This unique introductory textbook, the first to address psychology as a rigorous natural science, applies to the study of human behavior the same scientific standards taken for granted in other natural sciences. The result is a scientific psychology that studies the evolutionary, physiological, and environmental variables determining behavior. The authors discuss the relationship between science and psychology and examine issues traditionally important to psychologists, showing how these matters are often better understood by a natural science approach. Special features include;
This is an introductory text reviewing the history, methods, and major findings in the field of psychology. The purpose is to introduce a natural science approach to psychological inquiry. The authors emphasize throughout that all behavior is determined, and that a natural science approach redresses the failure of many traditional approaches to produce an effective behavior-change technology. The authors admit a ""somewhat more limited"" scope than most other introductory texts, defining the domain of ""scientific"" psychology in terms of observable behavior. They emphasize the superiority of the ""true"" experiment as the primary instrument for establishing scientific truths, but do not adequately cover arguments that support alternative models. It is intended for undergraduate psychology students. The authors are credible authorities in their behavioral research areas, but their background is reflected in the book's relative emphasis on conditioning models and controlled experiments. Unfortunately, these emphases convey the false impression that a behavioral or cognitive-behavioral focus is generally accepted as the essence of scientific psychological inquiry. Coverage of treatments for ""troublesome behaviors"" illustrates this narrow content focus. Virtually all of the described treatments fall within the domains of psychopharmacology, behavior therapy, or cognitive-behavior therapy. There is little mention of the diversity of psychotherapies practiced, and no mention of the many studies that demonstrate no difference in outcomes. Although the authors ignore a number of noteworthy areas of inquiry, their coverage of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral perspectives isexcellent. This book provides a cogent behavioral perspective on what scientific psychology is, and represents the position of a number of respected scientists. However, it does not represent fully the diversity of contents and methods of inquiry regarded as scientific among psychologists; therefore, I would not recommend it as the primary text for an introductory psychology course.