Psychology, Fourth Edition

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9780130496416: Psychology, Fourth Edition

Psychology allows readers to discover the important findings of this field first-hand! Readers put themselves in the role of researcher, allowing them to take an active interest in understanding psychology as a psychologist would. Dozens of pioneering researchers have been interviewed, enabling readers to find out how they became interested in psychology, how they came up with their important discoveries, how their discoveries influence the field today, and where they believe psychology is headed in the future. Topics include behavioral neuroscience, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, thought and language, nature and nurture, human development, intelligence, motivation, emotion, social influences, social and cultural groups, personality, psychological disorders, treatment, health and well-being. An exciting read for anyone interested in psychology and research; because of its comprehensive appendix, glossary, and reference section, this book is a must-have desk reference for psychologists and others in the field.

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About the Author:

Saul Kassin is Professor of Psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Born and raised in New York City, he graduated with a B.S. from Brooklyn College in 1974. He received his Ph.D. in personality and social psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1978. He then spent one year at the University of Kansas and two at Purdue University. He was awarded a prestigious U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellowship in Washington, D.C., and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Psychology and Law Program at Stanford University.

Kassin is coauthor of Social Psychology (now in its fifth edition). He also has authored or edited many other books and has written numerous articles on the topics of social and cognitive development, and on the psychology of jury decision-making, eyewitness testimony, police interrogations and confessions, and other aspects of law. He has served on the editorial boards of several major journals. Away from work, Kassin has an insatiable appetite for sports, politics, rock music, travel, and ethnic food.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Some of my best friends are psychologists. They all have different backgrounds and interests; some teach at colleges and universities, others work for government or private organizations; some do laboratory research, others write books, and still others help people with personal problems. Yet despite the differences, these friends are, to a person, excited about their work, the field, and the contributions being made by this intelligent and useful discipline.

I had three goals in writing this textbook. First and foremost, I want to get students thinking like psychologists. No author can invoke critical thinking in students the way a parent spoon feeds a baby. Critical thinking is a frame of mind, an attitude that forms naturally in response to information that is engaging and personally relevant—which leads me to the special features of this book. Determined to get the student reader to think like a psychologist, and to do so without gimmicks, I have created a number of innovative features for this textbook that are described below.

My second goal is to teach students that psychology is not a mere laundry list of names, dates, and terms, but is a dynamic and evolving process of discovery. Every psychology textbook presents the discipline as a science. Indeed, many authors devote a whole second chapter to research methods. I have taken a more integrated approach. Because research methods are central to psychology's identity and development, this topic is introduced fully and comprehensively in Chapter 1, along with the field itself. In learning about research methods, from the use of case studies to experiments and meta-analysis, students are shown that science is a process that is slow, cumulative, and dynamic.

My third goal is to spark in students the hunger, passion, and excitement that psychologists have for their work. Toward this end, I have tried to write a book that is not only readable, but also warm, personal, interactive, contemporary, relevant, and newsy. I have not ducked the hot and sticky issues. The ethics of animal research, the nature and nurture of homosexuality, and the recovery of repressed childhood memories are just a few of the current controversies that I have confronted head-on by reviewing available research. I have also made it a point to illustrate the principles of psychology with vivid events from the worlds of sports, entertainment, literature, politics, law, and world events. I never, ever, resort to "John and Mary in the dorm" hypotheticals to illustrate a point. The examples I use thus reflect my conviction that students, like the rest of us, have a deep and vested interest in a world that extends past the borders of the college campus.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS BOOK

Take a peek at the Table of Contents, and you'll see that this textbook contains eighteen independent chapters, from the introduction to psychology and its methods through the various areas of neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology to an integrative capstone chapter on health and well-being.

Like its predecessors, this edition offers a broad, balanced, and mainstream look at psychology today. Thus, I have filled the pages with detailed descriptions of classic studies from psychology's historical warehouse and with new research findings, some hot off the presses, that address current issues. There are four aspects of this book's organizational structure that I want to spotlight for instructors.

COVERAGE OF RESEARCH METHODS

Many introductory textbooks separate the introduction of psychology from its methods of inquiry, often presented in a parenthetical second chapter. I have taken a more integrated approach that presents psychology's research methods as part and parcel of its history, development, and current identity as a science.

All the material you'd expect to find in a chapter on research methods appears in Chapter 1— including discussions of where psychologists do their research, how they measure psychological variables, and the inferences that we can and cannot draw from descriptive research, correlational studies, and experiments. Noting that the base of scientific knowledge builds slowly, one step at a time, this coverage includes a section on literature reviews and meta-analysis. It also contains a section on ethical dilemmas that confront both the animal and human research communities.

The central focus on research methods is reinforced in each and every chapter, which opens with What's Your Prediction?—an activity that carefully describes the procedures of an actual published study and calls on students to predict the results. The actual results are then revealed, followed by a discussion of what they mean. This activity, more than any other I've tried in the classroom, gets students, like psychologists, to think critically about research methods. Look at these chapter opening activities, and you'll see that many involve laboratory or field experiments; others involve correlational studies; three describe self-report surveys, one a neuropsychological case study, and one an archival study that tracked intelligence test scores over time. In some cases, students are asked to imagine being a subject; in others, they are cast into the role of the researcher or an observer.

To further reinforce this type of focus on research methods, I have added a new feature, What's Your Prediction? exercises, throughout the text. Within the margin of each and every chapter, students are presented with a brief description of a new, high-interest study. In light of the chapter material they've read, they are asked again to predict the results, which then are revealed.

A NEW CHAPTER ON NATURE AND NURTURE

The nature-nurture debate is a classic in all areas of psychology and always the subject of intense debate. At one end, the strict biological position states that we share a common evolutionary heritage that makes us all similar—and that we are predisposed by genetics to exhibit differences in the way we think, feel, and behave. At the other end, a strict environmental position says that our fate is shaped by learning, culture, nutrition, family background, peer groups, and critical life events.

Drawing on a current renaissance in evolutionary theory, the discoveries of the Human Genome Project, and recent developments in behavioral genetics, I have created a new chapter entitled "Nature and Nurture." The purpose of this new chapter is to educate psychology students about basic genetics, natural selection, and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology, and to introduce the nature-nurture debates, heritability studies, and recent work on the interaction of biology and environment. This chapter concludes with discussions of the nature and nurture of gender and sexual orientation.

A CHAPTER ON SOCIAL AND CULTURAL GROUPS

Psychologists have always been fascinated by differences, among cultures—and among racial and ethnic groups within cultures. In the wake of September 11, 2001, the twenty-first century has thus far been plagued with unspeakable acts of hatred, conflict, and violence among religious and ethnic groups all over the world. The topic is thus generating a great deal of scientific interest and controversy. Diversity issues are addressed throughout this text. Similarities and differences are noted, for example, in perception, emotion, reasoning, intelligence, child and adult development, social behavior, the structure of personality, and psychopathology.

To bring together this most important new work in the area of human diversity, I have also dedicated an entire chapter to this subject. Chapter 14, entitled "Social and Cultural Groups," examines such topics as individualism, collectivism, and the cultural differences between East and West; acculturation and ethnic identity among immigrants; cognitive and motivational roots of stereotyping, prejudice, and inter-group conflict; and racism in America. As this chapter reveals, "No two people are, alike, yet everyone is basically the same."

A CAPSTONE CHAPTER ON HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

All introductory psychology texts that I've seen come to an end on whatever happens to be the final word of the last substantive chapter. Typically, no effort is made to integrate the material or to provide students with a sense of closure. A feature unique to this text is a closing capstone chapter that brings together all areas of psychology on a hot topic that is dear to everyone: health and well-being. Following an) initial discussion of "mind over matter," Chapter 18 presents some of the latest research on the self, the health implications of self-awareness, stress and coping, and the exciting new work in the area of psychoneuroimmunology. As noted in this final chapter, "The mind is a powerful tool. The more we know about how to use it, the: better off we'll be."

SPECIAL FEATURES

NEW "PROCESS OF DISCOVERY" INTERVIEWS

I am particularly excited about a new feature that I have called "The Process of Discovery," or POD. Building on my desire to get students to think like psychologists, the purpose of POD interviews is to give students a first-hand glimpse into eminent psychologists and their stories, in their own words, of how they came upon their major contributions. Across chapters, psychology's leaders answer four questions: (1) How did you first become interested in psychology? (2) How did you come up with your important discovery? (3) How has the field you inspired developed over the years? (4) What's your prediction on where the field is heading?

For me, reading the process of discovery stories told by psychologists who have shaped the field was a labor of love. Through it, I learned how Michael Gazzaniga came to test his first split-brain patient, how Robert Sternberg became interested in intelligence, how Hazel Markus came to realize that Western conceptions of the self made no sense in Japan,...

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