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Psychology: The Science of Behavior

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Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 The Science of Psychology

CHAPTER 2 The Ways and Means of Psychology

CHAPTER 3 Evolution, Heredity, and Behavior

CHAPTER 4 Biology of Behavior

CHAPTER 5 Learning and Behavior

CHAPTER 6 Sensation

CHAPTER 7 Perception

CHAPTER 8 Memory

CHAPTER 9 Consciousness

CHAPTER 10 Language

CHAPTER 11 Intelligence and Thinking

CHAPTER 12 Life-Span Development

CHAPTER 13 Motivation, Emotions, and Health

CHAPTER 14 Personality

CHAPTER 15 Social Psychology

CHAPTER 16 The Nature and Causes of Psychological Disorders

CHAPTER 17 The Treatment of Psychological Disorders


1. The Science of Psychology

What Is Psychology?

Why Behavior is Studied

Fields of Psychology

The Growth of Psychology as a Science

Philosophical Roots of Psychology

Biological Roots of Psychology

FOCUS ON: How Scientific is Psychology, Really?

Applications in Education and Therapy

FOCUS ON: What Are the Roots of Psychology Within Chinese Culture?

Major Trends in the Development of Psychology



Freud's Psychodynamic Theory

Psychology in Transition


Humanistic Psychology

Reaction Against Behavior: The Emphasis on Cognition

Reaction Against Behavior: The Emphasis on Neurobiology

2. The Ways and Means of Psychology

The Scientific Method in Psychology

Types of Research

Identifying the Problem: Getting an Idea for Research

Designing an Experiment

Performing an Experiment

FOCUS ON: Response Bias in Different Cultures

Performing a Correlational Study

Reporting and Generalizing a Study

FOCUS ON: Cross-Cultural Research


Research with Human Participants

Research with Animals

Understanding Research Results

Descriptive Statistics: What Are the Results?

Inferential Statistics: Distinguishing Chance From Significance

FOCUS ON: Alternative Methods

3. Evolution, Heredity, and Behavior

The Development of Evolutionary Science

The Voyage of the Beagle

The Origin of Species

Discovering the Mechanisms of Heredity

The Three Components of Evolution through Natural Selection

Evolution of Humans

Human Origins

Heredity, Genetics, and Evolution

Basic Principles of Genetics


Chromosomes and Meiosis

FOCUS ON: Frontiers in Evolutionary Research

Dominant and Recessive Traits

Importance of Genetic Diversity

Sex-Linked Traits

Mutations and Chromosomal Aberrations

Genetic Disorders

Evolution and Human Behavior


Evolutionary Psychology

4. Biology of Behavior

The Brain and Its Components

Basic Structure of the Nervous System

Cells of the Nervous System

The Excitable Axon: The Action Potential

Communication with Other Cells: Synapses

Drugs and Behavior

Effects of Drugs on Synaptic Transmission

Neurotransmitters, their Actions, and Drugs that Affect Them

Study of the Brain

Experimental Ablation

Visualizing the Structure of the Brain

Measuring the Brain's Activity

Stimulating the Brain's Activity

Altering Genetics

FOCUS ON: The Ever-Changing Brain: Neural Plasticity and Neurogenesis

Control of Behavior and the Body's Physiological Functions

Organization of the Cerebral Cortex

Lateralization of Function



Somatosensation and Spatial Perception

Planning and Moving

Episodic and Spatial Memory: Role of the Hippocampus

Emotions: Role of the Amygdala

Control of Internal Functions and Automatic Behavior

5. Learning and Behavior

How Learning is Studied

Pavlov's Procedure

Thorndike's Procedure

Comparison between Pavlov's and Thorndike's Procedures

Conditions Required For Learning

Temporal Contiguity

Behavioral Discrepancy

FOCUS ON: Insight-Can Basic Learning Procedures Help Understand Complex Behavior?

The Process of Learning



Stimulus Generalization

Stimulus Discrimination

Choice between Multiple Operants

FOCUS ON: Self-Control--How Does Conditioned Reinforcement Affect Self-Control?


Biological Basis of Reinforcement

Neural Systems of Reinforcement

Cellular Mechanisms of Reinforcement

Learning with Experience

Perceptual Learning

Instructional Control

Observational Learning

6. Sensation

Sensory Processing


Sensory Coding



The Eye and Its Functions

Transduction of Light by Photoreceptors

Adaptation to Light and Dark

Eye Movements

Color Vision



The Ear and Its Functions

Detecting and Localizing Sounds in the Environment

FOCUS ON: The Deaf Community

The Chemical Senses



FOCUS ON: Sensory-Specific Satiety

The Somatosenses

The Skin Senses

The Internal Senses

The Vestibular Senses

7. Perception

Brain Mechanisms of Visual Perception

The Primary Visual Cortex

The Visual Association Cortex

Visual Perception of Objects

Figure and Ground

Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization

Models of Pattern Perception

FOCUS ON: Does the Brain Work Like a Computer?

Bottom-Up and Top-Down Processing: The Roles of Features and Context

Perceptual ("What") and Action ("Where") Systems: A Possible Synthesis

Visual Perception of Space and Motion

Depth Perception

FOCUS ON: How Does Culture Affect Visual Perception?

Constancies of Visual Perception

Motion Perception

8. Memory

Overview of Memory

Sensory Memory

Iconic Memory

Echoic Memory

Short-Term or Working Memory

Encoding of Information in the Short-Term: Interaction with Long-Term Memory

Primacy and Recency Effects

The Limits of Working Memory

Varieties of Working Memory

Loss of Information from Short-Term Memory

Learning and Encoding in Long-Term Memory

The Consolidation Hypothesis

The Levels-of-Processing Approach

Improving Long-Term Memory through Mnemonics

The Organization of Long-Term Memory

Episodic and Semantic Memory

Explicit and Implicit Memory

The Biological Basis of Long-Term Memory

Remembering, Recollecting, and Forgetting

How Long Does Memory Last?

FOCUS ON: Cultural Contexts for Remembering

Remembering and Recolleting

Forgetting and Interference

Reconstruction: Remembering as a Creative Process

FOCUS ON: Some Sins of Memory

9. Consciousness

Consciousness as a Language-Development Phenomenon

The Adaptive Significance of Consciousness

Consciousness and the Ability to Communicate

Does Conscious Thought Control Behavior?

Selective Attention

Auditory Information

Visual Information

Brain Mechanisms of Selective Attention

Consciousness and the Brain

Isolation Aphasia: A Case of Global Unawareness

Visual Agnosia: Lack of Awareness of Visual Perceptions

The Split-Brain Syndrome

FOCUS ON: Embodied Consciousness and the Out-of-Body Experience


Hypnotic Induction and Suggestion


The Stages of Sleep

Functions of Sleep


Disorders of Sleep

Brain Mechanisms of Sleep

10. Language

Speech Comprehension and Production

Speech Recognition

Understanding the Meaning of Speech

Brain Mechanisms of Speech Production and Comprehension


Scanning of Text

Phonetic and Whole-Word Recognition: Evidence from Cognitive Neuroscience

Language Acquisition by Children

Language Acquisition Device

Recognition of Speech Sounds by Infants

The Prespeech Period and the First Words

The Two-Word Stage

How Adults Talk to Children

Acquisition of Adult Rules of Grammar

Acquisition of Meaning

The Role of Memory in Understanding the Meanings of Written Words and Sentences

FOCUS ON: Communication with Other Species

11. Intelligence and Thinking

Intelligence: Is It Global or Componential?

Spearman's g Theory

Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

FOCUS ON: Cultural Definitions of Intelligence

Intelligence Testing

Intelligence Tests

Reliability and Validity of Intelligence Tests

The Use and Abuse of Intelligence Tests

The Roles of Heredity and Environment

The Meaning of Heritability

Sources of Environmental and Genetic Effects during Development

A Sample of Results of Heritability Studies

FOCUS ON: The Issue of Race and Intelligence

Thinking and Problem Solving

Classification and Concept Formation

Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Problem Solving

12. Life-Span Development

Prenatal Development

Stages of Prenatal Development

Threats to Normal Prenatal Development

Physical and Perceptual Development in Infancy and Childhood

Motor Development

Perceptual Development

Cognitive Development in Infancy and Childhood

The Importance of a Responsive Environment

The Work of Jean Piaget

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development

Applying Information-Processing Models to Cognitive Development

FOCUS ON: Cognitive Development and Television Viewing

Social Development in Infancy and Childhood

Behaviors of the Infant That Foster Attachment

The Nature and Quality of Attachment

Approaches to Child Rearing

Interactions with Peers

Development of Gender Roles

The Nature of Gender Differences

Moral Development

Piaget's Theory of Moral Development

Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

Evaluation of Piaget's and Kohlberg's Theories of Moral Development


Physical Development

Social Development

Cognitive Development

Adulthood and Old Age

Physical Development

Cognitive Development

Social Development

13. Motivation, Emotions, and Health

What is Motivation?

Reinforcement and Motivation

Untoward Effects of Reinforcement: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

What Determines the Strength of Behavior?

What Determines the Persistence of Behavior?


What Starts a Meal?

What Stops a Meal?


Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

FOCUS ON: Eating Disorders in Other Cultures

Aggressive Behavior

Ethological Studies of Aggression

Hormones and Aggression

Environmental Variables that Affect Human Aggression

Sexual Behavior

Effects of Sex Hormones on Behavior

Sexual Orientation


Emotions as Response Patterns

Aggression, Moral Judgment, and Impulse Control

The Expression and Recognition of Emotions

The Social Nature of Emotional Expressions of Humans

The Universality of Emotional Expressions of Humans

Situations that Produce Emotions: The Role of Cognition

Feelings of Emotions

Stress and Health

The Biological Basis of Stress

Cognitive Appraisal and Stress

Behaviors Related to Stress and Impaired Health

Stress Reactions and CHD


Coping with Everyday Stress

Coping Styles and Strategies

14. Personality

Trait Theories of Personality

Personality Types and Traits

Identification of Personality Traits

Psychobiological Approaches

Heritability of Personality Traits

Brain Mechanisms in Personality

FOCUS ON: Gender Differences in Personality

Social Cognitive Approaches

Expectancies and Observational Learning

Reciprocal Determinism and Self-Efficacy

Personality Across Time

FOCUS ON: Traits versus Situations as Predictors of Behavior

Locus of Control

Positive Psychology

The Psychodynamic Approach

The Development of Freud's Theory

Structures of the Mind: Id, Ego, and Superego

Defense Mechanisms

Freud's Psychosexual Theory of Personality Development

Further Development of Freud's Theory: The Neo-Freudians

Some Observations on Psychodynamic Theory and Research

The Humanistic Approach

Maslow and Self-Actualization

Rogers and Conditions of Worth

Some Observations on the Humanistic Approach

Assessment of Personality

Objective Tests of Personality

Projective Tests of Personality

Evaluation of Projective Tests

15. Social Psychology

Social Cognition

Impression Formation

The Self


Attributional Biases

Attribution, Heuristics, and Social Cognition

Attitudes: Their Formation and Change

Formation of Attitudes

Attitude Change and Persuasion

Cognitive Dissonance


Stereotypes and Prejudice

The Origins of Prejudice

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Hope for Change

Social Influences and Group Behavior


Social Facilitation

Social Loafing

Commitment and Compliance

Obedience to Authority

Group Decision Making

Resisting Social Influences

Interpersonal Attraction and Loving

Interpersonal Attraction

FOCUS ON: Arousal and Interpersonal Attraction


FOCUS ON: The Evolution of Love

16. The Nature and Causes of Psychological Disorders

Classification and Diagnosis of Psychological Disorders

What Is "Abnormal"?

Perspectives on the Causes of Psychological Disorders

The DSM-IV-TR Classification Scheme

Some Problems with DSM-IV-TR Classification

FOCUS ON: Clinical versus Actuarial Diagnosis

Disorders Usually Diagnosed in Childhood

Attention-Defifcit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Autistic Disorder

Substance-Related Disorders


Possible Causes



Types of Schizophrenia

Possible Causes

Mood Disorders


Possible Causes

Anxiety and Dissociative Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Dissociative Disorders

FOCUS ON: Culture-Bound Syndromes

Personality Disorders

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

17. The Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders and Therapy

Early Treatment of Psychological Disorders

The Development of Treatment

Insight Therapies

Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Therapies

Contemporary Psychodynamic Theory

Humanistic Therapy

Evaluation of Insight Therapies

Behavior Therapies and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

Therapies Based on Classical Conditioning

Therapies Based on Operant Conditioning

Maintaining Behavioral Change

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

Evaluation of Behavior and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

Group Therapies and Community Psychology

Family Therapy and Couples Therapy

Community Psychology

Evaluation of Family and Couples Therapy and Community Psychology

FOCUS ON: Cultural Belief Systems and Indigenous Healing Therapies

Biological Therapies

Drug Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy


Evaluation of Biological Treatments

FOCUS ON: Assessing Therapeutic Efficacy

The Relationship between Client and Therapist

Ethical Issues

Selecting a Therapist

About the Author

Neil R. Carlson, The University of Massachusetts

Neil Carlson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research focused on the role of the limbic system in learning and species-typical behavior. He received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

In addition to writing Psychology: The Science of Behavior, Dr. Carlson is also the author of two best-selling behavioral

neuroscience textbooks-Physiology of Behavior (currently in its tenth edition) and Foundations of Physiological Psychology (currently in its seventh edition). His books have been translated into eight languages.

Harold Miller, Brigham Young University

Hal Miller has been a professor of psychology at BYU since 1985. He served as Dean of General and Honors Education from 1988 to 1993 and is Karl G. Maeser General Education Professor. Dr. Miller's research interests include behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and educational reform. He has been associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Dr.Miller received his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, where he studied with Peter Killeen, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where his dissertation adviser was R. J. Herrnstein.

C. Donald Heth, The University of Alberta

Don Heth received his undergraduate degree at New College in Sarasota, Florida and his Ph.D. degree at Yale University. At the University of Alberta, Dr. Heth teaches introductory psychology courses and a fourth-year seminar to students in the honors program. He is an active researcher in the areas of human wayfinding and navigation, comparative spatial cognition, and models of eating disorders. Recently he has been involved with projects to describe lost person behavior and to develop computerized tools to manage this information in operational settings.

John W. Donahoe, The University of Massachusetts

John Donahoe is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Program in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Donahoe is an active researcher in the area of learning and cognition and a long-time teacher of the introductory psychology course. He is an author of Learning and Complex Behavior ( and Neural-Network Models of Cognition: Biobehavioral Foundations. Dr. Donahoe received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology with a subspecialty in neurophysiology from the Thomas Hunt Morgan School of Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

G. Neil Martin, Middlesex University, UK

Dr. G.Neil Martin is Reader in Psychology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Chartered Scientist, and Director of the Human Olfaction Laboratory at Middlesex University, London. Dr.Martin is the author of the first general European textbook on Human Neuropsychology (Pearson Education, 2008), now in its second edition. He also writes the best-selling European adaptation of Psychology with Neil Carlson, now about to go into its fourth edition. His research interests include the human senses of smell and taste, the psychology of humor, perceptions and misunderstanding of psychology, and the interactions between personality and learning style.

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