Introduction to Psychology, with Psych. of Religion

An announcement from Doug Krull, posted with his permission:

I'm writing an introductory psychology text and the publisher with whom I've been talking would like me to identify some likely adopters to reduce the risk of launching a new textbook. I have emailed a number of colleagues and have found some who are interested, but because I hope to include a psychology of religion chapter I thought that some members of division 36 might be interested as well.

I would be happy to share any of the chapters I've completed (Intro/Methods, Biopsychology, Perception, Cognition, Learning, Motivation/Emotion, Personality, Health), but if you can spare a few minutes, I'd like to describe my approach briefly.

1. Perhaps the most obvious feature is that I have a playful writing style. I think science should be fun and I think this fosters learning. As one outstanding student commented to me, "What good is a textbook if students don't read it?" I hope to encourage textbook reading by adding a dose of goofiness here and there.

2. Pedagogy
A. I try to use good examples. I suppose all textbook writers do, but I think this is one of my strong points.
B. Greater depth. I think students can handle more content, especially if it's interesting and/or important (e.g., genes and
Huntington's disease, classical conditioning and drug tolerance, Own Race Bias, conditional reasoning, Theory of Planned Behavior).
C. Short sections within chapters. I think both chapters and modules are too long. I prefer short sections followed by review questions within traditional chapters.
D. Critical thinking. I try to emphasize it throughout the text.

3. Psychology of Religion chapter. As you know well, psychology of religion is growing in popularity (e.g., new division 36 APA journal, special issues in Journal of Clinical Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin) and it makes a good capstone for intro psych because it has many of the same topics (e.g., methods, biopsychology, development, health, social).

4. Different perspective on controversial issues. I realize that many of you will disagree with me on this, but I want to be open about my goals. This aspect comes up rarely because most topics in psychology are not controversial (e.g., experiments, agonists, color vision, shaping, object permanence, Diathesis-Stress Model). However, I think that most intro psychology texts have secular Humanist overtones in certain areas, which doesn¹t thrill me. So, to illustrate, I don't refer to humans as animals or
say that sex outside of marriage is ok. I do point out factors that protect against teen sexual behavior and research that suggests that cohabitation is accompanied by many negative characteristics.

Perhaps I should also mention that they are tending toward an etext. Although personally I prefer to hold books in my hands, it seems like the way of the future.

If you think you might possibly be interested or if you would like more information or would like to see a sample chapter, please contact me off-list by email or phone. Either way, thanks very much for your consideration and best wishes.

Doug Krull
(859) 572-6653
Department of Psychological Science
Northern Kentucky University

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