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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
Somewhere between a textbook and a coffee table book, The Psychology Book is a surprisingly valuable. Initially drawn to the fun cover and positive reviews of The Philosophy Book, I decided to give this a shot and ordered a copy. My initial reaction was disappointment, it seemed a too textbooky. But as I read and skimmed further (it's a book that I suspect few will read cover to cover), I started to appreciate the helpful effectiveness of what the DK editors have done, allowing one to get important, core ideas quickly.

After presenting the philosophical roots of psychology (think the intersection of philosophy and phsyiology), the book is organized according to different psychological approaches or schools of thought such as behaviorism, psychotherapy, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. There is a timeline and brief history for each school followed by an encapsulated entries of key thinkers in that discipline. Here is where the design and editorial approach shines, as you can peruse the pages and find psychological thinkers who you may know little or nothing about and get the essence of what they focused on quickly. Each heading has a "capture the essence" quote which makes it easy to know whether you want to explore further. My one complaint is the book, just glancingly mention Irv Yalom, who is both a great writer and highly respected psychotherapist. If you haven't read or listened (I loved the audio version, which includes an interview with Yalom) to his master work, Love's Executioner: & Other Tales of Psychotherapy, I strongly recommend it and have given it as a gift many times. Definitely a must for anyone with a literary bent and an interest in psychology.

Some quotes/outtakes I liked:
>"The good life is a process, not a state of being" --Carl Rogers (p.130)
>"Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning." --Viktor Frankl (p. 140)
>"Compulsive behavior rituals are attempts to control intrusive thoughts." --Paul Salkovskis (p.212)

I especially like this last one, as it's interesting to think of our obsessive thoughts (even if we don't engage in compulsive behavior) as attempts to control or prevent uncomfortable thoughts or emotions instead of just trying to experience them directly, as they are.

There are many nuggets like that in the recommended book.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
I absolutely love this book! If you are a psychology major or just interested in human behavior, this book is for you. Its explanations, pictures, and diagrams are so easy to read and follow! It includes the history of concepts as well as current findings and thinking on the subjects. I love how the book is divided up - philosophical roots, behaviorism, psychotherapy, cognitive psych, social psych, developmental philosophy, and psych of difference (personality & intelligence). I have learned so many interesting facts from this book. For example, one of the concepts on the cover of the book is - A Man with Conviction is a Hard Man to Change. Read about cognitive dissonance and why it is so hard to change someone's opinion and thought processes when they really believe in it, no matter how insane or impractical it may be. You won't be sorry with the amount of information, ease of reading, and layout of the book.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
I was so happy when I spotted this book at our local public library. I had seen it at a book store a week or two before and was hesitant about spending $25 for a book filled with subject matter that I was already pretty knowledgeable about. What else was there to learn after teaching psychology for 35 years? The answer: A LOT! In fact, I'm enjoying the book so much that I'm going to reluctantly return it to the library tomorrow and order my own copy.

The bright red book contains a wealth of information presented in an unusual, yet inviting format. The Psychology Book is organized according to major fields (like social and developmental psychology) and perspectives (including behaviorism and cognitive psychology). Within each chapter are the founding fathers (no founding mothers here), an overview of their theories, brief biography of their lives, and some of their famous findings and quotes. I especially like the latter. For instance, "Anything that grows has a ground plan" says Erik Erikson, developer of the well-known eight psychosocial stages of life. Then there's this one by Albert Ellis, "The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You realize that you control your destiny."

Even leafing through the book is fun. It's colorful, has dozens of designs and drawings, contains "text blocks" of information (usually in the margins), has attention-getting section titles such as "Insight Might Cause Blindness" and "Only Good People Get Depressed," and several diagrams that are actually easy to read and understand.

Just when I wondered if it could be any better, I noticed a glossary AND a directory. If you want to learn more about the science of human behavior and mental processes, read this book. Almost like a textbook except that it's fun and inviting, you'll come away feeling enlightened.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
The Psychology Book is a very enjoyable textbook-style overview of the history of psychology that runs over 350 pages. The major sections are: Philosophical Roots, Behaviorism, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Philosophy and Psychology of Difference. It covers all the major thinkers and their theories from the philosophical roots of psychology all the way to the present. DK Publishing did an extremely good job in making this book interesting and readable for those not familiar with the subject. Unlike the other books in the "Big Ideas" series it is organized by theme not chronologically and it works well. I would say this is the best book in the series. It provides a good overview of almost all psychological theories and practices with brief biographies of major contributors and full-color pictures. It has enough information without being too wordy or dry. All the major psychologists seem to get their due here (Jung, Freud, Adler and many others) so the authors don't pull any punches. I love the textbook approach as the information is well organized, well written and concise. This is Psychology 101 and could almost function as an entry level book for students in high school or adults looking for an introduction.

Buy this book. It is recommended for those interested in an introduction to psychology.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
For such a great book I was amazed at how inaccurate some of the information is.

Page 139 Maslow's "The Hierarchy of Needs" has been entirely rewritten with added and removed data and important physiological components missing.

While graphically the book is great, the fact that the data is wrong makes it suspect. I wonder what other things are wrong.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2014
Digital version is completely unacceptable. The font size is virtually unreadable and couldn't be enlarged. There are no links. It's like a bad photo copy. I'd like a refund - just not sure how to get it. Some of the kindle versions of other Big Idea titles are good but this and the one on Politics is pathetic.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2014
While the content of the book is great, the Kindle formatting is terrible.
It is completely inconsistent with every other Kindle book I have purchased.
Supposedly you can zoom to enlarge text and double tap to see all sidebars.
None of those features work.
Double tapping actually seems to randomly jump you back and forth between different sections of the book.
It seems that one other book in this series has formatting problems as pointed out on the kindle order page.
All of the DK Publishing books in this series need to be re-assessed as to readability.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2014
I bought this book willing to learn a general idea of psychology and it turned out to be everything I wanted and more.
Every idea is spectacularly explained, and it never gets dull, something that worried me before getting it; it is very easy to read.
I totally recommend it if you were wanting to initiate yourself in the science of Psychology. I really, really love this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2014
I first got the Philosophy Book and was hooked on the way this series of books is formatted. These books focus on introducing you to the core concepts of each person/figure/ideology that is presented, and they present a wide range. It's highly accessible and I recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2013
Interested in the this type of reading, very interesting but will take some time to read through - difficult subject to absorb
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