Psychology For Dummies

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Mar 16, 2011 - Psychology - 384 pages
What do psychologists do? Why do they do it? Does it take some sort of special aptitude to become a psychologist? How do you think psychologists feel about us asking all these questions about them? A psychologist friend of yours tells you that he is unhappy all the time and thinks it might have something to do with how he makes a living—how would you help? Now substitute the word “people” for psychologist and you have some idea of the kinds of questions the science of psychology tries to answer—questions about behavior, motive, aptitude, feeling, perception, and therapy. And while psychology may not provide definitive answers, it does offer powerful insights that can help you better understand who you are and why you feel and act the way you do.

Psychology For Dummies is a fun, user-friendly guide to the basics of human behavior and mental processes. In plain English and using lots of everyday examples, psychologist Dr. Adam Cash cuts through the jargon to explain what psychology is all about and what it tells us about why we do the things we do. With this book as your guide, you’ll:

  • Gain profound insights into human nature
  • Understand yourself better
  • Make sense of individual and group behaviors
  • Explore different approaches in psychology
  • Recognize problems in yourself and others
  • Make informed choices when seeking psychological counseling

From Freud to forensics, anorexia to xenophobia, Psychology For Dummies takes you on a fascinating journey of discovery. Topics covered include:

  • Major schools of thought and how they differ
  • The role of the body, the mind, relationships and culture in human psychology
  • What is consciousness, awareness, and consciousness of self?
  • Instinct, feeling and emotion and where they come from
  • Developmental psychology and how people learn
  • The role of gender in psychology
  • Abnormal and forensic psychology
  • Emotional and psychological problems and psychotherapy

Human behavior is an endlessly fascinating subject. Get Psychology For Dummies and find out what the science of human behavior has to say about why we do the things we do.


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It makes understanding psychology very easy. Read full review

Review: Psychology for Dummies

User Review  - Angus MacHaggis - Goodreads

Should've been proofread before publishing. Although the book is quite long, not a lot of info is new to me. Read full review


Foolish Assumptions
Picking Your Brain
Knowing Whether Youre a Nut
Icons Used In This Book
Part I
Chapter 1
Playing Armchair Psychologist
Communicating Is Easier Said Than Done
Asking questions
Asserting yourself
Chapter 14
Playing Your Part
Ganging Up in a Group
Doing better with help
Thinking as one

One Among the Sciences
Framing with Metatheories
The Biopsychosocial Model
The role of people
Chapter 2
Applying the Scientific Method without a Bunsen Burner
Developing a Good Theory
Part II
Chapter 3
Believing in Biology
Body Systems
Feeling nervous?
Enter the Endocrine System
Hearing voices
Chapter 4
Altering Your Consciousness
Getting high on conscious life
Your eyes are getting very heavy
Catching some zzzzs
Chapter 5
Our Senses
Smell and taste
Organizing by Principles
Part III
Chapter 6
Whats On Your Mind?
Plugging Your Mug into a PC
Turning Those Gears
Playing Operations
Twofactor theory
Sternbergs triarchic theory of intelligence
Chapter 7
Calling on Tony for Some Motivation
Feeling needy
Arousing interest in prime rib
Getting cheaper long distance is rewarding
Which comes first the body or the mind?
Expressing yourself
Love and anger
Part IV
Chapter 8
Doggy Drool
Conditioning responses and stimuli
Generalizing and discriminating
Continuing with Contiguity
Why Does This Work?
Chapter 9
Cuddling Thorndikes Thrilling Kitties
Running Rats with Reinforcers
Types of reinforcers
Timing of reinforcement
Disappearing from the face of behavior
Avoiding Tickets with Generalization
Part V
Chapter 10
Your Unique Memories
The unconscious
I want therefore I am
The final judgment
Opening your big mouth
To poop or not to poop?
Marrying your mom
Taking a time out
Peaking sexually
Chapter 11
Knowing Whos a Nerd
H Hartmann
Robert White
Eriksons Psychosocial Theory
Initiative versus guilt
Identity versus identity confusion
Integrity versus despair
Collecting Your Unconscious with Jung
Learning from Others
Representing Ourselves
Regulating Ourselves
Chapter 12
Feeling SelfConscious
Becoming aware of your bod
Identifying Yourself
Forging a personal identity
Carving out a social identity
Mustering up some selfesteem
Getting Attached
Attaching with style
Cavorting with Family and Friends
Parenting with panache
Chapter 13
People Watching
Explaining others
Explaining yourself
Being Mean
Lending a Helping Hand
Why do we help?
When do we help?
Who gets helped?
Chapter 15
From Conception to Birth
Uniting and dividing all in one night
Going from Diapers to Drool
Flexing their muscles
Scheduling time for schemata
Getting your sensorimotor running
Learning within the lines
Saying what you think
Blooming social butterflies
Mastering the crayon
Want to play on the swings?
Pining over puberty
Part VI
Chapter 16
Deciding Whos Normal
Taxonomizing Symptoms and Disorders
Grasping for Reality
Struggling with other types of psychoses
Feeling in a Funk
Bipolar disorder
Being Scared
Revealing panic disorders causes
Chapter 17
Consulting the Experts
Determining Why the Good Go Bad
Biological and neuropsychological theories
Pinning down the super criminals Criminal psychopaths
Setting apart the serial killers
Excusing or Explaining
Pleading insanity
Treating Preventing and Protecting
Part VII
Chapter 18
Whats the Problem?
Examining mental status
Checking Under the Hood with Psychological Testing
Trusting tests
Educationalachievement testing
Personality testing
Intelligence testing
Chapter 19
Knowing Whether One Needs It
Sifting through the psychotherapies
Digging into the proverbial bag of tricks
Doing Analysis
Getting practical
Getting down to analyzing
Overall process
Transferencing to the New School
Are We There Yet?
Chapter 20
Weeding out Bad Behavior with Behavior Therapy
Operant conditioning and behavior therapy
Social learning theory and behavior therapy
Trying different techniques
Applying Some Soap to Your Mind with Cognitive Therapy
Behavior and Cognitive Therapies
Chapter 21
Shining in the Therapists Spotlight
Theory of the person
Reconnecting in therapy
Getting It Together with Gestalt
Wholly in need
Healthy Gestalts
Doing it in therapy
Existential Therapy
Hanging out with your hangups
Being in the here and now
Claiming responsibility
Chapter 22
Stressing to the types
Getting sick of being worried
Coping Is No Gamble
Dont be a dope learn to cope
Resources at your disposal
Chapter 23
Accept Yourself
Strive for Freedom and SelfDetermination
Find Hope and Maintain Faith
Enjoy the Beautiful Things in Life
Chapter 24
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
12 Monkeys
What About Bob?
The Silence of the Lambs

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About the author (2011)

Adam Cash, PsyD, teaches psychology at both the community college and university levels. He currently works as a forensic psychologist with mentally disordered criminal offenders.

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