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Introduction to Psychology - 1st Canadian Edition

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Description: This book is designed to help students organize their thinking about psychology at a conceptual level. The focus on behaviour and empiricism has produced a text that is better organized, has fewer chapters, and is somewhat shorter than many of the leading books. The beginning of each section includes learning objectives; throughout the body of each section are key terms in bold followed by their definitions in italics; key takeaways, and exercises and critical thinking activities end each section.

Author: Jennifer Walinga, Royal Roads University, Charles Stangor, University of Maryland

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Introduction to Psychology - 1st Canadian Edition by Jennifer Walinga, Royal Roads University, Charles Stangor, University of Maryland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


1. Reviewed by: Adam Baker
  • Institution: Simon Fraser University
  • Title/Position: Teacher Assistant and Research Assistant
  • Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

Considering this textbook is meant for a first year psychology class, it does a reasonable job reviewing the basic of psychology. As I was reviewing this textbook, I was comparing it with two first year psychology textbooks that I used in my undergraduate degree, and in some sections, mainly the basics (CNS, brain structures, etc) this textbook covered them very well.

The one section that I noticed was lacking was the brain imaging, which I believe is quite important. For example, they covered EEG, however they did not explain adequately how it works and what it is used for in detail.

It would add more strength to this text book if they expanded on how these brain imaging machines worked instead of just giving a general description.

The section on perception was quite good and comprehensive.

One aspect that I really enjoyed in this textbook was the "key takeaways" box. I have seen this is a few science textbooks, and student have always reported they were very helpful.

I believe a simple glossary would be a good idea in a textbook of this nature. Or chapter end glossary terms, which you see in many biology textbooks now.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

This textbook was very accurate. As mentioned in the previous section, some terms and concepts were not explained well. Mainly brain imaging. I would advise some explanation on how they work.

I could not find substantial errors in this text book. I am not sure if this applies, but some tables were not aligned correctly, making it rather difficult to read (The one on neurotransmitters)

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Drug therapies and Reducing Disorder by Changing the Social Situation can be suspect to change quite rapidly with new research coming out.

The majority of this textbook (a general overview of psychology) has not changed in the last decade, and I do not see it changing any time soon.

In fact, looking back to my first psychology text (2004), it was almost identical in the structure and concepts in the textbook.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Since this is a first year textbook, clarity is not particularly an issue. This text book stays well within the limits of clarity.

However, some students may find some terminology difficult. The one issue I have with this text book is the lack of explanation and reenforcement of the terms.

A well defined glossary is a MUST for a first year text book. Also, I find 2 solutions quite helpful.

1) Have key terms highlighted and then provide a brief definition in the margins of the page it is on.

2) Another way is to have a definitions review at the end of the chapter. Essentially it lists the terms that were highlighted in the chapter, in which the student will review with the glossary.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Yes, this text book is very consistent. It flowed from the very basics, to more specific concepts in psychology.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

As I mentioned in section 5 (clarity),

A well defined glossary is a MUST for a first year text book. Also, I find 2 solutions quite helpful.

1) Have key terms highlighted and then provide a brief definition in the margins of the page it is on.

2) Another way is to have a definitions review at the end of the chapter. Essentially it lists the terms that were highlighted in the chapter, in which the student will review with the glossary.

It has great visuals and breaks up the content quite nice, but is not formatted in the best way for a student to review specific concepts.

This text does not have "enormous" blocks of text. Rather, it breaks up content quite well, just not in the most efficient way.

The section on "Psychodynamic Psychology" was a little scattered.

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Very logical order. In fact, this logical order is consistent with 2 1st year psychology text books I have used, which are quite common.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

The bullet points are not aligned in this text when they span over 2 pages. For example, from pages 41 to 42, and also numbered bullets from 42 to 43.

Pages 24 and 335 - The tables that are made for this text are not aligned overly well as you can see by these pages for example. It appears only when the table is made for this text, and not an imported image of a table or box.

The images and other visuals are presented quite well!

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

Through my reading, I could not notice any noticeable errors.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

This text does a fantastic job in this area.

There is no insensitive or offensive material in any way. All very common concepts and research that has been used as examples in previous psychology texts.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I believe all my comments are in previous sections.

I do want the stress the need for a glossary and further study materials. Simply compiling the bolded definitions used in the chapter at the end of the chapter makes studying and review more efficient.

I actually thought this text was better presented than my previous used texts on psychology. It pulled some good research examples and each section was presented well!