Introduction to Psychological Science
Integrating Behavioral, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Perspectives
Introduction to Psychological Science provides students with an accessible, comprehensive, and engaging overview of the field of scientific psychology. It expertly incorporates a variety of perspectives ranging from neuroscience to cultural perspectives at an introductory level.
Ray brings together cutting-edge research from traditional psychological literature to modern, evolving perspectives, and creates a unified approach by focusing on three core themes:
- Behavior and Experience: an analysis of behavior and experiences observed across a variety of everyday life situations.
- Neuroscience: an examination of psychological experiences through neuroscience lens ranging from genetic/epigenetic to cortical networks as related to psychology.
- Evolutionary/Human Origins: an exploration of broader scientific questions by examining psychological processes from the perspective of human and cultural history.
Through these themes, the book delves into topics like social processes, psychopathology, stress and health, motivation and emotion, developmental sequences, and cognitive functions such as memory, learning, problem solving, and language. Throughout it helps students to understand the nature of psychological science by addressing common myths and misconceptions in psychology, showing how psychological science can be applied to everyday life and how new research can be created. Additionally, this student-friendly book is packed with pedagogical features, including "concept checks" to test reader knowledge, "extensions" features which show how to apply knowledge, and a comprehensive glossary.
Reflecting the latest APA Guidelines concerning the essential elements of an introductory psychology course, this text is core reading for all undergraduate introductory psychology students.
Table of Contents
- Psychology: Historical Roots and Modern Approaches
- Scientific Psychology and Its Research Methods
- The Neuroscience of Behavior and Experience
- Developmental Processes
- Sensation and Perception
- Learning, Ethology, and Language Processes
- Cognition, Problem-Solving and Intelligence
- Motivation and Emotion
- Stress and Health
- Social Psychology
- Psychological Disorders
William J. Ray is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Penn State University, USA. At Penn State, he was the Director of the SCAN (Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) program and was the Director of the Clinical Psychology Program. His research has focused on approaching clinical questions from a neuroscience perspective.
"Every chapter of this new textbook by Ray (emer., Pennsylvania State Univ.) covers the foundational concepts and research of a particular area in psychology while integrating perspectives and research drawn from neuroscience and the study of evolution. Most useful is Ray's explanation of levels of analysis, an unusual feature for any introductory book. The language and voice of explanations are accessible, inviting, and consistent across chapters. The arrangement of chapters is a bit unusual. For some readers, it might be a welcome change to find, for example, developmental psychology addressed much earlier than is often seen. Each chapter contains supportive sections to facilitate application, expand research, and encourage critical thinking; check-in points to ensure understanding; a learning objectives section; and a set of review questions. As a theme-based introductory psychology textbook, this volume is a worthwhile addition to a library maintaining a diverse collection of teaching and learning resources for instructor and student reference. Any psychologist, whether an instructor, a researcher, or a clinician, who has been frustrated by the many misconceptions about the discipline will find inspiration in the examples, organization, and useful teaching tips for focusing on psychology as a modern scientific enterprise rather than an add-on theory from the Viennese couch." – J. F. Heberle, Albright College
"Ray's Introduction to Psychological Science takes a serious, research-based view of the field. It explains current research within the context of the history of the field--classic studies, theories and figures. It is a higher-level textbook for students and instructors that are serious about psychological science." – Dennis Miller, University of Missouri, USA
"This is a well-written book that is applicable to majors from different disciplines. A strong text that should be closely considered when looking for intro psychology course materials." – Gary F. Kelly, Clarkson University, USA