Playing with Fire: The controversial career of Hans J. Eysenck

Hardcover | June 10, 2010

byRoderick D. Buchanan

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Probably no other psychologist has aroused such contrary reactions from the public and from the scientific community as Hans Eysenck. To the public, he was some kind of noble "IQ warrior" or that disgraceful "race and IQ guy." However, Britain's most prominent post-war psychologist had adifferent but equally divisive reputation amongst his scientific peers. Here was an intellectual leader in personality psychology who was greatly admired by a host of sympathetic colleagues, yet repeatedly dismissed by his many critics as a self-serving show-pony and widely suspected of beingeconomical with the truth. Hans Eysenck played it like a game and he played to win. In the process, he made many who crossed swords with him feel like losers. Though, while bold and innovative, Eysenck made his share of mistakes and embraced causes and collaborators that no one else would. Not sinceSir Cyril Burt - Eysenck's mentor - has a UK-based psychologist left a legacy that will be so fiercely debated.Playing with Fire is a full-length biography of Eysenck's career. It looks to explain the contradictions in Eysenck's public and professional image, and how one fed the other. It documents his boyhood in Berlin and the origin of his key ideas about personality, learning and the biogenetics ofbehaviour. It looks at the many clashes he had with any number of opponents - psychoanalysts, liberal social psychologists and the anti-tobacco public health lobby, to name a few. This is a provocative book about a provocative man. It combines years of assiduous research and important insights from science and technology studies in a very readable, accessible narrative. Always comparing the self-constructed legend with historical reality, it charts the story of an inveteratecontroversialist - the man they loved to hate.

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Probably no other psychologist has aroused such contrary reactions from the public and from the scientific community as Hans Eysenck. To the public, he was some kind of noble "IQ warrior" or that disgraceful "race and IQ guy." However, Britain's most prominent post-war psychologist had adifferent but equally divisive reputation amongst...

Rod Buchanan was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia. After a degree in science with a major in psychology, he took a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Melbourne He has taught science and technology studies at Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Melbourne University. Fro...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:420 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:June 10, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198566883

ISBN - 13:9780198566885

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements1. Introduction2. Presenting a german past3. An accidental pychologist4. Dimensions of personality5. The biology of personality6. Clinical partisan7. Mr Controversial: The psychology of politics8. Mr Controversial: Race and IQ9. Smoking, cancer and the f-word10. ConclusionsPrimary SourcesInterviews