Psychology: An Introductory Textbook
In writing this book the author has tried to bear in mind that it should be intellectually exciting for the beginning student. He has avoided making a handbook of facts, a dictionary of psychological terms, an American Psychological Association directory, or a picture magazine. His purpose is to stimulate a discussion of ideas about man and the kinds of operations psychologists perform in trying to verify their ideas about man. The author wants the beginning student to feel as he does: that psychology is a serious and significant branch of knowledge; that it has a great many important things to say about man; and that what it deals with touches his life at every moment of his existence. He has tried to say much about a representative group of subjects rather than say something, however little, about a wide variety of topics. This has been done in the hope that a broader discussion of fewer things will result in better understanding.
Only in rare instances does the author present findings obtained from animal research. The beginning student resents the psychologist's preoccupation with maze-running rats and drooling dogs. He fails to see the relevance between the behavior of a rat learning a maze and his own behavior in solving a problem. The author thinks it is better to by-pass the student's resistance and use the findings of experiments with human beings. Finally, the author points out that this book does not deviate from the traditional subject areas of beginning psychology. It deals with basic psychological processes and the determiners of behavior.