Overview: If you’re looking for a decent grounding in psychology, this book works. You
won’t be able to hang out your shingle and practice after poring over this thick but surprisingly easy-to-access textbook. The book covers the landscape of psychology from its philosophical roots to personality and intelligence. What I found most entertaining was the simple structure, especially the write-ups of the key psychologists. Take, for example, the review of Abraham Maslow (in the psychotherapy section). The authors provide a section called “In Context” showing the theories both before and after Maslow to help readers understand the development and impact of his needs theory. Of course, the authors included the obligatory Hierarchy of Needs—always worth another gander—as well as a picture and summary of Maslow’s life and key works. And the authors do this with rigorous consistency as they walk you through the development of psychology over the ages.
The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (2012, DK Publishing) by
Nigel Benson, et al; reviewed by Steve Gladis, August 2013.