Human Relations: A Game Plan for Improving Personal Adjustment

Loren Ford / Judy A Arter  
Total pages
February 2012
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Human Relations: A Game Plan for Improving Personal Adjustment
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A lively and engaging introduction to Human Relations


In this much-anticipated 5th edition, Loren Ford and Judith Arter present the fundamentals of human relations through interesting personal stories, anecdotes, and case studies. This is a book that truly captivates students by engaging them in questions and exercises designed to stimulate active learning and critical thinking.


The 5th edition features new content, a substantial number of updated references, and pedagogical tools like Learning Objectives, Big Ideas, and Review questions. 


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Understand the foundational psychological concepts relevant to Human Relations
  • Apply the information learned in the course to one’s own personal situation
  • Clarify and express personal beliefs through self examination
  • Communicate better with others


  • A substantial number of updated references keep readers up to date on what’s relevant in human relations today.
  • Updated content incorporates new material on:
    • The impact of technology and the internet on social interactions
    • Positive psychology
    • Social neuroscience
    • Social psychology and group influence
    • Living with uncertainty.
  • Learning Objectives at the beginning of each chapter highlight the most important points in the chapter and help students organize their note-taking. (ex. p. 5)
  • “Big Ideas” at the end of each chapter reinforce the major concepts the authors hope students will remember years in the future. (ex. p. 25)
  • Oral communication and reasoning rubrics help guide student to practice these skills during activities related to the book’s content. (ex. p. 11)
  • Revised end-of-chapter review questions encourage different types of thinking and reflection. (ex. p. 26)
    •  “What and Why” questions ask students to reflect on the content of the chapter and describe why it is important to know.
    •  When, Where, and How” questions ask students to apply the information to their own lives.
  • Expanded Instructor’s Manual contains assessment tools aligned with instructional activities and study guides for students. The Instructor's Manual Includes:
    • Study Guides for students align with the learning objectives for each chapter
    • Rubrics and test questions are designed for both formative and summative uses. Rubrics guide oral communication with others and application of psychological principles to oneself. There is assistance with how to use rubrics formatively with students. 
    • Assessment questions are organized by learning objective to ensure alignment between lectures, study guides, and assessment.
    • There are five to eight instructional activities per chapter that emphasize expanding understanding of chapter content, practicing important skills such as communication, assertiveness, and associating/dissociating, and exploring how chapter content applies in students’ own lives. Each activity includes PowerPoint slides, talking points, instructions, and typical student responses.

    • The PowerPoint slides for instructional activities cover activity purposes, instructions to students, special diagrams to illustrate points, and discussion questions for students.

  • New Activity and Lecture PowerPoint Slides for each chapter. The Activity Slides described above are supplemented with extensive Lecture Slides that outline the content of each chapter so that instructors can augment activities with additional content of their choice.


New to this Edition

  • New Activity and Lecture PowerPoint Slides for each chapter. The Activity Slides contain multiple exercises for use in the classroom. All of these activities are supplemented with talking points, instructions, and typical student responses in the Instructor’s Manual. The Lecture Slides will helpfully outline the content of the new edition.
  • New chapter 6 on Social Influence and Group Interaction
  • Assertiveness moved to Chapter 1 from Chapter 3 because of its connection to shyness and communication
  • Impact of the Internet on communication added to Chapter 1
  • Research on multitasking added
  • Updated information on demographics based on the 2010 census
  • Latest studies on the importance of self-concept added
  • Reorganized and expanded content with an emphasis on personality theory
  • Communication between those with different personality styles emphasized
  • Neuroscience of emotions added to Chapter 4
  • Stress Management moved to Chapter 4 because of the reciprocal relationship between how one handles emotions and how one handles stress
  • Chapters 4 and 5 from the Fourth Edition reversed because the manner in which Parts I and II relate to each other is revised; in this edition, Part I focuses on the individual while Part II focuses more on interactions with others and behavior in groups
  •  2010 census information added
  • Updated information on parenting and dysfunctional families
  • Updated statistics on abuse
  • Chapter 6 is a new chapter. It consolidates new material with attribution theory from Chapter 3 of the fourth edition. The chapter was added because of the importance of new research in the field of social neuroscience, which indicates that we are hardwired for social interactions. New features include: Social perceptions and cognitions, Conformity, altruism, and pro-social behavior, Causes and sources of prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination, and Social neuroscience
  • Neuroscience of attraction added
  • Adjustment to separation and divorce added
  • Internet dating added
  • Making long-term commitments added
  • Latest information on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), AIDS, rape, abuse added
  • Cyberspace and sexuality added
  • Sections on pornography and Internet addiction added
  • Latest statistics on obesity added
  • Neuroscience of obesity added
  • Psychological disorders and therapeutic approaches added
  • Career development and job satisfaction added
  • New section on positive psychology added because of its recent increasing importance
  • Happiness, joy, and excitement moved here to be with positive psychology and life satisfaction


Table of Contents


Part I: Learning About Yourself

Chapter 1 Basic Principles and Communication

Chapter 2 Self-Awareness

Chapter 3 Personality and Comfort Zones

Chapter 4 Emotions and Stress Management

Part II: Learning About Interactions with Others

Chapter 5 Family Influences

Chapter 6 Social Influence and Group Behavior

Chapter 7 Developing Close Relationships

Chapter 8 Human Sexuality

Part III: Learning About Adjustment in Life

Chapter 9 Health, Wellness, and Coping Skills

Chapter 10 Lifespan Development and Transitions

Chapter 11 Positive Living and Life Satisfaction


Loren Ford earned his master’s degree in psychology from California State University, Long Beach in 1974 and did additional graduate work in the 1980s at the Oregon Graduate School for Professional Psychology. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Oregon with a private practice. In the past 30 years he has worked at several mental health facilities doing therapy with adolescents and families. From 1977 to 2011 he was on the faculty at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon, teaching courses on personal development, human relations, college success, life-span human development, human sexuality, introduction to counselling, and history.

Judith Arter has degrees in mathematics (B.S., University of California, San Diego,1971), and special education (Masters and Ph.D., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1975 and 1976). After two years working in the research department of Phoenix Unified High School District, she spent 33 years (at Education Northwest and the Assessment Training Institute in Portland, Oregon) researching and training educators at all levels and in several countries on student assessment, focusing especially on using student assessment as an instructional methodology (formative assessment). She is the co-author of numerous publications and books including Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right and Using It Well, 2e (Pearson, in press), and Creating and Recognizing Quality Rubrics (Pearson, 2006).

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