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Essential Psychology

Essential Psychology

Second Edition
Edited by:
Experience with SAGE edge

January 2015 | 600 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Essential Psychology returns for a second edition with a vivid narrative writing style for undergraduates, features designed to stimulate critical thinking and inspire students to learn independently, and an expanded companion website full of useful 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 2nd 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
  • Comes with a SAGE edge companion website with a suite of resources to enhance the learning experience (
PART I: The Foundations of Modern Psychology: What We Know About Human Beings
Chapter 1: Once Upon a Time...The Evolution of Human Behaviour
Chapter 2: How Psychology Became a Science
Chapter 3: Issues and Debates in Psychology
Chapter 4: Doing Psychological Research
PART II: Cognitive Psychology: How We Think and Make Sense of the World
Chapter 5: Memory
Chapter 6: An Introduction to Sensation, Perception and Attention
Chapter 7: Thinking and Problem Solving
Chapter 8: Language
PART III: Biological Psychology: How Our Brains Affect Our Behaviour
Chapter 9: The Human Nervous System: Functional Anatomy
Chapter 10: Communication within the Brain
Chapter 11: Brain and Behaviour: Sex Differences
Chapter 12: Motivation and Emotion
PART IV: Social Psychology: How We Interact with Each Other
Chapter 13: Behaviour within Groups
Chapter 14: Behaviour between Groups
Chapter 15: Social Judgements and Behaviour
Chapter 16: Critical Social Psychology
PART V: Developmental Psychology: How We Grow and Change
Chapter 17: Development during the Early Years
Chapter 18: Development during the School Years
Chapter 19: Atypical Child Development
Chapter 20: Adolescence, Adulthood and Ageing
PART VI: The Psychology of Individual Differences: How We Know and Measure Our Individuality
Chapter 21: Personality
Chapter 22: Intelligence: Measuring the Mind
Chapter 23: Self
PART VII: Applied Psychology: How We Use Psychology
Chapter 24: Psychopathology: Theories and Causes
Chapter 25: Psychological Interventions
Chapter 26: Health Psychology
Chapter 27: Forensic Psychology


Companion website

This textbook comes with SAGE Edge ( which offers a range of open access online tools and resources that lecturers can use to help integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students, and which students can use to reinforce knowledge retention and check progress throughout their course.

For Students it provides a personalised approach to help accomplish coursework goals in an easy-to-use environment and features:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards which strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow you to assess your understanding of course material
  • Links to online videos that offer a new perspective and an alternative learning style
  • An online action plan which allow you to individualise your learning experience
  • Summaries and learning objectives for each chapter that reinforce the most important material

For Instructors it supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. Instructor resources for this book include:

  • Testbanks including 25 multiple choice and 3 short answer questions per chapter
  • PowerPoint slides for each chapter that can be edited for use in teaching

This text provides an excellent introduction to what is essential in psychology. Its breadth of coverage and easily accessible style of presenting key findings and concepts will make it attractive to students setting out on their psychology studies.

Chris McVittie
Queen Margaret University

This is an enjoyable and clearly written undergraduate introductory book, with a wide coverage of fundamental and applied psychology topics. Great resource for students and lecturers alike!

Minna Lyons
University of Liverpool

A very well written, easy to read text book for mature students returning to study who have no prior knowledge of psychology. I strongly recommend this book

Mrs Michele Ponting
Access to Higher Education, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
October 3, 2017

Very good text book. Love how the book is split into sections looking at different aspects of psychology. Relevant case studies relating to each topic. Excellent use of exercise at the end of topic, as well as providing answers to enable understanding and rationale.

Mrs Sunita Hensman
Health Education and Care Department, West Herts College
January 16, 2017

Good reference book for linking psychology with physiological processes and development of the individual, considering health. Consideration given to learning styles and the use of exercises throughout the book.

Mr Alan Keyte
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of The West of England
October 25, 2016

This features among the top five titles I recommend to students following my lecture series on cognitive development and thinking skills delivered to PGCE students. It is very accessible and provides an excellent entry point into this important discipline for ITT students.

Mr John Backwell
Design Department, Goldsmiths College
September 22, 2016

This is a well written book that provides a well written historical and contextual understanding of contemporary psychology. It is very in-depth and explains a range of theories that have developed and contributed to modern psychology. In addition the text is not only comprehensive, but written in very accessible language that makes it particularly suitable for both undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Mrs Criona Madeline Blackburne
Early years Department, Portobello Institute
September 11, 2016

very interesting book, good clear understanding of psychology written in an informative relaxed way.
Very useful as a supportive book for a range of topics

Mrs Laura Castles
Management, Torfaen Training
July 12, 2016

Excellent primer for the period before starting your degree in psychology

Dr Melanie Mitchell
Psychology (Coach Lane), Northumbria University
July 7, 2016

A clearly written introduction to Psychology set at an appropriate level for adult returning learners and containing a lot of relevant material.

Mrs Liz Hall
Psychology , Petroc
June 20, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 24: Psychopathology

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For instructors

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ISBN: 9781446274828

ISBN: 9781446274811