Handbook of Psychobiography / Edition 1

Handbook of Psychobiography / Edition 1

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by William Todd Schultz
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195168275

ISBN-13: 9780195168273

Pub. Date: 07/07/2005

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

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 leading psychobiographers, writing lucidly on many of the major figures of our age -

Overview

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 leading psychobiographers, 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 definitions of 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 so clearly 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 questions such 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 Elvis experience 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 meeting with 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195168273
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/07/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

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

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