Faculty and Staff

Psychologist publishes book, honors students in search of new theory

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — David Rosenbaum, distinguished professor of psychology, dedicated his first consumer-oriented nonfiction title, “It’s a Jungle In There: How Competition and Cooperation in the Brain Shape the Mind,” to the people who most influenced what he believes is the germination of a new, Darwinian view of cognitive psychology — his students.

The book, published in 2014 in print by Oxford University Press and Audible.com as an audiobook, offers Charles Darwin’s biological “survival of the fittest” insight as a lens through which to view the field of psychology and the inner workings of the mind. His idea emerged during more than 20 years of teaching Introduction to Cognitive Psychology to Penn State undergraduate students, a total he estimates at roughly 2,215.

He concluded the book’s preface by saying, “Because the jungle principle arose from my teaching of cognitive psychology, I am happy to dedicate this book to the many students I have had the privilege of teaching and from whom I have learned so much.”

Asked what takeaways he would like his current and former students to get from the book,he said, “It would be wonderful if they heard that they had a lasting effect on a professor here and on his field.”

Rosenbaum completed a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013-14.

"It's a Jungle in There" by David Rosenbaum was published in 2014 by Oxford University Press. Credit: Jill Shockey / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated January 14, 2015