- Delivery: Can be download Immediately after purchasing
- Version: Only PDF Version.
- Compatible Devices: Can be read on any devices (Kindle, NOOK, Android/IOS devices, Windows, MAC)
- Quality: High Quality. No missing contents. Printable
[Ebook PDF] Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives
Author: Paul Okami (Author)
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES, NOT JUST CONTEMPORARY REFERENCES
Giving careful consideration to the field’s historical foundations, Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives provides a unique balance of traditional and contemporary perspectives. This approach invites students to develop a modern appraisal of psychology.
THE MOST CURRENT RESEARCH
The book covers the latest in evolutionary psychology and behavior genetics, ecological and evolutionary theories of learning, cross-cultural work in cognition, the latest neuroscience data (and its critiques), and endophenotype research in the genetic causes of schizophrenia.
CLEAR AND COMPELLING WRITING
Exceptionally well written, Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives uses stories to help students connect with the principles of psychology.
Teaching the introductory course in psychology is one of my greatest pleasures. But I have often wondered: Given the significant developments in the field of psychology over the past 25 years, why is it so difficult to find introductory psychology textbooks that depict in a compelling and readable manner the science of psychology as it currently exists-books that honestly portray contemporary psychological science? I wanted a book that depicted modem psychology in all its excitement, complexity, strengths, and fragilities, as well as covering the historical topics central to the traditional introductory psychology curriculum. I have written Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives to fulfill these goals.
Any instructor currently teaching introductory psychology will immediately feel at home with the chapter sequence and organization of this book.
The traditional topics are all included. What distinguishes this book from others is a new balance of contemporary and traditional research that invites the student to develop a modern appraisal of psychology. This approach is exemplified by several key elements of the book.
Current Perspectives-Not Just
A goal of the text is to present contemporary perspectives on psychological science. Psychology:
Contemporary Perspectives does this not only by strengthening 20th-century perspectives with 2lstcentury references, but also by including the latest views of psychological science to reinforce understanding of traditional topics. This means rebalancing the space allotted to given topics as well as including material that goes largely unreported in traditional textbooks. Here are a few examples:
• In prior years, the science of morality more or less began and ended with Lawrence Kohlberg and cognitive-developmental theory. Currently, however, Kohlberg’s “critics” actually represent the psychological establishment in this area of research, and so this book presents a balance of traditional and contemporary views of this topic (Chapter 9).
• The fundamental attribution error is a mainstay of social psychology research. However, early in this decade John Sabini and his colleagues seriously challenged the nature and ubiquity of this cognitive error. Therefore, our discussion of FAE gives equal time to Sabini’s robust and influential critique, a key to understanding the current state of knowledge in social psychology (Chapter 15).
• The discussion of psychotherapy includes detailed consideration of the difference between efficacy and effectiveness, and explores the circumstances under which psychotherapy can harm as well as heal. This chapter also includes consideration of the important current debate over the possibility that certain disorders ( e.g., depression, social phobia) are being overdiagnosed as a result of inadequacies in DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria (Chapter 15).
• The discussion of psychopharmacology treatment of disorders includes important recent evidence of undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry on beliefs about the effectiveness of psychiatric medications (Chapter 15).
Nature via Nurture
It has become a cliche to announce that the nature vs. nurture debate is over and both sides have won. As Diane Halpern put it, ”biology and environment are as inseparable as conjoined twins who share a common heart” (2004, p. 138 ). Yet there is a doggedly persistent tendency for people to continue to try to divide psychological processes into categories of ”learned” vs. “innate,” ”biological” vs. “psychological/social;’
and so forth. To address this tendency, Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives repeatedly emphasizes an integrative, biopsychosocial perspective as far as people are concerned, wherein nature exists only via nurture, and nurture via nature (Ridley, 2003). Three examples regarding this nature and nurture interaction include:
• The book examines gene-environment correlation as well as gene-environment interaction, distinguishing the two and providing clear and detailed examples of each (Chapter 3).
• The book discusses research suggesting that East Asians from collectivist cultures are less likely than Westerners from individualist cultures to self-enhance-focus on their good qualities as compared with the bad, or as compared with the qualities of other people. However, I simultaneously propose (citing Steven Heine) that Westerners and Far Easterners are equally motivated to be “good selves” as defined in their respective cultures. Thus, human universals are expressed in culturally diverse ways (Chapter 3).
• The concepts of brain development-both critical/sensitive periods and plasticity-are illustrated by exploring the experience of Romanian orphans adopted out to Canadian and European
homes ( Chapter 9 ).
Bringing Emerging Perspectives to the Forefront Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives brings to the forefront many vital areas of contemporary research that are often marginalized in other textbooks.
In other textbooks for this course, cross-cultural work is often segregated into optional feature boxes rather than being integrated into the main discussion. Because cross-cultural psychology is a vibrant
component of contemporary psychology, I integrate cross-cultural work throughout the text rather than relegate it to side boxes. There is no way to escape the fact that most knowledge of human psychology stems from research studies of middle-class individuals (mostly undergraduates) from Western nations, primarily the United States. However, when competent cross-cultural work attempts to correct this problem, it should be given exposure.
Evolutionary psychology is often similarly isolated (and unfairly misrepresented, adding insult to injury). Currently, not only is evolutionary psychology an important perspective in psychology, but numerous researchers and theorists who do not consider themselves to be evolutionary psychologists incorporate insights of evolutionary psychology into their work-for example, Shelley Taylor, Daniel Schachter,
Roy Baumeister, and many others. Evolution-minded insights and research appear throughout the text where they are relevant.
Behavior and molecular genetics deserve to be taken seriously in a book on introductory psychology. But, like evolutionary psychology, behavior genetics was once held suspect by many, its findings and
methods often misunderstood or mischaracterized. Currently it is an important component field of psychological science and informs researchers in areas as disparate as developmental, cognitive, personality, and clinical psychology. This book reflects the importance of genetic research in fields of psychological.
• science. Finally, the positive psychology movement is producing important research in areas of human experience previously not given serious attention-for example, positive emotions and mental states as
explored in Chapter 11 and human strengths and positive motivations as explored in Chapter 10. In addition, positive psychologists are making major contributions to areas of research previously dominated.
by earlier theories-for example, Jonathan Haidt’s important new work on moral intuitions is described in detail in Chapter 9.
To my mind, the most important thing I learned as a graduate student in psychology was how to think critically. Because psychology relies so heavily on research design and statistics, it is a jewel among sciences in the teaching of critical thinking. The term critical thinking is much overused and over-hyped in textbooks. It often translates into little more than “thinking hard;’ “thinking well;’ or “thinking for
yourself:’ While I also foster those attitudes in my students, I use the term critical thinking in my book in a more specific way. Psychology: Contemporary Perspectives incorporates critical thinking as a set of
skills that move the thinker toward the goal of seeing things as they are in actuality without being swayed by bias or error. I encourage critical thinking about claims in psychology throughout the book.