The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies for Success

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Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2003 - Business & Economics - 157 pages
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We originally wrote this book because we saw a need for a resource in our classrooms, a resource that was not available elsewhere (demonstrating, once again, that necessity is the mother of invention). Our goal for this text was and continues to be to provide strategies for success that will allow students to achieve their career goals, whatever they may be. Also, we wanted to provide some fundamental tips and advice that can be useful toallstudents, but especially useful for psychology majors.

So why did we revise this book? First, thanks to colleagues and students around the country, the book has been modestly successful, and thus there was an opportunity for second edition. Second, it gave us a chance to improve upon a solid foundation with tweaking and polishing. Third, we wanted to add new features that make the reading more engaging and the book more valuable to the students and for our colleagues using it in the classroom.

Our basic approach to writing this book was to provide immediately useful and helpful information to students majoring in psychology or thinking about majoring in psychology. The approach of this book is both functional and applied- to provide students with practical, timely, up-to-date information that helps them. We think there are a number of benefits to be gained by using this text. First, it fulfills a need-to our knowledge no book exists that presents this mix of knowledge in such an easy-to-read and easy-to-use format. This text standardizes and catalogs much of the practical advice that professors often give to students on a one-to-one basis-this book does not replace that interaction, but it helps to supplement it. We provide tips on how to do well in all classes, how to find research ideas, and how to write papers in APA format. Also, the book contains up-to-date career information that professors might not normally have at their fingertips, including the latest salary figures for a number of psychology-related jobs and occupations. Other benefits include the coverage of ethics for undergraduate students, sections on self-reflection, and an overview of disciplines related to psychology. These features are important perspectives that may not often be shared with the new or prospective psychology major.

We have worked hard on this revision of the textbook. In particular, you will find a number of new "value-added" features—at the same time, we deleted sections and kept the page count roughly the same, helping to keep the cost of the book to the lowest possible level. Below are some of the major changes and additions to the second edition;

  • Each chapter ends with an interactive exercise that students can complete. These exercises are designed to involve the reader more in the text of the chapter. As usual, these are "hands-on" exercises that should improve the students' understanding of the chapter materials.
  • In almost every chapter you'll find a section labeled "Success Stories." For the second edition, we solicited comments about various component of the book from well-respected and knowledgeable faculty members around the country. These faculty told us stories, sometimes about themselves and sometimes about their students, that lend a more personal perspective to the text material. We hope that this narrative approach engages the reader further in understanding why the chapter topics are important.
  • Throughout the book, wherever available, we have updated the statistical information about jobs, salary, employment rates, etc. Unfortunately, these data are not published as often as would be helpful, but if there was up-to-date information available, we included it in this second edition.
  • The section on writing tips has been updated to cover the fifth edition of thePublication Manual.This update includes a sample paper that demonstrates the new features, as well as showing the layout of fifth edition-style papers.
  • Every page of the text has been carefully reviewed and edited for content accuracy and readability. In some cases, we deleted sections that we felt would not serve the student well, or that were more confusing than helpful. Also, we thought carefully about layout and font selection, and we hope that the new look makes the text more readable and enjoyable.

Who might use this textbook? As a primary text, it is appropriate for. courses such as "Careers in Psychology," "Introduction to the Psychology Major," "The Professional Psychologist," or courses with similar titles and content. This book provides a thorough overview of the discipline, career options> (both with and without a graduate degree), strategies for success in and out of the classroom, and coverage of critical issues in psychology. It is also an excellent complimentary text for a number of courses in the psychology curriculum. This book will be helpful for: (1) any course that requires students to conduct research and write papers in APA format, (2) any course that discusses potential careers and earnings in psychology, and (3) any course that covers the opportunities for psychology majors and the ethical implications for being a psychologist. Specifically, this book makes a good supplemental text for research methods/experimental psychology courses, any capstone course, introductory courses, careers courses, etc. The unique mix and coverage of topics makes this text useful in a variety of teaching situations.

Projects such as this one do not occur in a vacuum. We would like to thank Jayme Heffer at Prentice Hall for seeing the value and potential in a second edition of the book; her efforts occurred in the right place at the right time. We would also like to thank Kevin Doughten for his perseverance and attention to detail—he is the type of person who makes sure that all the "little" things get done that have to be done in a "big" project. Also, Maureen Richardson provided invaluable services as our production editor. We also want to thank our colleagues who have helped shaped the direction of this second edition—whether through formal reviews, emails, conversations at conferences, etc.—you have greatly helped confirm the value and necessity of such a book. Finally, we dedicate this book to our students—past, present, and future—our students are the reason we wrote the book, and it continues to be our honor and privilege to teach in a manner that positively influences others' lives. Thank you for the opportunity.

R.E.L. & S.F.D.

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About the author (2003)

Stephen F. Davis is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Emporia State University. He served as the 2002-2003 Knapp Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego. Currently, he is Distinguished Guest Professor at Morningside College and Visiting Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Texas Wesleyan University. Since 1966, he has published over 325 articles, 30 textbooks, and presented over 900 professional papers; the vast majority of these publications and presentations include student coauthors. He has served as president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP; Division 2 of the American Psychological Association [APA]), Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Southwestern Psychological Association, and Psi Chi. In addition, he received the first Psi Chi Florence L. Denmark Faculty Advisor Award. He is a fellow of APA Divisions 1 (General), 2 (STP), 3 (Experimental), and 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology), and a recipient in 1988 of the American Psychological Foundation's (APF) Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award.

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