Organized around four well-established core principles, Principles of Psychology provides students with a framework to understand the science of behavior. Written in a conversational style, the text is organized around the following four well-established principles that serve as touchstones for the field of psychology:
--The mind is a process at work in a physical machine, the brain.
--We are consciously aware of only a fraction of our mental activity.
--We constantly modify our behavior, beliefs, and attitudes according to what we perceive about the people around us.
--Experience physically alters the structure and function of the brain.
With these four principles as a framework for the text, Principles of Psychology emphasizes that psychology is a science through discussion of relevant big-picture and proven concepts and cutting-edge research-based investigations that examine behavioral, psychological, and neuroscience experiments. By presenting data and facts from other scientific disciplines, as well as real-world vignettes and stories, Marc Breedlove teaches the reader how to think critically and scientifically about the underlying mechanisms of behavior.
--Vignette: Each chapter begins with a story, an instance when behavior has a big impact on someone's life. The chapter returns to the vignette several times as we cover findings that relate to that particular case.
--Researchers at Work: In every chapter, important discoveries are explained and illustrated to highlight the process of experimentation and hypothesis testing. Over the course of the book, the progression of experiments provides an increasingly sharper picture of the factors shaping behavior.
--Skeptic at Large: Intended to sharpen the student's critical thinking skills, these boxes explore a widespread misconception and demonstrate how scientific research disproves it. The exploration of scientific experimentation also reinforces the Researchers at Work feature.
--Psychology in Everyday Life: These are topics where knowledge of psychology might be applicable to everyday life, such as whether people with schizophrenia are violent, the importance of "blind" auditions for musicians, how to stop smoking, or how conditioned taste aversion might cause you to stop eating sushi when you used to love it.
--The Cutting Edge: Just prior to the end of every chapter, this feature explores an exciting report of current research. Showing students these vibrant and bold experiments will emphasize that psychology research remains alive and well.
--Think Like a Psychologist: Principles in Action: To close each chapter, each principle is related back to the vignette to show the student that when they observe an interesting behavior they can recall and apply the four principles. If they can do this, they will indeed be thinking like a psychologist.