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Sternberg & Funke (Eds): Psychology of Human Thought

Together with Robert Sternberg (Cornell University), I have edited a textbook with the title “Psychology of Human Thought: An Introduction”, published by Heidelberg University Publishing. Besides many other strong points, it has one revolutionary feature: It is an “open access” collection of peer-reviewed chapters from all areas of higher cognitive processes. So, you could download isolated chapters or the whole book (=399 pages) as a PDF for free! For small money, there is also an option to get a printed copy (book-on-demand) via Amazon.

This is revolutionary because nowadays, textbooks can become really expensive! A report 5 years ago documented the enormous increase in yearly costs for textbooks (around 1200 Dollar per year per student at an American university). What do you expect are the prices now in 2019? Open Educational Resources (OER) are growing (see the video from Rajiv Jhangiani, Canada), we will be part of this movement.

The book is intended to be used as a textbook in courses on higher processes, complex cognition, human thought, and related courses. Chapters include concept acquisition, knowledge representation, inductive and deductive reasoning, problem solving, metacognition, language, expertise, intelligence, creativity, wisdom, development of thought, affect and thought, culture, and sections about history and about methods. The chapters are written by distinguished scholarly experts in their respective fields, coming from such diverse regions as North America, Great Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Israel, and Australia. The level of the chapters is addressed to advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.

Here is the complete list of chapters, together with their authors:

  1. The Psychology of Human Thought: Introduction (Robert J. Sternberg & Joachim Funke)
  2. History of the Field of the Psychology of Human Thought (Robert J. Sternberg)
  3. Methods for Studying Human Thought (Arndt Bröder)
  4. Concepts: Structure and Acquisition (Kimery R. Levering & Kenneth Kurtz)
  5. Knowledge Representation and Acquisition (Art Graesser, Anne M. Lippert, & Keith T. Shubeck)
  6. Metacognition: Monitoring and Controlling One’s Own Knowledge, Reasoning and Decisions (Klaus Fiedler, Rakefet Ackerman, & Chiara Scarampi)
  7. Deductive Reasoning (Jonathan St. B. T. Evans)
  8. Inductive Reasoning (Janet E. Davidson)
  9. Problem Solving (Joachim Funke)
  10. Decision Making (Julia Nolte, David Garavito & Valerie Reyna)
  11. Nature of Language (Lisa von Stockhausen & Joachim Funke)
  12. Language and Thought (Andrea Bender)
  13. Expertise (David Z. Hambrick)
  14. Intelligence (Oliver Wilhelm & Ulrich Schroeders)
  15. Creativity (Todd Lubart & Branden Thornhill-Miller)
  16. Wisdom (Judith Glück)
  17. Development of Human Thought (Kathleen M. Galotti)
  18. Affect and Thought: The Relationship between Feeling and Thinking (Joseph Forgas)
  19. Culture and Thought (Mary Gauvain)

We are keen to learn how our colleagues adopt this non-commercial textbook all over the world, how students perceive the level of difficulty, how the download figures develop over time.

If you compare our new edition with the old one from Sternberg and Smith (1988, more than 30 years ago), you will see the progress that has been made in the psychology of human thought. We are proud to have documented this progress for the next generation.

Thanks to Heidelberg University Publishing to give us the chance for such a project! And thanks to the contributors who did not insist on royalties for their work! And thanks to Julia Karl who did a wonderful job as copyeditor for this book!

see our book at the publisher HeiUP:
see our book at Amazon:

PS: On August 8, 2019, I have submitted our edition to the Open Textbook Library. Let the Open Educational Resources grow!