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Essential Psychology

Essential Psychology

Third Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

May 2019 | 856 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The third edition of Essential Psychology provides a thorough introduction for students and anyone who wishes to gain a strong overview of the field. This team of authors provide a student-friendly guide to Psychology, with a vivid narrative writing style, features designed to stimulate critical thinking and inspire students to learn independently, and online resources for lecturers and students. This comprehensive introductory text is relevant for both the specialist and non-specialist psychology student, challenging those who studied psychology before university while remaining accessible to those who did not.

The third edition:

- Gives students a firm foundation in all areas covered on accredited British Psychological Society degree courses

- Includes new chapters on psychopathology, research methods, language, motivation and emotion, lifespan development, health psychology, forensic psychology and critical social psychology

- Relates theory to the real world to help students think about where they will employ their degree after undergraduate study



PART I: The Foundations of Modern Psychology: What We Know About Human Beings
James Stiller and Philip Banyard
Chapter 1: Once Upon a Time...The Evolution of Human Behaviour
Sarah Buglass, Lydia Harkin, Peter Macaulay, Luke Vinter and Rosie Daly
Chapter 2: How Psychology Became a Science
Philip Banyard, Darren Rhodes, David Crundall, Mark Griffiths, Sarah Seymour-Smith and Belinda Winder
Chapter 3: Doing Psychological Research
Mark Andrews and Lucy Justice
Chapter 4: The Replication Crisis
PART II: Cognitive Psychology: How We Think and Make Sense of the World
Thom Baguley, Harriet Smith, Lucy Justice and Duncan Guest
Chapter 5: Memory
Andrew K. Dunn, Paula C. Stacey and Kate Roberts
Chapter 6: An Introduction to Sensation, Perception and Attention
Andrew MacKenzie and Philip Banyard
Chapter 7: Learning
Gary Jones, Georgina Gous, Mark J.T. Sergeant and Antonio Castro
Chapter 8: Thinking and Problem Solving
Jens Roeser and Clare Wood
Chapter 9: Language and Literacy
PART III: Biological Psychology: How Our Brains Affect Our Behaviour
Antonio Castro, Gary Jones and Mark J.T. Sergeant
Chapter 10: The Human Nervous System: Functional Anatomy
Lucy Webster and Christine Norman
Chapter 11: Communication within the Brain
Mark J.T. Sergeant and Antonio Castro
Chapter 12: Brain and Behaviour: Sex Differences
Sebastiano Costa, Joshua Baker, Preethi Premkumar and Pancy Poon
Chapter 13: Motivation and Emotion
PART IV: Social Psychology: How We Interact with Each Other
Mhairi Bowe and Juliet Wakefield
Chapter 14: Behaviour within Groups
Juliet Wakefield and Mhairi Bowe
Chapter 15: Behaviour between Groups
Sebastian Teicher and Maria Kontogianni
Chapter 16: Social Judgements and Behaviour
PART V: Developmental Psychology: How We Grow and Change
Lucy Betts, James Stiller, Rebecca Larkin, Gareth Williams and Kate Ellis-Davies
Chapter 17: Development during the Early Years
James Stiller, Lucy Betts, Rebecca Larkin and Gareth Williams
Chapter 18: Development during the School Years
Lai Sang Iao, Matthew Belmonte, Gayle Dillon, Andrew Grayson and Susannah Lamb
Chapter 19: Atypical Child Development
Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Rebecca Stack, Suvo Mitra and Louise A. Brown Nicholls
Chapter 20: Adulthood to Ageing
PART VI: The Psychology of Individual Differences: How We Know and Measure Our Individuality
David J. Wilde, Nadja Heym, Glenn A. Williams and Loren Abell
Chapter 21: Personality
Eva Sundin, Sarah McDonald and Philip Banyard
Chapter 22: Intelligence: Measuring the Mind
Jill Arnold, Ben Oldfield and Filipa Dascostaricocalad
Chapter 23: Self
PART VII: Applied Psychology: How We Use Psychology
Sarah McDonald, Palwinder Athwal-Kooner and Karen Slade
Chapter 24: Mental Health, Mental Illness and Psychopathology
Karen Slade, Palwinder Athwal-Kooner and Sarah McDonald
Chapter 25: Psychological Interventions
Rebecca Stack, Mike Rennoldson, Prrethi Premkumar and Eva Sundin
Chapter 26: Health Psychology
Rebecca Lievesley, Sebastian Teicher and Lorraine Smith
Chapter 27: Forensic Psychology


Click for online resources

For Students:

  • Over 30 videos explaining key concepts in psychology with questions to test your understanding!
  • Chapter Summaries 
  • Learning Objectives
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Practice Quizzes
  • Flashcards

For Instructors:

  • PowerPoint Slides

My favourite core psychology textbook is now even better. It is fresh and contemporary yet mindful of historical and critical issues that continue to shape how psychology is understood and practiced. Nobody embarking on their undergraduate psychology journey could wish for a trustier companion.

Dr Andrew Hart
University of Bradford

Essential Psychology is the perfect companion for those wishing to develop their understanding of psychology. The material is very clearly laid out and students will find it interesting to read. Each chapter has discussion questions for students to explore and suggestions for further reading.

Frank Carter, Lecturer
South Eastern Regional College - SERC

I particularly like the active learning approach. The exercises help students to link their own experiences to the topics, providing an excellent framework for class discussions. The definitions of technical language and chapter summaries equip students with the tools to apply theoretical knowledge to everyday situations.



Michele Ponting, Access and Accreditation Manager
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy

I particularly like the active learning approach. The exercises help students to link their own experiences to the topics, providing an excellent framework for class discussions. The definitions of technical language and chapter summaries equip students with the tools to apply theoretical knowledge to everyday situations.



Michele Ponting, Access and Accreditation Manager
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy

As suggested by the title, this text captures the essential subject areas needed for student studies. I found it easy to read through, as it is written in plain language, without an overload of jargon. I was particularly interested in Chapter 24 on the application to mental health, as this is my specialism. 

Neil Robdale
Wrexham Glyndwr University

This is a very informative and up-to-date textbook. The authors make the complex concepts become a lot easier to digest.  This book is great for those who want to grasp fundamental knowledge in the field of contemporary Psychology.

Miss Jaruwan Sakulku
Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology

This book is accessible, but comprehensive, and should give undergraduate psychology students a good deal of value beyond first year. The later Applied chapters are especially welcome.

Dr Paul Mulcahy
Psychology, University of Limerick
December 5, 2019

Really good textbook for use across the first year psychology degree

Mrs Kirstie Turner
UCO, University Campus Oldham
June 27, 2019

A great text which is very easy to access for students. It covers the fundamentals of what they need to in a way which will increase their confidence, especially for students with little/no prior knowledge of psychology.

Mrs Stephanie Fry
Social Science, Petroc College
June 18, 2019

This is an excellent written book which captures as the title suggests the essential elements of psychology. It is an excellent text for those who are just commencing their study in psychology. It is easily accessible and broken into key chapters from the introduction to modern psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology. Its key strength is that each chapter opens with an outline and framing questions, to focus the students, key researchers are highlighted, suggestions to clarify and extend learning, chapter summaries and web links

Mrs Criona Blackburne
Early years Department, Portobello Institute
April 26, 2019

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ISBN: 9781526456854

ISBN: 9781526456847