Principles of Psychology by Marc Breedlove: A Review
Principles of Psychology is a textbook written by Marc Breedlove, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Michigan State University. The book aims to provide students with a framework to understand the science of behavior, based on four core principles:
The mind is a process at work in a physical machine, the brain.
We are consciously aware of only a fraction of our mental activity.
We constantly modify our behavior, beliefs, and attitudes according to what we perceive about the people around us.
Experience physically alters the structure and function of the brain.
The book covers topics such as sensation and perception, learning and memory, emotion and motivation, social psychology, personality and psychopathology, and neuroscience. Each chapter begins with a vignette that illustrates a real-life situation where behavior has a big impact on someone's life. The book then returns to the vignette several times as it explains relevant findings and concepts that relate to that particular case. The book also features sections called Researchers at Work, Skeptic at Large, Psychology in Everyday Life, The Cutting Edge, and Think Like a Psychologist: Principles in Action. These sections highlight the process of experimentation and hypothesis testing, debunk common misconceptions, show how psychology can be applied to everyday situations, explore current research trends, and demonstrate how to use the four principles to analyze behavior.
Principles of Psychology is an engaging and informative textbook that emphasizes that psychology is a science that can help us understand ourselves and others better. The book is suitable for undergraduate students who are taking introductory courses in psychology or related fields. The book is available in hardcover and paperback editions, as well as in PDF format for online access[^1^] [^2^]. The book also comes with an instructor's resource website that contains lecture slides, test banks, quizzes, and other teaching materials[^1^].
One of the strengths of Principles of Psychology is its use of real-world examples and stories to illustrate the concepts and theories of psychology. The vignettes that open each chapter are not only interesting and relatable, but also serve as a guide for the rest of the chapter. For instance, in Chapter 14, which deals with personality and psychopathology, the vignette tells the story of a woman who suffers from borderline personality disorder and how it affects her relationships and emotions. The chapter then explains the biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to personality and mental disorders, as well as the methods of diagnosis and treatment. The chapter also revisits the vignette several times to show how the woman's behavior can be understood and helped by applying the four principles of psychology.
Another strength of Principles of Psychology is its emphasis on the scientific method and critical thinking skills. The book does not simply present facts and findings, but also explains how they were obtained and tested. The Researchers at Work sections describe important experiments and discoveries that shaped the field of psychology, such as Pavlov's classical conditioning, Milgram's obedience study, or Harlow's monkey experiments. The Skeptic at Large sections challenge common myths and misconceptions about psychology, such as the idea that we only use 10% of our brain, that hypnosis can enhance memory, or that opposites attract. The book also encourages students to think like psychologists by asking them to apply the four principles to analyze behavior in various scenarios.
Principles of Psychology is a comprehensive and accessible textbook that covers the major topics and subfields of psychology in a clear and coherent way. The book is written in a conversational style that makes it easy to read and understand. The book also uses colorful diagrams, graphs, tables, and photos to illustrate and summarize the key points. The book is ideal for students who want to learn about the science of behavior and how it relates to their own lives and experiences. a474f39169