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Galen's Prophecy: Temperament In Human Nature

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813333557
ISBN-10: 0813333555
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard professor Kagan supports ancient Greek physician Galen's theory that temperamental tendencies in humans are innate, and interprets their possible effects.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Kagan, one of the world's eminent developmental psychologists, has argued for several decades that human nature is not infinitely malleable. In this book he discusses a project he has led for the past 15 years involving the study of toddlers who demonstrated two temperamental extremes: the inhibited (shy and withdrawn) and the uninhibited (placid and outgoing). Kagan's research uncovered a significant pattern of behavioral and physiological differences distinguishing these two groups from earliest infancy and found that these traits tend to persist at least into early adolescence. He includes a history of the idea of temperament and discusses the political implications of his work. This book is a vital purchase for all academic libraries supporting courses in developmental or personality psychology. Public libraries can probably make do with Kagan's earlier book, The Nature of the Child (LJ 9/15/84), which covers the research in less detail.
Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (February 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813333555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813333557
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,506,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Galen's Prophecy was a stretch for my intellect; it is, afterall, a presentation of scientific research. However, when it was written (early to mid-1990's), it was cutting-edge research in temperament. At the time, I was desperate for answers about the agonies of anxiety and shyness that colored my childhood and followed me into adulthood. It was personally liberating to read Kagan's solid evidence that we are born with our temperamental tendencies. In our culture, where extroversion is desired and rewarded, it's easy for we introverts to feel inadequate or flawed. Kagan's research has paved the way for newer books on shyness and tempereament written for the lay person. Extroverts may never understand the debt of gratitude we introverts owe to Dr. Kagan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For we folks who feel that we are born "a blank slate", that our ability to live is mainly learned from our environment, Kagan will show how wrong we are. The inborn genetic influence with which we enter this world determines how we act, think, work, and relate to others throughout our lives, despite current thinking that training and experience from birth are all important.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am very interested in his idea but I am finding it a difficult read. It has been too many years since I read scientific studies. I really need to consider this a textbook and take notes and look up terms. I am moving this book from bedtime reading to morning with the brain in good working order type of reading.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the individual differences in people. Kagan, a Havard Professor, fills this book with information relevant to all areas in psychology. I referred to it many time for my thesis.
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Format: Paperback
The author is all over the place. He skips around so much that the first couple of chapters come across like a bunch of unconnected cliches. I am usually a positive reviewer, but this book reminded me of the kind of garbage college students write when they don't know what they are talking about. Sorry professor.
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