Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder that is most often diagnosed in school-aged children. Many children with ADHD find it difficult to focus on tasks and follow instructions, and these characteristics can lead to problems in school and at home. How children with ADHD are diagnosed and treated is a topic of controversy, and many people, including scientists and nonscientists alike, hold strong beliefs about what ADHD is and how people with the disorder should be treated. This module will familiarize the reader with the scientific literature on ADHD. First, we will review how ADHD is diagnosed in children, with a focus on how mental health professionals distinguish between ADHD and normal behavior problems in childhood. Second, we will describe what is known about the causes of ADHD. Third, we will describe the treatments that are used to help children with ADHD and their families. The module will conclude with a brief discussion of how we expect that the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD will change over the coming decades.
Reading with the learning objectives: 1) Describe major features of physical, cognitive, and social development during adolescence. 2) Understand why adolescence is a period of heightened risk taking.
3) Be able to explain sources of diversity in adolescent development.
This module provides a brief overview of the neuroscience of emotion. It integrates findings from human and animal research to describe the brain networks and associated neurotransmitters involved in basic affective systems.
This module discusses the causes and consequences of human aggression and violence. Both internal and external causes are considered. Effective and ineffective techniques for reducing aggression are also discussed.
Anxiety is a natural part of life and, at normal levels, helps us to function at our best. However, for people with anxiety disorders, anxiety is overwhelming and hard to control. Anxiety disorders develop out of a blend of biological (genetic) and psychological factors that, when combined with stress, may lead to the development of ailments. Primary anxiety-related diagnoses include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this module, we summarize the main clinical features of each of these disorders and discuss their similarities and differences with everyday experiences of anxiety.
More attractive people elicit more positive first impressions. This effect is called the attractiveness halo, and it is shown when judging those with more attractive faces, bodies, or voices. Moreover, it yields significant social outcomes, including advantages to attractive people in domains as far-reaching as romance, friendships, family relations, education, work, and criminal justice. Physical qualities that increase attractiveness include youthfulness, symmetry, averageness, masculinity in men, and femininity in women. Positive expressions and behaviors also raise evaluations of a person’s attractiveness. Cultural, cognitive, evolutionary, and overgeneralization explanations have been offered to explain why we find certain people attractive. Whereas the evolutionary explanation predicts that the impressions associated with the halo effect will be accurate, the other explanations do not. Although the research evidence does show some accuracy, it is too weak to satisfactorily account for the positive responses shown to more attractive people.
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suffer from a profound social disability. Social neuroscience is the study of the parts of the brain that support social interactions or the “social brain.” This module provides an overview of ASD and focuses on understanding how social brain dysfunction leads to ASD. Our increasing understanding of the social brain and its dysfunction in ASD will allow us to better identify the genes that cause ASD and will help us to create and pick out treatments to better match individuals. Because social brain systems emerge in infancy, social neuroscience can help us to figure out how to diagnose ASD even before the symptoms of ASD are clearly present. This is a hopeful time because social brain systems remain malleable well into adulthood and thus open to creative new interventions that are informed by state-of-the-art science.
Love is deeply biological. It pervades every aspect of our lives and has inspired countless works of art. Love also has a profound effect on our mental and physical state. A “broken heart” or a failed relationship can have disastrous effects; bereavement disrupts human physiology and may even precipitate death. Without loving relationships, humans fail to flourish, even if all of their other basic needs are met. As such, love is clearly not “just” an emotion; it is a biological process that is both dynamic and bidirectional in several dimensions. Social interactions between individuals, for example, trigger cognitive and physiological processes that influence emotional and mental states. In turn, these changes influence future social interactions. Similarly, the maintenance of loving relationships requires constant feedback through sensory and cognitive systems; the body seeks love and responds constantly to interactions with loved ones or to the absence of such interactions. The evolutionary principles and ancient hormonal and neural systems that support the beneficial and healing effects of loving relationships are described here.
The human brain is responsible for all behaviors, thoughts, and experiences described in this textbook. This module provides an introductory overview of the brain, including some basic neuroanatomy, and brief descriptions of the neuroscience methods used to study it.
Basic principles of learning are always operating and always influencing human behavior. This module discusses the two most fundamental forms of learning -- classical (Pavlovian) and instrumental (operant) conditioning. Through them, we respectively learn to associate 1) stimuli in the environment, or 2) our own behaviors, with significant events, such as rewards and punishments. The two types of learning have been intensively studied because they have powerful effects on behavior, and because they provide methods that allow scientists to analyze learning processes rigorously. This module describes some of the most important things you need to know about classical and instrumental conditioning, and it illustrates some of the many ways they help us understand normal and disordered behavior in humans. The module concludes by introducing the concept of observational learning, which is a form of learning that is largely distinct from classical and operant conditioning.
Because of its ability to determine cause-and-effect relationships, the laboratory experiment is traditionally considered the method of choice for psychological science. One downside, however, is that as it carefully controls conditions and their effects, it can yield findings that are out of touch with reality and have limited use when trying to understand real-world behavior. This module highlights the importance of also conducting research outside the psychology laboratory, within participants’ natural, everyday environments, and reviews existing methodologies for studying daily life.
We often change our attitudes and behaviors to match the attitudes and behaviors of the people around us. One reason for this conformity is a concern about what other people think of us. This process was demonstrated in a classic study in which college students deliberately gave wrong answers to a simple visual judgment task rather than go against the group. Another reason we conform to the norm is because other people often have information we do not, and relying on norms can be a reasonable strategy when we are uncertain about how we are supposed to act. Unfortunately, we frequently misperceive how the typical person acts, which can contribute to problems such as the excessive binge drinking often seen in college students. Obeying orders from an authority figure can sometimes lead to disturbing behavior. This danger was illustrated in a famous study in which participants were instructed to administer painful electric shocks to another person in what they believed to be a learning experiment. Despite vehement protests from the person receiving the shocks, most participants continued the procedure when instructed to do so by the experimenter. The findings raise questions about the power of blind obedience in deplorable situations such as atrocities and genocide. They also raise concerns about the ethical treatment of participants in psychology experiments.
Humans are social animals. This means we work together in groups to achieve goals that benefit everyone. From building skyscrapers to delivering packages to remote island nations, modern life requires that people cooperate with one another. However, people are also motivated by self-interest, which often stands as an obstacle to effective cooperation. This module explores the concept of cooperation and the processes that both help and hinder it.
An idea or solution is considered creative if it is original, useful, and surprising. However, depending on who actually judges these three criteria, we must distinguish personal “little-c creativity” from consensual “Big-C Creativity.” In any case, psychologists who investigate creativity most often adopt one of three perspectives. First, they can ask how creators think, and thus focus on the cognitive processes behind creativity. Second, they can ask who is creative, and hence investigate the personal characteristics of highly creative people. Third, they can ask about the social context, and, thereby, examine the environments that influence creativity. Although psychologists have made major advances in the study of creativity, many exciting and important questions remain to be answered.
Although the most visible elements of culture are dress, cuisine and architecture, culture is a highly psychological phenomenon. Culture is a pattern of meaning for understanding how the world works. This knowledge is shared among a group of people and passed from one generation to the next. This module defines culture, addresses methodological issues, and introduces the idea that culture is a process. Understanding cultural processes can help people get along better with others and be more socially responsible.
How do people’s cultural ideas and practices shape their emotions (and other types of feelings)? In this module, we will discuss findings from studies comparing North American (United States, Canada) and East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) contexts. These studies reveal both cultural similarities and differences in various aspects of emotional life. Throughout, we will highlight the scientific and practical importance of these findings and conclude with recommendations for future research.
This textbook presents core concepts common to introductory courses. The 15 units cover the traditional areas of intro-to-psychology; ranging from biological aspects of psychology to psychological disorders to social psychology. This book can be modified: feel free to add or remove modules to better suit your specific needs.
This book includes a comprehensive instructor's manual, PowerPoint presentations, a test bank, reading anticipation guides, and adaptive student quizzes.
- Material Type:
- Diener Education Fund
- Provider Set:
- Cara Laney
- David M. Buss
- David Watson
- Edward Diener
- Elizabeth F. Loftus
- Emily Hooker
- George Loewenstein
- Henry L. Roediger III
- Jeanne Tsai
- Kathleen B. McDermott
- Mark E. Bouton
- Max H. Bazerman
- Richard E. Lucas
- Robert Siegler
- Robert V. Levine
- Ross Thompson
- Sarah Pressman
- Sudeep Bhatia
- Susan T. Fiske
- Yoshihisa Kashima
- Date Added:
In psychopathology, dissociation happens when thoughts, feelings, and experiences of our consciousness and memory do not collaborate well with each other. This module provides an overview of dissociative disorders, including the definitions of dissociation, its origins and competing theories, and their relation to traumatic experiences and sleep problems.
Our thoughts and behaviors are strongly influenced by affective experiences known as drive states. These drive states motivate us to fulfill goals that are beneficial to our survival and reproduction. This module provides an overview of key drive states, including information about their neurobiology and their psychological effects.
Emotions don’t just feel good or bad, they also contribute crucially to people’s well-being and health. In general, experiencing positive emotions is good for us, whereas experiencing negative emotions is bad for us. However, recent research on emotions and well-being suggests this simple conclusion is incomplete and sometimes even wrong. Taking a closer look at this research, the present module provides a more complex relationship between emotion and well-being. At least three aspects of the emotional experience appear to affect how a given emotion is linked with well-being: the intensity of the emotion experienced, the fluctuation of the emotion experienced, and the context in which the emotion is experienced. While it is generally good to experience more positive emotion and less negative emotion, this is not always the guide to the good life.