Foundations of Psychology

Foundations of Psychology

Foundations of Psychology

Foundations of Psychology

Excerpt

The strongest evidence of the rapid advance of psychology is the need of frequent revisions of textbooks. It is nine years since our last book, Introduction to Psychology, was published. In the meantime we have had a long war and a victory which psychological research helped attain. In this wartime research much new and valuable knowledge came into being. In addition there has been the more normal acquisition of facts as well as a clearly distinguishable change in point of view. This advance in our science had to be covered in a revision, but we soon found that instead of a revision we were going to have a book so nearly new that it needed a new title. And so we present here the third book that has appeared under our combined editorship.

To describe in detail the changes in this book over the last would be to describe a large part of its contents. We must confine ourselves to indicating a few of the more significant differences. It is about twice as large as the Introduction of 1939. Approximately 80 per cent of the material is either new or freshly described. What has been taken from the previous book has been re-edited. There are eighteen contributors, of whom fifteen are new. A number of new chapters have been added, two of which introduce the student to problems of personal adjustment. Some of the material of the old chapters has been differently distributed among the chapters of this book. Some of the topics have been given more detailed treatment; no material of importance has been omitted. There are also a large number of new illustrations, and many of the old ones have been redrawn. In selecting the illustrations we have intended to include only those which we feel would help the student to understand the text.

The order of the chapters is completely changed. In our first book we held to the conventional arrangement of sensation at the beginning and thought and personality at the end. In the second book we reversed this order. We had a principle in mind with each book: synthesis in the first order, analysis in the second; but we must confess to a certain dependence on trial and error. Now, with the trials and, we hope, the errors past, and giving attention to the opinions expressed by some teachers of introductory courses, we present what is partly a compromise between the two orders and partly a reflection of psychology's . . .

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