Understanding Psychology (6th Edition)

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9780130480378: Understanding Psychology (6th Edition)

Taking advantage of the technological advances of recent years, this best-selling, brief book thoroughly integrates multimedia to provide readers with as rich a learning environment as the early 21st century has to offer. It presents psychology as a science and balances discussions of research, theory, and application—inspiring learners to develop their ability to think critically, ask questions, evaluate ideas, and ultimately form their own ideas. Discussions of similarities and differences among genders and cultures appear throughout the book. Chapter topics explore the science of psychology, the biological basis of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, cognition and mental abilities, motivation and emotion, life span development, psychological disorders, therapies, and social psychology. Interactive learning activities, outside readings, interactive matching/labeling games, Web links, and segments from the popular Mind Matters CD-ROM are noted in the margins of the book and available at the click of a mouse. For armchair psychologists interested in the never-ending search to understand behavior.

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Continued focus on understanding basic concepts

With each edition of this text, we are reminded just how . idly the field of psychology is developing. Even as one edition is sent to the printer, we begin gathering materials for the next edition. After poring over a stack of file folders, we chose over five hundred new references to incorporate into this revision, with more than one hundred of them dated 2000 or later. Each one offers important new information in our never-ending search to understand behavior. But despite the changes, the original goals for this book remain unchanged: to present a scientific, accurate, and thorough overview of the essential concepts of psychology, in engaging language that the average ,student can easily comprehend; to be current without being trendy; and to write clearly about psychology and its applications without being condescending.

Pedagogy that makes material more accessible

Throughout every edition of this text we have kept in mind that our final audience consists primarily of college undergraduates. Having taught undergraduates for decades, we realize that it is essential to make a textbook as accessible and helpful as possible. The sixth edition includes a number of pedagogical features designed to help students understand the material and how it applies to their lives. The result is that students don't just process lists of unrelated facts, but instead have a cognitive map with which to contextualize, better understand, and more effectively relate and recall concepts.

  • New Understanding Ourselves boxes provide practical information on how students can apply psychology to their own lives. Examples include "The Slow (but lasting) Fix for Weight Gain" (Chapter 8); "Traumatic Stress: Recovering from Disasters and Other Traumatic Events" (Chapter 11); and "Recognizing Depression" (Chapter 12)
  • New Understanding the World Around Us boxes help students use psychology to understand issues in the news and events occurring in the world around them. Examples include "Eyewitness Testimony: Can We Trust It?" (Chapter 6); "What Motivates Rape?" (Chapter 8); and "Kids Who Kill" (Chapter 9).
  • New "talking graphics" clarify complex processes with step-by-step explanations, particularly in the areas of neuroscience (Chapter 2), Sensation and Perception (Chapter 3), and Memory (Chapter 6).
  • Check Your Understanding quizzes at the end of each major section help students review and retain concepts before moving on to a new topic. These quizzes are also available in an interactive format on the Morris Companion Website.
  • A chapter-opening Overview provides students with a road map for each chapter.
  • Questions following each first- and second-level heading encourage students to be active readers and to critically evaluate the material that follows.
  • Summary Tables provide concise reviews of the most important concepts.
  • Key terms are printed in boldface and defined in the margin where they first appear.
  • The Chapter Review provides a comprehensive summary of key concepts.
  • Critical Thinking questions appear at the end of every chapter, and encourage students to consider the broader implications of major concepts.

Integrated Multimedia Focusing on the Basics

Our students never have enough time. Multimedia games might be fun, but what students really need are tools for understanding and retaining the basics. In this edition, we have streamlined and significantly enhanced the Companion Website to provide students with the tools to understand and master the basic concepts.

For each chapter, students will find numerous online quizzes with instant scoring and feedback, interactive lectures that help students review the key concepts, flash-cards for drilling themselves on key terms, and an exciting new component called Live!Psych (described below). The website material is tightly integrated with the text through numbered icons in the text margins, which indicate when students should go to the website for quizzes, interactive lectures, and Live!Psych exercises that correspond to the concepts just covered in the chapter.

Live!Psych is a series of highly interactive media simulations, animations, and assessments found on the Morris Companion Website. All Live!Psych modules were created in consultation with psychology instructors and carefully reviewed by a board of experts to ensure accuracy and pedagogical effectiveness (see list of contributers below under "Student Supplements: Live!Psych Modules"). The modules focus on the concepts students find most challenging, such as the major brain structures and functions; neurons and neural impulses; the structures of the human eye and ear; stages of sleep and brainwave patterns; the classical and operant conditioning processes; and many others. Live!Psych helps students master these difficult concepts by allowing them to see and experience them in a more interactive format than can be achieved in any textbook. All of the material on the Morris Companion Website, including the Live!Psych modules, can be accessed without restriction at www.prenhall.com/morris.

Increased Coverage of Culture and Diversity

For today's students and instructors of introductory psychology, diversity is more than simply an issue for discussion and debate; it is a daily reality. The challenge confronting any textbook author is to satisfy a heterogeneous audience without becoming trendy or unscientific. Over the last several years, the body of research examining issues of diversity has grown to significant levels. As a result, consideration of diversity is expanded in every new edition—both diversity within the North American population, and diversity across cultures worldwide. Material relating to diversity is incorporated throughout the Sixth Edition. Some of the new material includes: a major revision to the "Human Diversity" section in Chapter 1; an updated Understanding Ourselves box on "Cultural Diversity and Academic Performance" in Chapter 7; increased coverage of women in the workforce in Chapter 9; major changes in "Socioeconomic and Gender Differences in Coping with Stress" including the "tend-and-befriend" response among women in Chapter 11; new material on cultural differences in abnormal behavior in Chapter 12; new material on cultural differences in prevention programs, and updated statistics on gender differences in willingness to seek treatment in Chapter 13; a major revision of the racism discussion, new research on cross-cultural differences in attribution, and new information on cross-cultural replication of Milgram's research in Chapter 14.

Significant New Information

As we went about the revision, we looked for places where we could streamline the content of the chapters to make it flow more smoothly and clearly. We also integrated the new information we had gleaned over the previous two years. Consequently, revisions range from minor updates to major new discussions. Below is a list of the most significant changes in the Sixth Edition.

Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology

  • Reorganization of the history of psychology into three main stages: the emergence of a science of the mind, the behaviorist decades, and the cognitive revolution.
  • New discussions of evolutionary psychology and positive psychology.
  • Major revision of "Human Diversity."

Chapter 2: The Biological Basis of Behavior

  • New topic: Can the Brain and Nervous System Repair Themselves?
  • Updated and expanded coverage of language and the brain.
  • Updated section on molecular genetics and the human genome.

Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception

  • Updated and expanded coverage of pain.

Chapter 4: States of Consciousness

  • New topic: club drugs.
  • Expanded section on sleep and sleep deprivation.
  • Updated coverage of psychoactive drugs' effects.
  • Expanded discussions of drug dependence, abuse and addiction.

Chapter 5: Learning

  • New topic: Classical Conditioning of the Immune System.
  • Increased coverage of the evolutionary basis of fear.

Chapter 6: Memory

  • New topics: the biology of forgetting; childhood amnesia.
  • Reorganized and updated material on STM and LTM.
  • Thoroughly revised discussion of the biological basis of memory.

Chapter 7: Cognition and Mental Abilities

  • Newly organized section on "Language, Thought, and Culture."
  • Major updating of "Decision Making."
  • Extensive revision of "Heredity, Environment and Intelligence."

Chapter 8: Motivation and Emotion

  • Significantly increased coverage of Arousal Theory; Hunger.
  • Updated and increased coverage of Emotion; Aggression.

Chapter 9: Life-Span Development

  • New material on Teenage Pregnancy and Childbearing.
  • Increased coverage of women in the workforce.
  • New material on children in dual-career families.
  • Updated coverage of Alzheimer's disease.

Chapter 10: Personality

  • Major updating of "Big Five" trait theory.
  • New summary table showing for each group of personality theories the roots of personality and preferred methods of personality assessment.
  • Rewriting of objective and projective testing for greater clarity, brevity, and currency.

Chapter 11: Stress and Health Psychology

  • A new chapter opening vignette discussing the psychological impact of September 11.
  • A new "Understanding Ourselves" box on "Traumatic Stress: Recovering from Disasters and Other Traumatic Events."
  • Major revision to increase emphasis on health psychology; stress and health updated....
  • "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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