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Professor Matthew Hertenstein

On Doing Well in Introduction to Psychology

  1.  Make psychology personal.  Think about every idea in relationship to yourself, your family/friends, and your own experiences.  The more personally relevant you make the information, the better you’ll remember it. The notes you take in class and from your readings should be packed with personal asides and connections.   

  1. Study actively. Studying is not a spectator sport! After you’ve reviewed your study notes, put them face down on the desk and test yourself. Can you take a blank piece of paper and write the main ideas of a given theory? Are you able to articulate to a study partner why a particular thesis is supported by the evidence?

  1. Think of the answer first.  Cover multiple choice answers with your hand as you think, and note down what the answer should be.  Then look for the answer you came up with.

  1. Apply ideas to situations.  Tests are unlikely to ask you for definitions.  Be prepared to apply the ideas you’re learning.

  1. Don’t cram! Evenly distribute your studying rather than waiting until the last few days before the exam. Thousands of scientific studies show that when students space out their studying over time, they understand the information better.

Office:  114 Harrison Hall
November 1, 2019