5th Edition

Themes, Issues and Debates in Psychology

By Richard Gross Copyright 2023
    354 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    354 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Themes, Issues and Debates in Psychology presents an integrated view of Psychology by identifying underlying themes (such as the scientific nature of Psychology, cultural and gender differences), issues (ethical, methodological and conceptual), and debates (such as heredity vs. environment, free will vs. determinism, normality vs. abnormality) which permeate the discipline as a whole.

    The text adopts a critical approach to ‘mainstream Psychology’, attempting to identify and challenge some of the underlying assumptions that are traditionally made about ‘human nature’ and how it can be investigated in ways based on the scientific study of the natural world. What makes Psychology unique is the view of Psychologists as part of their own subject-matter: trying to study other people cannot be done by copying the methods of the physicist or chemist. Psychology draws on and brings together a number of different theories and methodologies from a wide range of other disciplines, including philosophy, biology, anthropology and sociology. Themes, Issues and Debates in Psychology also includes chapters on Parapsychology, Positive Psychology and Religion and Spirituality, which are rarely found together in a single text. Not only are these not mainstream, but they highlight some of the themes, issues and debates discussed in earlier chapters. The topics in this fifth edition of this book are inflected by a new concern with decolonizing the curriculum, and discussions of cultural and gender-based issues are integrated into all aspects of the text to offer a new and critical perspective on issues such as political and scientific colonialism. Additionally, the text features ‘Question Time’ breaks that relate to methodological, theoretical and other issues; these are all aimed at helping the reader assimilate the material. Some of the issues raised could form the basis of seminar papers/discussions.

    Themes, Issues and Debates in Psychology is ideal reading for all students and is relevant to undergraduate courses in psychology.

    1 The person as Psychologist

    2 Psychology as science

    3 The idiographic and nomothetic approaches to the study of behaviour

    4 Traits and situations as causes of behaviour

    5 What should the subject-matter of Psychology be?

    6 Psychology and ethics

    7 Consciousness and the mind-brain relationship

    8 Free will and determinism

    9 Normality and abnormality

    10 Positive Psychology

    11 Heredity and environment

    12 Sex and gender issues in Psychology

    13 Cultural issues in Psychology

    14 Parapsychology

    15 Psychology, religion and spirituality


    Richard Gross holds degrees in Psychology & Philosophy and the Sociology of Education & Mass Communications. Following a career in teaching, the runaway success of his first book, Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour, made it possible for him to switch direction and focus on writing.