- Paperback: 736 pages
- Publisher: Worth Publishers; 8th edition edition (25 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1464102864
- ISBN-13: 978-1464102868
- Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2.5 x 27.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Abnormal Psychology: International Edition Paperback – 25 Jun 2012
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A balanced, authoritative and objective portrait of the field today, encompassing all major theoretical models of abnormality, research directions, clinical expectations, therapies and controversies
About the Author
RONALD J. COMER is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Princeton University, USA. He is also a Practicing Clinical Psychologist and serves as a Consultant to the Eden Institute for Persons with Autism, USA, to hospitals, and to family practice residency programs throughout New Jersey.
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The textbook came quicker than expected and in excellent condition. I would recommend this seller.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I ordered the loose leaf version since it was less expensive, not sure if I would like it, and it's turned out that I prefer this setup. I can remove a chapter or a few pages and hold them to read - much more comfortable and portable than handling the whole book all the time. I hope other texts are available in this format!
(1) Despite decades of well conducted research on attachment theory, Comer relegates discussion of psychodynamic theory to Freudian theory--essentially holding up a straw man (perhaps so he can disparage the approach?). It's like holding up the Wright Brothers in teaching a course on aerodynamics and ignoring all the progress since their time. I've had to add readings and discussion of attachment theory throughout, and have told students to skip over much of Comer's discussion of Freud. Not inaccurate, just not especially relevant today.
(2) Comer cherry picks the research findings. Sure, there's good evidence for the efficacy of CBT interventions, but there have also been at least 3 metanalyses showing a lack of differential treatment effectiveness among the major approaches. Where's that discussion, to balance out the presentation? And again, why present drive theory approaches to treatment as representative of psychodynamic thinking? Students are ill served by that sort of biased approach.
(3) Comer has an annoying habit of presenting very detailed findings from various biochemical studies on the disorders he presents, then saying something like, "More recent studies contract the other research, and we really don't know the truth at this point." If that's so, then for undergraduates, it may not be worth going into such great detail about biochemical and brain-related findings that lack consistent support in the literature.
(4) Finally, it's okay to moralize, but not to disguise moralizing as an unbiased presentation of science. This happens on various occasions, such as the "Psych Watch" box on Ecstasy. He warns against the drug, loading the discussion with cautions about all the potentially harmful side effects; yet, little mention is made of its therapeutic benefits for treating PTSD, or other experimental therapeutic uses (e.g., in end of life care). There's also little evidence that moderate use is associated with the perils he warns students against, and it simply comes across as a conservative scolding to undergrads who might want to experiment.
Comer's certainly not a bad writer, and he's covered a lot of the key topics I'd want in an Abnormal text. But his oversight of attachment theory and its strong body of research germane to psychopathology, and overloading of microscopic details on biomedical side, and his cherry picking of findings regarding treatment efficacy have convinced me to look for a different textbook in the future and to recommend likewise to colleagues.
Ken Miller, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology