Psychology in Perspective

ISBN 13: 9780132359665

Psychology in Perspective

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9780132359665: Psychology in Perspective

Carol Tavris and Carole Wade once again set a new standard with this exciting alternative to traditional treatment of psychology. Psychology in Perspective, 3/e, responds to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061, which calls upon all scientists to teach for depth of understanding rather than breadth of coverage. The authors have reorganized the traditional material according to the five major perspectives in the field and offer an unbiased presentation of each perspective's strengths, limitations, and misuses. The text emphasizes the importance of understanding all five approaches in order to grasp the "big picture" of human experience. Explains and studies human behavior from the biological, learning, cognitive, sociocultural, and psychodynamic perspectives. For individuals interested in an alternative approach to psychology.

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From the Inside Flap:


Put any group of introductory psychology teachers together, and you are bound to hear two familiar complaints. "Introductory psychology is supposed to be a smorgasbord," one will say, "but my students are overwhelmed by the dozens of dishes; the meal has become indigestible:" Another will venture, "My students complain that there's no `big picture' in psychology; how can we bring some sort of order to our courses?"

Nearly all of the introductory books on the market—including our own text, Psychology—take a topical approach to psychology: a chapter on the brain, a chapter on emotions, a chapter on child development, and so forth. There is certainly a place for such encyclopedias of psychology; we're quite fond of ours! Yet, for many teachers, this conventional organization has grown increasingly problematic. As findings in psychology have burgeoned, and the number of specialty areas has grown as well, textbooks have had to become longer and longer.

And so we thought it was time for a reconceptualization of the introductory course and a true alternative to the traditional, topic-by-topic way of teaching it. Many scientists and educators agree. Several years ago, the American Association for the Advancement of Science launched Project 2061, an effort to determine the best ways of increasing scientific literacy. To this end, they commissioned the National Council on Science and Technology Education to survey hundreds of scientists, engineers, and educators and draw up a report of their recommendations. The result, Science for All Americans, calls on instructors to aim for depth rather than breadth in their introductory courses; to "reduce the sheer amount of material covered"; to "present the scientific endeavor as a social enterprise that strongly influences—and is influenced by—human thought and action"; and "to foster scientific ways of thinking" (AAAS Project 2061, 1990; for the report from the social and behavioral sciences panel, see Appley & Maher, 1989). TEACHING FOR DEPTH

Psychology in Perspective represents our effort to meet this challenge. Typically, courses and textbooks are constructed around the question, "What do I want students to know about my field?" With the question phrased that way, the answer can only be "Everything!" None of us likes the idea of "leaving something out," especially if the introductory course is the only one a student might ever take. In this book, however, we accepted the premise of Project 2061 and asked a different question: "What should an educated citizen know about psychology?" With the question phrased that way, "Everything!" is no longer such a useful answer. For one thing, students can't remember everything. For another, specific findings change yearly, and in some areas (such as genetics and memory) they change faster than that. So we asked ourselves what kind of framework we could provide students that would help them evaluate the psychological findings and claims they will encounter when they leave the classroom. What, for example, should students know about genetics in particular, and biological approaches to behavior in general, that will help them assess someone's claim to have found "the" gene for aggression or homosexuality?

To teach for depth rather than breadth, and for ideas rather than facts alone, we have organized material not by topics or psychological specialties but by what we regard as the five major perspectives in the field: biological, cognitive, learning, sociocultural, and psychodynamic. Our aim is to provide a true introduction to how researchers in each perspective go about their business: the kinds of questions they ask, the methods they use, the assumptions they make, and their major findings. We have included many classic studies along with groundbreaking new ones, but we do not attempt to be encyclopedic. Instead, we are trying to show students the different ways of "doing" psychology. We do not wish to imply that every perspective is monolithic; we discuss many conflicting views and debates within each field. But we also show that the perspectives do differ from one another in certain key assumptions about human behavior and human nature, and in the methods they use to study them.

Writing a book for depth of concept rather than breadth of coverage means, we realize, that many instructors will find some of their favorite studies or even topics omitted entirely. Nevertheless, most of the topics of introductory psychology are in this book, although sometimes in unfamiliar places. Therefore, we encourage instructors to review the table of contents and look up topics in the index before becoming alarmed that their favorite subject is missing.

For instance, subjects that would ordinarily be in a traditional child development chapter have been broken up: Piaget and the development of reasoning abilities are in the cognitive perspective (Chapter 7); moral reasoning and the internalization of moral standards are topics we always thought appropriate for a social-cognitive learning analysis (Chapter 6); and human attachment needs, which start with the baby's innate need for contact comfort and what John Bowlby called a "secure base," are in the biological perspective (Chapter 3). CONFRONTING THE CONTROVERSIES

Psychology in Perspective differs from traditional textbooks in yet another way. We want students to understand and appreciate the real debates and controversies within psychology—the ones psychologists talk about all the time but rarely discuss with their students. For example, the gap between research psychologists and certain psychotherapists is widening, as the split between the clinical and research constituencies of the American Psychological Association dramatically illustrates. Many researchers no longer even consider themselves "psychologists," preferring such labels as "cognitive scientist," "neuroscientist," and the like. This book candidly discusses this split-its origins, the reasons for it, and its consequences for the public (see especially Essay 5, "Evaluating the Psychodynamic Perspective," and Chapter 12, which includes a discussion of the scientist-practitioner gap).

Further, each unit concludes with an essay that critically evaluates each perspective's contributions and limitations. Each evaluation cautions against the temptation to reduce behavior to only one level of explanation. Most people are familiar with the appeal of biological reductionism, but we also examine environmental reductionism ("With the right environment, anyone can become anything"), cognitive reductionism ("The mind can control everything"), sociocultural reductionism ("My culture or The System made me do it"), and psychodynamic reductionism ("Psychic reality is all that matters"). PUTTING THE PERSPECTIVES TOGETHER

In the last unit, we offer an alternative to reductionism. In Chapter 12, we show how researchers and practitioners in each perspective study, diagnose, and treat various mental disorders. And in Essay 6, we show how research from all five perspectives might be applied to understanding two universal human pleasures: music and sex. We know that many other issues lend themselves to a multiperspective analysis and would make excellent assignments for term papers, including, just for starters, love, drug use and abuse, aggression, emotional experiences, eating habits, and achievement.

Naturally, we recognize that many psychologists travel across perspectives when they do research; for example, most psychologists who study emotion are well aware that emotion involves physiology, learning, cognition, culture, and nonconscious processes. But, in practice, most psychologists do research from the vantage point of the perspective they were trained in. Biopsychologists study the physiology of emotion, social psychologists study the social construction and display of emotion, cognitive psychologists study how attributions create emotions, and so forth.

We learned quickly enough from some of our reviewers how attached psychologists can be to their favored perspective! One reviewer thought that we weren't making it clear enough that biology is the most important one, because it underlies all the others. One thought that we should have begun with the sociocultural perspective, because it influences all the others. One thought that we should have begun with learning, because the laws of classical and operant conditioning are fundamental . . . you get the idea. And, reflecting the anomalous position of psychoanalysis in a field otherwise devoted to the scientific method, almost everyone had questions about our treatment of the psychodynamic perspective: Why did we treat it so kindly? Why did we treat it so harshly? Why did we include it at all? Of course, our goal is not to be "kind" or "harsh" but to show students how researchers within each perspective see the world. We inform readers that many empirically oriented psychologists do not consider psychodynamic approaches worth considering, but we feel that students need to understand and be able to assess critically the continuing legacy and influence of Freud and his followers. WHAT'S NEW IN THE THIRD EDITION

In response to suggestions and reactions from reviewers and adopters of the first two editions of Psychology in Perspective, we have made two major changes:

WE ADDED A NEW CHAPTER (Chapter 12) on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. This material had been covered in the second edition, but it was divided up and discussed in the various perspectives (for example, cognitive therapy was discussed in evaluating the cognitive perspective; medications for mental and emotional disorders in the biological perspective). Instructors wanted all the material in one place, and we agree that this is a better idea. Also, because so many students are interested in clinical psychology or are planning to become mental-health practitioners, we felt it was important to add a unit on clinical issues in diagnosis and therapy. WE REDUCED THE LENGTH OF THE EVALUATION ESSAYS. Instead of being a full chapter that contained new material and applications of the perspective, each evaluation is now a much briefer assessment simply of the strengths and limitations of the perspective. Many of the specific applications of the perspective that the evaluation chapters used to contain, such as findings about children's eyewitness testimony or IQ testing, have been moved into the chapters themselves. The evaluation essays are thus briefer, punchier, and, we hope, better summaries and assessments of each perspective. PEDAGOGICAL HELP FOR STUDENTS

As before, we include a running glossary, which defines bold-faced terms on the pages where they occur, for handy reference and study; chapter summaries and key terms at the end of each chapter, where students will find them easily; and self-tests called What Do You Know?, which encourage students to check their progress, and to go back and review if necessary. These questions do more than just test for memorization of definitions; they tell students whether they comprehend the issues. We have varied the formats and included entertaining examples to motivate students to assess their progress. Many of these self-tests also include critical-thinking items, identified by the symbol in the margin. These items invite the student to reflect on the implications of findings and consider how psychological principles might illuminate real-life issues. Although we offer some possible responses to such questions, most of them do not have a single correct answer, and students may have valid, well-reasoned answers that differ from our own. SUPPLEMENTS

Psychology in Perspective can be used on its own, or it can serve as a core book together with additional materials. Prentice Hall has provided a comprehensive supplements package coordinated by Nicole Girrbach: For the Instructor INSTRUCTOR'S RESOURCE MANUAL. Written by Carolyn Meyer of Lake-Sumter Community College, this manual addresses concerns that teachers may have when organizing their course in terms of perspectives rather than topics. For each chapter, the Instructor's Resource Manual includes a sample course syllabus, chapter summaries and outlines, teaching suggestions, classroom activities, discussion questions, suggested readings, and a listing of films and videos. TEST ITEM FILE. Prepared by William H. Calhoun of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this Test Item File contains approximately 2,500 multiple-choice, true/false, matching, short-answer, and essay questions. Each item is referenced by page, topic, and the skill it addresses—conceptual, factual, or applied. PRENTICE HALL TEST MANAGER. One of the best-selling test-generating software programs on the market, Test Manager is available free to adopters in Windows and Macintosh formats and contains a Gradebook, Online Network Testing, and many tools to help you edit and create tests. The program comes with full Technical Support and telephone "Request a Test" service. PRENTICE HALLS INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY TRANSPARENCIES, SERIES V. Designed in large-type format for lecture settings, these full-color overhead transparencies add visual appeal to your lectures by augmenting the visuals in the text with a variety of new illustrations. PRENTICE HALL VIDEO LIBRARIES. Prentice Hall has assembled a superior collection of video materials that range from short lecture launchers to full-length detailed features for use in the Introductory Psychology course. The videos below are available to qualified adopters. ABC NEWS VIDEOS FOR INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY, SERIES III consists Of segments from ABC's World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, Prime Time Live, and The Health Show. A summary, and questions designed to stimulate critical thinking for each segment, are included in the Instructor's Resource Manual. THE ALLIANCE SERIES: THE ANNENBERG/CPB COLLECTION is the most extensive collection of professionally produced videos available with any introductory psychology textbook. Selections include videos in the following Annenberg series: The Brain, The Brain Teaching Modules, Discovering Psychology, The Mind, and The Mind Teaching Modules. FILMS FOR THE HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES. A wealth of videos from the extensive library of Film for the Humanities and Sciences, on a variety of topics in psychology, is available to qualified adopters. Contact your local Prentice Hall representative for a list of videos. Media Support for Instructors and Students THE PSYCHOLOGY PLACE, SPECIAL EDITION. This premier web resource for Introductory Psychology provides interactive learning activities, practice tests, "Best of the Web" site listings, current research news, an online glossary, FAQs about psychology, and other resources. Students get their subscription with the purchase of a new textbook; faculty get their subscription upon adoption of this text.This free online Study Guide allows students to review each chapter's material, take practice tests, research topics for course projects, and more. For the Student STUDY GUIDE. Prepared by Christopher Kilmartin of Mary Washington College, this Study Guide is designed to reinforce the text material by providing students with a complete array of learning tools and study aids. It begins with a chapter on how to study, and it cont...

About the Author:

CAROL TAVRIS earned her Ph.D. in the social psychology program at the University of Michigan, and as a writer and lecturer she has sought to educate the public about the importance of critical and scientific thinking in psychology. She is author of The Mismeasure of Woman; Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion; and, with Carole Wade, Psycholoy; Invitation to Psychology; and The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective. She has written on psychological topics for a wide variety of magazines and professional publications; many of her opinion essays and book reviews for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, Scientific American, and other publications have recently been collected in Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using Psychology to Think Critically About Issues in the News. Dr. Tavris lectures widely on, among other topics, critical thinking, pseudoscience in psychology and psychiatry, anger, and the science and politics of research on gender. She has taught in the psychology department at UCLA and at the Human Relations Center of the New School for Social Research in New York. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a charter Fellow of the American Psychological Society; a member of the board of the Council for Scientific Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry; and a member of the editorial board of the APS's Psychological Science in the Public Interest. When she is not writing or lecturing, she can be found walking the trails of the Hollywood Hills with her border collie, Sophie.

CAROLE WADE earned her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at Stanford University. She began her academic career at the University of New Mexico, where she taught course in psycholinguistics and developed the first course at the university on the psychology of gender. She was a professor of psychology for ten years at San Diego Mesa College, then taught at the College of Marin, and is now affiliated with Dominican University of California. She is author, with Carol Tavris, of Psychology, Invitation to Psychology, and The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective. Dr. Wade has a long-standing interest in making psychology accessible to students and the general public through lectures, workshops, and general interest articles. For many years she has focused her efforts on the teaching and promotion of critical-thinking skills, diversity issues, and the enhancement of undergraduate education in psychology. She chaired the APA Board of Educational Affairs Task Force on Diversity Issues at the Precollege and Undergraduate Levels of Education in Psychology, is a past chair of the APA's Public Information Committee, has been a G. Stanley Hall Lecturer, and currently serves on the steering committee for the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology. Dr. Wade is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a charter member of the American Psychological Society. When she isn't busy with her professional activities, she can be found rising the trails of northern California on her Arabian horse, Condé.

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