Literature Central

Intro Psych is arguably psychology’s most prolific and consequential courses. This page serves to collect the scholarship of teaching and learning related to Intro Psych. The page is divided into categories representing the main areas of research in the field, providing key references for each.

Key Readings: Want to quickly get up to date on what is going on in Intro Psych?

American Psychological Association. (2014). Strengthening the Common Core of the Introductory Psychology Course. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, Board of Educational Affairs. Retrieved from

Gurung, R. A., Hackathorn, J., Enns, C., Frantz, S., Cacioppo, J. T., Loop, T., & Freeman, J. E. (2016). Strengthening introductory psychology: A new model for teaching the introductory course. American Psychologist, 71(2), 112-124. doi:10.1037/a0040012

Key Areas for Future Research.
  1. What are optimal technologies (e.g., adaptive quizzing, course management widgets, clicker systems) to enhance learning in Intro Psych?
  2. What are key student characteristics influencing learning in Intro Psych (e.g., self-efficacy, depth of processing, academic entitlement)?
  3. What is the best format to deliver content (e.g., lecture, flipped classes, hybrid courses)?
  4. Does varying lecture structure (e.g., activities, formats, media use) influence learning?
  5. Does the sequence of topics in a course influence engagement and learning?
  6. How do primary sources compare to textbooks in Intro Psych?
  7. Are open source textbooks comparable to big publisher textbooks?
  8. What are the bottlenecks to learning/most difficult topics for students in Intro Psych?
  9. What are the best ways to study and learn in Intro psych?
  10. Are lab experiences important components of Intro Psych?
    (adapted from Gurung & Hackerthorn, under review)

For more, go to pages on Textbooks and Quizzing