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Books, Journals, New Media
May 26, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2492-2493. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2492

For knowledge gained through psychological research to have an impact on society, the results must be accessible to a wide audience. To this end, Lauren Slater, a psychologist, has chosen 10 of the most provocative and important experiments in psychology—including Skinner's work on operant conditioning, Milgram's studies of obedience, and Harlow's research on attachment in monkeys—and presented them as stories filled with "theme, desire, plot, history" in an effort to reduce "the flatness that characterizes most scientific reports." By translating the studies into narrative, the author hopes that readers will more fully appreciate these experiments. For instance, when presenting the methodology of Milgram's obedience studies, Slater describes the scene from the perspective of a participant in the study:

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