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Review: Psychology in a nutshell?

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Introducing Psychological Research 3rd Edition

It’s been 7 years since the last revision of Introducing Psychological Research (Banyard & Grayson) but what has this recent 3rd Edition brought us? They say: “This edition provides full summaries of the most important psychological research studies and includes an expanded section on methodology. The studies have been selected to highlight the major areas of psychology and studies are grouped under headings of social, developmental, cognitive and biological psychology.”

Let’s get inside.

For students studying OCR AS Psychology this is a gem of a book. This book summarises most of the core studies (both current and new specification) concisely – although Savage-Rumbaugh (1986) is surprisingly absent. From start to finish you have psychology in a readable and witty style; talking of highly controlled social psychological studies Phil and Andy say:

“[The studies] are often brilliantly controlled and scientifically rigorous but bear as much resemblance to social interaction as an Oxo cube does to a cow. Such studies can be described as impeccable trivia.”

As well as the core studies, there are also other ‘classic’ (and not-so-classic) studies in psychology which could come in use for coursework, second-year modules, or just general interest to stretch and challenge the more able student. The book covers a good foundation of psychological perspectives from cognitive to comparative, and if that isn’t enough, the chapter on methodology is probably one of the best I have ever read.

The studies in the book are well summarised, although some may be summarised a little too much for an instructor or those students that enjoyed to be stretched (what terminology!), it is well aimed at A Level students. The writing is excellent and keeps the reader well engaged – something many authors can’t do – this book seems to encourage – beckon if you will – the reader to continue to see what’s at the other side. Students (and teachers) will find this a refreshing change from some texts.

Overall a great text that covers all the core studies and highlights the core themes that are all-so-important in OCR Psychology. With the specification change and the new requirements maybe you will need a little more as far as the background and context of the studies go – but now I’m nit picking.

For those of you with little upper body strength this isn’t really a book you would want to carry around all day: it’s a bit of a doorstop coming in at a colossal 592 pages; but really this is the core text for OCR AS Psychology. A superb book. But, what else would you expect from Banyard?

If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself why, and then read a sample chapter of the book here.

The book is available now from Amazon or direct from Palgrave Publishers at £22.99.

This was an unsponsored article (although I did get a review copy of the book – thanks Phil). If you would like me to review something of yours (website, book, DVD, holiday home in Spain) then do get in touch.

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