General A jigsaw puzzle approach to learning history in introductory psychology. Judith Krauss
When students of introductory psychology open their textbooks to the first chapter, they encounter a variety of formidable topics, examples of which appear in any current textbook. Chapter 1 of an introductory textbook typically presents definitions, gives the origins and history of psychology, describes the major perspectives for studying behavior, compares and contrasts research methodology, and offers information on psychology as a profession. Names, dates, places, and terms abound. Because many universities consider introductory psychology an ideal choice for first semester freshmen, novice college students are likely to confront this chapter. Students enter the course with expectations as to what they will learn, often hoping for exciting coverage of abnormal behavior or the psychology of dating; hence, the inclusion of the history of psychology in the first chapter may come as a surprise. Studying psychology’s past to understand its present state is necessary (Goodwin, 1997) but perhaps, is a daunting task for some students.