Psychology Is Like Law

February 20, 2010

Psychology is like law: it uses names to organize information. When your prof says “Don’t worry about the names,” she’s lying. She means it when she says it but she means something different from what you mean.

Psychology uses people as icons. So your prof means don’t worry about all of the names of the researchers that don’t matter but do know the names of the people who represent major theories. You don’t have to know all of the people who worked to develop the principles of operant conditioning. You just need to know Skinner.

It’s like case law. In law school, you don’t need to know all of the cases that don’t matter. But you do need to know major decisions. Psychology works the same way. Skinner, Freud, Piaget, and Rogers all represent different areas of research and different approaches to psychology. Skinner represents all of the rat, pigeon and animal training. Freud is the icon for psychodynamic thought. Piaget is the representative of developmental stages, and Rogers is the figurehead of counseling.

The trick is knowing which are the big names you need to remember. It will come with time. The more time you spend in psychology, the easier it will be to make distinctions. As a head start, check out the people listed in Great Minds.

New Lecture On Neo-Freudians

February 17, 2010

Karen Horney, Erikson and the other followers of Freud changed his theory without really trying. Their ideas continue on today.

Check out this lecture on The Neo-Freudians.


February 17, 2010

Looking for the meaning to a particular word? Try out our Glossary.

New Lecture On Jung

February 17, 2010

After Freud and Adler, Carl Jung was a leader in the creation of psychodynamic explanations of personality. Some say Jung was a genius. Others say he was crazy.

See what you think. Here’s Carl Jung.

New Lecture On Alfred Adler

February 14, 2010


If you’re interested in birth order, family constellations and inferiority complexes, Alfred Adler is the guy for you. Check out my new Adler Adler Lecture.

The Simple Life

February 12, 2010

Are you the kind of person who loves the fast pace of city life? Or would you prefer to a quiet, simple life?

How do people decide what to do with their lives? What is thinking? And how does emotion actually work?

General Psychology is an overview of psychology’s answers to these questions. You’ll learn about the brain, development, learning, thinking, emotion and memory. You’ll also learn about personality, social psych, abnormal psych and perception.

Think of it as a 10-day tour of psychology. Each “day” is a different area of psych. This is a survey course: you get an overview of the whole field.

Everything you’d find in a university-level course is there. You’ll find lectures, illustrations, notes and vocabulary. The only thing you won’t find is university credit. We give no college credit because we don’t charge anything.