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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Introductory Psychology is one of the most widely taken courses in the undergraduate curriculum. Millions upon millions of students have had their first, and perhaps only, exposure to psychological science in this course, which means that our discipline has a lot riding on the outcomes that occur in countless classrooms. The enormous breadth of the Introductory Psychology course presents daunting challenges for instructors, but the course also presents a precious opportunity to dispel students’ largely inaccurate views of psychology. In this chapter, we review research and scholarship on the introductory course. We examine the course’s history, objectives, content, and textbooks. Along the way we discuss research on introductory students’ academic skills, expectations for the course, and misconceptions. We also explore instructional methods, active learning, the use of technology, and the educational value of requiring students to participate in subject pools.

Keywords: introductory psychology, lecture method, active learning, student misconceptions, introductory textbooks

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