Discover Psychology 2.0: A Brief Introductory Text
Pub Date: 2015
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I found the book pretty thorough. It did lack some of the bells and whistles that our current book has but could be supplemented by the instructor. read more
I found the book pretty thorough. It did lack some of the bells and whistles that our current book has but could be supplemented by the instructor. It covers all the same material and in some cases adds some info. The presentation int terms of chapter organization is a bit different and this would require a bit of planning. However it was pretty much the same information and easy to locate.
I haven't reviewed every chapter but I did review key concepts and found a high degree of accuracy and good detail as well.
I think the book would be relevant as long as our current texts. They update every few years and I am not sure they change too much. I would think this text would be timely and up to date for the same time period as other competing texts.
Easy to follow and well organized. Clear chapter headings, glossary, etc. Presented in a way that is accessible to college students of various levels but still challenging in content.
The chapters follow a straight forward plan and it is pretty easy to locate needed information.
I prefer our current textbook but just because I am familiar with it. I think the organizational structure of this book follows a logical progression.
It could use some better charts, graphics etc. I a bit more color, variety, etc would be nice.
Not really addressed much but neither does our current text.
The text covers all of the standard areas/topics typical for an introductory textbook. The subject areas are presented in a comprehensive manner read more
The text covers all of the standard areas/topics typical for an introductory textbook. The subject areas are presented in a comprehensive manner without making the chapters too long. I also really enjoyed videos and suggested outside sources. The book’s layout and its glossary are helpful in making the text user-friendly and easily digestible. I was a bit surprised not to see a module on the History of the field as well as a module on other subfield (e.g., Community Psychology, I/O, etc.) at least in an introductory format. I would also suggest possible inclusion of a chapter on adolescent/adulthood psychology for a more comprehensive lifespan chapter.
The content of the book appears to be accurate and free of errors and biases.
The text appears to be up-to-date. Typical for any text, some studies/examples could be more current but the necessary updates can be easily made.
The text’s voice is clear. Terminology is defined both in-text as well as in glossary.
Even though the text was written by multiple authors, there is a good flow and consistency when it comes to various modules and the transition from one module to another; this is helped by the apparent similarity in structure (e.g., sections pane on the right, learning objectives, glossary, etc.).
Having the book split into module is a plus as the chapters can easily been re-organized and modules can be added and removed per the instructor’s interest/need. The text is clearly divided into sections and subsections.
The topics in the text are presented in a clear manner and are logically nested within subunits.
Navigating the text was relatively easy. I was, however, disappointed that 1) the headers on the right pane did not get updated (i.e., highlighted) when I was scrolling the actual text and 2) that I was not able to go directly to the part of the text by clicking on the header on the right pane. None of the images/charts/graphs appeared distorted. Minor note: in the memory chapter, the image on mnemonic devices is slightly cut off.
I did not notice any major grammatical errors.
While I really enjoyed the chapter Culture and Emotion, I would have preferred the text incorporated the notion of cultural relevance throughout the text rather than in one specific chapter or sporadic examples such as on Implicit and Ambiguous Biases or on representation of women in certain professions.
I really appreciated how innovative this text was. What a great way to introduce a quality introduction of the field to the students, while helping the students avoid the high costs of a textbook.
The text covers all areas that are typically taught in Introduction to Psychology in the default “Brief Introductory Text” pre-packaged version, and read more
The text covers all areas that are typically taught in Introduction to Psychology in the default “Brief Introductory Text” pre-packaged version, and there are many additional modules/chapters that the instructor can choose among to create a customized version of the text. Noba is a collection of chapters or modules that were written by different authors, many of whom are leading researchers in the field about which they write. It reads more like an edited volume or handbook of psychology than a traditional single-author textbook, which has both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, the perspective of domain experts provides more depth and makes it a more interesting read overall. A potential negative might be that there is less consistency of style and level of detail across chapters than in a traditional textbook, and less importance placed on providing “encyclopedic” summary coverage of the whole field. Nevertheless, the text does have adequate breadth of coverage overall, and the availability of additional modules allows the instructor to supplement any topics that they wish to cover in more detail. I would rate its comprehensiveness as more than adequate, though not as comprehensive as some of the more encyclopedic traditional textbooks.
The use of domain experts as chapter authors has a positive effect on the accuracy of the text. In my text selection process I paid particular attention to the treatment of methods and statistics. The Noba chapters did a good job of explaining concepts in an understandable way without being inaccurate about (for example) p values - a criterion that some of the other free textbooks (and some traditional textbooks) I considered failed to meet.
The modular structure of the text, with contributed chapters on various topics, lends itself to easy updating by soliciting updated or new individual chapters as needed, rather than requiring a full-scale revision of the entire text.
The writing is clear, though it may vary from chapter to chapter due to each chapter having a different author. Students generally rated the text as readable and interesting.
The consistency is adequate, though not as high as it would be for a single-author textbook.
One of the strengths of this text, there are dozens of modules that the instructor can choose among to create a customized textbook.
Easy for students to access via a browser, or to download a pdf version of the textbook. It is too bad there are not e-book versions such as mobi (Kindle) or epub available, however.
I recently switched from a traditional textbook to a customized version of the Noba text and thus far the experience has been good. Surveys of students revealed that they found it to be interesting and well-written, comparing favorably to two traditional textbooks that were used concurrently in other sections of the same class or in my previous sections of the class. The only area in which I perceive the Noba text to lag traditional textbooks currently is in the instructor test banks. I would characterize the Noba test banks as adequate, but much less extensive than those provided by commercial publishers. Overall I have been pleased with the Noba textbook and plan to continue using it.
This textbook (a collection of entries written by top experts in psychology and related fields) covers all major areas of behavioral science I read more
This textbook (a collection of entries written by top experts in psychology and related fields) covers all major areas of behavioral science I typically include in an introductory course. The topics list is fairly simple to navigate, and the "browse" option allows a user to locate topics and terms easily.
The content appears appropriated referenced and reflect current research and theory in the authors' areas of expertise.
The citations are current. This is an ever-changing field in some domains, but this text should be sufficiently relevant for the next few years.
The books reads well. College students should be able to comprehend the content.
There are different authors for each topic, so individual styles do come through at times. This does not, however, detract from the flow of the book.
There are clear sections and topic areas designated.
The topics can be absorbed separately or a as a whole.
I found no interface problems.
I found no grammatical errors in my reading.
Culture was include with respect in many topic areas.
This textbook appears to cover many, if not all, of the same areas that are found in traditional textbooks. For each area that is discussed, the text read more
This textbook appears to cover many, if not all, of the same areas that are found in traditional textbooks. For each area that is discussed, the text includes relevant authors and studies.
This book appears to be incredibly accurate. The information presented is presented using critical thought and defended using relevant scholarly sources.
It is my opinion that this textbook is and will remain relevant to today's psychology students.
The textbook is written at a level that is very easy to understand, in my opinion. It is not too confusing or difficult to comprehend it.
The expectations I had going into each of the sections (after going through one section), were met.
I really liked how some of the more important points were highlighted on the side of the pages. It made it easy to find pertinent information I might have otherwise overlooked and it helps me to focus my learning.
The outline and structure were similar for each area.
It was incredibly easy to open and view this book from my desktop computer.
No issues that I saw.
The textbook consistently addressed issues on a global scale.
The problem with textbooks is that they can’t devote enough time and space to each sub-discipline of psychology that’s needed. With that being said, read more
The problem with textbooks is that they can’t devote enough time and space to each sub-discipline of psychology that’s needed. With that being said, the book did a good job of including the major areas of psychology, while highlighting many important subcategories of psychological inquiry (e.g., the bias, discrimination, and stereotyping section in the social psychology chapter). The textbook provides an effective glossary, which helps the reader navigate the book with ease.
I found the content to be mostly accurate and up-to-date. I did, however, have an issue with how in-groups and out-groups were defined in the social psychology chapter. The book states that showing in-group favoritism leads to outgroup bias but it is my understanding that one can favor in-groups without showing bias toward out-groups. I would like to see the authors update that section to reflect our current understanding of this social phenomenon.
One of the pros of a modulated textbook is that each module can be easily updated in a short period of time. I found the chapter on personality to be particularly relevant to today’s world with each subsection written by a leading researcher in that area. The book will stay relevant because the work of the researchers/authors was and is relevant.
The book reads well and keeps the readers’ interest by relating current issues to psychological inquiry. The editors did a great job of eliminating unnecesary jargon and technical terminology. The text is easily digestible and written at a level that most students can read and, more importantly, comprehend. The textbook also has vocabulary words with definitions at the end of each chapter subsection, which is a handy tool for students beginning to learn and understand psychology.
I found the text to be consistent in terminology and framework, which is hard to accomplish when each chapter has different authors. With that in mind, the text does not appear disjointed or artificially constructed. The chapter layouts are consistent throughout the text adding fluidity to the developing picture of psychological science.
The strongest attribute of this textbook is that it is setup for each chapter or subsections of chapters can be easily divided into sections within that chapter or a related chapter. Because each chapter subsection has a different author, you may expect each chapter to read like a different textbook but this is not the case. Because of the how the book is organized, subunits can be reorganized and realigned without distracting the reader.
The fact that each of the chapters, and subsections, are written by authors well known in their particular area of psychology adds credibility to the textbook as a whole. The text is organized so the instructor can dissect each chapter and arrange them in the order she chooses. This type of textbook allows instructors to share certain areas of psychology that overlap with other areas of psychology. It also allows the reader to read chapters and chapter subsections out of sequence without losing flow.
I did not find any issues concerning navigation or distortion of images, charts and figures. Readers can fluidly move through the text from chapter to chapter without confusing figures and charts that seem out of place. When charts and graphs are used, they enhance the readers’ understanding rather than detracting from it.
I found no grammatical errors in the text.
I believe this textbook does a good job of using examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds and I did not find any language that could be considered offensive. I will say that I wanted the section on racism, biases, and stereotyping to be longer and more in-depth. The changing social and racial/ethnic make-up of the US suggests that intolerance may increase as we adjust to the changing social landscape. Biases and prejudices in conjunction with right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation have always been and continue to be issues that we in the US refuse to devote serious inquiry and resources to. The 2016 presidential election is a prime example of these phenomena.
This textbook is because it has lecture slides and test bank questions that other textbooks don’t offer. As an instructor, this helps tremendously with preparation for lectures and exams. As far as comprehensibility of textbooks goes, this textbook is a good one. Students will read if the text is written in a way that they can comprehend without too much effort. This is such a textbook.
The text covers all major areas of psychology appropriate for an introductory course. However, the table of contents is organized in a way that makes read more
The text covers all major areas of psychology appropriate for an introductory course. However, the table of contents is organized in a way that makes it somewhat difficult to find a specific piece of information. While reviewing, I noted things lacking only to find it later on in another section. Very broad categories are listed with the topical areas of the chapters within each section. I think students and instructors may have a difficult time locating specific material using the ToC.
I found the material to be accurate to the best of my knowledge. Major plus: Loftus co-wrote a chapter specific to eyewitness memory. Drawback: No mention of Zimbardo other than a suggested video clip. Major omission of Freudian and neo-Freudian theoretical perspectives in unconscious chapter. Everything else was accurate and error-free.
As with all psychology, the text will need to be updated with advances in research and to stay current with DSM. The historical aspects and overview of seminal studies are relevant and current.
I found the text easy to read and easily understood without a lot of jargon. The physio sections are slightly more advanced as a result of the content.
The writing is cohesive throughout and the authors have done a good job making it sound as one voice. However, the organization makes the text seem a little disjointed. There is no real overarching framework introduced in the first chapter, which makes the organization seem off in a few places.
The chapters are appropriate length (some may be even a bit too short), but would be manageable for a student needing a brief review. The sections are rather short and easy to break down, but within the sections, I suspect students would need a lot of underlining and highlighting, more so than a traditional text, to go back and find what they’re looking for. Some of the headings within the chapters are ambiguous which would also make it difficult to go back and find specific pieces of information.
The organization of this text is the biggest flaw, in my opinion. A lot of information is placed in broad categories that seem out of place to me. For example, I would expect research ethics to be in research; it’s in the introductory chapter. Nature-nurture and gender socialization are both under biology, and I would expect it to fall under development. Most of the information under the broad category of emotion seems to be a better fit for the social chapter. The social psyc module should be right after personality, but is second to the end. I think the text would benefit from fewer categories and combining some of the chapters together along with reorganization.
In some places, text will reference a graphic “above” when it is actually beside or below. Some of the graphics in the physio sections are too rudimentary. By this, I mean students may not be able to identify a part because the graphics in the text are not detailed enough for the specific part being labeled. It is difficult to see what is being pointed to and identified.
I saw no grammatical problems. The table of contents could be organized a little better with more specificity.
One thing I really liked was the inclusion of a chapter specific to the real-world application of research methodology. In an introductory course, many students may need to see “the point” of the course before engaging in the material, and I think the inclusion of this chapter early on does a nice job engaging readers with the “why it matters” element. I found nothing offensive or insensitive. Photos include people of a variety of races and ethnicities, but could possibly use even more diversity. The chapters could use more images or examples of real-world things that students would recognize, but it's understandable if budget for a free text does not allow for that inclusion.
Overall I like this text as a supplement to other material for a full-semester introductory psychology course. It does a nice job covering the basics of most of the relevant areas. However, aside from the organization, in my opinion a flaw of the text is the lack of introduction to major fields and orientations within psychology in the first chapter. If you asked a student using this text and only this text what behaviorism, humanism, Freudian theory, or social learning theory is, they would probably not get that from the text. There is no overview of historically significant theorists, and no overview of orientations and perspectives. The orientation informs the differences in methods, explanation for behavior, and treatment. Without this overlaying perspective, the text feels disjointed. Each chapter is good independently, but there lacks a through-line. In this way, you can tell this is written by multiple authors independent of one another. We read about parts of the brain and then don’t hear much more about how biology relates to behavior in different ways. The chapters don’t really build on one another – which is not necessarily a bad thing if it’s intended to be broken up and assigned in a different order than the one it’s presented in. But if the intended use, as it would be for me, is to introduce information and then build on that information and come back to it repeatedly to relate it to new information, this text is lacking. It’s a nice primer but would not be my choice for sole text for a course.
The text is a brief introduction to psychology with 15 units that cover the material traditionally targeted in intro courses. The 15 units hit on the read more
The text is a brief introduction to psychology with 15 units that cover the material traditionally targeted in intro courses. The 15 units hit on the "big" topics that are included in most introductory textbooks including: basic research methods, biological psychology, sensation and perception, learning, social psychology, and psychological disorders. Most of the chapters provide sufficient information on a topic; however, there are some units that could use more detail or topics. For example, the sensation and perception unit only includes modules on vision and hearing without information on smell, taste, or touch. The content on psychological disorders could also benefit from a module that includes more of an introduction to how psychological disorders are defined and diagnosed. The learning objectives listed at the beginning of each chapter would be helpful to guide students as they read the module, and they could be very useful in guiding an instructor in their course planning. However, the quality of the learning objectives vary from unit to unit, and it is obvious that they were written by different individuals. Some of the learning objectives state very specific behaviors that a student should be able to engage in following reading the module whereas other units include more general objectives that a student should "understand" some concept. The completeness of the vocabulary lists/glossary varies from unit to unit as well. Some of the terms are very clearly defined whereas others are quite poorly defined. For example, discontinuous development is defined as "discontinuous development." The discussion questions are a great feature, but the quality varies across units as well. Overall, the content appears complete and would likely function well for a introductory course that is often strapped for time, but the individual instructor may need to offer more complete definitions or more narrowly define learning objectives.
The content of the book appears accurate. I did not come across any egregious errors; however, it is impossible to be an expert on all of the modules! The text nicely covers difficult topics like gender, cultural diversity, intelligence, nature and nurture, and discrimination from an unbiased perspective. Accurate content in chapters such as these can be especially helpful for lecturing and in stimulating discussion.
The content is up-to-date (although it does appear that a version 2.0 has also been added to the book's website). The content on psychological disorders could use more information about the latest edition of the DSM. Updates to the content could be relatively easy to implement, in my opinion.
Each module is authored by a different professional, so the clarity can vary a bit from unit to unit. Overall, the text is very clearly written and accessible. Many first-year students and non-traditional students with a variety of backgrounds often take introduction to psychology, so a text that is not too advanced is a great resource to have. The units include many current examples which would help a student apply a psychological concept to their own life.
The text is consistent in framework and layout. Each module begins with an introductory paragraph and learning objectives, followed by the "meat" of the module, and ends with references/links to other sources, discussion questions, and glossary. The layout is easy to navigate and increases usability. There is little consistency in terms of terminology; however, this is somewhat common in introduction to psychology textbooks regardless of the number of authors. The text covers 15 very different topics, and there is little overlap between the units. This can make consistency difficult. Overall, the tone of the text carries nicely throughout modules even when written by different authors.
The modularity of the text is one of its best features. The 15 units are further organized into modules that are easy to navigate and easy to consume. The modules have very clear sections and flow nicely from one section to the next. I would likely reorganize the order of some of the modules for my own course, but the order of the modules makes sense.
The text is very well organized. The organization is similar to most other introductory texts that I have read/used. The topics progress in a logical fashion and the information organized into modules within each unit builds upon previous modules. The layout of each module helps with the structure and flow of the information.
Overall, the interface is highly navigable. I did have some annoyance with returning to the table of contents from modules I was reading, but it was a minimal disruption. All of the figures and images that I came across did not appear to be distorted in any way. There were some modules in which the text of a paragraph continued awkwardly after a picture, but it was only minimally distracting.
I did not notice any grammatical errors. Some of the learning objectives and discussion questions could be revised for clarity.
I did not find the text to be culturally insensitive or offensive. In fact, I found the information on gender and discrimination to be rather neutral. There could be more emphasis on cultural diversity especially with respect to topics like social psychology and values.
I often select a brief text to use in my introduction to psychology course because I have so many topics to cover in a 15-week semester. I think this book could accomplish many of the goals that I have for my intro course; however, I would need to supplement my lectures with more examples not provided in the text and incorporate supplementary resources like videos. In my experience, students rarely complete all of the reading for an intro course. I think that the length of the modules and clarity of the text could make the material accessible and hopefully lead to more students completing the reading assignments.
Table of Contents
- Intro to Psychology as a Science
- Research in Psychology
- Biology as the Basis of Behavior
- Developmental Psychology
- Sensation and Perception
- Cognition, Language & Intelligence
- Emotion and Motivation
- Psychological Disorders
- Social Psychology
- Psychological Health
About the Book
This textbook presents core concepts common to introductory courses. The 15 units cover the traditional areas of intro-to-psychology; ranging from biological aspects of psychology to psychological disorders to social psychology. This book can be modified: feel free to add or remove modules to better suit your specific needs. Each module in this book is accompanied by instructor's manual, PowerPoint presentation, test items, adaptive student quiz, and reading anticipation guide.
Please note that the publisher requires you to login to access and download the textbooks.
About the Contributors
Robert Biswas-Diener has written a number of books including Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth and The Courage Quotient. He is senior editor for the free-textbook platform, Noba.
Ed Diener is a psychologist, professor, and author. Diener is a professor of psychology at the Universities of Utah and Virginia, and Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Illinois as well as a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization.