Psychology: Themes and Variations

Written by: Wayne Weiten (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

As long as I’ve been maintaining a free textbook list, I’ve not found such a strong interest in a particular book; at least according to the searches people are doing here on the site. As the 2017-2018 school year begins, I am seeing a number of folks frantically searching for Psychology: Themes and Variations.

After doing a bit of searching, I’ve noticed this is one of those books where there are numerous editions that have been published. Of the history I’ve found, in 2002, they published the 5th edition. They are now at the 10th.

While I traditionally only share totally free online textbooks here on the Free Textbook List, I thought I might try to help some of you out. No guarantees on how long any of these links will remain working or how complete or accurate they are. Be mindful that this book comes in editions and “brief versions.” If you are buying online, make sure you get the right one or at least know that you aren’t.

Access Code & CD

Whenever you buy a used textbook or an earlier edition, you may not get all of the materials that are included in the latest edition. A number of reviews on Amazon mentioned that earlier versions did not include “access codes.” Best I can tell, they are talking about Cengage’s Mindtap platform. Please, do your own research about Mindtap and determine if your educator will be expecting you to use this tool. If so, you will probably need to purchase or rent the 10th edition. Hopefully, if nothing else, I’ve given you a place to comparison shop with your school bookstore and some great study aids.

College Bookstore Alternative

If your professor is kind and still using the 9th edition, you can pick up a used copy online for around $30-50 or a new one for around $100 (price for new copy on Amazon shown), depending upon the seller and their shipping charges.

The publisher has offered the newest version in a number of formats. Amazon is offering a traditional hardcover edition (price shown), a paperback edition, a loose-leaf edition and a number of electronic versions (buy or rental – a lot cheaper). There are quite a few buying options in the different formats and even a few used copies are available (at least when I last checked). There are some bargains to be had but like all used books, getting there first is crucial. (Be careful, for some reason, Amazon was giving high visibility to someone selling a used 3rd edition.)

Don’t forget to check out Amazon’s Student Prime service, it ships fast and free plus you get their video and gaming stuff too.

I had hoped that I could find an early version online to share with you, but that is proving to be somewhat of a challenge. Apparently, there are folks putting bootleg copies up but they quickly disappear. I know, not what you were hoping for, but I do have some options for you. Hopefully, there’s something here that can help you.

Mystery Edition of Psychology: Themes and Variations

A professor from Belarus has posted what appears to be a complete textbook. I’m not sure what edition it is, it starts after the introduction and table of contents, but I don’t think it’s either of the latest two. For what it’s worth and however long it remains online – book.

Google Preview

The textbook publisher has allowed Google to share a “preview” copy of the 9th edition. Pages are hidden here and there but it might get you through or at least buy you time. You might be able to more easily share a copy if you use the preview as a backup plan. You can find it – here.

Chapter 1

A school district website has shared the first chapter of the 9th edition online. When I last checked you didn’t need a login or password to access it. You can find it – at this location.

Course Notes

While these go all the way back to the 7th edition of Psychology: Themes and Variations, I suspect anyone taking a course using this textbook would benefit from these notes. They come from a high school teacher teaching an AP class using this textbook. It’s a perfect study aid with an outline of his lectures from each chapter. Even though the current edition has two additional chapters, I would think these notes would be an excellent study tool.

Cengage Study Tools

The publisher has some interesting study tools that appear to be freely available. The tool seemed a little fussy and slow-loading but that could very easily be the fault of my slow Internet connection. But, there are flashcards! Potential exam questions, with answers, to help you prepare to ace your tests! They are for the 9th edition but hopefully, that’s the one you’re using. Also be forwarned, more than one teacher of mine used materials from a previous version to build a test. Anyway – here’s the link for the study tools.

A few other textbooks which may help you with your studies:


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