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This Course at MIT

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This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 9.00 Introduction to Psychology as it was taught by Prof. John Gabrieli in Spring 2011.

Introduction to Psychology is designed to introduce you to the scientific study of human nature. Compared to other psychology courses, it places more emphasis on neuroscience and the scientific methods used to measure and understand the human mind. The course meets twice weekly for lectures that include in-class demonstrations. Topics include the mental and neural bases of perception, emotion, learning, memory, cognition, child development, personality, psychopathology, and social interaction. The class divides into twelve recitation sessions to discuss course topics each week.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

Learn to think critically about psychological evidence and to evaluate its validity and its relevance to important issues.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

This course helps students understand how humans work, how people tick. It provides a useful foundation for thinking about marketing, economic decision-making, and politics. As an introductory course, it prepares students for further study in fields such as neuroscience, developmental psychology, and social psychology.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

None

Requirements Satisfied

  • HASS
  • Course 9 required subject

Offered

Every Spring

The Classroom

  • A photograph of a large tiered lecture hall consisting of rows of wooden seats and six sliding chalkboard panels at the front.

    Lecture

    This large lecture hall features wooden tablet armchairs and a projector screen hidden from view.

 

Assessment

The students' grades were based on the following activities:

The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by the first exam. 20% Exam 1
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by the second exam. 20% Exam 2
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by the third exam. 20% Exam 3
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by 2 writing assignments. 30% Writing assignments (15% each)
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by presentations and participation. 10% Attendance and participation in recitations
 

Student Information

On average, about 250 students take this course each year.

Breakdown by Year

Primarily freshmen.

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 4 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

Lecture

3 hours per week
  • 24 sessions that meet twice a week for 90 minutes
  • Lecture topics presented with slides
  • Reading discussion
  • In-class demonstrations when possible
 

Recitation

1 hour per week
  • Mandatory attendance and participation
  • TA-led weekly discussion sections
  • 13 sessions over the semester
  • ~ 20 students in each section
  • Concept review with discussion and questions to assess mastery
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
3 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
4 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
5 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session; written assignment due.
6 No session scheduled. Exam held. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
7 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
8 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
9 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session; written assignment due.
10 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Exam held. Recitation session.
11 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
12 No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
13 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
14 Written assignment due. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
15 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. Recitation session.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT; exam held.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lectures sessions are held. Lecture
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table which indicates dates when written assignments are due. Written assignment due
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when recitation sessions are held.Recitation
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when exams were held. Exam
 
 

Instructor Insights

In the following pages, Prof. John Gabrieli describes various aspects of how he taught 9.00 Introduction to Psychology.