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Introduction to Psychology



No exemptions shall be granted for this course.

Entry requirements



Introduction to Psychology offers a representative and coherent overview of the discipline of psychology. The course constitutes a first acquaintance with the main currents and themes within psychology, including neural, evolutionary, cognitive, social and developmental perspectives on human behavior. It also introduces students to the different psychological sub-disciplines emphasizing their common elements.

Course objectives

  • To gain fundamental knowledge about the development and state of modern academic psychology.

  • To get acquainted with the most influential theories in the different subdisciplines of psychology and how they relate.

  • To gain insight into how empirical research in psychology can lead to theory formation.

  • To gain insight into how psychological theories are tested, and how they are applied in practice.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis. You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from July. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December.
The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC). First year Bachelor students as well as premaster students will be registered by the Student Service Center; they do not need to register themselves.

The registration period for all courses closes five calendar days before the start of the course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 15 2-hour lectures and 8 2-hour work group sessions.

Every lecture, the lecturers presents 1 or 2 chapters from the course textbook (Gray and Bjorklund, see under ‘Reading’) and help students prepare for the examination by explaining, clarifying and providing examples. They also indicate what is essential learning and what is less important. Furthermore, the lecturers discuss different or new perspectives, provide current material and explore topics in depth, or conversely, place the psychological knowledge presented in the textbook in a wider context.

The workgroup sessions consists of one lecturer and a maximum of 26 students (2 tutorial groups combined). With the exception of week 40 (the week after 3 October) and the examination week, the work groups will meet every week, making 8 meetings in all. Attendance is mandatory. In the work group sessions the teachers help students prepare for the exam. This does not mean that only examination material will be discussed: the aim is also to explore topics in more depth and stimulate enthusiasm for the study of psychology. Students are expected to participate actively in these meetings.

At each session students complete a short test (essay questions) on their basic knowledge (see course objective above) of the material in the chapters discussed. The teachers award students 0-3 points and this score is converted to a grade for the work group sessions (for the exact calculation, see the Course Workbook).

Assessment method

The final examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, primarily testing the course objectives above. Students can register for the final examination via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the examination itself; students who have not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. For the examination students are required to study the course book by Gray and Bjorklund in its entirety, with the exception of the Statistical Appendix.

In week 40 students may take an online test comprising 30 multiple-choice questions, covering chapters 1-8 of the course book. This test is important for students and the teaching staff in the Bachelor’s programme in Psychology. Students receive feedback on the effectiveness of their study methods so far, and the students’ grade gives staff an indication of student progress so far. The grade for this online test will not count towards the final grade for the course, which comprises the grade for the final examination (70%) and the work-group sessions (30%). Compensation for a fail for the work group or the examination is allowed, provided both grades are no lower than a 5.0. The work group grade will be carried over to any examination resits.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

Gray, P. & Bjorklund, D.F. (2018), Psychology (8th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN-10: 1-319-15051-9. ISBN-13: 978-1-319-15051-8.

An Introduction to Psychology Workbook has been compiled to help students study Gray and Bjorklund’s book. This contains study questions on important topics for each chapter. In the Workbook students will also find examples of exam questions and information on the video segments that are shown and discussed in the work group sessions. The study questions serve as guidelines for the weekly textbook chapter discussions. The Workbook also contains more detailed information on how the work group grade (see Mode of Instruction) is calculated, and how it contributes to the final grade. The Workbook will be available as of August on Brightspace.

Contact information

Dr. ir. Roy de Kleijn