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Psychology in Social Context: Issues and Debates

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6823-6
296 pages
May 2011, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Psychology in Social Context: Issues and Debates (1405168234) cover image
Psychology in Social Context: Issues and Debates provides a critical perspective on debates and controversies that have divided opinion within psychology both past and present. 
  • Explores the history of psychology through examples of classic and contemporary debates that have split the discipline and sparked change, including race and IQ, psychology and gender, ethical issues in psychology, parapsychology and the nature-nurture debate
  • Represents a unique approach to studying the nature of psychology by combining historical controversies with contemporary debates within the discipline
  • Sets out a clear view of psychology as a reflexive human science, embedded in and shaped by particular socio-historical contexts
  • Written in an accessible style using a range of pedagogical features - such as set learning outcomes, self-test questions, and further reading suggestions at the end of each chapter 
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About the Authors.

Preface.

1 The Nature of Psychology.

2 Psychology and Society.

3 Psychology, Intelligence, and IQ.

4 Psychology and Race.

5 Psychology and Women.

6 Beyond Nature Versus Nurture.

7 Psychology in Service to the State.

8 Ethical Standards in Psychology.

9 Personality and Personality Tests.

10 Psychology and Mental Health.

11 Freud and Psychology.

12 Parapsychology.

13 Psychology in Everyday Life.

14 Further Issues in Psychology.

15 Psychology at Issue?

Selected Glossary.

References.

Index.

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Philip John Tyson is Director of Studies for Biological and Behavioural Sciences in the Department of Natural and Social Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire. He has a special interest in mental health, neuropsychology and critical psychology. 

Dai Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Gloucestershire. His interests include psychology in a social context, everyday psychology, and connectionist approaches to cognition. 

Jonathan Elcock is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire. His current research interests include historical and conceptual issues in psychology, and how psychology interacts with social class.

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More details to follow.
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"These issues aside, this is a compelling and wide-ranging book that encourages the reader to look for the moral values and cultural assumptions at the heart of the apparently unbiased science that is psychology." (The Psychologist, 1 November 2011)

"Presenting important ideas about the ways that psychologists view the knowledge they generate, this book would be a good companion to a textbook based on the conventional hypothetical-deductive model of research. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty." (Choice, 1 October 2011)

Psychology in Social Context is a book that should be compulsory reading for all psychology undergraduates. However you define psychology, it is a discipline that is rooted in a social context with traditional underlying philosophical assumptions about how behaviour should be defined and explained. This book brings these important and much overlooked issues to life and will challenge students to think more deeply about many of the features of their psychology courses that both they – and their teachers – often take for granted.
Graham C.L. Davey, Professor of Psychology, University of Sussex, UK

I wish Psychology in Social Context: Issues and Debates had been available long ago. This thought-provoking book is a useful corrective to traditional texts that, with little regard for psychology’s sociopolitical context, misrepresent the discipline's conventional ways of doing things as inexorably leading in positive directions. But rather than reject psychology as hopelessly irredeemable, Psychology in Social Context offers a constructive overview of the bottom line: students who understand psychology's historical and cultural trajectory can think more critically about the field's mainstream norms, learning to sort out when traditional approaches might be merely habitual rather than appropriate and useful, and when alternatives might make more sense. The book’s clear and engaging descriptions of controversial issues will generate animated classroom discussion in traditional introductory or social psychology courses as well as in critical psychology.
Dennis Fox, Emeritus Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Psychology, University of Illinois, USA

Informed by the latest conceptual and historical scholarship, Psychology in Social Context: Issues and Debates is an astute examination of a clutch of problems and controversies that derive from the recognition that Psychology is saturated with ethical values, social ambitions and political agendas. This radical yet accessible text has the potential to inspire an entire generation of psychologists into rethinking the processes they employ to develop practice and generate knowledge.
Geoff Bunn, Chair, BPS History & Philosophy of Psychology Section, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

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