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Differing interests of psychology students, professors could impact retention

Date:
August 11, 2014
Source:
Ithaca College
Summary:
What is the best way to keep psychology students from switching majors? According to a study, putting off intensive science courses may help. The study compared the views and interests of college students and instructors with regard to the psychology discipline, and then examined the implications of the differential interests.
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What is the best way to keep psychology students from switching majors? According to a study published in the journal Teaching of Psychology, putting off intensive science courses may help. The study was conducted by Jeffrey Holmes, associate professor of psychology at Ithaca College.

Holmes compared the views and interests of college students and instructors with regard to the psychology discipline, and then examined the implications of the differential interests.

He found that instructors strongly endorse psychology as a science, while students reported a weak endorsement of psychology as a science and showed greater interest in psychology practitioner activities. He says that this difference between educator and student views about how best to understand human behavior could create student dissatisfaction, leading to reduced student retention in the psychology major.

Holmes suggests that college psychology educators attempt to strike a curricular balance between scientific emphasis and student satisfaction by delaying the introduction of intense scientific coursework and move practice-oriented courses earlier in the curriculum, in order to better match the interests of students and keep them in the major.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Ithaca College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. D. Holmes. Undergraduate Psychology's Scientific Identity Dilemma: Student and Instructor Interests and Attitudes. Teaching of Psychology, 2014; 41 (2): 104 DOI: 10.1177/0098628314530339

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Ithaca College. "Differing interests of psychology students, professors could impact retention." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811151417.htm>.
Ithaca College. (2014, August 11). Differing interests of psychology students, professors could impact retention. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811151417.htm
Ithaca College. "Differing interests of psychology students, professors could impact retention." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811151417.htm (accessed July 30, 2015).

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