Contemporary Society: PSYC 101

Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 101)

As a psychology minor, my first class in psychology was more exciting than I can put into words. The subject is something I had been intrigued about for some time — I read numerous books and watched a lot of different educational videos and documentaries about various branches and applications of psychology in high school — but this was my first chance to formally learn about psychology.

I find the workings of the brain to be absolutely incredible, and my Introduction to Psychology professor, Dr. Danette Gibbs, thinks the same. Her enthusiasm about the subject only increased my interest in studying psychology and really cemented my decision to minor in it.

In addition to learning about different approaches to studying psychology, the structure of the brain and nerves and their various functions, different methods of learning and how memory works, psychological theories about personality, and the traits of a few common mental disorders, we also learned to become scientifically literate. What this means is being able to understand and evaluate scientific research by yourself instead of having to depend on potentially unreliable reporters to communicate scientific discoveries.

We started learning to tell scientific facts from miscommunicated ideas from day one, where we took a “quiz” on certain statements related to psychology that are either commonly believed to be true or false. (My copy of this quiz is below.) Even the students who thought they knew a lot about psychology, such as myself, only guessed true or false correctly on around a third of the statements, showing how incredibly pervasive false information can be in our lives.

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Introduction to Psychology was a exciting start to my psychology minor. I learned everything I hoped to learn in an introduction class — not only about psychology, but about scientific literacy as well — and it provided me with a strong foundation for the rest of the psychology classes I will take over the following three years.