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More Examples, Less Theory
Historical Studies of Writing Psychology


  • Publication planned for: September 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108736022

c.£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • In his new book, Michael Billig uses psychology's past to argue that nowadays, when we write about the mind, we should use more examples and less theory. He provides a series of historical studies, analysing how key psychological writers used examples. Billig offers new insights about famous analysts of the mind, such as Locke, James, Freud, Tajfel and Lewin. He also champions unfairly forgotten figures, like the Earl of Shaftesbury and the eccentric Abraham Tucker. There is a cautionary chapter on Lacan, warning what can happen when examples are ignored. Marie Jahoda is praised as the ultimate example: a psychologist from the twentieth century with a social and rhetorical imagination fit for the twenty-first. More Examples, Less Theory is an easy-to-read book that will inform and entertain academics and their students. It will particularly appeal to those who enjoy the details of examples rather than the simplifications of big theory.

    • Showcases the importance of using examples in psychological writing
    • Includes individual studies of psychologists from the past and their use of examples in their writing, showing the connections between their ways of writing, their psychological views, and the times in which they lived
    • Offers new insights about famous psychologists - like Freud, William James and Kurt Lewin - and introduces readers to unfairly forgotten figures, such as Abraham Tucker, the Earl of Shaftesbury and Peretz Bernstein
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: September 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108736022
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Locke and Shaftesbury: foster father and foster son
    3. Tucker and James: in the same stream of thought
    4. Freud: writing to reveal and conceal himself
    5. Lacan: an ego in pursuit of the ego
    6. Lewin: is there nothing as practical as a good example?
    7. Tajfel and Bernstein: the limits of theory
    8. Jahoda: the ultimate example
    9. Concluding remarks.

  • Author

    Michael Billig, Loughborough University
    Michael Billig is Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. His previous books include Arguing and Thinking (Cambridge, 1987), Freudian Repression (Cambridge, 1999) and Learn to Write Badly (Cambridge, 2013). He received the Distinguished Contribution to Social Psychology Award from the British Psychological Society in 2010.

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