life experience did James Barrie drive himself to invent Peter Pan? Why did Elvisexperience such difficulty singing the song "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" What accounts for Bin Laden's radicalism, Kim Jong Il's paranoia, George W. Bush's conflict with identity? Why did Freud go so disastrously astray in his analysis of Leonardo? What made psychologist Gordon Allport's meetingwith Freud so pungently significant? How did the loss of his father determine major elements of Nietzsche's philosophy? These questions and many more get answered, often in surprising and incisive fashion. Additional chapters take up the lives of Harvard operationist S.S. Stevens, Erik Erikson,Edith Wharton, Saddam Hussein, Truman Capote, Kathryn Harrison, Jack Kerouac, and others. Within each case study, tips are proffered along the way as to how psychobiography can be done more cogently, more intelligently, and more valuably.

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From the Publisher

This exceptionally readable and down-to-earth handbook is destined to become the definitive guide to psychobiographical research, the application of psychological theory and research to individual lives of historical importance. It brings together for the first time the world's leadingpsychobiographers, writing lucidly on many of the ...

William Todd Schultz is at Pacific University, Oregon.

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Handbook of Psychobiography
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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 7.2 × 10 × 1.61 inPublished:June 17, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195168275

ISBN - 13:9780195168273

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Table of Contents

Section One. How to Write a PsychobiographyChapter 1. William: Introducing PsychobiograpyTodd SchultzChapter 2. William McKinley Runyan: Evolving Conceptions of Psychobiography and the Study of Lives: Encounters with Psychoanalysis, Personality Psychology, and Historical ScienceChapter 3. William Todd Schultz: How to Strike Psychological Paydirt in Biographical DataChapter 4. Dan P. McAdams: What Psychobiographers Might Learn from Personality PsychologyChapter 5. Alan C. Elms: If the Glove Fits: Choosing a Theory in PsychobiographyChapter 6. William M. Runyan: How to Critically Evaluate Alternative Explanations of Life Events: The Case of Van GoghChapter 7. Kate Isaacson: Multiple Case Psychobiography: Method and TheoryChapter 8. William Todd Schultz: Diane Arbus' Photographic Autobiography: Method and Theory AppliedSection Two. A Psychobiograpy of ArtistsChapter 9. William Todd Schultz: Nothing Alive Can Be Calculated: The Psychobiographical Study of ArtistsChapter 10. Alan C. Elms and Bruce Heller: Twelve Ways to Say 'Lonesome': Assessing Error and Control in the Music of Elvis PresleyChapter 11. William Todd Schultz: Mourning, Melancholia, and Sylvia PlathChapter 12. Dan Ogilvie: Margaret's SmileChapter 13. James Anderson: Edith Wharton and Ethan Frome: A Psychobiographical ExplorationSection Three. Psychobiography of PsychologistsChapter 14. James Anderson: The Psychobiographical Study of PsychologistsChapter 15. Alan C. Elms: Freud as Leonardo: Why the First Psychobiography Went WrongChapter 16. Nicole Barenbaum: Four, Two, or One? Gordon Allport and the Unique PersonalityChapter 17. Kyle Arnold and George Atwood: Nietzsche's MadnessChapter 18. Irving Alexander: Erikson and Psychobiography, Psychobiography and EriksonChapter 19. an Nicholson: From the Book of Mormon to the Operational Definition: The Existential Project of S.S. StevensSection Four. Alan C. Elms and Anna V. Song: Psychobiography of Political FiguresChapter 21. Anthony Dennis: Osama Bin Laden: The Sum of All FearsChapter 22. Stanley Renshon: In His Father's Shadow: George W. Bush and the Politics of Personal TransformationChapter 23. Anna V. Song: Elusion, Illusion, and Kim Jong IlChapter 24. Betty Glad: Psychobiography in Context: Predicting the Behavior of Tyrants

Editorial Reviews

"A rich smorgasbord of biographies, as well as of methodologies...Schultz's Handbook of Psychobiography is a collection of essays significantly advancing our knowledge of the discipline...It can also be read with great value by biographers, clinicians, historians, journalists, politicalpsychologists, psychohistorians, and scholars from many other disciplines."--Paul Elovitz, Journal of Psychohistory