Description: This book's main component is a series of more than 2000 entries, arranged in alphabetical order, covering every major branch of psychology, including clinical, experimental, industrial, developmental, social, cognitive, physiological, and theoretical. Topics range from abreaction and accommodation to Z-score and the Zwaardemaker odor system.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide "quick access to all important psychological terms, concepts, theories, and practices" in a style accessible to lay readers and professionals. It is an abridged edition of the four-volume Encyclopedia of Psychology.
Audience: The editors wish to serve all those interested in psychology, from "the layperson and neophyte student to the professional researcher and practitioner." The 500 authorities who contributed the entries include recognized experts, e.g., Eysenck on behavioral genetics, Skinner on operant behavior.
Features: The book is cross-referenced and includes name and subject indexes. Special features include brief biographies of 1000 psychologists, a reprint of the American Psychological Association's ethics code, and a sample contract for practicing psychologists.
Assessment: The entries appear to be authoritative, clear, and concisely written, and I would recommend the book's purchase, particularly for a community library. The overall scholarship of the encyclopedia is marred by the inclusion of overly respectful entries on such detritus of the 1960s as nude group therapy and primal therapy.