Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780878915231
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication date: 11/28/1980
Series: Problem Solvers
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 1056
Product dimensions: 6.66(w) x 9.84(h) x 1.83(d)

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For as long as psychology has been taught in high schools, many students have found it difficult to understand and learn because of the broad scope of the subject and the complex interrelationships of the mental processes and behavior. Despite the publication of hundreds of textbooks in this field-each one intending to provide an improved approach to the subject over previous attempts-students continue to be perplexed. As a result, psychology often becomes a course taken only to meet school or departmental curriculum requirements.
In a study of the problem, Research & Education Association found that students' difficulties with high school psychology stem from five basic causes:
(1) No systematic rules of analysis have been developed which students may follow in a step-by-step manner to solve the problems they will typically encounter. This is brought about by the multitude of conditions and principles that may be involved in a psychology problem; often, the student is faced with a number of possible methods for solving a problem. To prescribe an approach to be followed for each of the possible variations would involve wading through an enormous number of rules and steps-a task that could become more burdensome than solving the problem directly, with some accompanying trial and error-to find the correct solution route.
(2) Psychology textbooks currently available will usually explain a given principle in a few pages written by a professional who has special insight into the subject matter which is not shared by students. The explanations are often written in an abstract manner that leaves students confused as to the application of the principle. In addition, the explanations given are not sufficiently detailed or extensive to make students aware of the wide range of applications and different aspects of the principle being studied. The numerous possible variations of principles and their applications are usually not discussed, and it is left for the students to discover these for themselves while doing exercises. Accordingly, the average student is expected to rediscover that which has been long known and practiced, but not published or explained extensively.
(3) Usually, the examples that accompany the explanation of a topic are too sparse and too simple to enable students to obtain a thorough grasp of the principles involved. The explanations do not provide sufficient basis to enable students to solve problems that may be subsequently assigned for homework or given on examinations.
The examples are presented in abbreviated form, leaving out much material between steps and requiring students to derive the omitted material themselves. As a result, students find the examples difficult to understand-contrary to the purpose of presenting examples in the first place.
Moreover, examples are often wordy and confusing. They do not state the problem and then present the solution. Instead, they pass through a general discussion, never revealing what is to be solved for.
Examples also do not always include diagrams/graphs, wherever appropriate, and thus students do not obtain the necessary training to draw diagrams or graphs to simplify and organize their thinking.
(4) Students can learn this subject only by doing the exercises themselves and reviewing them in class. We believe students need to obtain experience in applying the principles so that they can see the many different ramifications that stem from each.
In doing the exercises on their own, students find that they are required to devote considerably more time to psychology than to other subjects with comparable credits. This is because they are uncertain about the selection and application of the principles involved. Moreover, all too often they find it necessary to discover the "tricks" not revealed in their textbooks or review books which make it possible to solve problems easily. As a result, students find themselves spending a great deal of time resorting to trial and error to solve problems.
(5) When reviewing the exercises in the classroom, instructors typically have students take turns writing solutions on the blackboard or on a computer, and explaining them to the class. Presenters often find it difficult to explain the solutions in a manner that both holds the interest of the class and enables their classmates to follow their line of thinking. Furthermore, the students being addressed are too busy copying the material from the board to properly take in all of the oral explanations and focus their attention on the methods of solution.
This book is intended to aid high school psychology students in surmounting the difficulties we've described by supplying detailed illustrations of the solution methods which are usually not apparent or readily available to students. We illustrate those solution methods by selecting the very problems that are most often assigned for class work and given on examinations. The problems are arranged in order of complexity to enable students to learn and understand a particular topic by reviewing the problems in sequence. The problems are illustrated with detailed step-by-step explanations, to save students the large amount of time that is often needed to fill in the gaps that are usually found between steps of illustrations in textbooks or review/outline books.
The staff of REA considers psychology a subject that is best learned by allowing students to view the methods of analysis and solution techniques themselves. This approach to learning the subject matter is similar to that practiced in scientific laboratories, particularly in the medical field.
In using this book, students can review and study the illustrated problems at their own pace; they are not limited to the time allowed for explaining problems on the board in class.
When students want to look up a particular type of problem and solution, they can readily locate it in the book by referring to the Index, which has been extensively prepared. It is also possible to locate a particular type of problem by just glancing at the material within the boxed portions. To facilitate rapid scanning of the problems, each problem has a heavy border around it. Furthermore, each problem is identified with a number immediately above the right-hand margin.
To obtain maximum benefit from the book, students should familiarize themselves with the following section, "How to Use this Book."
To meet the objectives of this book, staff members of REA have selected problems usually encountered in assignments and examinations, and have solved each problem meticulously to illustrate the steps that are particularly difficult for students to grasp. Special gratitude is expressed to them for their efforts in this area, as well as to the numerous contributors who devoted their time to this book.
The difficult task of coordinating all our contributors' efforts was carried out by Carl Fuchs. His conscientious work deserves much appreciation. He also trained and supervised art and production personnel in the preparation of the book for printing.
Finally, special thanks are due Helen Kaufmann for her unique talent in rendering those difficult borderline decisions and in making constructive suggestions related to the design and organization of the book.

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