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  Heartfelt  Acknowledgments

 

        For the Student:
 

     To meet the needs of students, I have continued in the Second Edition of this text to write in an accessible, readable style that helps them process information. Having taught biological psychology to students majoring in majors spanning the sciences to the liberal arts, I know where students stumble in this material, and those are the places where I slow down and provide the steps students need to understand a point. By “steps” I mean sequential ideas that build one upon the other. That is the way we learn. I learned about learning when I graduated from high school. Before I could drive my graduation  gift, a new (used) car, my Dad opened the hood and pointed to things—that’s the carburetor, that’s the timing belt, those are the plugs, this here’s your battery . . . Got it? Sure Dad, got it. But  when the car ran out of oil and broke down, Dad blamed himself. He realized that he had named all  the parts to me but had never explained how they worked.

     After Dad’s second lesson, I took better care of my car and later in life I always taught my children how things worked before they used them. And that is the approach I take to teaching biological psychology. The
“how things work” approach is supported by photos and carefully constructed illustrations, all  of which are designed to both instruct and grab interest.

     Speaking of interest, the other reason Dad’s second lesson was more effective than the first was that breaking down in traffic on the Interstate motivated me to learn how a car works. Although most faculty  find biological psychology intrinsically fascinating, I make an extra effort to make topics such as  classical conditioning in the sea slug compelling to the average college sophomore. Each chapter  of this book is filled with catchy, real-life examples to help keep students motivated to learn the material. As I wrote, I paused here and there to address the questions, “Why do we (as a society) need to know this?” and “What can you (students) do with this information?” New Directions boxed features connect chapter content to current events, controversies, or other realworld issues, such as the possibility of using imaging technologies to “read” minds and the use of virtual reality for rehabilitation following brain injury. In Why Does This Matter? features, readers will find connections to more  directly interesting information, such as the hazards of designer drugs and why little girls like pink. Occassionally in the margin, a pithy quotation from a well-known person in history, science, or the arts (e.g., Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. –Dalai Lama) lightens the moment.

     Student-focused pedagogy is another essential element of this text. Like architect  Frank Lloyd Wright, who argued that “form follows function,” I worked to make the form of each chapter fit its teaching function. A chapter outline and learning objectives are placed clearly at the beginning of each chapter. Words that are new to a college sophomore’s vocabulary are defined  in the margins, along with pronunciation guides for difficult words. My foreign readers have found this feature especially helpful.

     Chapter content is reviewed at two or three points within each chapter in Interim Summaries that include key points correlated to the learning objectives, review tables, that present important information visually, and open-ended review questions. Finally, a Chapter Review brings it all together for the student with open-ended thought questions, that could form the basis of term  papers, class discussions, or projects, and an alphabetized list of the key terms  (with page references) of the chapter.

mmFinally, I hope I have added another “f ” to Wright’s form and function—fun! Students work very hard  to master the concepts in biological psychology, and they need a payoff. Learning about puffer fish (fugu) poisoning and brain worms (yes, they really do exist) lightens an otherwise daunting task.

Student Ancillaries

     The Study Guide for the text provides expanded chapter outlines correlated to learning objectives from the text, as well as additional self-quizzing materials not found on the student web site . New to the Second Edition of  the Study Guide are coloring and labeling exercises based on the art in the text.

     A comprehensive Student Web Site incorporates animation-based tutorials along with self-quizzing, vocabulary review, and other study tools. 

 

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      By the way, always feel free to contact me with any requests , comments, suggestions and I'll do what I  can to help!

Laura

laura@laurafreberg.com

 

 

 

 

 

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