How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life

How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life

How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life

How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life


Do violent video games lead to violence? Does spanking children make them unstable? Can the alcoholic drink socially? Do children raised by gay parents turn out OK? Are eyewitness accounts accurate? Is winter a cause of depression? Does cell phone use compromise driving ability? These questions and others from the world of psychology touch on our everyday experiences, and are also areas of research that many students want to explore further. Psychology Applied to Everyday Life provides the reader with a portal to discovering what psychologists know about these questions. For each question, the authors review a recent research article and provide a straightforward answer to the question. The writing is conversational, informal, and non-technical. The authors deal with topics in a straightforward manner, allowing readers to develop an understanding of each topic.


As teachers we find that many students have difficulty doing a literature review on a topic. the availability of search engines and large databases can discourage students from narrowing their topic to something that will result in manageable output from electronic sources. For instance, a student interested in reviewing research comparing the effectiveness of antidepressant medication versus counseling when treating depression might enter “depression treatments” as a search phrase. the resulting output can be hundreds of studies, and the student is overwhelmed.

How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life provides students with a different strategy. We have formed 53 questions about human behavior, questions common to everyday living, such as “Are pets good for our health?” “Should we hide our weaknesses from others?” “Does stress in the mother during pregnancy harm the fetus?” “Does serving size of food affect how much we eat?” Then we describe and analyze a recently published study that offers a simple yes/no answer to the question.

Many readers may wish to go no further; they have learned something about 53 questions related to some aspect of human behavior. Students, however, may be researching the topic for a formal paper, and they may wish to look further into the topic. For them, we provide additional references and suggest how a question can be expanded.

Finally, we include a section with six questions about clinical practice. in this section, which focuses on actual case studies from our files, we deal not so much with questions answered by published research, but with questions answered by clinical experience with clients. We deal with misconceptions about what goes on in counseling and psychotherapy, the use of medications for psychological problems, and, when trying to help people, whether it is appropriate to focus on “why” they do what they do.

As a reference work, How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life is both a source of information on a psychological topic and a portal guiding the reader to further study on that topic. We have also found that How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life can be used as a text in a course on “Current Issues in Psychology” and as supplementary reading for a course in general psychology.

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