Book

Fantasies of Flight

Daniel M. Ogilvie

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195157468
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157468.001.0001
Fantasies of Flight

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Fantasies of Flight invigorates the field of personality psychology by challenging the contemporary academic view that individuals are best studied as carriers of traits. The book exchanges a heart-to-heart, case study approach to understanding human behavior for the current strategies of categorizing and comparing individuals according to their manifest traits. Its author asks and endeavors to answer questions like “What were the psychological conditions that led Sir James Barrie to create a character named Peter Pan?” and “What were the dynamics behind the Marshall Herff Applewhite's conviction that a space ship, hiding behind the Hale–Bopp comet, would rescue him and his Heaven's Gate followers after they enacted a mass suicide pact in 1997?” Answering these questions requires the author to resurrect “old” ways of thinking about personality and “old” strategies for studying individuals one by one. Early in the book, the author reviews the history of why intensive case studies were discredited in psychology and describes how Sigmund Freud's psychobiographical account of Leonardo da Vinci's fascination with flight inadvertently abetted critics of psychoanalytic psychology. He then performs a partial psychobiography of James Barrie and the origins of Peter Pan, followed by an investigation of Carl Jung, who fashioned the collective unconscious to serve as humankind's link with eternity. Arguing that personality psychology needs to become less insular, the author integrates information from the disciplines of developmental psychology and neuroscience into a theory regarding the latent needs that both Barrie and Jung sought to satisfy. The theory, including its emphasis on the onset of self and consciousness, is then applied to an array of well-known and obscure individuals with ascensionistic inclinations.

Keywords: personality psychology; individuals; traits; human behavior; Sir James Barrie; Peter Pan; Marshall Herff Applewhite; space ship; Hale–Bopp comet; Heaven's Gate

Book.  272 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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Table of Contents

Come Fly with Me in Fantasies of Flight

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The Shape of a Discipline in Fantasies of Flight

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Henry Murray’s Personology in Fantasies of Flight

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Poor Peter in Fantasies of Flight

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Outside Opinions in Fantasies of Flight

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