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Principles of Psychology

Marc Breedlove

Publication Date - 02 January 2015

ISBN: 9780199329366

736 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

Organized around four well-established core principles, Principles provides students with a framework to understand the science of behavior


Organized around four well-established core principles, Principles of Psychology provides students with a framework to understand the science of behavior. Written in a conversational style, the text is organized around the following four well-established principles that serve as touchstones for the field of psychology:

--The mind is a process at work in a physical machine, the brain.
--We are consciously aware of only a fraction of our mental activity.
--We constantly modify our behavior, beliefs, and attitudes according to what we perceive about the people around us.
--Experience physically alters the structure and function of the brain.

With these four principles as a framework for the text, Principles of Psychology emphasizes that psychology is a science through discussion of relevant big-picture and proven concepts and cutting-edge research-based investigations that examine behavioral, psychological, and neuroscience experiments. By presenting data and facts from other scientific disciplines, as well as real-world vignettes and stories, Marc Breedlove teaches the reader how to think critically and scientifically about the underlying mechanisms of behavior.

In-Text Features
--Vignette: Each chapter begins with a story, an instance when behavior has a big impact on someone's life. The chapter returns to the vignette several times as we cover findings that relate to that particular case.
--Researchers at Work: In every chapter, important discoveries are explained and illustrated to highlight the process of experimentation and hypothesis testing. Over the course of the book, the progression of experiments provides an increasingly sharper picture of the factors shaping behavior.
--Skeptic at Large: Intended to sharpen the student's critical thinking skills, these boxes explore a widespread misconception and demonstrate how scientific research disproves it. The exploration of scientific experimentation also reinforces the Researchers at Work feature.
--Psychology in Everyday Life: These are topics where knowledge of psychology might be applicable to everyday life, such as whether people with schizophrenia are violent, the importance of "blind" auditions for musicians, how to stop smoking, or how conditioned taste aversion might cause you to stop eating sushi when you used to love it.
--The Cutting Edge: Just prior to the end of every chapter, this feature explores an exciting report of current research. Showing students these vibrant and bold experiments will emphasize that psychology research remains alive and well.
--Think Like a Psychologist: Principles in Action: To close each chapter, each principle is related back to the vignette to show the student that when they observe an interesting behavior they can recall and apply the four principles. If they can do this, they will indeed be thinking like a psychologist.


  • A conversational writing style and the use of story-telling make the explanation of complex biological process understandable and accessible.
  • Chapters on Methods; Neuroscience of Behavior; and Genes and Behavior as well as frequent coverage of: evolution by natural selection, data and facts from other disciplines such as, neuroscience, biology, social, cognitive present the field of psychology as science.
  • Robust Pedagogy Marginal Glossary Section Summaries Review Questions Food for Thought: Questions that invite students to step back a bit and consider a question that requires integration and/or application of the material they just read, to help consolidate their understanding. Color Art: The figures are clearly drawn to aid and support students' understanding of psychological and biological processes. Concisely labeled and explained, the figures are one of the most important pedagogical features of any text.

About the Author(s)

S. Marc Breedlove is the Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University. He has written over 100 scientific articles investigating the role of hormones in shaping the developing and adult nervous system, publishing in journals that include Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Breedlove is also passionate about teaching, both in the classroom, and in the greater community through interviews with the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Newsweek, as well as broadcast programs such as All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and Sixty Minutes. After teaching popular Hormones and Behavior and Biological Psychology courses during his 20 years at Berkeley, Breedlove co-authored textbooks on each subject that are still in print today. Having taught Introductory Psychology at Berkeley and at Michigan State University since 2001, he began working on a text that emphasizes a research perspective and overarching concepts while maintaining a reader-friendly writing style. Breedlove is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Psychological Science.


"Great format, great content, great graphics, all around excellent." --Allen Huffcutt, Bradley University

"Brings together 'psychological' thinking with contemporary research topics." --John Mavromatis, St. John Fisher College

"Breedlove presents the information in an easy-to-read format without sacrificing the depth and breadth of important psychological concepts." --Jonathan Lewis, University of North Texas

"A well-rounded text, suitable for the entry level intro students." --Robert Martinez, University of the Incarnate Word

"The textbook does an excellent job. There is a strong emphasis on materialism and the neuroscience perspective, but not to the detriment of other perspectives." --Christina Abbott, Franklin & Marshall College

"A contemporary, well written, engaging text that is designed to be student friendly." --Vicki Ritts, St. Louis Community College, Meramec

"Well-written, balanced coverage of contemporary topics and many useful pedagogical features facilitate student exploration and learning of scientific psychology." --Albert Toh, University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff

"I would recommend the text for a colleague looking for an intro text that emphasizes brain and experience in behavior. It is well written and engaging." --Sharleen Sakai, Michigan State University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Principles of Psychology
    Chapter Preview
    1.1 Psychology's Roots
    1.2 The Rise of Empiricism
    1.3 The Modern Synthesis
    1.4 A Preview of the Text: Four Principles of Psychology

    Chapter 2 Psychology as a Science
    Chapter Preview
    2.1 What Constitutes A Science?
    2.2 How Do We Scientifically Study Behavior?

    Chapter 3 The Neuroscience of Behavior
    Chapter Preview
    3.1 The Structure Of The Nervous System: A Microscopic View
    3.2 The Nervous System At Work: The Body Electric
    3.3 Understanding The Nervous System: Divide and Conquer
    3.4 How We Study The Brain

    Chapter 4 Genes, Environment, and Behavior
    Chapter Preview
    4.1 Genes at Work
    4.2 The Regulation of Genes
    4.3 Single Gene Effects on Behavior
    4.4 Multiple Gene Effects on Behavior
    4.5 The Interaction of Genes and Experience

    Chapter 5 Developmental Psychology
    Chapter Preview
    5.1 The Brain
    5.2 The Developing Mind
    5.3 Adolescence: Developing Identity
    5.4 Adulthood and Beyond

    Chapter 6 Sensation and Perception
    Chapter Preview
    6.1 The Developing Brain
    6.2 Touch and Pain
    6.3 Vision
    6.4 Hearing
    6.5 Taste and Smell

    Chapter 7 Consciousness
    Chapter Preview
    7.1 Consciousness
    7.2 Sleep and Dreams
    7.3 Hypnosis and Meditation
    7.4 Psychoactive Drugs

    Chapter 8 Learning
    Chapter Preview
    8.1 Predicting the Future
    8.2 Rewarding Behavior
    8.3 Observational Learning

    Chapter 9 Memory
    Chapter Preview
    9.1 The Stages of Memory Formation
    9.2 The Vulnerability of Memory
    9.3 Different Forms of Memory

    Chapter 10 Language and Cognition
    Chapter Preview
    10.1 Language
    10.2 Decomposing Mental Processes
    10.3 Decision Making and Problem Solving

    Chapter 11 Intelligence
    Chapter Preview
    11.1 History and Development of Intelligence Tests
    11.2 The Many Facets of Intelligence
    11.3 The Controversy over Group Differences in IQ

    Chapter 12 Motivation and the Regulation of Behavior
    Chapter Preview
    12.1 Motivation
    12.2 Hunger
    12.3 Sexual Behavior
    12.4 Social Motivation

    Chapter 13 Emotions, Stress, and Health
    Chapter Preview
    13.1 Emotions
    13.2 Stress and Health

    Chapter 14 Personality
    Chapter Preview
    14.1 The Quest for Personality
    14.2 The Rejection of Personality Types and the Pursuit of Traits
    14.3 Biological Influences on Personality
    14.4 Social Influences on Personality

    Chapter 15 Social Psychology
    Chapter Preview
    15.1 Social Perception
    15.2 Social Influences on Behavior
    15.3 Friendship and Romance
    15.4 Aggression
    15.5 Persuasion and Authority

    Chapter 16 Clinical Psychology
    Chapter Preview
    16.1 Modern Classification of Psychological Disorders
    16.2 Anxiety Disorders and Depression
    16.3 Personality Disorders
    16.4 Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

Teaching Resources

·         Dashboard: A text-specific, integrated learning system designed with clear and consistent navigation. Breedlove’s Dashboard features text specific animations, two types of quizzes: formative and summative, and matching exercises. $19.95 Standalone, $5.00 packaged with Breedlove

·         Companion Website with downloadable resources at (www.oup.com/us/breedlove) 

o   For Students:

§  Detailed outlines of each chapter

§  Full chapter summaries including Principles in Action

§  Flashcards of all the important terminology for each chapter

§  Practice quizzes – 25 questions per chapter with feedback

o   For Instructors: Ancillary Resource Center: (http://oup-arc.com/breedlove) contains:

§  Instructor’s Manual with chapter overviews, learning outcomes, chapter outlines, in-class discussion questions, and suggested online resources

§  Test Bank with 100 questions per chapter – multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions, Bloom’s Taxonomy and APA learning outcomes

§  Lecture and Figure & Table PowerPoints

§  35 animations and 40 BBC videos