Higher Mental Processes

University of Illinois Press
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In this new book, Robert W. Proctor curates a collection of celebrated and seminal articles from the past 125 years of the American Journal of Psychology . The debut volume in the University of Illinois Press TMs Common Threads series, Higher Mental Processes reprints a suite of ten articles on processes of higher-order thinking. Proctor, current editor of the AJP , begins the volume with a special introduction that provides historical and scientific context for the contributions. Contributors: P. Baratta, M. H. Birnbaum, M. E. Bulbrook, L. S. Buyer, R. A. Carlson, S. N. F. Chant, A. A. Cleveland, T. D. Cutsforth, R. L. Dominowski, E. Galanter, P. N. Johnson-Laird, M. G. Preston, Robert W. Proctor, and J. Tagart.
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About the author

Robert W. Proctor is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University and coauthor of Why Science Matters: Understanding the Methods of Psychological Research . He is the editor of the American Journal of Psychology .
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Additional Information

University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Nov 30, 2015
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Psychology / General
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William B. Irvine
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This comprehensive yet readable textbook is optimized for students of cognitive psychology looking to understand the intricacies of skill acquisition.

Robert W. Proctor
Although some of Bob's stories are distinctly lighthearted, much of his writing is infused with issues of violence and the darker nature of mankind as he experienced them in war and civil strife in many parts of the world. And there is an underlying, basically unspoken message in his writings. Bob considers it a universal truth that one must examine every contour, every edge, every excrescence of the horrors of darkness and conflict. Only then, he believes, will it be possible to truly appreciate enlightenment and compassion.

Book Reviews

5 Stars -- Perceptive tales of the quixotic third world, no matter the setting.

True to real life, the gods ordained few blissful endings in this compendium of stories centered on the quixotic third world. Some of the stories indeed have no ending at all, but leave the reader in agonized suspense. Acrophobes will shiver at the prospect of the narrator stranded on a high rock in "The Top" as night falls in the desert and the cold air settles in. Claustrophobes will wince at the underwater access to "The Cave" beneath a limestone karst in Laos.

The description of the Commandant at Kisangani in what was then Zaire is typical of officious persons of power who abound abroad. The Commandant was "subject to no laws except the `law' possessed by automatic weapons casually wielded by personal guards His French, though passable, was really a mlange of a Franco-Belge patois and Lingala, the prevailing language of the Congolese military throughout Zaire. His reputation of cruelty and venality was no secret."

Many of the themes are dark. Perhaps the darkest is the frightening raid by the Katmandu moral police on the Bibi Ghar. While the police brutally beat a libertine, his friend and co-conspirator exercises the classic Chinese choice "Of all the 36 alternatives, running away is the best."

Many of the themes are dark. Perhaps the darkest is the frightening raid by the Katmandu moral police on the Bibi Ghar. While the police brutally beat a libertine, his friend and co-conspirator exercises the classic Chinese choice "Of all the 36 alternatives, running away is the best."

-- Thomas J. Barnes

5 Stars -- "I prefer Robert Proctor to James Bond"

Robert Proctor is a diplomat. He has no license to kill. He toodles around on a Honda motor bike. But whether he is on a rescue in Zaire or awaiting a terrorist explosion at an ill concieved beauty contest, Robert Proctor displays an uncommon bravery. When he contemplates a letter from a woman whose heart he has broken, the understanding he displays is profound. Often his writing is funny as it is moving.The best thing about his writing is it touches on the human condition; the ability to be both senselessly cruel and bravely heroic. Robert Proctor is no James bond; he fumbles and falls. He is human. And I love his stories.

--Sirena Gibson "Scarlet" (New Mexico)

4 Stars -- Tales of service and adventure

It is not easy to be a diplomat, but the lives of those who are in the position of interpreting American life to the country to which they are assigned deserve the attention of those they represent. Often they are on their own, and often they are called on to do things that go far beyond their duty. Sometimes these involve things of which they personally and professionally disapprove.

Bob Proctor's book is more than a personal reflection. It is philosophically interesting and can help shape our understanding of diplomacy, and what we can expect of it. It is a call to personal and national integrity. The book is well written, intellectually honest. It probably should be read by those who want to grow intellectually. Bob reminds us time and again that he was trained as an English teacher, and I must confess that even with my educational background, I had to look up some words. Still
Robert W. Proctor
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Balancing theoretical and practical perspectives, the book explores why the best laid plans go awry, examining conditions that can yield unanticipated behaviors from complex, adaptive sociotechnical systems. It highlights the different ways in which East Asians and Westerners make decisions and explores how to model and investigate cultural influences in interpersonal interactions, social judgment, and decision making. The book also reviews decision field theory and examines its implications for cross cultural decision making.

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