Seven unifying themes provide threads of continuity across chapters and a forum for a relatively sophisticated discussion of enduring issues in psychology. They also focus a spotlight on a number of basic insights about psychology. The themes emphasize that psychology is an empirical science, that its theoretical diversity is a strength, that the field evolves in a sociohistorical context, that behavior is determined by multiple causes and shaped by one's culture, that heredity and environment interactively influence behavior, and that our experience of the world is highly subjective.
A two- to five-page Personal Application near the end of every chapter offers insight into the practical side of psychology by focusing on a single issue, such as improving stress management and finding and reading journal articles. Although most of the Personal Application sections have a "how-to" approach, they also review studies and summarize data in much the same way as the main body of each chapter. Thus, they portray research and application as two sides of the same coin.
Critical Thinking Applications do more than simply review controversial research critically, as is typically the case in other introductory texts. Instead, they actually teach students critical thinking skills that they can use in their academic and personal lives. Topics covered include looking for contradictory evidence; recognizing anecdotal evidence, circular reasoning, hindsight bias, reification, weak analogies, and false dichotomies; and evaluating arguments systematically.
Reality Checks sprinkled throughout the chapters address common misconceptions related to psychology and provide direct refutations of the misinformation. Examples include the notion that people use only 10% of their brains; the assumption that people who are colorblind see the world in black and white; and the idea that it is dangerous to awaken someone who is sleepwalking.
Each chapter opens with an engagement activity that takes on common myths and misperceptions in psychology with a fun, "pub quiz" type of approach. Students consider their own beliefs and perceptions, and their curiosity about psychology is sparked.
A highly-praised didactic illustration program features figures, diagrams, photos, tables, and graphs that work hand in hand with the narrative to clarify main points. For example, six Illustrated Overviews provide well-organized reviews of key ideas in the areas of research, sensation and perception, learning, personality theory, psychopathology, and psychotherapy. Diagrams of major concepts (e.g., conditioning) are often repeated in chapters (with variations) to highlight connections among research areas. Dynamic, zoomable versions of illustrations are available in MindTap®.
MindTap® for Weiten's Introduction to Psychology: Themes and Variations, an interactive online teaching and learning platform, integrates course readings, videos, Weiten-created PsykTrek animations, activities, apps, and assessments into a learning path that guides students through the course. Instructors can easily modify content, integrate their own content, and follow student progress with powerful analytics and reports.