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Where great science meets great teaching.   At just fourteen chapters, Psychology: Core Conceptsprovides rich coverage of the foundational topics taught in most introductory courses.     Psychology: Core Conceptsfocuses on a manageable number of core concepts (usually three to five) in each chapter, allowing students to attain a deeper level of understanding of the material. Learning is reinforced through focused application and critical thinking activities, and connections between concepts are drawn across chapters to help students see the big picture of psychology as a whole. The 7thedition features an enhanced critical thinking emphasis, with new chapter-opening "Problems" and new end-of-chapter critical thinking applications that promote active learning.   Teaching & Learning Experience Personalize Learning -The new MyPsychLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals. Improve Critical Thinking- Pedagogical features are designed to help students learn the problem-solving skills and critical thinking techniques of a good psychologist. Engage Students- In-text learning activities and the new MyPsychLab Video Series maintain student interest both in and out of the classroom. Explore Research -Current research reflects the most up-to-date psychological theories and applications. Understand Culture and Diversity- Cross-cultural, multicultural, and gender research is woven throughout the text to reflect the increasing diversity and global reach of psychology. Support Instructors -An Instructors Manual, Test Bank (both print and computerized), Interactive PowerPoints, the new MyPsychLab Video Series, Telecourse Videos, and a Telecourse Study Guide provide instructors with the ultimate supplements package. Note:MyPsychLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyPsychLab, please visit:www.mypsychlab.comor you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MyPsychLab (at no additional cost). VP: 0205255000 / 9780205255009

Author Biography

Philip Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo is internationally recognized as the “voice and face of contemporary American psychology” through his widely seen PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology, his classic research, The Stanford Prison Experiment, authoring the oldest current textbook in psychology, Psychology and Life, in its 18th Edition, and his popular trade books on Shyness in adults and in children; Shyness: What it is, what to do about it, and The Shy Child. Past president of the American Psychological Association, and the Western Psychological Association.


Zimbardo has been a Stanford University professor since 1968 (now an Emeritus Professor), having taught previously at Yale, NYU, and Columbia University. He is currently on the faculty of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, and the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, CA. He has been given numerous awards and honors as an educator, researcher, writer, and service to the profession. Recently, he was awarded the Vaclav Havel Foundation Prize for his lifetime of research on the human condition. His more than 300 professional publications and 50 books convey his research interests in the domain of social psychology, with a broad spread of interests from shyness to time perspective, madness, cults, political psychology, torture, terrorism, and evil.


Zimbardo has served also as the Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) representing 63 scientific, math and technical associations (with 1.5 million members), and now is Chair of the Western Psychological Foundation. He heads a philanthropic foundation in his name to promote student education in his ancestral Sicilian towns. Zimbardo adds further to his retirement list activities: serving as the new executive director of a Stanford center on terrorism -- the Center for Interdisciplinary Policy, Education, and Research on Terrorism (CIPERT). He was an expert witness for one of the soldiers in the Abu Ghraib Prison abuses, and has studied the interrogation procedures used by the military in that and other prisons as well as by Greek and Brazilian police torturers.


Noted for his personal and professional efforts to actually 'give psychology away to the public', Zimbardo has also been a social-political activist, challenging the U.S. Government's wars in Vietnam and Iraq, as well as the American Correctional System.

His new book has been a New York Times bestseller: THE LUCIFER EFFECT: UNDERSTANDING HOW GOOD PEOPLE TURN EVIL (Random House, 2007; see


Robert L. Johnson

Robert Johnson, Ph.D., taught introductory psychology for 28 years at Umpqua Community College. He is especially interested in applying psychological principles to the teaching of psychology and in encouraging linkages between psychology and other disciplines. In keeping with those interests, Bob founded the Pacific Northwest Great Teachers Seminar, of which he was the director for 20 years. He was also one of the founders of Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC), serving as its executive committee chair during 2004. That same year he also received the Two-Year College Teaching Award given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Bob has long been active in APA, APS, the Western Psychological Association, and the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology.

Aside from his contributions as coauthor of Psychology: Core Concepts, Bob is particularly proud of his articles in Teaching of Psychology. Recently he began a term as editor of The General Psychologist, the newsletter of the Society for General Psychology (Division 1 of APA). And, he is working on a book that brings to light what Shakespeare had to say about psychology.


Bob and his wife live on the North Umpqua River in Southern Oregon, where they can go kayaking in their front yard or bicycling in the valleys of the Cascade Mountains. In his spare time he likes making pottery and Thai curries.


Vivian McCann 

Vivian McCann, a senior faculty member in Psychology at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon, teaches a wide variety of courses, including introductory psychology, human relations, intimate relationships, and social psychology. Born and raised in the California desert just 10 miles from the Mexican border, she learned early on the importance of understanding cultural backgrounds and values in effective communication and in teaching, which laid the foundation for her current interest in teaching and learning psychology from diverse cultural perspectives. She loves to travel and learn about people and cultures, and to nurture the same passions in her students: She has led groups of students on three trips abroad, and in her own travels has visited 20 countries so far.

Vivian maintains a strong commitment to teaching excellence, and has developed and taught numerous workshops in that area. She currently serves on the APA’s Committee for Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC), and is an active member of the Western Psychological Association and APS. She is also the author of Human Relations: The Art and Science of Building Effective Relationships.


Table of Contents






Chapter 1: Mind, Behavior, and Psychological Science

Chapter 2: Biopsychology, Neuroscience, and Human Nature 

Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception

Chapter 4: Learning and Human Nature

Chapter 5: Memory

Chapter 6: Thinking and Human Intelligence

Chapter 7: Development over the Lifespan

Chapter 8: States of Consciousness

Chapter 9: Motivation and Emotion

Chapter 10: Personality: Theories of the Whole Person

Chapter 11: Social Psychology 

Chapter 12: Psychological Disorders

Chapter 13: Therapies for Psychological Disorders

Chapter 14: Stress, Health, and Well-Being 




Chapter 1: Mind, Behavior, and Psychological Science  

1.1 What Is Psychology – And What Is It Not?  

            Psychology: It’s More than You Think 

            Psychology Is Not Psychiatry 

            Thinking Critically about Psychology and Pseudopsychology 

            Psychology Matters: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology

1.3 What Are Psychology’s Six Main Perspectives? 

            Separation of Mind and Body and the Modern Biological Perspective  

            The Founding of Scientific Psychology and the Modern Cognitive Perspective  

            The Behavioral Perspective: Focusing on Observable Behavior  

            The Whole-Person Perspectives: Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Trait and Temperament   

            The Developmental Perspective: Changes Arising from Nature and Nurture 

            The Sociocultural Perspective: The Individual in Context 

            The Changing Face of Psychology 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Psychology as a Major

1.2 How Do Psychologists Develop New Knowledge?  

            Four Steps in the Scientific Method

            Five Types of Psychological Research 

            Controlling Biases in Psychological Research  

            Ethical Issues in Psychological Research  

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: The Perils of Pseudopsychology

Critical Thinking Applied: Facilitated Communication 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide


Chapter 2: Biopsychology, Neuroscience, and Human Nature 

2.1 How Are Genes and Behavior Linked? 

            Evolution and Natural Selection 

            Genetics and Inheritance 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Choosing Your Children’s Genes

2.2 How Does the Body Communicate Internally?  

            The Neuron: Building Block of the Nervous System 

            The Nervous System 

            The Endocrine System 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: How Psychoactive Drugs Affect the Nervous     System 

2.3 How Does the Brain Produce Behavior and Mental Processes?  

            Windows on the Brain 

            Three Layers of the Brain

            Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex  

            Cerebral Dominance 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology

Critical Thinking Applied: Left Brain vs. Right Brain 

Chapter Summary

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide


Chapter 4:  Learning and Human Nurture  

4.1 What Sort of Learning Does Classical Conditioning Explain?

            The Essentials of Classical Conditioning 

            Applications of Classical Conditioning 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Taste Aversions and Chemotherapy 

4.2 How Do We Learn New Behaviors by Operant Conditioning?  

            Skinner’s Radical Behaviorism   

            The Power of Reinforcement 

            The Problem of Punishment 

            A Checklist for Modifying Operant Behavior 

            Operant and Classical Conditioning Compared 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

4.3 How Does Cognitive Psychology Explain Learning?  

            Insight Learning: Köhler in the Canaries with the Chimps 

            Cognitive Maps: Tolman Finds out What’s on a Rat’s Mind 

            Observational Learning: Bandura’s Challenge to Behaviorism  

            Rethinking Behavioral Learning in Cognitive Terms   

            Brain Mechanisms and Learning 

            “Higher” Cognitive Learning 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Fear of Flying Revisited 

Critical Thinking Applied: Do Different People Have Different “Learning Styles”? 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 5: Memory

5.1 What Is Memory?  

            Metaphors for Memory  

            Memory’s Three Basic Tasks 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Would You Want a “Photographic” Memory?

5.2 How Do We Form Memories? 

            The First Stage: Sensory Memory 

            The Second Stage: Working Memory

            The Third Stage: Long-Term Memory 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: “Flashbulb” Memories: Where Were You When…?

5.3 How Do We Retrieve Memories?  

            Implicit and Explicit Memory 

            Retrieval Cues 

            Other Factors Affecting Retrieval 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: On the Tip of Your Tongue 

5.4 Why Does Memory Sometimes Fail Us? 

            Transience: Fading Memories Cause Forgetting 

            Absent-Mindedness: Lapses of Attention Cause Forgetting  

            Blocking: Access Problems 

            Misattribution: Memories in the Wrong Context 

            Suggestibility: External Cues Distort or Create Memories 

            Bias: Beliefs, Attitudes, and Opinions Distort Memories 

            Persistence: When We Can’t Forget 

            The Advantages of the “Seven Sins” of Memory 

            Improving Your Memory with Mnemonics 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

Critical Thinking Applied: The Recovered Memory Controversy 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 6: Thinking and Intelligence  

6.1 What Are the Components of Thought?  


            Imagery and Cognitive Maps  

            Thought and the Brain 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Schemas and Scripts Help You Know What to Expect 

6.2 What Abilities Do Good Thinkers Possess?  

            Problem Solving 

            Judging and Making Decisions  

            On Becoming a Creative Genius 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

6.3 How Is Intelligence Measured?  

            Binet and Simon Invent a School Abilities Test 

            American Psychologists Borrow Binet and Simon’s Idea  

            Problems with the IQ Formula   

            Calculating IQs “on the Curve”   

            IQ Testing Today 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: What Can You Do for an Exceptional Child? 

6.4 Is Intelligence One or Many Abilities?  

            Psychometric Theories of Intelligence   

            Cognitive Theories of Intelligence  

            Cultural Definitions of Intelligence 

            Animals Can Be Intelligent–But Do They Think? 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Test Scores and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 

6.5 How Do Psychologists Explain IQ Differences Among Groups?  

            Intelligence and the Politics of Immigration 

            What Evidence Shows That Intelligence Is Influenced by Heredity? 

            What Evidence Shows That Intelligence is Influenced by Environment? 

            Heritability (Not Heredity) and Group Differences 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Stereotype Threat 

Critical Thinking Applied: The Question of Gender Differences 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 7: Development Over the Lifespan 

7.1 What Innate Abilities Does the Infant Possess?  

            Prenatal Development

            The Neonatal Period: Abilities of the Newborn Child  

            Infancy: Building on the Neonatal Blueprint 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Not Just Fun and Games: The Role of Child’s Play in Life Success

7.2 What are the Developmental Tasks of Childhood?  

            How Children Acquire Language 

            Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory 

            Social and Emotional Development 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: The Puzzle of ADHD 

7.3 What Changes Mark the Transition of Adolescence?  

            Adolescence and Culture 

            Physical Maturation in Adolescence 

            Adolescent Sexuality 

            Neural and Cognitive Development in Adolescence 

            Moral Development: Kohlberg’s Theory 

            Social and Emotional Issues in Adolescence

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

7.4 What Developmental Challenges Do Adults Face?  

            Early Adulthood: Explorations, Autonomy, and Intimacy  

            The Challenges of Midlife: Complexity and Generativity  

            Late Adulthood: The Age of Integrity 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: A Look Back at the Jim Twins and Your Own Development

Critical Thinking Applied: The Mozart Effect 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 8: States of Consciousness 

8.1 How Is Consciousness Related to Other Mental Processes? 

            Tools for Studying Consciousness

            Models of the Conscious and Nonconscious Minds 

            What Does Consciousness Do for Us? 

            Coma and Related States 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

8.2 What Cycles Occur in Everyday Consciousness?  


            Sleep: The Mysterious Third of Our Lives 

            Dreaming: The Pageants of the Night 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Sleep Disorders

8.3 What Other Forms Can Consciousness Take?  



            Psychoactive Drug States 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Dependence and Addiction 

Critical Thinking Applied: The Unconscious–Reconsidered 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 9: Motivation and Emotion

9.1 What Motivates Us?

            Why People Work: McClelland’s Theory

            The Unexpected Effects of Rewards on Motivation

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

9.2 How Are Our Motivational Priorities Determined?

            Instinct Theory

            Drive Theory

            Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory

            Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

            Putting It All Together: A New Hierarchy of Needs

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Determining What Motivates Others

9.3 Where Do Hunger and Sex Fit into the Motivational Hierarchy?

            Hunger: A Homeostatic Drive and a Psychological Motive

            The Problem of Will Power and Chocolate Cookies     

            Sexual Motivation: An Urge You Can Live Without 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: The What and Why of Sexual Orientation

9.4 How Do Our Emotions Motivate Us?

            What Emotions Are Made Of

            What Emotions Do for Us

            Counting the Emotions

            Cultural Universals in Emotional Expression

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Gender Differences in Emotion Depend on Both Biology and Culture 

9.5 What Processes Control Our Emotions?

            The Neuroscience of Emotion 

            Arousal, Performance, and the Inverted U

            Theories of Emotion: Resolving Some Old Issues 

            How Much Conscious Control Do We Have over Our Emotions?

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Detecting Deception

Critical Thinking Applied: Do Lie Detectors Really Detect Lies? 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 10:   Personality: Theories of the Whole Person

10.1 What Forces Shape Our Personalities?  

            Biology, Human Nature, and Personality 

            The Effects of Nurture: Personality and the Environment 

            The Effects of Nature: Dispositions and Mental Processes  

            Social and Cultural Contributions to Personality 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Explaining Unusual People and Unusual Behavior

10.2 What Persistent Patterns, or Dispositions, Make Up Our Personalities? 

            Personality and Temperament 

            Personality as a Composite of Traits 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Finding Your Type 

10.3 What Mental Processes Help Shape Our Personalities?  

            Psychodynamic Theories: Emphasis on Motivation and Mental Disorder 

            Humanistic Theories: Emphasis on Human Potential and Mental Health 

            Social-Cognitive Theories: Emphasis on Social Learning 

            Current Trends: The Person in a Social System

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology

10.4 What “Theories” Do People Use to Understand Themselves and Others?  

            Implicit Personality Theories 

            Self-Narratives: The Stories of Our Lives 

            The Effects of Culture on Our Views of Personality 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: The Personality of Time

Critical Thinking Applied: The Person-Situation Controversy 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 11: Social Psychology  

11.1 How Does the Social Situation Affect Our Behavior?  

            Social Standards of Behavior 


            Obedience to Authority 

            Cross-Cultural Tests of Milgram’s Research 

            Some Real-World Extensions of the Milgram Obedience to Authority Paradigm   

            The Bystander Problem: The Evil of Inaction 

            Need Help? Ask for It! 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: On Being “Shoe” at Yale U 

11.2 Constructing Social Reality: What Influences Our Judgments of Others? 

            Interpersonal Attraction 

            Loving Relationships 

            Making Cognitive Attributions 

            Prejudice and Discrimination 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Stereotype Lift and Values Affirmations

11.3 How Do Systems Create Situations that Influence Behavior?  

            The Stanford Prison Experiment   

            Chains of System Command 

            Preventing Bullying by Systematic Changes and Reframing        

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

Critical Thinking Applied: Is Terrorism “A Senseless Act of Violence, Perpetrated by Crazy Fanatics”? 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide


Chapter 12: Psychological Disorders  

12.1 What Is Psychological Disorder?  

            Changing Concepts of Psychological Disorder  

            Indicators of Abnormality

            A Caution to Readers 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: The Plea of Insanity 

12.2 How Are Psychological Disorders Classified in the DSM-IV?  

            Overview of the DSM-IV Classification System 

            Mood Disorders 

            Anxiety Disorders  

            Somatoform Disorders   

            Dissociative Disorders 


            Developmental Disorders

            Personality Disorders

            Adjustment Disorders and Other Conditions: The Biggest Category of Them All 

            Gender Differences in Mental Disorders           

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Shyness 

12.3 What Are the Consequences of Labeling People?  

            Diagnostic Labels, Labeling, and Depersonalization 

            The Cultural Context of Psychological Disorder 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

Critical Thinking Applied: Insane Places Revisited—Another Look at the Rosenhan Study 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 13: Therapies for Psychological Disorders  

13.1 What Is Therapy?  

          Entering Therapy   

          The Therapeutic Alliance and the Goals of Therapy  

          Therapy in Historical and Cultural Context 

          PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Paraprofessionals Do Therapy, Too 

13.2 How Do Psychologists Treat Psychological Disorders?  

          Insight Therapies 

          Behavior Therapies   

          Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy: A Synthesis 

          Evaluating the Psychological Therapies 

          PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Where Do Most People Get Help? 

13.3 How Is the Biomedical Approach Used to Treat Psychological Disorders?  

          Drug Therapy 

          Other Medical Therapies for Psychological Disorders 

          Hospitalization and the Alternatives 

          PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: What Sort of Therapy Would You Recommend? 

13.4 How Do the Psychological Therapies and Biomedical Therapies Compare?   

          Depression  and Anxiety Disorders: Psychological versus Medical Treatment  

          Schizophrenia: Psychological versus Medical Treatment 

          "The Worried Well" and Other Problems: Not Everyone Needs Drugs 

          PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

Critical Thinking Applied: Evidence-Based Practice 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide 


Chapter 14: From Stress to Health, and Well-Being  

14.1 What Causes Distress?  

            Traumatic Stressors 

            Chronic Stressors 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Student Stress 

14.2 How Does Stress Affect Us Physically?  

            Physiological Responses to Stress 

            Stress and the Immune System 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Cognitive Appraisal of Ambiguous Threats

14.3 Who Is Most Vulnerable to Stress?  

            Type A Personality and Hostility 

            Locus of Control  




            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Using Psychology to Learn Psychology 

14.4 How Can We Transform Negative Stress into Positive Life Strategies?

            Psychological Coping Strategies 

            Positive Lifestyle Choices: A “Two-for-One” Benefit to Your Health 

            Putting It All Together: Developing Happiness and Subjective Well-Being 

            PSYCHOLOGY MATTERS: Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology

Critical Thinking Applied: Is Change Really Hazardous to Your Health? 

Chapter Summary 

Discovering Psychology Viewing Guide

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