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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores a two-pronged science-based approach to teaching physiological psychology. First, Kolb’s learning cycle is applied to the classroom by providing opportunities for students to have concrete experiences, reflect on those experiences, form subsequent hypotheses, and test those hypotheses. The roles of emotional significance, preexisting schemas, and repeated practice are discussed in the context of this cycle. Second, several evidence-based practices for learning are explored (e.g., the testing effect, levels of processing, and judgments of learning), with the encouragement that these are shared in an explicit manner with students. The scientific method, as both the foundation for such evidence and as a parallel to Kolb’s learning cycle, is the underlying framework for teaching—confronting head-on the resistance that many psychology students have for physiological psychology, rooted in a fear of science. Numerous in-class activities, discussed throughout the article, tie this theoretical framework to specific classroom practices.

Keywords: Kolb’s learning cycle, experiential learning, emotional significance, testing effect, judgments of learning, physiological psychology

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