Title

Psychology is a Science: At Least Some Students Think So

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Abstract

The American Psychological Association's (2007) curricular guidelines recommend that students develop both an understanding of how psychologists do research and an appreciation for why scientific thinking is necessary. We surveyed a large sample of psychology majors on specific interests, as well as individual difference variables relevant to scientific thinking. Our results suggest that over time, students' knowledge of scientific thinking increased, whereas their tendency to see psychology as a science did not. Further, students reported greater interest in practitioner activities than scientific ones, and these divergent interests were associated with differential ways of thinking and of viewing the field of psychology. We discuss some implications for conceptualizing undergraduate instruction given that some student characteristics are more malleable than others. © 2009, Society for the Teaching of Psychology. All rights reserved.

Publication Name

Teaching of Psychology

Volume Number

36

First Page

5

Last Page

11

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1080/00986280802529350

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