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History of Psychology (IBP)


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Geschiedenis van de Psychologie

Entry requirements



History of Psychology focuses on the changeability and fallibility of knowledge in general and psychological knowledge in particular. In addition, the course aims to make clear how internal and external scientific factors have contributed to the development of psychology as a discipline, and how the academic discipline of psychology continues to be indebted to the more general development of science and the history of philosophy.
In addition to the history of psychology from 1600 until the early days of the cognitive movement in psychology in the 20th century, the course also covers the following:
An introduction to the theory and history of psychology
An introduction to philosophical terminology
An introduction, or re-introduction, to social history.

Course objectives

Students will:
1. Learn about the main historical conceptions of psychology from 1600 to the early days of the cognitive movement in psychology, and the basic philosophical concepts of knowledge and the world;
2. Learn that ideas on psychology as a scientific discipline and on the psychological functioning of individuals change over time, and that ideas on what constitutes a scientific approach are also determined by developments in society; and
3. Learn to write a presentation of arguments and prepare for and execute a verbal presentation. This ability prepares for a professional career, in which written and verbal presentations are of crucial importance.


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, select your study programme. Psychology timetables

Lectures Work group sessions Exams



First year psychology students are automatically enrolled for courses, but do need to register themselves for the exam.

Other students do not only need to register for exams themselves, but also for lectures and work group sessions. For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures and 4 2-hour work group sessions. There are 4 work group sessions. A work group consists of 1 instructor and a maximum of 24 students (2 tutorial groups combined). Each work group meets weekly. This means that every student has 4 work group sessions in total. Attendance of the work groups is mandatory. The work groups provide an introduction into the preparing and delivering a written and verbal presentation about topics that have been and still are important in psychology.

Assessment method

The work group grade is included in the calculation of the final grade. Assignments are used to check knowledge and understanding of the materials in the course book chapters under study. Instructors assess each assignment with a 10-point grading scheme. An overall grade is awarded for participation and assignments. For information on how this grade is calculated, please the course workbook. The examination consists of 40 multiple-choice questions (MC), which test course objectives 1 and 2. The material for the MC exam is based on the literature (reading list) and lecture material (as indicated by the teacher). Course objective 3 is tested with the assignments in the practice sessions. There are assignments for each of the work group sessions. The grade for the work group sessions is included in the calculation of the final grade, with 70% weight for the MC exam and 30% weight for the final result of the practice sessions. The method for calculation of the final grade of the practice sessions is described in the workbook. However, for each (MC exam and final result of practice course) a minimum result of a 5 must be obtained.

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

Prof. F. van der Velde. Chapters on History of Psychology.
Available on Blackboard.

Contact information