Why Things Go Right. The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View by Laura King (University of Missouri at Columbia) is the first text to bring a truly appreciative view of psychology—as a science and for exploring behavior—to introductory students. It is built around the idea that students must study the discipline of psychology as a whole, that the sub-disciplines are intricately connected, and that human behavior is best understood by exploring its functioning state in addition to its potential dysfunctions. For example, imagine that you have been asked to create a science of “watchology.” You have two watches that both have had the unfortunate “trauma” of being left in the pocket of someone’s jeans through the washer and dryer. One watch has suffered the worst possible fate—it no longer tells time. The other has emerged from the traumatic event still ticking. Which watch would you use to develop your new science of watchology? Clearly, the working watch will help you understand watches better than the broken one. What does watchology have to do with psychology? Quite simply, in psychology as in watchology, it makes sense to start with what works: to gain a general understanding of human behavior and then apply that knowledge to those who have emerged from life’s experiences in dysfunction.
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