Multiple Authors, OpenStax College
Pub Date: 2014
ISBN 13: 9781938168352
Conditions of Use
This text gives comprehensive attention to all of the major areas of psychology typically included in introductory texts. Topics are given a consistent amount of attention and explanation to make them both comprehensible and accessible enough for... read more
This text gives comprehensive attention to all of the major areas of psychology typically included in introductory texts. Topics are given a consistent amount of attention and explanation to make them both comprehensible and accessible enough for a student who is new to psychology to be able to understand. A few sections could have been fleshed out with more detail and depth, but there is a nice balance of material presented without being overwhelming. The index is thorough, easy to navigate, and well laid out. A listing of key terms is provided at the end of each chapter, along with a chapter review/summary and test review questions. There is an answer key included at the end of the book so that students may check their answers.
The content is well-presented, with an unbiased viewpoint and free from errors. The information is solid and well-researched, supported with examples and empirical backing, cited throughout the text. An alphabetized reference list is included at the end of the text, divided and organized by chapter.
This text utilizes relevant, timely, classic, and contemporary examples that help to underscore the content while keeping readers engaged. The text is organized and written such that updating the text to stay current with new information and cutting-edge research would be extremely easy to accomplish.
Written in a clear, accessible way, this text is suitable for introductory psychology courses and the diverse student populations they serve. The information is complemented by enough content and explanations as to make it easily understandable, without getting into more technical approaches and explanations that may confuse or overwhelm introductory students.
The key terms and frameworks presented are consistent with other introductory psychology textbooks.
The text contains a pleasing amount of reading sections, consistently broken up with subtopics, images, tables, and graphs. Text boxes that “Dig Deeper” and “Link to Learning” are included which contain additional information and links to videos to further illustrate the core topics of interest. These resources would also be great for instructors to use as homework assignments and in-class activities. The use of color is also helpful in delineating and identifying different sections. Modifying the organization and assigning reading sections to students would be a very simple task for instructors. Content is organized in such a way that students should not have difficulty being assigned various sections and locating these with ease.
The organization of the textbook is well executed. The text is very well laid out, aesthetically pleasing, and organized. The format of each chapter and the associated sections are consistent throughout the textbook, making navigation simple, accessible, and streamlined. The ordering of the topics and subtopics is relatively logical. The inclusion of Lifespan Development as a topic later in the text seems a bit out of place, as an earlier placement would have made more sense, but this does not detract in a huge way to the text’s overall organization. Chapters can easily be assigned in a different order than those presented in the book. The table of contents does not include the answer key or references sections, however.
The print and pdf versions of the book are consistently laid out and easy to navigate. There are no image, chart, table, or other graphical distortions present. These aspects appear consistent between formats. The text/image spacing, visual layout, and overall format are easy to navigate, read, and comprehend. The “Links to Learning” are a wonderful addition to the text, providing rich information to complement and enhance the material presented in the text in a fun, easily accessible manner. Obviously, the pdf version with the hyperlinks is more user-friendly, but this does not detract from the benefit of the content being available via URL in the print version.
No grammatical errors stood out while reviewing this text.
The text appears to be sensitive to and mindful of culture. A wide range of examples and images are used to be fairly representative of different cultural perspectives and spark critical thinking of how the psychology concepts presented may be present in or impact cultures differently.
I appreciated the text’s inclusion a chapter devoted to I/O psychology.
This textbook offers theoretical and impactful knowledge about Psychology. It explains the different theories and overview of general psychology in laymen's terms. I used this textbook in Fall 2018 with high school students taking college... read more
This textbook offers theoretical and impactful knowledge about Psychology. It explains the different theories and overview of general psychology in laymen's terms. I used this textbook in Fall 2018 with high school students taking college courses. My students had difficulty understanding the textbook provided by the school and scored low on the textbook assignments and exam. This textbook phrased everything in terms my students understood, and the assignment/exams scores improved by 33%. This textbook offers a simplistic but fundamental lead and guidance into the introductory world of psychology. It is neither too advanced nor too basic for novice psychology students. The simplicity with which this book is developed makes it an essential and effective pedagogical tool for the field of psychology.
I did not find any mistakes in this text at first glance. I did not see anything I would query or dispute. The overall content is correct with the current field of psychology and timeframe.
There are no issues with relevance for the year it was created. However, the textbook has not been updated with changes in the field after 2014, such as teaching Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) vs Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS). It can be easily updated by plugging in new information in the midst of the current information based on the setup of the text.
I am astonished by the logic of consistency and clear writing style with multiple authors. There was traditional and casual language making it easier to understand the terms and theories of psychology, but it still sounded like a collegiate textbook. The book is simple to follow and concise.
My students and I found no inconsistencies in terms of terminology and framework. The book was created in a consistent way in such that the previous chapter flows into the next chapter. Every chapter seems to have a constant level of content, summaries, review questions and vocabulary.
The chapters are a suitable length and practical for students needing a quick review. The sections are easy to break down with lots of space for effortlessness reading, also there are lots of images and graphs to break up the routine of the written words. The headings of the chapters are specific which make it easier to go back and find specific pieces of information. The 16 chapters are further organized into subsections that are easy to understand. I think that the modularity of this textbook is one of the strongest attributes.
The textbook is organized so that as an instructor I can divide up each chapter and organize them in the order of my choosing, but it also progresses in a logical fashion. It also permits the students to read out of sequence without losing flow. The layout of each chapter helps with the structure and flow of the information and each one can build upon the previous chapter. This textbook is very well organized. The organization is much better than many other introductory to psychology textbooks that I have utilized in the past.
In general, the interface is extremely navigable. The figures and images did not look to be distorted in any way. In some chapters, the text of the paragraphs continued awkwardly after a figure/image, nonetheless, it was not too distracting. I think it would be beneficial if the test would reference whether the figure was “on the next page” or “above” to minimize any confusion. I firmly believe that figures/images increase the students’ understanding.
My students and I did not notice any grammatical errors. The summaries at the end of each chapter are strong overviews of the chapter and provide great discussions for review.
In an introductory course, students need to see an image like the one at the beginning of chapter 1, a picture of diversity from race, to gender, to age, to occupation. It gives the perception that this textbook is referring to ALL. My students and I found nothing culturally offensive or insensitive in the language of this textbook. I believe this textbook does a good job of using examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I felt the subsection on prejudice and discrimination was adequate and quite in-depth.
This textbook was a lifesaver with its lecture slides and test bank questions since the other textbooks don’t offer the same quality. As an instructor, this helps enormously with the groundwork for lectures and exams plus I could add my own creative touch. The text is written in a way that my students could comprehend without too much struggle. I prefer this type of text to use in my introduction to psychology courses since there are so many topics to cover in a semester. I would incorporate supplementary resources like videos with this textbook. In all my years of teaching, this textbook was the first time that over half of my students completed the reading assignments in each chapter.
This book seems to give a more comprehensive view of certain topics than I have seen in comparison open texts; however, there are certain chapters where a little more information may be useful (e.g., the psychobiological chapter). This can be... read more
This book seems to give a more comprehensive view of certain topics than I have seen in comparison open texts; however, there are certain chapters where a little more information may be useful (e.g., the psychobiological chapter). This can be easily remedied with the addition of some supplemental materials, though, so it seemed like only a small issue practically.
I did not become aware of any major issues.
Very nice work here - I particularly liked the portion of the first chapter discussing career options for psychology professionals as that tends to be a portion of an intro textbook that I find myself having to supplement usually.
Very well written and very easy to comprehend. I actually enjoyed the idea of a concept being explained first in example and then technically afterward. It seemed to give me some context for the concept before learning definitions. The images and linked videos also helped a great deal with the clarity.
The book was definitely consistent within itself - like many textbooks, I found that I was more familiar with a slightly different version of some terms, but this wasn't necessarily a problem.
Very logically divided into concepts that would be easy to assign as reading.
Logical organization similar to most Intro Psyc textbooks.
Did not come across any problems. Easy to navigate.
Did not come across any issues with grammar/syntax.
While there was some mention of culture in every chapter, I felt that this could still be improved a great deal. I appreciated the focus on gender and sexual minorities, but like many texts, felt that there was a greater need in terms of research/information specifically affecting ethnic minorities.
As far as open texts go, I really feel as if this is one of the better options available. I like that it was a mostly well-done framework from which I can teach, adding in my preference for more cultural/ethnic variety and some deeper-dives into specific interesting/difficult topics. I would feel comfortable recommending this book to my students and my colleagues.
I think this textbook covers all the major themes that I expect to see in an introductory course text. It is impossible to cover everything, but I think this matches the material I have used in other General Psychology courses. I also like that it... read more
I think this textbook covers all the major themes that I expect to see in an introductory course text. It is impossible to cover everything, but I think this matches the material I have used in other General Psychology courses. I also like that it breaks the material into 16 chapters. Since my semesters are usually 15-16 weeks long, this provides a nice rhythm of one chapter per week.
The content appears to be accurate and largely error-free. I also appreciate how Openstax has an online link in place to allow people to identify errors and report them to the publisher for correction. The book is largely unbiased. There is some reference to people commit violence as needing mental health treatment (Chapter 16), which is a political touchy topic. It also seems dismissive of different spiritual beliefs. However, it is consistently good about referring to different cultural issues and how culture must be taken into consideration.
It is a 2014 book and it is fairly up to date. I felt that there were a few recent studies that should have been included. For example, in the social conformity section the author references the Martin and Bull, 2008 study on mid-wives to show that Milgram is relevant for today. However, I think the Berger study "Milgram light" is a better comparison.
I did not find the book to be very easy to follow. The authors often wrote in a convoluted way that made it more difficult to grasp the concepts. They often wrote about an example of a concept before defining or naming the concept. This is not how I prefer to learn. I think they should have named and defined the concept first and then followed up with an example. As an entry level textbook, I feel that the information needs to be delivered in the way that is easiest to understand. This is only a style preference, but it bugged me throughout the whole book.
I noted no problems with internal consistency. There were terms that the book used that I typically don't use. Instead, I use a synonym. For example, the author uses the term "relaxation response technique" but I say "relaxation exercises." This is not a big deal but I'll need to go back over my lesson plans and make sure my language matches the book.
I thought it was sectioned out very well and the sections were fairly short and easy to digest. The sections could be easily rearranged to suit the needs of the professor.
The topic progression is logical and fairly standard. Like most books it starts with an overview, followed by a chapter on research and next, a chapter on biology. All general psychology texts seem to follow this format.
I like the ability to navigate quickly to different sections of the book by clicking on titles in the table of contents. However, I was dismayed to find that the table of contents did not always include titles for all the sections. Most notably, the references section for the entire book is located before the subject index. However, there is no mention of it in the table of contents. Also, the answer key for the chapter questions is just after chapter 16 but it also does not have a title in the table of contents. I'd like to ask the publisher to consider adding those sections. Without being able to jump to the different sections, I find the interface to be frustrating and I feel I could find the information faster in a hard copy.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
I think this book is strong in some areas of cultural issues and weak in others. I appreciate that the authors sought to bring attention to cultural factors in almost every chapter. This is a clear strength. I did feel like there was an imbalance in the types of diversity discussed. Sexual orientation was mentioned 58 times and many good studies and current events in the field were highlighted. This is very relevant for where the culture and the field is today. In contrast, African Americans were mentioned 42 times, Latinos and Hispanics were mentioned 26 times (combined) and yet spirituality was only mentioned 12 times in the whole book and most of those are in the last chapter. Based on this, I think the book is not giving enough attention to spiritual diversity and could do more to discuss ethnic diversity.
This book seems to have all the necessary components to be an adequate textbook for a General Psychology course. However, I have read other textbooks on the topic that were better written and more comprehensive.
The book covers most of the things an introductory textbook normally covers, but is a bit light in some areas. The chapter on Sensation and Perception, for example, is missing quite a bit of information in the areas on taste and smell. Well it's... read more
The book covers most of the things an introductory textbook normally covers, but is a bit light in some areas. The chapter on Sensation and Perception, for example, is missing quite a bit of information in the areas on taste and smell. Well it's true that these areas are not nearly as researched as vision and audition, there has been significantly more research in the last few years, and so it's no longer acceptable (especially for a textbook that can be easily updated to include new research) for a textbook to be this skimpy on these two senses. There is also no information on multisensory work, which is a recent (but extremely important) area of research. I also thought the subsection on Motivation was a bit light on details.
The book seems accurate and unbiased, I didn't find any errors in its description of research or other information.
As mentioned in my comment on comprehensiveness, I do think this book could cover some more recent research, especially in the areas of cognitive psychology and developmental psychology. I do think that this book will likely lose much of its relevance in a few years (but this is pretty common in a science textbook).
The book is easy to read. There is little scientific jargon used, but also very few real-world examples. Inclusion of the latter could better help students understand the concepts they read about.
The book was consistent across chapters and ideas and did a good job of presenting terminology in different chapters in a similiar manner.
The modularity of this book is good- I could pick and choose and expand on subtopics that are presented, or could choose to reorganize the subtopics if I wanted to without needing to refer back to the book to do so.
I agree with another reviewer who mentioned that it would be nice to have chapter 8 and 7 switched. Learning and memory are almost inextricable, so having the chapters one after the other tends to make sense. I also like several other psychology textbook models that combine the two last chapters (psychological disorders and psychological treatments), as this allows for students to easily learn about a disorder followed by its treatment.
I didn't find there to be any problems with navigating the chapters or accessing the links. Images were also fine (although there could have been a few more of them).
I didn't find there to be any grammar errors.
The cultural inclusion in this textbook is fairly rare in a psychology textbook. Care also seems to have been taken to include images of people from various cultures and backgrounds. There are also a fair amount of examples provided of the ways in which the material applies to various cultures.
It is clear that there was a significant amount of work invested in this book, and it shows. I do think that a few more examples of recent research could be included, and that the tone could be a bit more exciting, but otherwise, not a bad intro to psychology textbook.
The text is comprehensive and provides information that is comparable to a typical Introductory Psychology textbook. read more
The text is comprehensive and provides information that is comparable to a typical Introductory Psychology textbook.
Most of the text appears to be highly accurate. I did not favor the section on fundamental attribution error in the Social Psychology chapter. The definition and examples seemed to carry more bias. Perhaps pointing to more research would help.
Some of the videos and resources were quite useful, but others seem outdated and/or in poor quality(for example, p. 424).
The text is well-written and contains relevant and interesting material.
The terms used appear comparable to other textbooks on the market.
The text includes many sections and provides many references to well-known figures in the field. Something about the text and the layout seems less engaging than a usual textbook. I am less visually engaged with this textbook than the current text that I use.
The layout is organized in a similar manner to other Psychology textbooks.
The links appeared to work, and the images were not distorted.
One of the videos on page 29 says the link is for a video; however, the link takes the reader to an APA website.
(I recommend rewording this question to "The text is written in a way that is sensitive to cultural differences.") Many of the sections utilized information regarding various cultures. The images and videos used included individuals with diverse backgrounds.
I appreciate the work that has been invested into this open source text and will seriously consider using the text in the future. The opportunity to save students money would be the sole motivator to move away from my current text.
For an introductory course meant to be comprehensive over a wide range of topics this text seems to do a good job in engaging the student and providing enough depth for interest/learning but not too much to overwhelm. All major topic areas appear... read more
For an introductory course meant to be comprehensive over a wide range of topics this text seems to do a good job in engaging the student and providing enough depth for interest/learning but not too much to overwhelm. All major topic areas appear to be covered except I did notice it is missing a Sex, Gender and Sexuality section that is important to integrate, however, an instructor could still provide additional resources to cover those topics. I particularly liked the Link to Learning videos that are available to students and the review questions.
The text appears to be accurate and I didn't notice any errors or it is nice to see the usage of the most recent DSM which is important. Also I appreciate all of the references/sources listed for easy view.
With the integration of up to date cultural issues and the ability to update frequently this text actually may have a much longer relevancy than most of the texts students buy which are soon outdated. (I am assuming the goal of the e-text is the ability to frequently update?)
The text provides adequate context and uses pictures to try and help relay concepts, however it can be dry at times and may not appeal to all students. The writing level appears appropriate for undergraduate students and their reading level and the use of bold and italics helps in differentiating/emphasizing concepts of importance.
There appears to be a consistent formatting and terminology used.
I appreciate that the text is organized into sections within the chapters making it easier to present topics in whatever order I would choose as an instructor to assign.
The flow appears good. I may have chosen to cover Lifespan Development a little earlier in the text, however with the modularity I can switch that up if I so choose.
Interface appeared easy to follow/navigate and I didn't experience any issues.I like that there are different formats to view the text in which is nice.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
There are many examples of inclusivity of other cultures and pictures that provide an understanding of other cultures as well. It appears very similar to the book I am currently using for my intro course. Text is culturally sensitive and I didn't find anything that I viewed as offensive.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the review of this OER text and I would be excited to implement it in one of my classes.
This textbook covers all relevant chapters for the introductory psychology classes at my institution, which allowed us to successfully and easily adopt it. If you are looking for less traditional chapters, such as gender and human sexuality, you... read more
This textbook covers all relevant chapters for the introductory psychology classes at my institution, which allowed us to successfully and easily adopt it. If you are looking for less traditional chapters, such as gender and human sexuality, you will not find those in this book, but should consider using supplemental material or incorporating these other topics throughout the chapters currently available in this book.
In terms of accuracy, this textbook presents the material in an unbiased manner. I have not run across any errors in content and it presents the psychological research and concepts in an accurate manner. If instructors run across anything needing correction, it is easy to submit a form for errata so that the material can be updated for all. With a large community of instructors reading and being able to submit changes, the text has been well maintained.
The basic foundation is laid with this textbook. As with instructors reporting errata, this textbook also has the basics that allow it to be easily maintained. The content provides examples that current students can relate to in order to better understand the material, but is not too “trendy”. It will maintain its relevance in the years to come.
I found the writing to be accessible to my undergraduate students. The feedback from students, including high school students who use this book in their high school psychology class, has consistently been positive. They are able to grasp these new concepts as presented in the textbook.
The flow from chapter to chapter is consistent. Each chapter sounds as if it is presented in the same “voice” and has similar structure, making it easy to move among the chapters.
This textbook is set up with typical chapter lengths and structure. It is not presented in a modular format with many smaller sections.
The material in this textbook is organized in a manner that is easy to follow. It is a solid, general textbook with similar topics grouped together in a logical order. A clear structure is maintained throughout.
This textbook does not contain distorted images or figures. It doesn’t have confusing visuals. It is easy to navigate through the material and I have not had interface issues with this book.
The writing does not contain distracting grammatical errors. The ability for instructors to report errata has allowed this textbook to be well maintained.
This textbook is free of culturally offensive writing, images, or examples. A wide variety of students have used this textbook and did not report any concepts as being presented in an insensitive manner.
While a few specific subtopics were a little light on details, the book covered all of the major areas typically taught in a general psychology class evenly. read more
While a few specific subtopics were a little light on details, the book covered all of the major areas typically taught in a general psychology class evenly.
The book was written in an unbiased and accurate way and I did not come across any errors.
The book represented both classic theories in psychology but also supplemented them with updated ideas and research.
The book was easy to read and I believe would be clear to people just starting to study psychology as well. Any special terms used were defined and indexed.
The book demonstrated consistency in the tone, style, and level of detail used throughout.
I found the book to be typical for an introductory psychology course textbook. The ideas were definitely divided up into many subsections, but I think the overall chapters were a bit long and could be more modular.
For a book that covers many topics at an introductory level, this book is on-par with many other introductory psychology books. In general, I think that the book would be improved by more connections between chapters and if the chapters were a bit more even in terms of how the material was presented, but about the same as most books on the market in terms of how well it flowed.
The interface was clear and easy to navigate!
I did not come across any grammatical errors as I read this book.
I would consider this book to be culturally inoffensive. There were a number of subsections that were written to highlight the experiences of non-majority members. However, this book did continue a long tradition from introductory psychology books of including the historical data (so, usually data by and from members of American cultural majorities) as the norm and the other data as optional side-topics instead of carefully integrating it together.
Generally, I think this book was quite on par with comparable introductory psychology textbooks! It feels a bit more condensed than most textbooks and of course is readily available to our students which are pluses. If you are happy with how most intro psych books are organized and written and are looking for an affordable option for your students, this book should do just fine!
This book does virtually everything one would want an intro psych book to do, hitting all the major content areas within Psychology, including I/O psych (something of a rarity). It even has a section on auditory localization, which is one of my... read more
This book does virtually everything one would want an intro psych book to do, hitting all the major content areas within Psychology, including I/O psych (something of a rarity). It even has a section on auditory localization, which is one of my areas of specialization and something I am grateful has been included.
I did not detect any errors in the text, and I appreciate that they have integrated the material from the newest version of the DSM.
Like many “survey” texts for introductory classes like these, they are at least slightly out-of-date by the time they are published, owing to the breadth and diversity of a field like Psychology. The above notwithstanding, the book should remain relevant for a few years at least. All of the major “classic” findings from Psychology (Gestalt principles, Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, Conformity, Obedience to authority, etc.) are represented.
The text really is extraordinarily clear; in fact I can say this is one of its greatest strengths. Key terms from each chapter are presented in a glossary at the end of that chapter, and technical or jargon-y sounding words are explained at a level that students unfamiliar with Psychology will be able to understand.
Consistency was overall good, with no glaring shifts in tone or voice, even if it was somewhat bland.
Modularity was also very good. As with many texts that accompany introductory (“survey”) courses of this nature, you can present topics in whatever order you choose, though obviously an introduction to Psychology (Chapter 1, here) would arguably need to be presented first.
One change I would make to the overall organization of the text: I would switch the positions of chapters 7 & 8 so that the topic of learning flows right into memory. I feel this makes for a more logical presentation. Owing to the great deal of modularity this text affords (see above) this is an easy enough change to make.
Navigation through the text was very easy, whether it was the online, ePub, or pdf version of the text. Occasionally links to interesting YouTube videos were present in the text. All the links I clicked on worked; I didn’t seem to have the problems that some other reviewers had.
I did not see any spelling or grammatical errors.
This seems to be an area where the text shines, with many references to differing cultural perspectives (for example, the chapters on Psychological Disorders and Personality).
This book does a perfectly utilitarian, workman-like job of describing the major content areas in Psychology. It is not as flashy as some other Intro Psych textbooks, but for the price it really can’t be beat. Indeed, the more experience I have teaching the more I am convinced that “flashiness”, “bells-and-whistles”, whatever you want to call them, are not really much of an influence on whether students are going to read the text, i.e., they’re either going to read it or they’re not — a slightly “free-range teaching” attitude, if you will, but there you go. And if they’re not going to read it anyway, why make them shell out hundreds of dollars for it? I will more than likely adopt this text in the future.
In general, this Psychology textbook is comprehensive. It covers the topics one would expect in an Introduction to Psychology course. The index is accessible, and key terms are defined at the end of each chapter. Upon closer inspection there... read more
In general, this Psychology textbook is comprehensive. It covers the topics one would expect in an Introduction to Psychology course. The index is accessible, and key terms are defined at the end of each chapter. Upon closer inspection there are some concerns. I will use section 9.2 on Lifespan theories as an example. Four theories are presented. One of which is Freud’s Psycho-sexual theory, which is neither a lifespan theory nor a core theory of psychology. Two other theories presented are Piaget’s Constructivist theory and Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Neither of these theories are considered lifespan theories. With Piaget’s theory, there is a mention of how this theory has been applied beyond adolescence though. There is no such discussion for Kohlberg, though there is an interesting and important discussion of potential male vs female differences. Erikson’s Psycho-social theory is the best example of a lifespan development theory and is presented. There are no other well-known global theories of lifespan development, which is likely the reason the author chose the other theories mentioned. However, there are core principles of what lifespan development is, and this section would be more contemporary, relevant, and comprehensive if these principles were presented.
In general, no inaccuracies were detected. Certain perspectives are focused on more than others but simply in the way that reflects an individual author's perspective. For example, several of the initial examples of what psychology is were brain-based whereas psychology is much broader than that.
Many aspects of an induction to psychology course (like history, theories, core concepts, classic experiments) do not change frequently, therefore the text won’t become obsolete anytime soon. The examples are contemporary and relevant.
The text is written clearly and each section is a quick and interesting read. There is not too much jargon. New concepts are often introduced with a new header making it easy to find a definition and example of the concept.
No issues were noted concerning the uniformity of the textbook within or across chapters.
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course
No issues were noted.
I was going to recommend that there be an easier way to get to a particular chapter or section of a chapter. A document of 754 pages, and one in which the PDF page number does not match the book page number, was difficult to navigate. It was only later that I discovered the Table of Contents (PDF pages 7-9) contain links that take the reader to the desired section.
One concern I have with the textbook is that it primarily views psychology as a universal rather than addressing adequately culture and context. Some argue that the discipline of psychology is in a state of crisis given the difficulties replicating many experiments, even ones at the core of the field. Psychology has relied upon undergraduate students and middle-class samples for many of its basic findings. These "well-established" findings are not being replicated consistently: using a different lab, using slightly different instructions, and using different samples of participants often yield disparate results. In other words, the universality of principles in psychology are being questioned. The brief mentions of multicultural psychology do not convey adequately the state of the field.
This textbook is a very appealing choice for instructors. It is an interesting and quick read and, because it is available at no cost, all students will get a copy. Students will especially appreciate the end of chapter terms, summary, and review questions to help them prepare for assessments.
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... 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%....
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... 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.
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... 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.
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... 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.
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.
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... 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
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... 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 nicely illustrated and discussed within the respective chapters. Beyond covering the "basics," this... 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 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. 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 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... 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.
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... 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.
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.... 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.
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
Psychologyis 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