9.00SC | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Psychology

Instructor Insights

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.

Instructor Interview

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

Curriculum Information



Requirements Satisfied

  • HASS
  • Course 9 required subject


Every Spring


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 20% Exam 1
  • 20% Exam 2
  • 20% Exam 3
  • 30% Writing assignments (15% each)
  • 10% Attendance and participation in recitations

Student Information


Approximately 250 students.

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:


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


  • 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

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Lecture Notes
Exams with Solutions
Instructor Insights