Pathways to People

Leonard W. Doob

View Inside Price: $34.00


September 10, 1975
344 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300105506
Paper

In this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Leonard Doob explores what we know about human action and interaction in order to show how people succeed or fail in their constant attempts to understand each other.  He organizes our ways of knowing each other into two sorts of “pathways to people.”

The first pathways are those that have been investigated by psychiatrists, psychologists, and social scientists.  Mr. Doob offers a critical summary of our systematic knowledge in the area of what is sometimes called “person perception.”  By and large, he is dissatisfied with what we think we know, because too much of the research stems from a convenient, but not typical, sample of mankind – the college student.  The second set of pathways are those intended to improve judgment or avoid error, and they come not only from the scientific disciplines but also from the humanities, along with common sense.  Together, the pathways constitute the factors or variables that determine how and why human judgments are made – and how they should be made.
The exposition is occasionally interrupted by a devil’s advocate offering lively and cutting criticism of what is being said.  In this manner, Leonard Doob opens another pathway – between reader and author – which makes reading this book a rich and provocative experience.

"A most stimulating and unusual psychology book. This book is concerned to show the psychological processes involved in interpersonal perception. How do we get to know each other and form our impressions of our various friends and acquaintances? Not only is the validity of the special techniques devised by the social sciences subjected to scrutiny but so also are the intuitive methods used in the everyday world . . . . A carefully argued and sceptical analysis of what is known about person perception."—Psychology Today (Great Britain)