How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life

By Charles I. Brooks; Michael A. Church | Go to book overview

AUTHORS’ WELCOME
Everyone is a psychologist! We all wonder why people do the things they do. How many times have you been in a group discussing the affairs of the world when the subject turns to the behavior of others?
“Did you hear about Kenny’s folks? They’re getting a divorce! I wonder what went wrong? They seemed like such a happy couple. I wonder how the whole thing will affect Kenny?”
“Did you hear about Susan? She’s hooking up with Jen! Geez, what’s with that? I know she’s dated a bunch of guys!”
“Did you hear about Joe’s mom? Skin cancer! They caught it early and should be able to cure it, but how is that stress going to affect Joe?”
“Did you hear about Wally? He’s in AA sessions. Finally! Wasn’t his dad an alcoholic? Wow! I wonder if Wally’s kids will be drunks, too?”
“Did you hear about Jane? She’s all depressed and doing lousy in school. Her mom took her to the doctor for some Zoloft. Hell, I heard that stuff will make her commit suicide!”

A lot of us love to get into conversations like those above because they give us a chance to expound on our pet psychological theories about behavior. The problem is, when we’re talking like that, we usually begin with a comment like, “You know what I think? I think …,” Unfortunately, a lot of people could give a cat’s whisker what we think! In fact, they would rather have us listen to what they think!

Sometimes these questions also catch your attention as students when you are faced with an assignment about some psychological issue. In this case you might be asked to review psychological literature and report on any one of a variety of topics that explain why we behave the way we do. For instance, you might be asked to find research that deals with post-traumatic stress disorder and why so many soldiers returning from Iraq seem to suffer psychological problems. You go to the library, log in to a standard psychology search engine like psycINFO, type in “post-traumatic stress disorder,” and wait. What follows is a listing of sources that can number in the thousands! What do you do now? How do you sort

-xiii-

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How Psychology Applies to Everyday Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Authors’ Welcome xiii
  • Part One - Sex, Booze, and Other Fun Things 1
  • Part Two - Raising the Little Ones 21
  • Part Three - Cops, Robbers, and Forensics 49
  • Part Four - Memory and Intelligence 65
  • Part Five - Anxiety, Stress, and Staying Cool 81
  • Part Six - Odds and Ends 109
  • Part Seven - Notes from the Shrink 133
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 151
  • About the Author 155
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