Stranger than Fiction: Debunking Popular Myths in Psychology

Course Description

Myths in popular psychology are essential to expose and understand. Otherwise, they may influence us to make ill-advised decisions in our daily lives. For example, if we believe that human memory works like a video recording, we may be too trusting of our perceptions of reality. This course will take a novel approach, presenting a broad range of topics in psychology by debunking widespread misconceptions about human thoughts and behavior.

You will learn to critically evaluate how psychological research and theory are often distorted in popular culture. By debunking these myths, you will understand topics such as memory, intelligence, motivation, interpersonal behavior, psychology, law, mental health, emotions, and personality. At each class meeting, you will be introduced to a new myth, draw on essential critical thinking skills, and develop content knowledge required to challenge its validity. This approach is an engaging way to explore fundamental psychological topics and questions. You will complete in-class group activities, reflective writing assignments, readings, and quizzes. We will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior.

Through our work together, you will understand the importance of scientific methods, critical thinking, and interpretation of psychological theory and research in a way that will enrich your understanding of individuals as thinking, feeling, and social beings. We cannot understand ourselves or those around us without examining how we develop, how we behave around others or the psychological components of our behavior. For all students, even those who plan to pursue majors outside of psychology, this class will make you a more thoughtful decision-maker and critical consumer of research in human behavior.

By the end of the course, you will:
• Understand psychology as an empirical science.
• Use knowledge gained and critical thinking skills to inform reasoning about claims regarding human behavior.
• Make connections between knowledge gained in psychology and everyday life.
• Understand basic concepts in psychology in diverse areas (e.g., developmental, clinical, social, forensic).


None required. This course is an introduction to psychology.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 25, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Rachel Gunn
Lauren Micalizzi
Course Number: 10185