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“This book, which is in its second edition, provides a provocative mirror from which to discern more clearly one's own assumptions about human nature…. I found myself reflecting on the subject matter and its impact on my own life, including relationships, teaching, research, and therapy…. The author has done a superb job of raising our consciousness about human nature in this book, an I strongly recommend it to academic and applied psychologists. If you need an invitation to examine your views about human nature, this book is it.”--C. R. Snyder, University of Kansas, Lawrence In general, are people trustworthy or unreliable, altruistic or selfish? Are they simple and easy to understand or complex and beyond comprehension? Our assumptions about human nature color everything from the ...

The Zeitgeist and Philosophies of Human Nature, or, Where Did All the Idealistic, Imperturbable Freshmen Go?
The zeitgeist and philosophies of human nature, or, where did all the idealistic, imperturbable freshmen go?
Norma J.Baker, Lawrence S.Wrightsman

Today's youth have no heroes.

—Headline in a Sunday-supplement magazine article

The “Zeitgeist,” or “spirit of the times,” is many faceted and always changing. Take the United States in the early 1960s as an example. A feeling of optimism surged through the country. A new administration had taken over the government, and it had generated a contagious vibrant style. Even if its substance was yet to be demonstrated, the new administration conveyed an excitement and zest to many Americans, especially young people. The Zeitgeist was to change, however. By the end of the ...

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