Introduction to Psychology: The Full Noba Collection
Ed Diener, University of Utah
Copyright Year: 2016
Conditions of Use
The text is quite comprehensive. It has a good balance between board concepts and a focus on psychological literacy and application and depth and detail across numerous topics. I think that the NOBA text covers all of the major topics most... read more
The text is quite comprehensive. It has a good balance between board concepts and a focus on psychological literacy and application and depth and detail across numerous topics. I think that the NOBA text covers all of the major topics most instructors want to see in an introductory course with good depth of coverage for each topic overall. There were a few spots where I was left wanting a bit more, a small addition, or a slightly different presentation, but it's all there and easily individualized for a course and can be paired with the right supplements as needed.
Throughout my review the content appeared to be accurate, error-free, and unbiased. I had no concerns.
Because of the comprehensive nature of the text, thorough treatment of individual topics, and nicely woven (fairly) current and solidly engaging content, I think that it is relevant and can maintain its relevance fairly easily. I would like to see some more current references and wonder how often the text will be updated. It is certainly written in a way and by multiple, expert and accomplished authors and so can be easily edited and updated to maintain relevance if the commitment to do so remains.
I found the text to be quite clear, readable, accessible, clean, and engaging. I think that along with comprehensiveness and modularity that this is a major strength. Even with multiple authors and voices, it is quite lucid and enjoyable to read and would be a good fit with the range of students that I teach. I only found a few places in the section of the brain and neurons that was a bit heavy and jargony. Overall, the text is amazingly clear and refreshingly well-organized and readable. I think that it is both eloquent and uncomplicated in many ways and this is both appealing and helpful for students.
Overall, the organization, design, and contents are consistent. There is some variability in writing style and fluidity across writers and subsections, but it is not particularly problematic. It might be nice to have an audio introduction to each chapter or section to emphasize the shift in focus and voice to prepare the naive reader in particular for some of the necessary variation. I think that given the design and multiple, excellent authors/researchers involved in the project that there is about as much consistency as one could expect.
The NOBA text us, by design, is easily ad readily divisible into smaller reading sections. I think that the design is fantastic for individualizing a course or course sections. The level of modularity is just right and is the content is easily reorganized without significant or problematic disruption.
Overall the topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. There are a few sections that seemed to have a better fit or place elsewhere and so it would be nice to have another layer of modularity built in to address this and fine tune a bit more to the instructor's liking or preference.
I think that similar to the writing the interface was pleasantly clean, clear, and uncomplicated. Navigation was easy and consistent and I did not find any significant points of confusion or distraction. It would be nice to update some of the simpler images/schematics to higher quality images in some areas of the text for greater consistency and aesthetic.
I found no grammatical errors in my review.
I think that the NOBA text is intentional and effective in striving for inclusion and variety. I think that the level and consistency of inclusions of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds is acceptable and average for what many are looking for and comfortable in a text. That said, I think that the NOBA text (and most others) could and should strive for even more intentional coverage of excluded contributors to the field and our body of knowledge and level of inclusivity.
I very much enjoyed this text and review and found it to be more compelling, impressive, flexible, and comprehensive than expects. As I said before, the comprehensiveness, fine writing style and readability, and modularity are major strengths. I see it as a breath of fresh air in terms of the welcome clarity and uncomplicated nature of the prose and design that at the same time delivers significant breadth and depth of coverage. The adaptive quizzing and resources also fill a critical gap in OER and really encourage me to consider this option (combined with some minor supplements) as the primary text for an introductory course-assuming updates continue to be made. Nicely done.
The book is comprehensive and provides a good overview of the major fields in Psychology. The collection is divided into modules that cover the main topics commonly found in introductory textbooks. read more
The book is comprehensive and provides a good overview of the major fields in Psychology. The collection is divided into modules that cover the main topics commonly found in introductory textbooks.
The content is accurate.
The content is highly relevant. It appears that new modules can be easily added and existing modules can be updated easily without disrupting the usage of the textbook.
The text is clear and easy to read. The authors are good about explaining terms and including links to definitions of important vocabulary words. My students have found the text accessible and engaging.
The textbook seems to have fairly good consistency even with multiple authors across different modules. Some subunits have more modules available than others. One weak area is the neuroscience/brain and behavior subunit. Three of the modules, The Nervous System, The Nervous System and The Brain, and The Brain, contain a lot of overlap. Each of those modules take slightly different approaches to the topic of neuroscience, but none are complete enough to use on their own. Some subunits contain modules with broad overviews of the subfield such as "An Introduction to the Science of Social Psychology" while other subunits only contain modules that cover subtopics within the broader field.
This textbook is easily divisible and customizable. I was able to easily link the modules that I wanted to use into my syllabus/learning management system so that I could cover topics at different points throughout the semester regardless of where the authors had them categorized. Each module within a subunit is self-contained. They are written so that each could easily be reorganized or assigned independently without confusing the reader.
The modules within the textbook are organized into various subunits that correspond to the topics most commonly covered in an introductory textbook. I found that some of the modules were categorized differently than I had expected. For example, Elizabeth Loftus' module on Eyewitness Testimony and Memory Biases is included in the Sensation and Perception subunit rather than the Learning and Memory subunit. Fortunately it is easy to rearrange the modules to customize the textbook for your own preferences and uses. The modules themselves are very consistent in their organization. The overview and learning objectives at the top of each module help readers orient to the module. Then the text is broken into various subheadings with relatively short paragraphs. This approach is very successful and makes it easy for students to navigate and stay engaged.
The textbook is easy to use. The modules are easy to link into a Learning Management System or to download into pdf. Each of the modules are similarly structured with an overview and learning objectives at the top. There is a navigation bar at the side that allows the user to easily see all of the subsections within the module. Vocabulary words are highlighted and linked to the glossary at the end of the module providing easy access without having to leave the page. The textbook also includes instructor resources such as a test bank, powerpoint files, reading guides, and instructor's guides.
The text is fluent and easy to read. I did not notice many grammatical errors or typos.
The text does a good job of being culturally inclusive. In the section "History of Psychology," the authors do include some discussion of the contributions of women and BIPOC scientists. There is also a module that specifically addresses culture and emotion. As is true of many textbooks, this text would benefit the inclusion of more examples from non-majority groups throughout all of its modules.
I highly recommend considering this text. The ease of use, customizability, and cost make it superior to many other commonly used introductory textbooks. My students have commented to me about how much they enjoy the structure and content of this text. Most importantly, they all seem to do the assigned reading since I have started using this text (and assign the reading anticipation guides).
Across all of the learning modules, this book covers a very large number of topics and includes a vocabulary section at the end. read more
Across all of the learning modules, this book covers a very large number of topics and includes a vocabulary section at the end.
I found the book to be accurate.
I found the book to be up-to-date while covering classic research. I do wonder who is responsible for updating given the large number of authors who contributed. Are they updating every few years?
I found the book to be clear and accessible. Technical terms are highlighted so that students can hover over and see a definition.
Because the modules are written by a number of different authors, there does appear to be subtle differences in style across the modules. The way that images are implemented and whether there are boxes with highlights throughout changes slightly. Overall, I would say that it is very internally consistent given the number of authors involved, but is not as consistent as you might see from one smaller group of authors.
There are a lot of modules and so it is easy to divide the book into a number of sections that you cover within your course. However, I think these modules are better suited for subject courses (e.g., cognitive psychology, social psychology) rather than a full intro course. To cover the breadth that I currently do in intro, I would need to include a number of modules within each "chapter" or topic (e.g., in my psychology as a science course I would likely need 2 modules, and for memory, I would need 2 or 3). However, the readings then would be a little bit longer than I like to assign to my students in intro, and would go into a bit too much depth. Some editing and chopping, of course, could be done.
I found the book to be relatively organized, with only a few modules in a place where I would not necessarily put it. However, piecing the modules together in the order each instructor likes is one of the main benefits of using this type of open textbook.
I struggled to get the outline on the sidebar to quickly move me from section to section. I had to scroll like a standard PDF, which is not a huge deal.
I found the book to be grammatically correct.
The text covered culture in a sensitive way and was inclusive.
Overall this is a huge library of well-written learning modules for those studying psychology and teaching psychology. I believe it could be labeled as more than for introductory psychology courses.
Very thorough in presenting the vastness of psychological constructs. read more
Very thorough in presenting the vastness of psychological constructs.
What I've read in this text is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
The variety of topics provides information that is surely relevant to whatever one's interests may be.
What I've read of this text is very clear and concise.
The multitude of authors lends to some inconsistency with the "voice" of this text.
The division by specific topics within broader constructs makes it very easy to assign specific concise readings regarding the important topics for the instructor, but also as an awesome topical overview for curious students. Outside resources provide additional support for inquiries.
Organization is typical of a psych textbook, however the division by topics within broader constructs allows for even better organization.
Although basic, the interface of the table of contents and links within the document work well.
No significant grammatical errors noticed.
There could be additional consideration for cultures outside of typical European/-American or Asian/-American mentions, through examples, citations and even authorship of sections/chapters.
The page numbers are daunting, however considering this is a pdf and not formatted like a textbook. Consider priming students with this fact and the division of "Chapters" by specific topics. That feature makes it very easy to assign readings and tailor the course to the instructors preferences.
The textbook is very comprehensive, covering a broad range of fields of Psychology from social and cognitive Psychology to more biological topics like epigenetics. Every chapter in the book identifies clear learning goals and ends with potential... read more
The textbook is very comprehensive, covering a broad range of fields of Psychology from social and cognitive Psychology to more biological topics like epigenetics. Every chapter in the book identifies clear learning goals and ends with potential discussion questions and additional outside resources as well as a glossary. While there are a wide array of potential texts available for teaching Introduction to Psychology, this one definitely contains information that demonstrates to students the immense breadth of potential fields of study within Psychology. The only issue I can possibly see with the book is that it might benefit from some additional illustrations.
The content in the text is highly accurate with a couple of very minor typos here and there.
The content in the text is highly relevant to current students, and should retain its relevancy for some time. It appears that it would be fairly easily updated, making it unlikely to become obsolete anytime soon.
The text is extremely well written and accessible for all student levels. The text avoid the overuse of jargon and regularly defines important terms, including links to their definitions in the glossary at the end of the chapter. There is sufficient background information provided so that students can understand even the more complex topics included in the book, such as the molecular mechanisms responsible for epigenetic inheritance of psychologically related traits.
All of the chapters in the book follow the same consistent framework, starting with a brief introduction, followed by learning goals and ending with discussion questions, outside resources, a glossary and references. In addition, the use of terminology seems to be consistent throughout the entire text.
The book is divided into modules that have several chapters each, with each chapter averaging around 20 pages. This modularity makes it possible to pick and choose which topics to include in your course fairly easy. In addition, there are a wide variety of topics in each module so that you could potentially tailor your course to fit a very basic introductory course, a more advanced upper level course in the major, a focused seminar course or just about anything in between.
The topics for the most part are presented in a clear and logical manner. There are a couple of chapters that might be better if they were shifted into different modules. For example, there is a chapter on eye witness testimony and memory in the sensation and perception module, which might be better placed in the memory module. There are also some areas that seem to be repeated. For example, the module on the Biological Basis of Behavior has chapters entitled: The Nervous System, The Brain and then also one titled The brain and nervous system. Because of the modular nature of the book, this is not really a major issue.
The text has great navigation features. All of the important terms in the PDF file are underlined and linked to their definitions in the glossary. In addition, the main textbook site has a wide variety of additional features including a test bank, powerpoint files, an instructor's guide and reading anticipation guides (questions to give students to think about before starting to read the content in each chapter). These are all freely downloadable and fairly easy to use. All of the figures are free of distortion as well.
The grammar is very good with just a few typos here and there.
Overall the text is culturally inclusive. For example, in the history chapter, it specifically includes examples from women and minority psychologists and outlines how they have made important contributions to the field. In addition, it explicitly addresses the issue of how bias and our value systems influence what we, as scientists, decide what issues are important enough for us to study, how to interpret our results and the tone that we use when reporting and publishing our results.
Overall, I found this to be a great text, with a wide variety of interesting topics interspersed with all of the necessary basic information that you would want to include in an introductory course. The text appears to be a fantastic resource and a useful framework for teaching psychology that is relevant and extremely accessible for students of all levels.
Very comprehensive. Modules span those that are commonly found in introductory psychology textbooks. The index system is well organized within each module and students can click terms to find their definition. read more
Very comprehensive. Modules span those that are commonly found in introductory psychology textbooks. The index system is well organized within each module and students can click terms to find their definition.
I didn’t notice any errors and the content seemed very accurate.
Content was relatively up to date. The vast majority of the references seemed to be from before 2013.
The text was very clear overall, but clarity did vary somewhat depending on the author and content being covered. The module on Neurons lacked some clarity due to overuse of jargon and unnecessary level of detail in some sections. For example, the second paragraph includes a lengthy discussion about different staining techniques including information about the parts of the neuron that are highlighted based on the staining technique being used. This information seems well beyond the scope of an introductory psychology textbook.
The text is very consistent in terms of terminology and organization/layout. There was some redundancy in content covered in the text. In particular, the modules on The Nervous System and The Brain had a large amount of content overlapping.
There is a great deal of modularity to the text, which is one of my reasons for considering using it. The Noba text is able to be organized into rather particular subtopics, making it ideal for a survey course with limits on the amount of content being assigned to students.
The organization of the text is very similar to that of most introductory textbooks. The module subtopics within broader topics seemed well organized.
The text is easy to navigate. The table of contents includes all of the broader topic areas and modules. The interface is not as visually appealing compared to most of the textbooks that I’ve reviewed. However, the graphs and images may be sufficient and could perhaps be supplemented with outside resources.
I didn’t notice any grammatical errors.
I didn’t note any culturally insensitive or offensive content. Cultural differences seem to be brought up across a variety of topics such as development and intelligence.
I found the textbook to be clear, concise, and rather comprehensive. I plan on using it for my introductory psychology course next semester.
The chapter on Personality Traits was clear and concise yet dealt with one of the most controversial issues in personality: the person-situation debate. The debate was clearly outlined and described in enough detail for an Introductory text. On... read more
The chapter on Personality Traits was clear and concise yet dealt with one of the most controversial issues in personality: the person-situation debate. The debate was clearly outlined and described in enough detail for an Introductory text. On the other hand, Ch 7 Neurons provided probably more information than was necessary for an introductory psychology text. Some of the material was also too complex and in depth for understanding how neurons work. In this regard the chapter is out of sync with other chapters related to the material such as Ch 9 The Brain which is clearly written and provides a very good overview of areas of the brain and various functions of the brain. In other words, the Brain chapter (9) is easily understood, flows well and provides the depth needed for an intro text, while the chapter on Neurons (7) is written in a complex manner with jargon and depth that is beyond an Intro text. The chapter about Schizophrenia and Psychosis was a good, brief overview. I felt the chapter could have given much more detail about predisposition theories, the history of treatment for schizophrenia including the atrocious treatment in state hospitals, frontal lobotomies, side effects of medication, childhood precursors and the treatment for this disorder. However, the chapter on the History of Mental Illness does help to fill in some of the gaps and provide background to this earlier inhuman treatment. However, the Psychophysiological/Neuroscience chapter was confusing and did not flow well. It contained too much jargon and was written above level for an Introductory Psychology chapter. The chapter could have been made better had there been clarifying definitions in the margins or within the text. Though there is a glossary of terms provided not having concise definitions readily apparent for the complex vocabulary made reading the chapter even more difficult. Overall, the chapter did not flow and was not interesting enough to hold my attention. I left the section without feeling that I could recall what I learned.
I did not note any glaring inaccuracies. Some chapters were overly comprehensive while others covered the topic accurately and with enough detail for the level of an Introductory text. The material also did not seem biased.
There are some chapters where the material is not likely to change (i.e. resting potential of a neuron) and therefore should remain up to date. Experiment examples are relevant for today and also include older, well established reports (Phineas Gage and personality change due to brain injury).
As noted earlier in my review, some chapters have more depth and jargon than is necessary for an Intro text, while others could dig deeper and cover the material in greater depth. There is so much material to choose from, literally 88 topics, modules, chapters, sections to choose from that an instructor has the freedom to pick and choose and customize even to the extent of the depth of the material covered. The chapter on Statistical Thinking was one of the clearest chapters I have read describing p-values, random assignment, the standard deviation, etc. The research examples used to describe the various concepts were interesting and clear (babies choosing preferred blocks, creative writers being motivated by intrinsic vs. extrinsic factors). The Research Methods chapter was also clearly written and easy to read. The research examples used were also interesting. The chapter flowed logically and was easy to read and understand.
Consistency would be an issue with this type of text in which every chapter is written by a different author, from sometimes very different backgrounds. Sometimes it can be refreshing to read varied chapters from varied authors as long as the comprehensiveness, clarity and relevance remains consistent. This could be accomplished if the instructor has time to review the materials and customize the text to his/her liking.
The beauty of the Nova model is that the chapters are written so that an instructor has the ability to customize the modules and chapters they will cover. There are some very interesting topics/titles/modules that would add greatly to an Intro text and generate interest for even the most hard to engage young student (i.e. Love, Friendship and Social Support, Attraction, Violence, etc).
For the most part, the several chapters I reviewed were well written. The chapters flowed logically, were easy to understand, moved into the topic with ease. I do note that at times when I would reach the end of a topic area, chapter, I was left wanting more or it had the feel that it ended abruptly.
I was able to navigate easily to websites and online material. The additional materials provided were plentiful and varied. An instructor could supplement assignments or in class lectures with the material to add variety and interest to the material.
I found no grammatical errors. Again the material was well written.
I did not note any cultarally insensitive or offensive material throughout the text materials I reviewed. The chapter on Schizophrenia and Psychosis could probably have made some reference to cultural aspects of this illness.
I would very seriously consider using this text in an Introductory Psychology course. I love the variety of topics/modules/chapters that are available. I could see customizing the text to the depth and level of the course I am teaching.
I am planning to use this text for an Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science course and feel that it is comparatively thorough to the major topics I would normally cover to a more traditional text. For example, the major units/chapters... read more
I am planning to use this text for an Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science course and feel that it is comparatively thorough to the major topics I would normally cover to a more traditional text. For example, the major units/chapters are Psychology as a Science, Biological Bases to Behavior, Sensation and Perception, Development, Cognition and Language, Learning and Memory, Personality, Psychological Disorders, Motivation, and Well-being. You'll notice that there is no unit on Stress and Coping but these topics are covered under Well-being. The units are then divided into subtopics that you can see before reading the chapter which I find is really convenient because it serves as an outline to the reader instead of in a traditional text where there are subheadings but you may not get an overview of the subheadings. You may find that some of the subtopics may not go into as much detail as a traditional text and provide more of an overview though the introductory concepts that are most relevant are clear and won't overwhelm the reader with information overload. That being said, I felt like the content will be sufficient and workable in addition to lecture material outside of the text or additional readings you can use to supplement some of the topics you may want to go more in depth with. There are sometimes videos embedded in the reading that clarify concepts (i.e. animations of action potentials and neurotransmitter activity at the synapse) and that are also currently relevant instead of appearing to be outdated. Starting with the full collection is beneficial because you can customize the text to take out topics you may not have time for. After each section, there is a convenient glossary of terms, list of references, quiz, and outside resources which sometimes includes videos. You can also 'search' for terms if the reader would like to look up a term not covered or highlighted in the glossary. I also find the search box very useful when trying to look up Author references within the text.
In my reading, I did not find anything that was inaccurate.
The content seems up to date though I would like to see even more current research published within the last 5 years. This is a challenge with all texts. All of the topics are authored by experts in the field that provide at least a handful of references published within the last decade. I do not find this text behind in terms of using relevant research when compared to other traditional texts though I feel like there could be some improvement on this end. There are also references that are historic and supported well within the field.
The terminology and accessible prose is a strength for the text. The clarity also seems consistent across the chapters.
The text does not seem to have any issues in terms of general framework and organization or terminology.
The text does not need overwhelming meaning that there are enormous blocks of texts without subheadings. You have the option and flexibility to organize any of the major modules in the order you prefer to teach them. You also have the option of deleting any of the modules although you do not have the option of deleting or reorganizing some of the subtopics within the module. I would find this useful though you can always choose to assign specific subtopics as readings and skip over others.
The subtopics within each module are fixed. When you read each major module, there is a column to the right which shows the subtopics and authors within each module which I find is very helpful to the reader so they know what is coming next as they are reading. However, I wish I had the option of reorganizing some of the subtopics to different modules (i.e. putting eyewitness testimony and memory biases under 'Learning and Memory' instead of Sensation and Perception, or taking 'Social Neuroscience' from 'Learning and Memory' and putting it under 'Social Psychology' or even 'Psychology as a Science')
I did not find any issues with the interface or navigation problems. The reader does need to be prompted that the text is presented in an 'online blog fashion' so that when they click on a module/chapter, they will be sent to that module/chapter and it's subtopics and will need to click the 'back' button to get to the other chapters if needed. There were no distortion in images or graphs and they appeared clearly on an online format.
I did not find any glaring grammatical errors.
Some of the modules attempted to take a culturally relevant perspective with the way information was presented (Time and Culture under 'Sensation and Perception) but like with all texts, I think there could be improvement especially in the beginning modules (for example, the History of Psychology module: presenting Psychologists of Color and Psychologists that are Women that have made significant impacts in the field) or at least attempting cultural relevance with every subtopic. I would've also liked to see a more updated and thorough discussion within the Gender chapter of diverse gender identities.
The full NOBA collection is a great place to start and the way it is displayed on the screen to the reader doesn't seem as overwhelming as a traditional text. My only concerns are ones that I have of printed texts already- cultural relevancy and revisions to include current research in the field that will be interesting and applicable to students. Otherwise, I feel prepared with integrate it into my course. I would recommend this to instructors that are willing to also put in the work to supplement the text with lecture material or other readings if they feel that some of the topics do not go into as much depth as they prefer. However, I do not feel like this text is lacking in the major topics that are covered in an Introductory Psychology course.
The text provides a great overview of all the material. It contains several modules covering all areas of psychology, specifically all of the topics covered in the Introduction to Psychology course. This would fit nicely into WVU's curriculum. read more
The text provides a great overview of all the material. It contains several modules covering all areas of psychology, specifically all of the topics covered in the Introduction to Psychology course. This would fit nicely into WVU's curriculum.
The text does a great job of being unbiased. Throughout my readings I did not notice any errors and all of the material was up-to-date.
Content is organized and relevant. It is set up in a way that necessary future changes will be easy to implement.
The content of the text is very clear and easy to ready. Appropriate jargon is used and would be very helpful to students.
The material is consistent throughout the textbook. All jargon is used appropriately each time.
One of the best aspects of the text is that it is split into several modules that flow nicely with the pace of the course. Students are able to delete and/or more around certain modules to better fit their needs and structure of their course.
The content is nicely organized and flows well with the structure of the WVU course.
The book uses helpful visuals that provide students with additional resources. The images are not overly used which does not provide a distraction to students while reading.
The context shows no grammatical errors.
The text is not offensive in any way. All examples and material is written in an unbiased way and inclusive to all backgrounds.
I would recommend using this text for WVU psychology students. The free text helps students immensely and I see no difference in the quality between this text and others used in the past.
The comprehensiveness of this textbook is a real strength. There are 100 or more individual modules covering everything included in a standard intro psych course. Some of the topics are overlapping: for example there are some broad research... read more
The comprehensiveness of this textbook is a real strength. There are 100 or more individual modules covering everything included in a standard intro psych course. Some of the topics are overlapping: for example there are some broad research methods topics and a couple of more specific ones that are redundant with a bigger chapter; and the same for a couple of more comprehensive central nervous system modules with some more specific modules (like on a neuron) that are also covered in the bigger chapter. But I really like the flexibility of focusing as much or as little on a topic as I choose without sacrificing the availability of complete coverage if I like.
I have found this book to be very up-to-date with modules not found in many current textbooks (for example separate modules on epigenetics, neuroendicrinology, and neuroscience research methods). Many of the modules are written by experts in that topic: the autism module is by autism neuroimaging expert Kevin Pelphrey and the biochemistry of love module by Carter & Porges, for example. I think on the whole this book is likely to be MORE accurate than standard textbooks where a few authors are mostly writing about non-specialty areas.
The flexibility of having multiple smaller modules, most written by experts in that particular field, provides opportunity for frequent updating. I'm not sure how often these actually are updated, because it's relatively new. But at this time the content is more up-to-date than any other book I've seen. Will wait and see whether this continues to be the case.
This is a little bit variable across modules but in general I really like the ease of reading, the quality of graphics, and so forth. I'm choosing the modules that are most clear and easy for students to follow, but it's not quite as universal as I'd like.
This is again variable just because the different modules are written by different people. Because this is an intro textbook it's pretty straightforward and I don't really have any concerns about this. I choose the modules that I like best for clarity and consistency and am not bothered by small differences.
This is a HUGE strength for the NOBA book. I am choosing the modules that fit what I want to teach without students being bogged down by excess text that I don't possibly have time to cover during the semester. While of course I COULD assign them extra material, I find that I'd rather sacrifice a bit of breadth to really understand the topics I find to be most relevant to my course goals, and to leave time for critical thinking exercises rather than extra reading.
Because of the modular nature of this book, organization is entirely left to the discretion of the instructor. It's a little bit extra work but in the end maybe LESS work than usual because I'm not trying to restructure what the publisher set up for me, to match my needs. Here I just use what is provided in any fashion I use.
This may only be my lack of experience, but grabbing text and graphics and so forth to package in a way where I can include other things like videos etc. is still a learning curve for me. I'm not at the finished product yet but I do wish it were easier to package everything together in an easier manner.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
As good as any other standard textbook.
I'm really looking forward to teaching a course based on this book. I'm about 1/2 way through with preparing the course and will comment back once I've been through a semester with it.
Extremely comprehensive. The text covered all the topics I would expect for a basic introduction to psychology course, and there were many additional units that would allow an instructor to go in greater depth or customize a course (see item 6 in... read more
Extremely comprehensive. The text covered all the topics I would expect for a basic introduction to psychology course, and there were many additional units that would allow an instructor to go in greater depth or customize a course (see item 6 in review). Each unit provided a nice blend of introducing a topic, discussing relevant research, and providing examples and applications. The scale of this work could make it a little trickier for students to navigate. However, there’s a glossary that appears to update to reflect the contents that you include in your customized text, and there’s a search bar in the online edition of your text that seems to do a good job of bringing up units and locations for any search terms. Finding a particular topic or term might be more difficult for students who prefer to print the text and use a hard copy. Most units also include a Cerego adaptive quiz for students to review, outside resources, a glossary of important vocabulary, discussion questions, and references. Many also include instructor resources like an instructor manual, powerpoint slides, and a test bank.
I did not notice any inaccuracies, nor were there any typos that stuck out to me. It generally feels well edited. A small quibble is that some facts are presented without sufficient context, to the point that I think it could create some misconceptions. For example, in the first unit, “Why Science,” the author is making points about science-driven progress and states things like “80% of all households have television” and “life expectancy is 79 years old.” As best I can tell, the first fact applies to global households and the second applies to the United States, but this context isn’t provided and could be confusing to a student trying to understand this information.
The text covers a number of foundational topics, but especially given the young nature of the field, psychology texts generally need to be updated at least every five years or so to reflect the most recent discoveries and understanding of the field. Right now everything feels very fresh and is consistent with my current understanding of the different areas of research without being done in a way that seems likely to become outdated quickly. Units could be individually updated by their authors to reflect new information, though I could imagine some difficulty with this given the large number of authors contributing to different units. This could lead to some units being updated regularly and others not, or at least not without intervention from a new author. Major changes in the field could easily be accommodated by the introduction of new units, given the nice modularity of this text. I see there have already been some new units added since the original creation of this book. I mention this elsewhere, but I enjoyed reading so many units written by some of the leading experts on that topic. Their expertise and excitement for the topics generally came through in the readings. At its best, this book captures the voices of some of the people who know each topic best, where the field has been, where it's going, and why those ideas matter.
Each section is very clearly organized, with a clear introduction at the top of each unit and a guide with key section headings within each unit. The writing clarity varies with the different authors. Some units are extremely well-written and there’s nothing I would change about them. Others sometimes don’t express ideas quite as clearly as I would like or introduce ideas without the level of explanation that I think is necessary for introductory-level students. For example, in the nature and nurture unit, the author introduces the topic by discussing the mind–body problem, the free will problem, and the nature–nurture problem as “the three great questions about humans’ relationship with the natural world.” The author states that everyone understands these problems and has opinions even with relatively little background, yet he doesn’t actually provide enough of a basic explanation that someone who has never heard of these problems would necessarily know that they are. It’s not critical for a student reading this unit to come away with an understanding of the mind-body and free will problems, and the unit does provide a nice explanation of the nature-nurture issue, but I would prefer that the author either take a few more sentences to provide enough context for novice readers to know what the other “problems” are referring to or not mention them at all.
Different authors for different units can introduce some inconsistencies in tone and writing style – nothing too jarring, but worth noting that it lacks the level of consistency and conceptual coherence of a book written entirely by the same authors. There are small organizational differences, too. For example, the “Why Science” unit is divided into 7 sections, each about 5 paragraphs long, and you can navigate among the sections using the content navigation on the right-hand side. The “Nature and Nurture” section, written by a different author, has just two sections that are both about 10 paragraphs long and rather uninformatively titled “Introduction” and “What have we learned about nature and nurture?” This isn’t a huge problem from a comprehension perspective, but each unit feels very much like it was written by a different author, and some students may find the variations in writing style a little less than ideal. The trade-off is that you get a very nice selection of units, many of which are written by leaders in the field when it comes to that topic.
This, in my mind, is one of the book’s greatest strengths. This book includes the complete collection of units created by NOBA, which provides a tremendous amount of flexibility in choosing which units to include for your text. For ideas, there are some texts that have already been created, both by the editors (see the NOBA “Discover Psychology: A Brief Introductory Text”) and by other users. I teach a course with a slightly different focus than a traditional intro to psych course, and I found that this modularity could help me create a set of readings much more well aligned with my course than a traditional intro to psych text, of which I usually end up assigning only some sections. Compared to chapters in a typical textbook, I think three or four of these units would comprise a typical chapter. That means you can choose more precisely which topics you want to discuss within a given area. However, within the unit, there isn’t as much flexibility for customization. You could customize the text further if you were creating a pdf, but you can’t cut or edit the text within a unit in the online version, at least not in a way that I’ve been able to figure out after a week of reading and playing around with it.
Since this text contains all the units available, it’s pretty overwhelming, though thematically organized. When deciding which units I thought I would want to include for my course, I used the NOBA “Discover psychology” text as a reference. It contains the exact same units here, but only a small portion of them designed to give an overview of the discipline within the constraints of a semester. I liked having the additional units available to me for topics where I wanted to go deeper than a standard introductory text, but it would have taken me a lot longer to figure out which units I wanted to include without the “Discover psychology” version as a reference. The major problem with flow is what I mentioned earlier in regards to the different authors and somewhat different styles of each unit. You certainly don't forget that different units are written by different people, and for students still developing their skills of reading scientific textbooks, I could imagine that constantly switching "voices' might disrupt the flow or make it harder for them to get used to the book.
The online interface is very easy to navigate, with a nice search function and a lot of useful links. Cerego is seamlessly integrated into the end of each unit, allowing students to test and review their understanding without having to log in somewhere else. The pictures all display well, although the text is not particularly heavy on images and I noticed very few charts or diagrams embedded in the text. Once you have selected the units you want to include in your text, you can create a PDF of the text. It looks clean and sharp, with the title of your course and your name on the front page. All the images, captions, and formatting look good in the PDF, and it includes the unit glossaries, discussion questions, and outside resources. The PDF version also generates a table of contents based on your arrangement and an index at the end. It certainly doesn’t look quite as professional as a traditional textbook, but I think it would be easy to read and navigate for a student.
No problems that I noticed.
Nothing stood out as insensitive or offensive. Images in the book reflect a variety of cultures, races, and ethnicities. The authors on the whole don’t seem to go out of their way to include examples from different cultures or to reflect a wider variety of backgrounds than what I would expect in an average text, but they also don’t fall below my expectations based on an average text.
This book seems to reasonably cover introductory psychology concepts as appropriate for an entry level psychology course. The three textbooks I have used in the past to cover the same curriculum have had 18 chapters. In most Universities in the... read more
This book seems to reasonably cover introductory psychology concepts as appropriate for an entry level psychology course. The three textbooks I have used in the past to cover the same curriculum have had 18 chapters. In most Universities in the United States, this content is divided into two semester’s worth of classes but not evenly. The chapters covered are usually out of order and some chapters are not covered in either class. This text seemed to address those differences in a coherent manner. Although there was no specific chapter on Stress, Health and Coping, these topics were embedded in the content of the other chapters (Stress response is covered in section 10.2 in the Emotion Chapter). This seems like a more coherent way to divide the information. Although this text may also be less detailed than other textbooks, it was consistent with the author's stated pedagogy of being less concerned with students learning specifics than theories as a whole. The table of contents seemed coherent since each chapter had multiple sections which were descriptive (Psychologists use the scientific method to Guide Their Research) for example. Some other reviewers commented on a lack of index, however with the .pdf you could just search for the topics or words you are looking for which is much more effective than the index, so I think that is a reasonable omission.
Overall this text seems accurate in that it each chapter is adequately explained and appropriately covers associated content. The content of each subsection was fully addressed and there were no theories that seemed inaccurately represented.
There were several issues seemed like they would limit this books’ longevity. One was the explanation of nature vs. nature as opposed to these two working together for current development. This sounds like textbooks from the 1980’s. Although this text was originally written in 2010, it said it was updated in 2015 however it still states the DSM-V will be published in 2013, which has been released and is an industry standard. However my main complaint is that social media was not addressed at all and culturally relevant sites like Face book were not mentioned at all. At a time when online bullying is a significant cause of teen suicide and we are seeing people addicted to online activities, this seems like a glaring omission.
Overall this textbook was exceedingly clear and accessible, almost to its detriment. This is an introductory text; however there were sometimes it could have added depth to the explanation of theories. For example, Human Factors was only covered in section 4.5 ACCURACY AND INACCURACY IN PERCEPTION and there was no section on industrial psychology, that term wasn’t ever mentioned in the book. The subsection on human factors would serve as an adequate introduction, but didn’t do justice to an entire field of psychology. Any Jargon and technical terminology was adequately explained, but once again there may have been a lack of technical terms used in this text. For example, although Erik Erikson theory of psychosocial development was explained, the term Eriksonian was never used which would have highlighted his lasting contribution to the field of psychology.
The text is consistent both in regards to framework and to formatting. Chapters follow the same format including chapter openers [examples], psychology in everyday life [application] and research focus. The theoretical frame work is consistent with its emphasis on application and critical thinking which aligns with my teaching style and seems to be a trend in introductory psychology currently.
The text was reasonably modular. Each chapter could stand alone if need be and was accessible without additional outside references. In addition, the formatting was such that you could grasp the point of each subsection without needing to have read a universal introduction. I would rate this book as slightly more modular than the other introductory psychology textbooks I have used.
This textbook was organized in a clear logical fashion that flowed easily. The chapter topics related to one another but were independent enough they could be moved around if a class had specific content or if someone needed to additional theories to another course. There were a few sub sections that take out of context might have seemed odd to fall under the chapter title, but since these were clearly noted on the table of contents and the content itself flowed this seemed entirely reasonable.
I only used this book in .pdf format, however that is a common file type so that is reasonable. There were no errors with the interface in this format. All diagrams displayed correctly and each page margin was in the right place. When I have created curriculum from scratch this is a constant issue so the fact that this 650 page textbook did not have any interface errors seemed remarkable.
Acknowledging that I am a therapist and not an editor, I did not find any grammatical errors nor were there any editing issues that interfered with my ability to understand the material.
This text seemed culturally competent because it included many different cultures in its explanation of behavior and application of theories. For example, in 6.4 EARLY AND MIDDLE ADULTHOOD: BUILDING EFFECTIVE LIVES, the effectiveness of different parenting styles was explained through a cultural lens. Some textbooks seem to go far with cultural relevance and mention it with every subsection which makes the book seem more like sociology than psychology.
Overall I liked this textbook and would choose to use it in my current classes over the traditional textbooks that my school has been using for two reasons. One is the pedagogy of applying psychology everyday life is consent with how I teach in a community college setting. The second is the chapter content and breakdown is easier to access than the books we have used with 18 chapters. My main complaint was this textbook may already be outdated, and will definitely be so soon (see relevance/longevity section for more info).
I feel extremely impressed with the 15 sections containing 93 Modules covering most areas taught in General Psychology. The table of contents and index make it easy to find subjects and topics pertinent to each section. The collection offers the... read more
I feel extremely impressed with the 15 sections containing 93 Modules covering most areas taught in General Psychology. The table of contents and index make it easy to find subjects and topics pertinent to each section. The collection offers the ability to design the course according to what the instructor chooses to be most applicable to the course learning objectives. The text allows for flexibility and creativity. Modules are full of content but not above the average student's ability to comprehend the material. The glossary of terms is rich and expansive.
Content of the text seems very accurate and error free. The authors do an outstanding job at presenting objectivity and unbiased information. I appreciate the wide variety of authors rather than a text with only one author.
Content is up to date. I especially appreciate the sections on the DSM V, Mental Illness, diagnosis and treatments which offer a diverse and wide assortments of new therapies. Since an Introduction to Psychology is a prerequisite for Abnormal Psychology this allows for a solid foundation for students making transition from one course to the other. The approach of the NOBA Collection makes it very easy to implement and add future educational modules and promotes longevity. One consideration would be to alphabetize the 15 sections to make it even more easy to locate each section.
The text is for the most part written in clear language easily understood by college students. Technical terminologies are defined and glossaries very helpful. Some of the modules seem a bit too long for an introductory course but can be modified to fit time constraints.
The framework is very consistent each module containing the same internal components. There is a lack of consistency in use of videos and daily life stories applicable to the lives of college students. Some modules have audio videos, quizzes and real life stories, others do not. Summaries and conclusions are particularly important. Terminology and language seems consistent throughout, though I would redefine psychology as a science of the whole person rather than the scientific study of mind and behavior.
I appreciate the originality and flexibility in the approach utilized here. The text provides ample opportunity for rearrangement and reassignment of various sections. For example, I prefer teaching Health and Wellness at the beginning of a course so that students may begin to apply what they learn at the onset and throughout the term. The NOBA approach provides for reorganization. One can easily move and realign the modules to a different section if desired with minimum disruption to the reader. Each one has a subheading and the subunits fit logically into each section.
All the topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion. The order seems to align itself with common structure and flow, and fulfills the most common learning objectives of an introductory course. Each module has similar components, abstract, learning objectives, content, conclusions, resources, discussion question, vocabulary, references and bio of author. As an organizational component, it offers clarity in structure and flow in organization.
The text is free of problematic interface issues. Some of the modules could use some audio visuals and more visuals in general. Since many students are hands on learners suggestions for activities are most welcomed. The video in the Consciousness Module did not seem to work. The images and charts appear clear and easy to read. I look forward to reviewing the supportive resources such as the power points and instructor's manual.
I could find no grammatical errors in any of the modules presented in this collection.
Some of the modules seem very culturally oriented, particularly the one on Cultural Psychology and Emotion which also has an audio visual component. I could find no instance of culturally offensive language in any of the modules. The collection needs more examples supporting its content which add diversity of race, ethnicity and global context. A separate module on Cultural Psychology is advisable. And whenever possible, it is very valuable to include the contributions women and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians have made to the field of social science in our country.
Very excited about adapting this approach to learning! I am highly appreciative of the variety of authors presented and the enormous amount of content and resources offered. It includes topics that seem on the horizon such as Epigenetics, Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, new therapeutic treatments. I would like to see a module on alternative treatments, such as naturopathy and energy psychology. A module on psychology and ecology would be valuable. Though there is a module on beauty, I would suggest more on the importance of aesthetics perhaps in the health section. If revisions are made, I would suggest including more applied psychology, that is examples of how students can apply learning to everyday life and more cultural diversity. A left/right brain approach to learning is very much needed at the college level. A video collection of various topics alphabetized according to topic would also be useful. Finally, the low cost factor is a strong factor for adopting this approach to learning.
The full Noba collection has 93 “learning modules”, which are designed to cover every area of psychology at an introductory level. These modules have authors (over 120, in total) with expertise in the relevant area. Instructors can select and... read more
The full Noba collection has 93 “learning modules”, which are designed to cover every area of psychology at an introductory level. These modules have authors (over 120, in total) with expertise in the relevant area. Instructors can select and arrange the modules as they like, or instructors can choose from a few curated selections (Discover Psychology, Psychology as a Biological Science, and Psychology as a Social Science).
The content of the book (more accurately, the learning modules) is very accurate, within the context of each module. There are some apparent conflicts across modules, however, which arise from having different authors who have different perspectives. For example, the modules “Biochemistry of Love” and “Love, Friendship, and Social Support” both address the topic of “love” but in very different ways. These could possibly be contested as issues of accuracy, although it really is just a demonstration of different perspectives on a complex topic.
Content is currently up to date (e.g., there is a module on replicability issues in psychology), and the modular structure should make updates very easy to implement.
Sections are generally very well written and clear. There is some variation in clarity across the modules, because of the different authors, but there is a very consistent level of writing given the multiple authors, and there is a set structure for each module (see comments on consistency)
The multiple authors makes for some challenge in terms of consistent use of terminology. There are efforts to minimize this issue by having a set framework for the structure of each module: An opening abstract, a set of learning objectives, the main body of the module, a list of outside resources (external links), discussion questions, and vocabulary list.
This book is entirely modular and, although there are ready-made compilations that instructors can use, there are no constraints on how the modules must be ordered.
The default organization of the modules is reasonably sensible. The modular organization, however, can be changed to any order an instructor would like.
No problems were found with the interface
No grammatical errors were found
36 of the modules include some mention of “culture”, including modules on “Time and Culture”, “Culture and Emotion.”
The totally open, modular structure of this open-access resource means both that it can maximize its innovation and customizability as a textbook, but also that it does require an instructor to think much more carefully about what she/he should include in the course. Of course, there are the curated module collections that can be used “off the rack”, which could be either a way to use Nobu without deeper reflection or as a transitional step.
Table of Contents
- Psychology As Science
- Biological Basis of Behavior
- Sensation and Perception
- Cognition and Language
- Learning and Memory
- Emotions and Motivation
- Psychological Disorders
About the Book
This textbook represents the entire catalog of Noba topics. It contains 90 learning modules covering every area of psychology commonly taught in introductory courses. This book can be modified: feel free to rearrange or remove modules to better suit your specific needs.Please note that the publisher requires you to login to access and download the textbooks.
About the Contributors
Robert Biswas-Diener has written a number of books including Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth and The Courage Quotient. He is senior editor for the free-textbook platform, Noba.
Ed Diener is a psychologist, professor, and author. Diener is a professor of psychology at the Universities of Utah and Virginia, and Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Illinois as well as a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization.