nl en

Introduction to Psychology


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Inleiding in de Psychologie


No exemptions shall be granted for this course.

Entry requirements



Introduction to Psychology offers a first acquaintance with the science of psychology and its subdisciplines. The main currents and themes within psychology, including neural, evolutionary, cognitive, and social perspectives are presented in a coherent manner so that students will have a solid foundation for further study of the human mind and behavior.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, the student can…

  • Identify the developments leading to modern academic psychology.

  • Explain the most important fundamental concepts of several psychological subdisciplines.

  • Explain the most important theories of several psychological subdisciplines and the way they are connected.

  • Identify ways in which (empirical) research can lead to theory formation in psychology.

  • Explain how psychological theories are tested in research.

  • Name practical and professional applications of psychological theories.

  • Differentiate between different explanations for psychological phenomena.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



First-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies. All other students (excl. minor and exchange) must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 14 2-hour lectures and 6 2-hour workgroup sessions.

Attendance at the workgroup sessions. See Brightspace for more information.

Every lecture, the lecturers presents 1 or 2 chapters from the course textbook (Gray and Bjorklund, see under ‘Reading list’) 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 the week of 3 October, the work groups will meet every week, making 6 meetings in total. 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 objectives 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 workgroup sessions (for the exact calculation, see the Course Workbook).

Assessment method

The abovecourse is concluded with a final exam. 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 textbook by Gray and Bjorklund in its entirety, with the exception of the Statistical Appendix.

In week 40 students may take an online test comprising of 30 multiple-choice questions, covering chapters 1-8 of the textbook. 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. The final course grade is a weighted average of the final exam and the workgroup grade. 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. 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. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these two 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 workgroup sessions. The study questions serve as guidelines for the weekly textbook chapter discussions. The Workbook also contains more detailed information on how the workgroup 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