Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century, 11 edition

Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century, 11 edition

Author: Wayne Weiten and Dana S. Dunn

Publisher: Cengage Learning


Publish Date: January 1, 2014

ISBN-10: 1285459954

Pages: 672

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Many students enter adjustment courses with great expectations. They’ve ambled through their local bookstores, and inthe “Psychology” section they’ve seen numerous  self-help books that offer highly touted recipes for achieving happiness for a mere $15.95. After paying far more money to enroll in a college course that deals with the same issues as the self-help books, many students expect a revelatory experience.

However, the majority of us with professional training in psychology or counseling take a rather dim view of selfhelp books and the pop psychology they represent. Psychologists tend to see this literature as oversimplified, intellectually dishonest, and opportunistic and often summarily dismiss the pop psychology that so many students have embraced. Instructors try to supplant pop psychology with more sophisticated academic psychology based on current scholarship, which is more complex and less accessible.

In this textbook, we have tried to come to grips with the problem of differing expectations between student and teacher. Our goal has been to produce a comprehensive, serious, research-oriented treatment of the topic of adjustment that also acknowledges the existence of popular psychology and looks critically at its contributions. Our approach involves the following:

● In Chapter 1 we confront the phenomenon of popular self-help books. We take students beneath the seductive surface of such books and analyze some of their typical flaws. Our goal is to make students more critical consumers of this type of literature by encouraging them to focus on substance, not on trendy claims.

● While encouraging a more critical attitude toward self-help books, we do not suggest that all should be dismissed. Instead, we acknowledge that some of them offer authentic insights. With this in mind, we highlight some of the better books in this genre in Recommended Reading boxes sprinkled throughout the text. These recommended books tie in with the adjacent topical coverage and show the student the interface between academic and popular psychology. Additional Recommended Reading boxes can be found in the CourseMate for this text (www

● We try to provide the student with a better appreciation of the merits of the empirical approach to understanding behavior. This effort to clarify the role of research, which is rare for an adjustment text, appears in the first chapter.

● Recognizing that adjustment students want to leave the course with concrete, personally useful information, we end each chapter with an application section. The Applications are “how to” discussions that address everyday problems students encounter. While they focus on issues that are relevant to the content of the particular chapter, they contain more explicit advice than the text proper.


1 Adjusting to Modern Life 1
Application: Improving academic performance 22
2 Theories of Personality 30
Application: Assessing Your personality 61
3 Stress and Its Effects 66
application: reducing stress through self-control 91
4 Coping Processes 98
APPLICATION : Using Time more effectively 120
5 Psychology and Physical Health 128
APPLICATION : understanding the effects of drugs  157
6 The Self 166
APPLICATION : Building Self-esteem 194
7 Social Thinking and Social Influence 198
APPLICATION : seeing through compliance tactics  225
8 Interpersonal Communication 230
APPLICATION : developing an assertive communication style 256
9 Friendship and Love 262
APPLICATION : overcoming loneliness  285
10 Marriage and Intimate Relationships 292
APPLICATION : understanding intimate partner violence 316
11 Gender and Behavior 322
APPLICATION : understanding mixed-gender communication 346
12 Development and Expression of Sexuality 352
APPLICATION : enhancing sexual relationships  379
13 Careers and Work 386
APPLICATION : getting ahead in the job game 413
14 Psychological Disorders 420
APPLICATION : understanding eating disorders  447
15 Psychotherapy 452
APPLICATION : looking for a therapist 478
16 Positive Psychology 484
APPLICATION : boosting your own happiness  508

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