Highlighting major new developments in the field, this updated edition of Discovering Psychology offers high school and college students, and teachers of psychology at all levels, an overview of historic and current theories of human behavior. Stanford University professor and author Philip Zimbardo narrates as leading researchers, practitioners, and theorists probe the mysteries of the mind and body.
Based on extensive investigation and authoritative scholarship, this introductory course in psychology features demonstrations, classic experiments and simulations, current research, documentary footage, and computer animation. This series is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter. Produced by WGBH Boston with the American Psychological Association. 1990, 2001.
Watch the full documentary now (26 parts, each 25 minutes long)
1. Past, Present, and Promise
This introduction presents psychology as a science at the crossroads of many fields of knowledge, from philosophy and anthropology to biochemistry and artificial intelligence. With Dr. Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard University and Dr. Emanuel Donchin of the University of Illinois.
2. Understanding Research
This program examines the scientific method and the ways in which data are collected and analyzed — in the lab and in the field — with an emphasis on sharpening critical thinking in the interpretation of research findings. With Dr. Christina Maslach of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Daryl Bem of Cornell University.
3. The Behaving Brain
This program discusses the structure and composition of the brain: how neurons function, how information is collected and transmitted, and how chemical reactions determine every thought, feeling, and action. With Dr. John Gabrieli of Stanford University and Dr. Mieke Verfaellie of Veterans Medical Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
4. The Responsive Brain
How the brain controls behavior and, conversely, how behavior and environment influence the brain’s structure and functioning are the focus of this program. With Dr. Michael Meaney of McGill University and Dr. Russell Fernald of Stanford University.
5. The Developing Child
This program traces the nature vs. nurture debate, revealing how developmental psychologists study the contributions of both heredity and environment to child development. With Dr. Renee Baillargeon of the University of Illinois and Dr. Judy De Loache of the University of Illinois.
6. Language Development
The development of language has many facets to explore. This program looks at how developmental psychologists investigate the human mind, society, and culture by studying children’s use of language in social communication. With Dr. Jean Berko-Gleason of Boston University and Dr. Ann Fernald of Stanford University.
7. Sensation and Perception
This program demonstrates how visual information is gathered and processed, and how our culture, previous experiences, and interests influence our perceptions. With Dr. David Hubel of Harvard University and Dr. Misha Pavel of the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology.
Prominent researchers — Pavlov, Thorndike, Watson, and Skinner — have greatly influenced today’s thinking about how learning takes place. This program examines the basic principles of classical and operant conditioning elaborated by these renowned figures. With Dr. Howard Rachlin of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Dr. Robert Ader of the University of Rochester.
9. Remembering and Forgetting
This program looks at the complex process called memory: how images, ideas, language, and even physical actions, sounds, and smells are translated into codes, represented in the memory and retrieved when needed. With Dr. Richard Thompson of the University of Southern California and Dr. Diana Woodruff-Pak of Temple University.
10. Cognitive Processes
This program is an exploration into the higher mental processes - reasoning, planning, and problem solving - and why the “cognitive revolution” is attracting such diverse investigators from philosophers to computer scientists. With Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University and Dr. Michael Posner of the University of Oregon.
11. Judgment and Decision Making
Exceedingly complex processes are involved in the making of judgments and decisions. This program examines how and why people make good and bad judgments, and the psychology of taking risks. With Dr. Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and the late Dr. Irving Janis of Yale University.
12. Motivation and Emotion
This program reviews what researchers are discovering about why we act and feel as we do, from the exhilaration of love to the agony of failure. With Dr. Norman Adler of Yeshiva University and Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania.
13. The Mind Awake and Asleep
Our varying levels of consciousness empower us to interpret, analyze, and direct our behavior in flexible ways. The nature of sleeping, dreaming, and altered states of consciousness are explored in this program. With Dr. Ernest Hartman, formerly of Tufts University, and Dr. Robert McCarley of Harvard Medical School.
14. The Mind Hidden and Divided
This program shows how experiences that take place below the level of consciousness alter our moods, bias our actions, and affect our health — as demonstrated in repression, discovered and false memory syndromes, hypnosis, and split-brain cases. With Dr. Jonathan Schooler of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Michael Gazzaniga of Dartmouth College.
15. The Self
Psychologists systematically study the origins of self-identity and self-esteem, the social determinants of self-conceptions, and the emotional and motivational consequences of beliefs about oneself. This program explores their methods of discovery. With Dr. Hazel Markus of Stanford University and Dr. Teresa Amabile of Harvard University. Updated.
16. Testing and Intelligence
This program peers into the field of psychological assessment — the efforts of psychologists and other professionals to assign values to different abilities, behaviors, and personalities. With Dr. Claude Steele of Stanford University and Dr. Robert Sternberg of Yale University.
17. Sex and Gender
This program explores the ways in which males and females are similar and different, and how gender roles reflect social values and psychological knowledge. With Dr. Michael Meaney of McGill University and Dr. Eleanor Maccoby of Stanford University.
18. Maturing and Aging
What really happens, physically and psychologically, as we age? This program looks at how society reacts to the last stages of life. With Dr. Laura Carstensen of Stanford University and Dr. Sherry Willis of Penn State University.
19. The Power of the Situation
This program examines how our beliefs and behavior can be influenced and manipulated by other people and subtle situational forces, and how social psychologists study human behavior within its broader social context. With Dr. Ellen Langer of Harvard University and Dr. Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University.
20. Constructing Social Reality
Many factors contribute to our interpretation of reality. This program demonstrates how understanding the psychological processes that govern our behavior may help us to become more empathetic and independent members of society. With Steven Hassan, M.Ed., of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center and Dr. Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University.
The major types of mental illness are presented. Schizophrenia, phobias, and affective disorders are described, along with the major factors that affect them — both biological and psychological. With Dr. Irving Gottesman of the University of Virginia and Dr. E. Fuller Torrey of the National Institute of Mental Health.
This program surveys the relationships among theory, research, and practice, and how treatment of psychological disorders has been influenced by historical, cultural, and social forces. With Dr. Hans Strupp of Vanderbilt University and the late Dr. Rollo May.
23. Health, Mind, and Behavior
This program presents a rethinking of the relationship between mind and body. A new bio-psychosocial model is replacing the traditional biomedical model. With Dr. Judith Rodin of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Neal Miller of Yale University.
24. Applying Psychology in Life
Psychology is currently being applied in innovative ways to practical situations in the areas of human factors, law, and conflict negotiation. With Dr. Malcolm Cohen of NASA Ames Research Center, Dr. Stephen Ceci of Cornell University, and Dr. James Maas of Cornell University.
25. Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive neuroscience represents the attempt to understand mental processes at the level of the brain’s functioning and not merely from information-processing models and theories. It relies heavily on an empirical analysis of what is happening in the brain, and where, when a person thinks, reasons, decides, judges, encodes information, recalls information, learns, and solves problems. Cognitive neuroscience allies psychologists, biologists, brain researchers, and others in what is perhaps the most dramatic advance in the last decade of psychological research. With Dr. John Gabrieli of Stanford University and Dr. Stephen Kosslyn of Harvard University.
26. Cultural Psychology
This newly emerging field is integrating cross-cultural research with social and personality psychology, anthropology, and other social sciences. Its main new perspective is centered on how cultures construct selves and other central aspects of individual personality, beliefs, values, and emotions — much of what we are and do. This area has become more important in both psychology and American society with the globalization of our planet, increasing interaction of people from different cultural backgrounds, and emerging issues of diversity. With Dr. Hazel Markus of Stanford University, Dr. Kaipeng Peng of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Ricardo Munoz of the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital.