An investigation of individual difference variables and their interaction with three different methods of teaching introductory psychology in the prediction of academic success



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The present study was designed to investigate individual difference variables and their interaction with different methods of teaching an Introductory Psychology course in the prediction of academic performance. Intellective factors: previous college grade-point-average, and SAT Verbal and Math scores, in combination with nonintellectlve factors: demographic variables facilitating and debilitating anxiety, need for achievement, and need to avoid evaluation, were utilized to predict over 300 students' performance on course examinations and on an independent Criterion Test. All students participated in one of three teaching conditions: lecturelaboratory, lecture-lecture, or lecture-research-discussion, and one of two testing conditions: midterm and final or weekly testing. In addition, a scale of Concordance was developed, measuring the degree of correspondence between students' preferred teaching methods and the teaching methods they actually received in treatment, and included in the prediction of academic success. Previous college grade-point- average and Concordance accounted for 82% of the variance in the prediction of student performance on course examinations. Moreover, there was a significant difference in academic performance between the teaching and testing conditions and a significant difference in student evaluations as a function of testing procedures. These results were further evaluated and recommendations made for further research.



Psychology--Study and teaching, Prediction of scholastic success