READABILITY through better explanations

 

Delivering Complex Content to Contemporary Learners

We were delighted to see that our first edition was embraced by faculty working with students representing a wide range of preparation, from the community colleges to the elite, private universities, as well as by international faculty teaching students with first languages other than English. Our teaching philosophy rejects the common construct of textbook “level.” Instead, we believe that all students can master complex content if it is presented in the right way.

Student-Friendly Writing and Pedagogy

Our goal in writing this textbook is to provide students with the best science possible, which means that we do not avoid complex topics or dumb down the material. To make psychological science accessible to a wide range of students, we rely on a student-friendly writing style with supportive pedagogy. We break chapters into meaningful chunks, and we use thumbnail images of chapter photos and figures in our summary tables as a mnemonic device students can use to recall where they read about a topic. Margin definitions and carefully selected key terms help the students focus their learning.

One of our reviewers had this to say about the first chapter of our textbook, which can be one of the most difficult to write: “I am impressed with the History of Psychology chapter in Cacioppo/Freberg. The figures, timeline, interesting AND relevant pictures, and examples throughout the text are fantastic and engaging. It is one of the best history/intro chapters I’ve read.” This reviewer also noticed another one of our goals—to use all photos and figures as teachable moments, not just repetitions of the narrative or pretty placeholders.