Cover image for A dictionary of psychology
A dictionary of psychology
Colman, Andrew M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xiv, 844 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clarence Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Clearfield Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Hamburg Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Kenilworth Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Marilla Free Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Frank E. Merriweather Library BF31 .C65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

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From amnesia to Freudian, aggression to unconscious, this new work is an authoritative and accessible guide to psychology. Ideal for students of psychology and professional psychologists, as well as the general reader, it contains 12,000 entries and provides clear and concise definitions of awide range of terms and concepts in psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. -- Distinguished team of consultant editors -- Wide coverage of topics, including sensation and perception, cognition, learning and skills, mental disorders, research methods and statistics -- 75 illustrations

Author Notes

Andrew Colman is Reader in Psychology at the University of Leicester.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In recent years, a number of dictionaries of psychology have been published, among them David Statt's The Concise Dictionary of Psychology (3d ed., Routledge, 1998), Raymond J. Corsini's Dictionary of Psychology (Brunner/Mazel, 1999), Arthur Reber's Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (3d ed., Penguin, 2001), and Jon Roeckelein's Dictionary of Theories, Laws, and Concepts in Psychology (Greenwood, 1998). This latest addition carves a spot for itself by increasing coverage of the technical terminology of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, and statistics, not always covered in previous psychological dictionaries. It also continues the traditions of earlier psychology dictionaries in covering the more widely used terms. Entries include parts of speech, numbered senses (with the sense that is most common in psychology literature appearing first), synonyms, alternate forms, and cross-references. Etymological or word origin information is provided for many terms. When a term was coined by an individual or originated with a person's name (Weber's law, Purkinje cell), the individual's birth and death dates are noted. British spellings are employed. Physically, this is an attractive and comfortable dictionary to use. Even with 10,500 entries, or an average of 11 and one-half per page, the pages do not appear crowded. Dictionary entries are followed by two appendixes. The 20-page "Phobias and Phobic Stimuli" lists phobias by their technical names, noting their stimuli and etymologies, and also lists stimuli (ageing, spiders) for those unsure of the technical terms. Appendix 2 defines 700 abbreviations and symbols. The list of principal sources is more than three pages long and includes subject dictionaries, companion volumes, research methods, statistics, subject encyclopedias, and more. This list in itself would be useful as a benchmark against which a research library might judge its reference collection in psychology and related areas. This dictionary is a required addition to larger public and academic libraries where users seek information in the social, biological, and medical sciences. It is both classic and futurist, bringing together theory and practice and physical, emotional, and historical concepts used within the widening scope of psychology. It is a great value for the price and would also be a welcome addition to any social scientist's personal library.

Library Journal Review

Joined by a distinguished group of advisory editors, prolific author and editor Colman (psychology, Univ. of Leicester, U.K.) offers more than 10,500 definitions of terms in psychology. The entries range from neuroanatomy and psychoanalysis to statistics and pharmacology, and they often cover etymology and history as well as language. Weighty in substance, the work is nevertheless manageable; Colman uses words with grace and economy, offering many entries (e.g., trademark drug names and their chemical names) of only a sentence or two. Longer entries, e.g., "Blood-Brain Barrier," "Rorschach Test" (with Leonardo da Vinci as forerunner!), "Love," and "False Memory," are more explanatory. Cross references are handled effectively; for example, users will find that "Onanism" is another name for "Coitus Interruptus" or (less correctly) "Masturbation." Browsers will find much food for thought and some intellectual treats, like "Monty Hall Problem" (made famous by Marilyn vos Savant's Parade column) and the difference between animal magnetism and hypnosis. Eager to teach and entertain, Colman offers a list of do-it-yourself demonstrations in the preface. Comprehensive, sound, readable, and up-to-date, this is probably the best single-volume dictionary of its kind. A visit to the American Psychiatric Association's library revealed that it is also the newest such work in many years. Essential wherever psychology matters. E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Originally published five years ago and now considerably revised, this work defines the most common as well as the most important issues facing psychology today. Expanded by well over 400 entries and reflecting the most current scholarship, the work now boasts over 11,000 cross-referenced entries, covering everything from anxiety and cognitive impairment to hypolexia (another name for dyslexia) and postpartum depression. The entries are concise, not stretching beyond a full paragraph at best, but most general readers will find here what they need. For professionals and students of psychology, this is a good place to start their research. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Choice Review

If it can stave off competition from Raymond J. Corsini's excellent Dictionary of Psychology (1999), Colman's Dictionary is poised to become a standard reference work. The 10,500 entries range in length from one sentence to half a column. They are "as simple as possible, but no simpler than that"; Colman believes that other psychology dictionaries provide "superficial coverage" of many terms. The vocabulary covers basic psychology and psychiatry, along with psychoanalysis, psychopharmacology, and neurophysiology, which all inform psychological theory and practice. Colman is particularly good at differentiating between closely related concepts, e.g., "anorexia/anorexia nervosa" and "postpartum blues/postpartum depression." The excellent cross-referencing consists of copious see also references, and terms within definitions that have their own entries elsewhere in the dictionary are marked with asterisks. Many entries include a brief etymology, which enhances the definition. The two useful appendixes list phobias and phobic stimuli and abbreviations and symbols. A list of over 125 principal sources appears at the end of the book. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries, especially given its low price. M. M. Adams Swarthmore College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Advisory Editorsp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Illustration Acknowledgementsp. xii
Layout of Entriesp. xiii
Greek Alphabetp. xv
The Dictionaryp. 1
Appendix I Phobias and phobic stimulip. 804
Appendix II Abbreviations and symbolsp. 825
Principal sourcesp. 841

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