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The Rough Guide to Psychology: An Introduction to Human Behaviour and the Mind (Rough Guides) Paperback – March 21, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christian Jarrett is an award-winning journalist for The Psychologist journal, the flagship publication of the British Psychological Society. He has also written for New Scientist magazine and is currently a finalist in the inaugural Research Blogging Awards for Best Psychology Blog and Best Research Twitterer.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1st edition (March 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848364601
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848364608
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's always been funny to me how defensive people get when they hear psychological explanations for behavior. Guess we all crave being unique, and don't want our behavior to be so easily explained or worse yet, predicted, by anyone. However what is funny about our cultural skepticism of psychology is that in reality, we would have a hard time finding a bigger skeptic than a research psychologist! They never want to hear your instinctual explanations for behavior - they always want to know EXACTLY how you know something about behavior is true. This book will tell you exactly that - how psychologist know something about behavior is true and/or predictable. Dr. Jarrett presents the research behind the main body of work of psychology. He tells you HOW we know. He begins by describing and defining what a scientific experiment is - really just an expansion on what you learned in preparing your grade school science fair experiment, this time applied to behavior. Are you interested in how psychologists define and measure different types of intelligence? The answer is here. Do you want to know how to "boost your happiness"? The fact and experimentally proven answer is here. Are you interested in what it means to "fall in love" and specifically what happens? Here's the research. Want to know about sexual responses? Yep, it's here too. Some other interesting topics covered are crime, religion, politics (why do you vote the way you do?), shopping (why do you cave in and buy that unneeded item?).

As a retired psychology professor I highly recommend this book. It is not "pop psych" as you find in some popular books and magazines, but research based, evidence based psychology. This is solid information presented in an easily understood and interesting format.
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Format: Paperback
I never write reviews unless I feel compelled to based off how much I truly love the book. This is one of those books. To be honest, I think the author should have titled this book something different. The title gives off the impression of an "introduction" book, although I find it to be much more than that. I would not have read this unless I personally scanned the pages at the library. While the book does cover many "introductory" subjects, it goes into such deeper meaning with them. Additionally, many fascinating topics are covered, such as why we cry, the meaning of dreams, how deja-vu happens, etc. All of these subjects are backed up with research and discussed with insight by the author.

One of the best things about this book to me is how diverse it is, in that I mean how many ways it can be put to use. For one, it is a great intro text to those thinking about going into psychology, or those who are just interested in the subject. Two, this is the first book that truly explains "why people think and behave the way they do". This is such an enormous question, but the author answers it by covering every topic imaginable to take it on. Lastly, in an odd sort of way, in my opinion this book can be a "self-help" book, but not in the traditional sense that comes to mind. I mean in the sense of enhancing one's meta-cognition. Meta-cognition is "cognition about cognition" or "knowing about knowing". Essentially, it refers to a level of thinking that involves active control over the process of thinking that is used in learning situations. Once you are aware of the vast inner workings of your mind, you become better equipped and prepared to self-regulate when there is a need to. It is said to play an important role in many issues.
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Format: Paperback
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

I use psychological evidence and research in my writing on communication, and I have done so for well over thirty-five years. I subscribe to the magazine PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, and I read it closely every month. It is for these same reasons that I chose to read The Rough Guide to Psychology -- a truly interesting book.

One thing you will note from the title and the spelling of the word "behaviour," is that the book was written by an Englishman -- the editor of the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Jarrett has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Manchester's Institute of Science and Technology. This is important for two reasons: 1) It adds credibility to the book and what's written in it. 2) It reveals that the material is likely to be well researched, based on studies, and the evidence (studies) clearly stated. Both are true.

Jarrett states on page vi: "This book contains frequent references to experiments and case studies, and, wherever possible, names and dates are provided to help you track down the original research online." Not only does this reveal an educator's concern about his readers, but, too, it gives a hint about the nature of the book itself.

I took psychology courses in college, and this is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill textbook. And, at the same time, it is not a book of psychobabble. It is, however, a book designed for the above-average, well-educated, intelligent, and inquisitive adult reader. With the exception of the part on "Resources," there are six: "Welcome to you," "You and me," "Same difference," "All of us, "Psychology at large," and "Psychological problems.
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