Multiple Authors, OpenStax College
Pub Date: 2014
ISBN 13: 978-1-9381683-5-2
Conditions of Use
The book is as or more comprehensive than other publisher-provided Introductory Psychology textbooks I have used, and more comprehensive than another read more
The book is as or more comprehensive than other publisher-provided Introductory Psychology textbooks I have used, and more comprehensive than another open access Introductory Psychology textbook I have used. The topics commonly covered in Introductory Psychology are covered across each of the chapters. In addition, this textbook has a chapter many others do no - Industrial Organizational Psychology. I like that the Introduction to Psychology and Psychological Research topics are separate chapters, as it is usually too much information for one chapter. Each of the chapters has a glossary.
As far as I can tell, the content is accurate, error-free and unbiased. I did not detect any particular theoretical leanings or unwarranted emphasis regarding particular ideas in the book - the authors appear to be objective in presenting the material. None of the material is inconsistent with my understanding of this content and the way it is presented in other Introductory Psychology textbooks.
This book was published in 2014 and is relevant for 2014. I am curious how often future updates of this textbook will occur. A lot of the content will stand the test of time as it consists of historical studies and schools of thought, theories, principles and anatomy that will remain consistent. The organization of the chapters into sections should make it relatively easy to update as newer theories gain empirical support, new research is conducted, and our understanding of individual differences (cultural, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age) in psychological phenomena grows. The only reason I am rating this category a "4" is because the book is several years old now and it is unclear when it may be updated next.
All psychological terms are either in italics or bold and defined in the text where they are introduced and in the glossary at the end of the chapter. The writing is clear and at an appropriate reading comprehension level for an undergraduate Introductory Psychology textbook.
Terms are used consistently in the text within and across chapters, and within frameworks.
The organization of the chapters into sections makes it easy for instructors to assign smaller reading sections if desired. Sections of chapters could be assigned out-of-order/reorganized if instructors want to teach the content in a different order. The use of headings/subheadings, smaller shaded textboxes, and images is effective in preventing enormous blocks of text.
The chapters are organized in a logical fashion. Different Introductory Psychology textbooks organize chapters slightly differently after the first three (intro, research, biology). For example, I am used to then having development come next, whereas in this book development comes much later. In addition, memory builds upon information presented in learning so it would make more sense to me for it to come directly after learning. The topics within the chapters are presented in a logical and clear manner. There are only a few instances where the order of topics within chapters was illogical to me (e.g., "Gestalt Principles of Perception" not included under "Vision" in the Sensation and Perception chapter; experimental design presented under "Analyzing Findings" instead of "Approaches to Research" in the Psychological Research chapter).
I saved the book as a PDF and also interacted with it online. It was easy to navigate both ways and I did not encounter any problems with navigating, distortion of images/charts, or other display features. It would be nice to be able to save individual chapters as PDFs that I could then make available to students.
I did not detect any grammatical errors.
The text provided examples of how psychological phenomena vary by culture, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. It is culturally sensitive and not offensive in any way.
This text covers all of the significant aspects of psychology that psychology and other students should have as they move forward in their education. read more
This text covers all of the significant aspects of psychology that psychology and other students should have as they move forward in their education. The depth of coverage for each content area is appropriate for students who have never delved into psychology before. The text is written in an engaging style that is not filled with jargon that frequently is off-putting to students. The chapters are divided into logical sections that are quite manageable. The additional information and media presentations (through links) enhance the topics in a way that certainly add interesting side trips for the student. Each chapter ends with a listing of Key Words, summaries of the sections, multiple choice review questions, critical thinking questions, and personal application questions. The majority of the questions are interesting and thought provoking.
The book is spot on for accuracy of the information. The text is well referenced. I particularly like the fact that even the pictures that are compilations from several sources has all of the sources cited.
The text is relevant and applicable to today's students. There is a good mix of women's issues and cross cultural information.
this text is very nearly a joy to read in regards to clarity. The sentence structure is simple and direct. When specific technical terms are used they are placed in an appropriate context and the meanings are clearly defined.
I have been carefully reading the text as I develop PowerPoint slides for each chapter I cover and have not come across any inconsistencies of terminology or presentational style.
I believe the text can be easily restructured to create a more personalized course. There is some referral back to previous chapters but not to a degree that the earlier material is necessary. The text might say something like "you may recall..." and then reiterate the relevant information needed at that point. The material itself is divided into rather small units.
The organization of the text is similar to the great majority of the introduction to psychology texts. It does contain a chapter on I/O psychology, which is becoming more popular. The internal chapter structure is clear and logical.
The links to other information typically work well. There is little distortion to the charts and diagrams. Occasionally some of the diagrams are too small but typically can be zoomed. One potential improvement would be to be able to access a specific page by entering the page number. The thumbnails work, but are a bit cumbersome.
The text is written in an infinitely readable fashion. The grammar is clear and accurate.
The text's use of culture is not insensitive or offensive in any way. There are times when there appears to be a bit of a stretch to make the material culturally relevant. I typically have classes with a good mix of diversity including foreign students and no one has mentioned any problems with the text.
My students truly seem to enjoy the text. They typically do not feel overburdened by the readings.
To be honest I was surprised by the comprehensiveness of this textbook. At first I had a negative perception of open resources as texts that were read more
To be honest I was surprised by the comprehensiveness of this textbook. At first I had a negative perception of open resources as texts that were thrown together without much care or organization. I was completely wrong. The comprehensiveness of this book rivals many other introductory psychology textbooks I've seen.
During my review of this text I did not spot any inaccuracies or typos.
Like any other introductory psychology text, this textbook focuses on outdated or irrelevant research. However, I think that is necessary for students to understand the development of the field. On a small note, the pictures were updated so they should last for a couple of years without seeming completely outdated like some other texts.
The accessibility of this book is one of it's greatest strengths. This book is technical but is written for introductory students (even high school students). I took a couple of segments of the book and ran them through the reading statistics in Microsoft Word and they continually received a Flesch-Kincaid Grade level score of 9.5-11.0.
I did not notice any glaring issues with consistency.
The modules seemed pretty standard for an introductory psychology text. I always prefer to see more information about psychology texts but this book is unique in having a short research methods/process module. I did appreciate that the authors included a section on industrial organizational research. You don't see that module in many introductory texts.
Similar to the modules, I think this book has a similar organization structure as other text books.
Compared to other open textbooks I've seen, this book was put together in a very clean, concise, and colorful way. Many OER textbooks understandably cut out pictures, case studies, etc. to save time or money when printing. This book looked very similar if not distinguishable to a paid textbook in terms of interface.
No grammatical errors.
Similar to other psych text books.
Overall I thought this was a great textbook and the fact that is free makes it even better. The only concern I had was that there were no supplementary or instructor resources (e.g., powerpoints, test bank). I understand this is a tall order for an open resource but if you are an instructor who uses these materials, this textbook may not be the way to go. Alternatively, if you do want to use this textbook, you could possibly supplement it with another introductory research textbook.
Many areas covered well, but there are some topics that are typically of interest to students that are really too brief & skimpy. These include read more
Many areas covered well, but there are some topics that are typically of interest to students that are really too brief & skimpy. These include things like functions of cerebral cortex, dreaming, opioid addiction. There is no mention of neural networks, jumps right from single neurons to cerebral cortex...
I found no factual errors
In this course (intro level comprehensive course) I don't worry too much about the latest evidence. Often students never take another course in Psych. I think the places where relevance / longevity might be an issue in this text are places where content is too brief (e.g., missing newer thinking on addiction). Updates on abnormal/clinical seems fine.
The prose seems very clear and accessible. I thought the case-studies were well-integrated. Enough info to make the point clearly, and integrated into the text instead of as a separate box, which I like.
Seemed good. It felt like one text written by on author rather than a bunch of modules written by separate distinct authors. I really appreciated that.
Didn't really seem modular, but I don't like the modular approach so that is fine with me.
I just viewed it as a PDF which worked fine. Charts and images were somewhat lacking at times, but the interface was fine.
Didn't see any, but I really didn't read with a copy-editor's eye.
I teach a one-semester comprehensive into psych course. I can't quite decide if this text is comprehensive enough or if it is too brief for my liking. I guess it boils down to do I use a more comprehensive book that students may digest 50% of or this book, which students may actually digest 70-80%....
My college divides Introduction to Psychology into two semester-long courses: Intro to PSYC as a Natural Science and Intro to PSYC as a Social read more
My college divides Introduction to Psychology into two semester-long courses: Intro to PSYC as a Natural Science and Intro to PSYC as a Social Science. These courses serve as requirements for PSYC majors & minors, NSCI majors, and as requirements in the liberal arts curriculum. I teach both intro PSYC courses, but have only used this textbook in the Natural one. I have used the text twice in a class of 270 and a class of 10. The textbook is sufficiently comprehensive for use in a traditional 4-yr college where most intro PSYC students are in their first or second year. In reviewing the chapters, I found only two places I would prefer more information. One was in Ch. 4, where I could use more information on why we sleep as explained by a restorative theory. The second is that the details on HM are very thin in the chapter on memory. I know there are more details in Ch. 3 Biopsychology, but the information is better placed in Memory. Otherwise, the information is present and broad enough for the courses I teach.
For the amount of information presented, the text is more-or-less accurate. I was really glad to see use of the DSM5, for instance, which means that some sections have been updated since 2013. However, the textbook is inaccurate in some places, and out of date in others. For instance, Ch. 4 US life expectancy is presented as 73-79 as cited in Singh and Sianpush, 2006. The CDC and other sources put this number at 78.8 years (2014). Breaking down by race/ ethnicity and sex doesn't explain the numbers currently found in Ch. 4. Ch. 5 has, in at least two places, confusing diagrams of the eyeball. Both diagrams show a pale blue band across the eye from the pupil to the optic nerve. It's not labeled or explained (that I could see). There is no structure that forms a bridge spanning the posterior chamber in the human eye. If the band represents the path of light, this is also a problem because the band reaches the optic disc, not the fovea. Ch. 6 has the examples of classical conditioning are both incorrect and confusing. Students sometimes have difficulty with classical conditioning, so the examples should be simple and precise. The example of a dog avoiding the edge of the yard is problematic. The text describes the shock as a US, and discomfort as the UR, the edge of yard as a CS and avoiding that area as a CR. The CR is the problem. CRs are always reflexes. If the CR were listed as fear, anxiety, increased heart rate, that would be OK. But the text says the CR is the dog's avoidance of walking to that area. Walking is a voluntary behavior reinforced by preventing the shock. Or, walking is a voluntary behavior and the dog has been punished for getting too close. The Everyday Connection Box on Stingray City makes the same error. The text identifies the US as conch, the UR as eat, the CS as boat noise, and he CR as eat. Eating is an unclear example of a physiological reflex. Swallowing is a physiological reflex, but not one the vacationers are going to be able to identify. Then, the textbox says the stingrays disappear, which is, again, clearly operant, but not labeled that way. Third example of the baby "probably salivating" but also "reaching for the bottle" conflates these types of associative learning again. The ice cream truck example IS a good example of classical conditioning. In the same chapter on learning, some updating is in order regarding the Box on Gambling. Although NE is involved in gambling, the role of dopamine is far more important in addictions, whether it's to drugs or behaviors. See Bergh,et al, 1997, De Castro et al, 1997, Comings, et al, 1996, Linnet, et al, 2012, and Anselme and Robinson, et al,
In general, I am moderately distracted by the citation dates, which look like they have not had a thorough updating in 4-5 years. The addition of the DSM5 is terrific but bipolar disorder is no longer commonly referred to as manic depression. If possible, updating the citations is important in order to get current information, but also to tell the readers you care about being current and have thought of these things. I also had some thoughts about cultural references (below) which make the text look dated.
The clarity, expect in the Ch. 5 and Ch. 6 examples above is good.
Consistency seems to be very good.
The modularity is very good.
Organization is pretty good. I couldn't quite tell why something made it into the "Introduction" of chapters instead of in some more specific section, but I suppose those are editorial choices.
There were no navigation issues, but I found the images were, at times, of poorer quality than I would like. Words in the images were sometimes blurry, and I wondered why text couldn't be wrapped around the photos to smooth and standardize page layout. More information could also be added to images (example, the image of brain hemispheres only shows one hemisphere, and nothing else. Perhaps images could be combined in some instances to convey more information? Perhaps combine Fig. 3.20 and 3.21? The image of the somatosensory cortex does show the homunculus, but there's no image of where SS cortex is in the brain. Charts were welcome and well-constructed.
Very good. Found only one error. ("The Bell curve" in the section on intelligence made me think the text was referring to Richard Herrnstein's book, The Bell Curve, but it wasn't.
Pictures and examples clearly made an effort to be inclusive, so the efforts were appreciated! Some of the language may need freshening. I want my students to be aware of Deaf culture/identity (What do you think box), but the word "deaf" with a lowercase "d" means an audiological condition, while the word, "Deaf" with an uppercase "D" expresses Deaf culture. And a reference to ASL as being its own language might be useful. The word "normal" might best be replaced by "typical." The section on autism could be clearer on the ENORMOUS RANGE of abilities for people on the spectrum, instead of concentrating on the most disabling aspects, as if this is what a diagnosis of autism looks like in everyone. The inclusion of gender identity is great, but I didn't know why gender identity as defined and then went straight into dysmorphic disorder. (There isn't anything to mention between ID and pathology?)
I will continue to use OpenStax, in both of my courses, because it covers enough topics well as an introductory textbook, and I appreciate the effort made to keep it a relevant and useful text
This book follows the standard format and content of all other intro psych books. read more
This book follows the standard format and content of all other intro psych books.
This is a mediocre text at best and reads like it was written by people whose understanding of the material rests on their reading of other introductory texts or having only taught the introductory class. My comments are limited mainly to the chapters on which I most regularly teach entire courses, research methods, biopsychology and learning. In chapter 2, Psychological Research, there is a fair amount of space devoted to the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning including a confusing and poorly explained example of faulty logic (Quackers the duck). This could be dropped for a more relevant discussion on the distinction between science and other ways of knowing (authority, experience, logic). Also, like many books, they use the term “observational research” when referring to case studies which may give students the erroneous impression that observations are not part of experiments. This text, however, then has several more paragraphs on naturalistic and structured observations which helps, As expected there is quite a bit of space devoted to correlation versus experimental research and that they are different. However there is no good explanation that how data are collected is the key between association and causal claims. The section on experiments does cover manipulation of the IV, but the section on correlation pretty much just repeats the correlation-does-not-equal-causation mantra without explaining how this arises from having only measured (and not manipulated) variables. This is an area where most Intro books fail their readers and it is left to a required research methods course to teach this to their majors unless instructors specifically fill in this weak part of the material. The biopsychology chapter (3) is always a challenge. I like that this book doesn’t go into too much detail (e.g. there isn’t a specific number given for the resting potential of neurons except in a figure) though it leaves some terms undefined (polarization) which can be confusing. There is just a brief introduction to drugs and their effects in the brain with a chart that lists major neurotransmitters but not examples of drugs that mimic or impair them in the table. The terms agonist, antagonist, and re-uptake inhibitor are introduced but only two examples provided. It would be worth telling the reader this material will be covered in more detail in chapter 4. Unfortunately though, chapter four then provides a superficial introduction to the topic of psychopharmacology. For example alcohol is discussed only as a GABA agonist and not also as a glutamate antagonist thus missing an easy opportunity to illustrate these terms and with a drug that is often abused by the people taking this course. The learning chapter (6), as usual, is the most problematic of those I read closely. First, the authors use the academically outdated term “instinct” possibly in place of modal action pattern. Perhaps this is meant to capitalize on the lay idea students will have about in-born behavior, however the term instinct is never defined but rather described as something different and more complex than a reflex. The common approach of discussing “three basic learning processes” (classical, operant, and social learning) is used, even though the idea that these categories have distinct underlying processes has long been discarded by learning theorists. I don’t mind organizing the topics in this manner but it would be worth pointing out to the reader this is done only for simplicity and does not reflect our current understanding of how learning works. According to earlier reviews outright errors in the Learning chapter have already been corrected (incorrect examples of negative reinforcement) yet the authors still manage to confuse the use of the term negative. While they explain that positive and negative refer to the addition or subtraction of a stimulus (which is not completely accurate, these words actually describe the contingency between a behavior and its consequence) they still use the term incorrectly in the following sentence, “The pressure is the negative stimulus that the horse wants removed”. Here they’ve used negative to assign a hedonic value to a stimulus, when it needs to denote that fact that pressure was removed as a result of the horse’s behavior. They also occasionally substitute the term “undesirable” for the proper term “aversive” again introducing the idea of emotion where it doesn’t belong. I am perplexed that OpenStax has yet to find an editor with enough background in learning theory to clean up this chapter as it still contains these errors that unfortunately are common in Introductory Psych texts. A spot check of another content area revealed a common shortcoming as well. The discussion of the Stanford Prison Experiment in chapter 12 made no mention of the work demonstrating sampling bias in those who volunteered for Zimbardo's study thus calling into question the external validity of that famous experiment (see Carnahan & McFarland, 2007.) Again, this is not uncommon in other Intro Psych textbooks but that is hardly a compliment. The real question is why don't we have more higher quality texts to choose from and why do we put up with books that recycle misconceptions year after year? The answer to that question regarding the current text of course is "its free".
This text is no better or worse than any other intro text in this regard. The authors show their age however (and reliance on past textbook examples) by talking about putting quarters in a slot machine. Slot machines that accept actual coins are antiques this day in age.
There is no voice or personality in this text which makes it a dry read, presumably because this was a group effort. There is clearly an effort to temper the vocabulary so students will not be put off by too much disciplinary jargon which is much appreciated, but there is also no attempt at humor or establishing rapport with the reader so it will put them to sleep about as fast as their calculus text.
It is consistently a pretty dry read, but I do appreciate that it hangs together like a real book and not like a piece meal of articles that swing wildly in style or approach. Students don't expect to be entertained by their textbooks so this is not as harsh a criticism as it appears.
Like any intro text you can easily change the order of the chapters to suit your personal preference.
Satisfactory; not unlike any other intro text.
This was easily downloaded, the links work - this is why I'm adopting the book despite its many shortfalls - students can easily get it and navigate the chapters.
Good; I did not come across grammatical errors.
There was an obvious attempt to make the book culturally relevant by inserting a variety of names in the examples. Unfortunately many of these appear quite stereotyped - Manuel the fast food restaurant manager, Joaquin the soccer player.
Again, this is a mediocre text at best and reads like it was written by people whose understanding of the material rests on their reading of other introductory texts or having only taught the introductory class. However, I believe a mediocre text that is accessible and more likely to be used by every student is preferable to a superior text that only some students will access and use. Notably, I've only twice found texts that are exactly what I would want for my courses. The fact that textbooks are not perfect is an important reason why instructors still play a critical role in the classroom. The fact that this is openly sourced and easily edited I hope that this and future reviews will be used to continuously increase the quality of this text. Finally, a textbook with flaws offers an opportunity to show students they need to be skeptical of any source which is a crucial lesson I'm happy they'll learn. I may even create an assignment where students evaluate sections of the text so it offers an educational opportunity, though probably not one the authors intended when writing.
The text covers all of the standard introductory psychology chapters and content. Infrequently, minor, anticipated content is not included (e.g., the read more
The text covers all of the standard introductory psychology chapters and content. Infrequently, minor, anticipated content is not included (e.g., the serial position effect is not present in the memory chapter), though this can usually be easily remedied by incorporating information from other open source texts.
The text is clearly written by experts with substantial academic experience. The only error I’ve encountered in the text is in the learning chapter, under the ”Punishment” subheading. The word “aversive” is not accurate in the following quotation: “In negative punishment, you remove an aversive stimulus to decrease behavior. For example, when a child misbehaves, a parent can take away a favorite toy. In this case, a stimulus (the toy) is removed in order to decrease the behavior.”
The textbook includes the standard range of relevant research in psychology, from foundational, classic studies to current research and topics of interest. As contemporary photos and highlighted text boxes become dated, they can readily be identified and exchanged in subsequent updates.
Key terms are highlighted and defined both within, and at the end of, each section. Concepts are typically demonstrated with real-life examples which most students will find relevant. The illustrations and links are impressive and thoughtful additions. The reading level may be challenging for many community college students. Although major terms are clearly defined and demonstrated with examples, I’ve occasionally edited the text with simpler language and supplemented it with brief definitions and explanations.
The lay-out is very consistent throughout the text. Each chapter is divided into fairly brief sections, each of which includes summaries at the beginning and end, subheadings, highlighted boxes with the label “openstax” which direct students to links, and highlighted text boxes which contain interesting, collateral material. Major terms are highlighted in the text and repeated, with definitions, in the “glossary” at the end of each section. Each section also ends with multiple-choice review questions, as well as “critical thinking questions” and “personal application questions” which are substantive and encourage depth of processing. These questions would be useful for in-class discussions, assignments, and/ or exams.
With the exception of the 1st three chapters, there is great flexibility in the order of chapter presentation and in the selection of particular chapter sections. The text does a good job of reintroducing concepts across chapters. For longer or more complex chapters, brief definitions or reminders/cues of difficult concepts across sections (within chapters) might be beneficial, and can easily be added.
Topics are presented in a clear manner, and there is a logical progression of information within chapters. Textbooks, and psychology teachers, vary in the importance they assign to different topics. Not surprisingly, some topics that are peripheral in other general psychology texts are presented with greater length, and this may detract a bit from those that are considered more central. I have deleted or edited information when my judgments about relevance differ from those of the authors.
The text is liberally sprinkled with links to engaging activities, self-inventories, and interesting videos which complement the text and add a personal dimension. The illustrations are carefully chosen and real assets to the written material.
The text is well-written, with no grammatical deficiencies noted.
Cultural relevance is a strength of the text. It seems that every chapter Includes references to cultural diversity that are more wide-ranging than is typically seen in introductory textbooks. The test bank incorporates diverse names. One area of concern, though, is links to videos that do not include closed captions.
This is an excellent introductory psychology textbook.
Similar to the vast majority of introductory texts, this textbook covers all major areas within the science of psychology. The main concepts are read more
Similar to the vast majority of introductory texts, this textbook covers all major areas within the science of psychology. The main concepts are nicely illustrated and discussed within the respective chapters. Beyond covering the "basics," this text also introduces more novel areas of study in psychology (e.g., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, 13.4 Human Factors). Though these areas are relatively new and lack the abundance of research that more established areas contain, I believe that students would appreciate learning about the variety of areas that Psychology degrees can be applied. The "Dig Deeper" components in each chapter nicely prompt readers to critically evaluate the discussed concepts. For students that are serious about Psychology, these components not only prompt further research and investigation into concepts, but occasion a nice opportunity to practice ever-necessary critical thinking skills. For those that are teaching an introductory course in which group discussion is possible, the "What Do You Think" components can be used to prompt student-student conversation: discussion may ensue that helps to expand understanding of concepts and thus, increases the comprehensiveness of this text.
Throughout the text, I found no glaring errors. The authors used a great deal of diligence by including many citations and references. Where there were contrasting understandings of behavior (e.g., behavioral vs. cognitive views on learning/language), the authors nicely introduced the competing viewpoints and further discussed the various interpretations without displaying any noticeable bias. Readers of this text are continually provided with the necessary information to evaluate contrasting viewpoints. Students that wish to further their understanding on particular concepts/viewpoints can use the many references for further reading.
All chapters contain discussions of seminal research in a particular area as well as more recent citations (within 5 years) explaining how a field or understanding has progressed from its genesis to present. When updates or changes are necessary, authors may just fold them in as further developments in the "research timeline" of sorts. Where that is not possible (or advisable), changes could be easily implemented with newer information. As a general suggestion, novel research findings might be folded in by briefly discussing the finding and then have students compare/contrast with older findings via a "Dig Deeper" or "What Do You Think" question.
The authors of this text do a fine job at introducing concepts in a clear, concise, and parsimonious manner. Where further elaboration or deconstruction is necessary, the authors use already established concepts/vocabulary to further understanding. When jargon cannot be avoided, the authors include many (i.e.,) parentheses. Though these parentheses may disrupt flow at times, readers will generally appreciate the added information. Similar to newer introductory texts, this textbook is written in such a format that it reads like a story of sorts (i.e., it is written more as a review of research than a reference text).
The text remains consistent with regard to terminology and general construction. At times, particular author's writing style will be evident, but these instances do not seriously disrupt flow or understandability. Personally, I would like to see slightly less consistency between chapters as it relates to terminology and construction. I think that this would help students to adjust the collective approach of science. However, for an introductory text, I can certainly understand why consistency is necessary.
One of the strongest components to this textbook is that it is highly modular. With, perhaps, the exception of the first two chapters (Introduction and Research Methods), these chapters could be read independent of the context provided by preceding/following chapters. I think that this is especially nice as it increases the flexibility of teaching an introductory course. Further, it increases the further use of this text as a reference to "freshen up" on the various sub-disciplines. Given my praise for the modularity of this text, I would like to see a bit more inter-connectedness between chapters. Occasionally, references are made to direct readers to other chapters in the text, but direct reference to previously covered material may help to communicate to students that the disciplines in Psychology are not mutually exclusive to one another.
The textbook chapters and sections within each chapter are organized in such a way that the information logically builds from simple (or seminal) concepts to more complex (or recent) concepts. Within each chapter and sub-section, clear objectives are stated that guide the flow of information and help readers to organize concepts in a logical manner. Though not in all chapters, most chapters open with a general question of interest and then proceed to answer the question via a variety of different angles. This structure is beneficial to students as it provides a nice exemplar to the scientific method and overall research process. Most introductory textbooks display this same general construction by first introducing all the various fields and understandings of behavior (i.e., Biopsychology, Social Psychology, etc.) and then conclude with a brief discussion of Clinical Psychology. This general construction is reflected in this text and readers will benefit from gaining a solid foundation in the science of Psychology before contacting the more applied components of Clinical Psychology.
I had no issues at any point in the text with navigation, image distortion, or the general interface. Some of the images contained an abundance of credit references, which may distract readers from properly interpreting images/charts. I realize that this may be an issue that cannot be avoided, but I might suggest using a different font size/font color for credit references to help discriminate image/chart notes from this information.
The grammar was stellar; reflective of a very solid editing process.
Readers are routinely exposed to a variety of examples that take from many different cultures and perspectives. I think a real strong point of this text is its cultural competence. Many areas in the text explicitly recognize the influence of culture on the science of Psychology (e.g., 11.8 Cultural Understandings of Personality). That being said, most introductory texts have begun to include entire chapters specifically dedicated to discussing the role of culture in the study of behavior -- a chapter of this sort is unfortunately missing in this textbook. Though it may not be necessary per se, a "Cultural" chapter will help students to directly contact this ever-important information.
This text provides an analytical and logical approach to the scientific study of psychology. I would recommend that instructors seriously consider incorporating this text into their course. Beyond the benefits to the students of open access textbooks, this text contains a number of ancillary resources to instructors (i.e., slides, test banks). As a new instructor, I value these resources and often make my textbook decisions based on them.
The text covers all of the areas that I typically cover (and areas covered in other introductory textbooks), with the inclusion of a chapter on read more
The text covers all of the areas that I typically cover (and areas covered in other introductory textbooks), with the inclusion of a chapter on health psychology/stress/motivation and a added plus of a chapter on industrial/organizational psychology, which is rare for an introductory textbook (and highly welcome). References cited are a mixture of classics and new. The book includes both an index and a comprehensive list of references. Overall, I am throughly satisfied with the range of psychology subfields surveyed in this text and the depth with which each subfield is explored.
Only one notable error was discovered; in the second chapter, when discussing the statistical basis of tests, there seems to be a casual discussion of what seems to be Type II error which should actually be a discussion of Type I error. Other than that, I was unable to find much in the way of errors. Having several sets of eyes on the text during its development was probably beneficial in this respect.
My only concern was that the chapter on personality seemed to spend a great deal of time discussing psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approaches that are less relevant now than they were in their heyday, which I supposed can be chalked up to tradition (as every introductory psychology book does this). There's little use in spending significant time discussing Freud's long out-of-favor theories on the development of personality in this day and age at the expense of more modern and valid approaches. Other than that, the book does an good job of mixing in classic, long-lived research and newer cutting edge research. References to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association help ensure that the book will remain relevant for several more years (at least with regards to its discussion of psychopathology.)
The book is clearly and engagingly written and seems wholly appropriate for all levels of college students, and could even be the basis of a AP course for high school students. Technical terms are highlighted and explained in depth. Paragraphs are kept short and concise, which is important in engaging underclassmen (especially those who are not psychology majors). The chapters on research methods and biopsychology, which are typically the hardest to understand, are well-written and easy to digest relative to other books I have seen.
Consistency is not a problem despite multiple authors. Chapters are structured in similar ways, beginning with a relatable story or anecdote and leading logically from point to point, spending about a page on major points and half a page on subsections. In this way the book manages to be consistent without being predictable.
This books could be easily rearranged as each chapter (other than the first two) can stand largely on their own. Each chapter is divided up into logical subunits so that when assigning readings, it would be easy to identify areas of a chapter to focus on and areas to be skimmed or skipped entirely. It would not be necessary to cover this book in the order in which chapters are presented, which is good for those of us who use an atypical presentation order.
This is one of the easiest-to-read textbooks I've ever read owing in large part to the organization and flow of the text. Each point leads logically to another. The authors make sure to deviate regularly from abstract and technical details to personal and relatable stories or cases of interesting research to maintain engagement (the Dig Deeper and Everyday Connection sections are very helpful in this regard.) The most difficult section for many students in introductory psychology is explaining research, but this book does a very good job of covering the material in a way that can be understood by a typical freshman.
Charts are present in a simple fashion (mostly simple bar graphs and the like). Images are clear and colorful and add to rather than detract from the presentation. The books provides links to interesting videos on YouTube that are helpful in illustrating concepts (although as other reviewers have noted, the viability of some of the links may be questionable). The layout is not confusing or rambling but straightforward and concise. I saw no problems with display features.
I did not find any grammatical errors. This book is better edited than most textbooks I have read.
The impact of culture and ethnicity on behavior is noted several times throughout the textbook. or example, the chapter on industrial-organizational psychology discusses the concept of immutable characteristics and discrimination in hiring. Sections on stereotyping and prejudice are included in the chapter on social psychology. Effects of culture on motor development and functional fixedness are also included. Adding more material on cross-cultural psychology would be a plus.
This book includes test banks and PowerPoint presentations, available through the OpenStax website, both of which would be highly useful for instructors who were adopting their first textbook for Introductory Psychology. Each chapter contains at its end a series of review questions, both multiple choice and short answer, as well as thought questions. I will be adopting this book for use in my introductory psychology class. This book equals or exceeds the quality of introductory psychology books that can cost hundreds of dollars more.
The book does a good job of covering the main areas of psychology. Obviously, no book, especially an introductory textbook can cover everything, but read more
The book does a good job of covering the main areas of psychology. Obviously, no book, especially an introductory textbook can cover everything, but I don't see that critical areas of interest to an introductory audience are missing.
I did not note any bias, but unfortunately I noted two major errors, for which I submitted errata. These were on conflating the previous diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with the current term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and stating that "excessive maternal drinking" causes it. My concern is that a student would read this and think only large amounts of alcohol are harmful when moderate drinking can cause FASD. The other major error had to do with an incorrect example of negative punishment. Given how difficult this topic is for students, I cannot adopt this textbook until this error is corrected. Finally, there were occasionally areas where the terminology seemed a little off, but not necessarily incorrect. For example, the term “resistant attachment” isn’t used in any of Ainsworth’s work that I’m aware of. There are two types of avoidant (insecure and ambivalent). In the unit on Memory, the Stroop effect is related to interference, not necessarily sensory memory (although sensory memory is involved). Sperling's sensory memory studies would be better examples.
The book is current, but I imagine the connections to recent events will become dated soon and require updating (the Trayvon Martin case, Marissa Mayer's ban on telecommuting at Yahoo, etc.).
The book is well written and clear. Technical terms are explained well. Learning objectives are clearly stated before each section. There are usually real-world examples either from famous events or day-to-day life for concepts, which is very helpful for students.
The textbook appears to be consistent from chapter to chapter in the writing and the layout.
There are smaller units within each chapter that can be assigned or covered as part of a day's lesson. Obviously some ideas in psychology build on each other so the units are not completely independent, but the textbook could be reorganized without major issues.
Psychology is such a broad field that introductory textbook topics can feel disjointed no matter what. However, this books seems to do a good job presenting the topics in a logical structure. There are a couple areas for improvement. For example, I'm not sure why eating disorders and gender dysphoria are with Emotion and Motivation rather than Psychological Disorders.
The book is visually appealing with crisp resolution. I like that you can click on the chapter name and be immediately brought to it. Students can also click on the video links to view.
I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.
Cultural variations in development and the incidences of eating disorders are discussed. The influence of culture on defining intelligence is mentioned. More specifics on culture with citations rather than broad generalities would be better.
The visuals in this textbook could be improved-- it definitely needs more relevant visuals. There are some stock photos that are relevant, but more pictures of studies (e.g., participants doing the study or the study stimuli) would be better. For example, Harlow’s studies on monkeys and attachment are nicely described, but a photo of the two “mother” monkeys would really help students understand what happened. The video that is linked to this section is very nice, but I”m not sure how many students will take the time to view it. More visuals like the one outlining theories of emotional response on page 360 would also be great.
The text consists of highly agreed upon content that is typically included in a general psychology textbook and presented in a common order. One read more
The text consists of highly agreed upon content that is typically included in a general psychology textbook and presented in a common order. One chapter stands out that is not commonly included is Chapter 13, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I can appreciate the inclusion of this topic especially when tying the APA’s suggested Psychology Major Guidelines and Goal Area 5: Professional Development to the textbook’s content. Where there is a need to increase awareness of this field, there are many subfields that are valuable and should also be exposed to the undergraduate student. I would recommend a chapter on careers in psychology that provides information on subfields such as: forensic psychology, industrial/organization, school psychology, sport psychology, and more. The index and chapter glossaries are well organized with an alphabetical format and active links that lead you back to the chapter where the term and its definition is located. One suggestion would be to include the chapter number alongside the page number to increase the reader’s recall of prior information. The glossary/index would be more effective if an audio option was available for terms. Furthermore, such a feature would be frequently used if located in the margin of the text, near the term. The reader would likely be looking for such a feature because the textbook has the option to be available online.
The textbook has clearly been reviewed by a team and appears to be error free. Areas where accuracy could be improved were in Chapter 9 on Lifespan Development. Kohlberg’s Moral Reasoning theory is compared to Gilligan’s theory. It would be useful to the student to include a chart or link to a table outlining Gilligan’s theory. In this comparison, a point to highlight is that research has shown there is little substantiated evidence that suggests females morally reason differently compared to males. In most experts’ view, males and females are more similar in their moral reasoning than not. Including the classic chart of Sensitive Stages in Prenatal Development is important as such a chart is the framework for understanding severity of birth defect. For chart example see this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/7178272407/ I did not find any glaring examples of biased information.
Throughout the textbook content addresses timely topics. For example, in the Social Psychology chapter topics such as ageism, bullying and cyberbullying are presented. Content is also up-to-date by relying on current information throughout the pedagogical features such as Everyday Connections, What do you think?, Dig Deeper, and Connect the Concepts. The Linked to Learning features are highly relevant because these interactive exercises and animations are current and tie back to the content of the chapter and provide an opportunity for the student to engage. Using many external websites will require diligence to check for broken links. I personally believe the use of these external websites outweigh the routine of checking for broken links.
The authors’ writing style is highly commendable. I enjoyed reading through the text because I continued to look forward to the next information. The authors convey psychological concepts and theories with strong examples to help illustrate the technical terms and psychological concepts. Terms are easily found as they are in bold font. Terms are explained concisely and within the context of an example. This helps the learner understand how psychology connects to our everyday lives. Additionally, I have found the text to convey excellent discussion on certain topics. For example, in the Chapter on Learning the opener focused on defining and comparing the concepts of instinct and reflex. I was impressed with the clarity at which the authors explained the differences between instinct and reflex. This was truly refreshing. Another example of clarity is in the Psychological Disorder chapter. Students are provided with Figure 15.4 which gives prevalence of the most frequented psychological illnesses in the US. Students will also appreciate the purpose and function of the DSM V in comparison to the diagnostic quality of ICD.
There is much consistency in the use of terms and overall framework. Chapter openers provide an engaging teaser about the chapter topic. Each chapter begins with a picture, some description of the picture, how it relates to the topic, and an overview of what the reader will learn in the chapter. I didn’t see any examples where the use of terms were inconsistent. Consistency is obvious in the layout of each chapter as described in item number seven below.
If an instructor was interested in rearranging the order of chapters or developing a more customized version of the textbook, he/she could with little challenge. The text is designed to have flexibility to reorganize and select sections of the text, yet retain its flow from section to section. This may be one of the reasons that the chapters are not too lengthy and are concise in explanation.
This text is well organized and transitions from section to section and chapter to chapter by keeping the reader engaged. The strong organization of this text no doubt helps the reader to stay engaged with the content. The information is presented concisely and poignantly. The authors’ approach in using examples provides the reader with a deeper understanding of the material while not sacrificing detail. There is just the right amount of detail provided throughout each chapter. The amount of detail allows the reader’s understanding to flow smoothly from one concept to the next. As noted in item number five above, the start of each chapter has a uniform format. There is also a uniform structure regarding the layout of each chapter. Most chapters have 4-6 subsections on average. Chapters covering Thinking and Intelligence, Personality, and Psychological Disorders are lengthier and have more than 6 subsections. Each chapter ends with a glossary, a summary, review questions, critical thinking questions, and personal application questions. Sprinkled throughout each chapters are the varying pedagogical features of Everyday Connect, What do you think?, Dig Deeper, Connect the Concepts, Link to Learning, and Personal Applications.
A few additions to improve the book’s interface would be beneficial. Use of the Adobe Reader features provides the reader with tools to navigate the textbook easily. Since students vary in their software knowledge and computer skills, it would be helpful to include a section in the textbook that is dedicated to describing “How To” use tools such as bookmarks, sticky notes, and highlight text. A textbook and Adobe Reader orientation guide or tutorial video would increase the students’ knowledge about the textbook features and how to use Adobe Reader tools to navigate information in the text. Such a guide or tutorial would also increase the students’ desire to read the textbook and navigate it masterly. I did find an error message when I clicked on the Personal Application questions #49 in the Social Psychology chapter. The error message stated, “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Candid Camera.” Here are a list of minor issues which impact the reader’s experience with the textbook. • What do you think? - title should be moved from 233 to 234. • Dig Deeper title should bere located from top of page 132 to 133 • The Dig Deeper title should be relocated from 479 to page 480 • Move Dig Deeper title from 538 to 539.
While reading through the text, I did not find any obvious grammatical errors.
Throughout the text, a good balance of citing research that demonstrates cultural relevance is used. Including a description of the indigenous approach in the personality chapter is a great example of how the authors are paying attention to the influence that culture has in our lives. Depicting the importance of culture in relation to motor development is another good example of how the authors are addressing culture. Other examples of the authors' effort is when details regarding the Ache´ society in Paraguay and their delay in walking is compared to western toddlers. Chapter seven cites research from German and Barrett. This research demonstrates the impact culture has on functional fixedness. There are some chapters that mention culture but do not explain well the cultural influence. For example, in chapter four a more detailed discussion about dreams and culture would be useful. An expanded discussion on attachment and how it varies from culture to culture in chapter nine is needed.
Readability Score- Adopting a textbook that is well written and readable to the majority of the students is a critical task as an educator. Knowing that there is a wide range of students’ reading levels in a class, conducting a brief readability assessment is helpful. The assessment used five different passages, each from a different chapter, to identify the textbook’s readability score. The assessment can be found at www.readabilityformulas.com. The average score based on five different passages was Based on the five passages and the use of 8 readability formulas, the text was scored at high school 11th grade to college graduate. The reading level is evaluated as difficult to read.
This textbook covers all of the areas covered in most general psychology courses. It contains a comprehensive table of contents, as well as a index read more
This textbook covers all of the areas covered in most general psychology courses. It contains a comprehensive table of contents, as well as a index and the glossary is arranged as end of chapter key terms located at the end of each chapter. I particularly like this arrangement as students have the option printing these and then referencing them by chapter, rather than as a alphabetical list covering the entire book. These can then be used as a resource for studying for chapter post reading quizzes and for unit exams. In terms of covering the subject matter appropriately this text has several valuable features; Everyday connections: connects content to everyday real life situations or examples....I find this to be extremely valuable as this is one of my criterion on my weekly discussion rubric; A What do you think section gives research based information on selected topics of controversy and has students think critically about the topics; Dig Deeper; teaches students to move beyond a typical cursory exploration of specific topics. I like how this aligns with current positive psychology ideals; and Connect the Concepts which connects to like concepts from other chapters and encourages reflection and thought expansion beyond typical topic exploration; Links to Learning connect to additional online sources. There are also end of Chapter Review Summaries and Review Questions which could serve as post reading quizzes, Critical Thinking Questions and Personal Application Questions. The text often references Positive Psychology concepts and themes, it use current terminology, and includes a chapter on Industrial Organizational Psychology.
The text is accurate and is research driven. It is up to date referencing the DSM V. It is error free in as much as I observed. It is one of the texts that I have reviewed that appears to be unbiased. this text may have been written by a team of authors which may have contributed to this.
The content is up to date and arranged in such a way that updates should be relatively easy to implement.
The text is written in in a manner that is professionally conversational and enjoyable to read. It is accurate and research based. The authors connect the concepts to real life examples that bring the concepts to life for the reader. The book is beautifully illustrated with colorful and accurate tables, figures, graphs, drawings, and photos relevant to the topics being discussed.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The features mentioned in the first paragraph of this review enhance the consistency of the text as well as create networks of connectedness that encourages reader reflection.
The text is structured in such a way as to allow the instructor to reorganize the order in which to present the chapters. I is structured very much in accordance with typical general psychology texts. It is easy to follow for the reader with sections of text broken into sections of text with each section addressing a main concept of the chapter, with illustrations included within those sections that reinforce the concepts being addressed. All chapters follow the same structure. The structure of the chapters, as discussed in the first entry of this review, follow accepted guidelines of good instructional design.
the topics in the text are presented in a logical and clear fashion.
This text is aesthetically a well designed text and chapters and concepts flow well from one to another, building on the concepts introduced in the introductory chapters.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This text does address cultural issues, and is not culturally insensitive. It does not address cultural issues as well as the text I am currently using in terms of making it a designed component of each chapter and major concept.
I am adopting this book for three of my classes; General Psychology, Positive Psychology and Honors Psychology.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Psychology
- Psychological Research
- States of Consciousness
- Sensation and Perception
- Thinking and Intelligence
- Lifespan Development
- Emotion and Motivation
- Social Psychology
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Stress, Lifestyle, and Health
- Psychological Disorders
- Therapy and Treatment
About the Book
Psychology is designed to meet the scope and sequence for the single-semester introduction to psychology course. For many students, this may be their only college-level psychology course. As such, this textbook provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of psychology and understand how those concepts apply to their lives. The authors strive to make psychology, as a discipline, interesting and accessible to students. A comprehensive coverage of core concepts is grounded in both classic studies and current and emerging research, including coverage of the DSM-5 in discussions of psychological disorders. The text incorporates discussions that reflect the diversity within the discipline, as well as the diversity of cultures and communities across the globe.
OpenStax College has compiled many resources for faculty and students, from faculty-only content to interactive homework and study guides.
About the Contributors
Dr. Rose Spielman has been teaching psychology and working as a licensed clinical psychologist for 20 years. Her academic career has included positions at Quinnipiac University, Housatonic Community College, and Goodwin College. As a licensed clinical psychologist, educator, and volunteer director, Rose is able to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and facilitate treatment, advocacy, and education. In her years of work as a teacher, therapist, and administrator, she has helped thousands of students and clients and taught them to advocate for themselves and move their lives forward to become more productive citizens and family members.
Kathryn Dumper, Bainbridge State College
William Jenkins, Mercer University
Arlene Lacombe, Saint Joseph's University
Marilyn Lovett, Livingstone College
Marion Perlmutter, University of Michigan