A Textbook of Psychology

A Textbook of Psychology

A Textbook of Psychology

A Textbook of Psychology

Excerpt

About six years ago I took a new look at the introductory course in psychology and finding no textbook that covered what I wanted in subject matter, was driven to write one. This book is the result. In it I attempt to clarify and codify the ideas which make up the main structure of psychological theory in ways that will be intelligible to the beginning student and at the same time reasonably rigorous. In doing so I have omitted (or treated very succinctly) matters that have traditionally made up a good proportion of the introductory course; and have included others that are, as far as I know, here stated formally for the first time. My object has been to include the ideas and information needed for the understanding of psychological problems, as far as this is feasible in an introductory textbook, and to exclude the merely traditional.

The raison d'être of the content, the underlying philosophy of science, will be found in Chapters 1 and 13. Psychology is fundamentally a biological science, not a social science, nor a profession; out of it have grown social psychology and applied psychology, both of which now exist in their own right as disciplines distinct from the parent stem-- and yet maintaining their organic relation with it. The relation exists because both demand a solid understanding of the mechanisms of behavior in the individual subject. The student's approach to either social or applied psychology, therefore, is through the ideas of "biological" psychology--the theories of learning, perception, emotion and so on which are biological because they have always been profoundly influenced by neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and evolutionary and genetic theory.

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