BREIF Table of Contents
1. What Is Psychology?
Part One – Your Self
2. Theories of Personality
3. Development Over the Life Span
Part Two – Your Body
5. Body Rhythms and Mental States
6. Sensation and Perception
Part Three – Your Mind
7. Thinking and Intelligence
Part Four – Your Environment
9. Learning and Conditioning
10. Behavior in Social and Cultural Context
Part Five – Your Mental Health
11. Psychological Disorders
12. Approaches to Treatment and Therapy
Part Six – Your Life
13. Emotion, Stress, and Health
14. The Major Motives of Life: Food, Love, Sex, and Work
Appendix: Statistical Methods
Organization: The 14 chapters in this book cover the major topics in introductory psychology but are organized differently from the 16-chapter version (Psychology, 10e). The goal of this book is to engage students quickly and provide a logical scaffolding for the diverse topics in psychology. The first chapter, which introduces students to the field and to the fundamentals of critical and scientific thinking, is followed by six sections, each consisting of two chapters (in one case, three). The title of each section invites the reader to consider how the discipline of psychology can illuminate aspects of his or her own life and provides the reader with a personal frame of reference for assimilating the information:
Part One: Your Self examines major theories of personality (Chapter 2) and development (Chapter 3). These are high-interest topics for students and will draw them into the course right away. Moreover, starting off with these chapters avoids redundancy in coverage of the major schools of psychology—biological, learning, cognitive, sociocultural, and psychodynamic. Instead of introducing these perspectives in the first chapter and then having to explain them again in a much later personality chapter, they are covered once, in this section.
Part Two: Your Body explores the many ways in which the brain, neurons, and hormones affect psychological functioning (Chapter 4), body rhythms and states of consciousness (Chapter 5), and the neurological and psychological underpinnings of sensation and perception (Chapter 6).
Part Three: Your Mind discusses the impressive ways in which human beings think and reason—and why, unfortunately, they so often fail to think and reason well (Chapter 7) and, along with other paradoxes of memory, why human recall is not as accurate as a machine’s (Chapter 8).
Part Four: Your Environment covers basic principles of learning (Chapter 9) and the impact of social and cultural contexts on behavior (Chapter 10). Combining learning and social psychology in the same part is a break from convention, but demonstrates that these two fields share an emphasis on external influences on behavior.
Part Five: Your Mental Health reviews the major mental and emotional disorders (Chapter 11) and evaluates the therapies designed to treat them (Chapter 12).
Part Six: Your Life shows how mind, body, and environment influence emotions, stress, and health (Chapter 13) and the fundamental motives that drive people: the biological, social, and cultural factors involved in eating and weight; attachment and love; passion and sex; and work and achievement (Chapter 14).
Carol Tavris earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary program in social psychology 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. In addition to this text, she and Carole Wade have written Psychology; Psychology in Perspective; and The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective. Dr. Tavris is also coauthor, with Elliot Aronson, of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts; and author of The Mismeasure of Woman and Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion. She has written on psychological topics for a wide variety of magazines, journals, edited books, and newspapers, some of which have been collected in Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using psychological science to think critically about popular psychology. Dr. Tavris lectures widely on topics involving science vs. pseudoscience in psychology and psychiatry, on writing about science for the public, and many other subjects of contemporary interest. 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 Association for Psychological Science; a member of the editorial board of the APS journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest; and a member of the international advisory board of the Institute for Science and Human Values.