Psychological Misconceptions and Their Relation to Students’ Lay Beliefs of Mind

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© The Author(s) 2020. Psychological misconceptions are common among students taking psychology courses. In this study, we show an association between student endorsement of misconceptions and two prevalent and well-researched lay beliefs about the human mind, specifically the belief in free will and dualism. This study also revisits and builds upon past research investigating the relationship between believing in psychological misconceptions and other student beliefs such as opinions about psychology as science and beliefs in extrasensory perception, and student characteristics such as critical thinking ability, number of psychology courses taken, and grade point average. The findings are discussed in the context that differences among students in beliefs in free will and dualism may lead some students to endorse a greater number of common psychological misconceptions. We discuss the implications of these findings for instruction and for research on techniques to correct student misconceptions.

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Teaching of Psychology

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