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 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.
In the following pages, Prof. John Gabrieli describes various aspects of how he taught 9.00 Introduction to Psychology.
- Structuring a broad survey course
- Crafting lectures that inspire and inform
- Bringing demonstrations into the classroom
- Maintaining currency in a rapidly evolving field
- Teaching students to evaluate research
- Course 9 required subject
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
Approximately 250 students.
Breakdown by Year
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