Literature

The following books/articles/reports/presentations specifically reference psychological literacy and/or psychology undergraduate education. A description is provided below. If you would like to suggest other relevant literature, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Bernstein, D., Pooley, J.A., Cohen, L., Goldthorpe, B., Provost, S., Cranney, J., Penner, L., Clarke-Stewart, A., Roy, E. (2013). Psychology: An international discipline in context: Australian and New Zealand Edition. Melbourne: Cengage. See:
http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/0170218414_395332.pdf

 

American Psychological Association. (2013). The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/undergrad/index.aspx

 

Mair, C., Taylor, J., & Hulme, J. (2013). An introductory guide to psychological literacy and psychologically literate citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/disciplines/psychology/MairTaylorHulme-intro-psyc-lit.pdf

 

Watt, R. (2013). Developing the psychologically literate citizen at the University of Stirling. Retrieved from
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/disciplines/psychology/Watt-developing-psyc-lit-Stirling-v2.pdf

 

Cranney, J. (2013). Toward psychological literacy: A snapshot of evidence-based learning and teaching. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 1-4. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12013

 

Morris, S., Cranney, J., Jeong, J.M., Mellish, L. (2013). Developing psychological literacy: Student perceptions of graduate attributes. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 54-62. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12010. See http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111/ajpy.12010

 

Burton, L. J., Chester, A., Xenos, S., & Elgar, K. (2013). Peer mentoring to develop psychological literacy in first-year and graduating students. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 12(2), 136-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/plat.2013.12.2.136  Available for download at: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/23823

 

Chester, A., Xenos, S., Burton, L.J., & Elgar, K. (2013). Peer mentoring: Supporting successful transition for first year undergraduate psychology students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 30-37.     See http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111/ajpy.12006

 

Cranney, J., Morris, S., Krochmalik, A., Botwood, L. (2013). Assessing psychological literacy. In D. S. Dunn, S.C. Baker, C.M. Mehrotra, R.E. Landrum, & M. A. McCarthy, (Eds.). Assessing Teaching and Learning in Psychology: Current and Future Perspectives (pp.94-106) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

 

McGovern, T. V. (2012). Faculty virtues and character strengths: Reflective exercises for sustained renewal. Retrieved from the American Psychological Association / Society for the Teaching of Psychology Web site: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/index.php

 

McGovern, T.V. & Brewer, C.L. (2012). Undergraduate education in psychology. In D.K. Freedheim (Ed.) History of Psychology. Volume 1 in I. B. Weiner (Editor-in-chief), Handbook of Psychology. (2nd Edition) (pp. 507-529). New York: Wiley.

 

Cranney, J., & Dunn, D. (Eds.) (2011). The psychologically literate citizen: foundations and global perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN- 13: 978-0-19-979494-2

 

American Psychological Association. (2011). Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/principles.aspx

 

McGovern, T. V., Corey, L. A., Cranney, J., Dixon, Jr., W. E., Holmes, J. D., Kuebli, J. E., Ritchey, K., Smith, R. A., & Walker, S. (2010). Psychologically literate citizens. In D. Halpern (Ed.). Undergraduate education in psychology: Blueprint for the discipline’s future (pp. 9-27). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

 

Boneau, C.A. (1990). Psychological literacy: A first approximation. American Psychologist, 45, 891-900.

 

Crowe, S., Andrews, S., Badcock, D., Cranney, J., Dunn, J., …. & Tyson, G. (2012). Psychology 2020: The 2011-2012 Presidential Initiative on the Future of Psychological Science in Australia. Retrieved from http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2012/october/crowe

 

Cranney, J., Botwood, L., & Morris, S. (2012). National standards for psychological literacy and global citizenship: Outcomes of undergraduate psychology education. Final report of ALTC/OLT National Teaching Fellowship. Retrieved from http://www.olt.gov.au/resource-national-standards-psychological-literacy


Trapp, A., Banister, P., Ellis, J., Latto, R., Miell, D., & Upton, D.(2011). The future of undergraduate psychology in the United Kingdom. York, UK: UK Higher Education Academy Psychology Network. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/subjects/psychology/Future-undergrad-psych-uk

 

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Cranney, J., Morris, S., Krochmalik, A., Botwood, L. (2013). Assessing psychological literacy. In D. S. Dunn, S.C. Baker, C.M. Mehrotra, R.E. Landrum, & M. A. McCarthy, (Eds.). Assessing Teaching and Learning in Psychology: Current and Future Perspectives (pp.94-106) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

This chapter addresses assessment of psychological literacy, but as importantly, develops the concept further. McGovern et al. (2010) defined psychological literacy primarily in terms of the common aspects of several different national lists of graduate attributes and learning outcomes. Cranney and Morris (2011) discussed the application of psychological principles to different domains: self and close others, local communities, global communities. Cranney et al. (2013) provide a pragmatic taxonomy of psychological literacy that takes into consideration the perspectives of the consumer stakeholders of undergraduate psychology education, that is, the student (what will I get out of studying this major, both during and particularly afterwards?), the student’s parents (i.e., what are we paying for? Will it help our child become successfully independent of us?), prospective employers (i.e., what does this graduate have to offer me?), and society (i.e., what is the tax-payer dollar supporting, in terms of sustaining and improving the health of this society?). Consumer-oriented taxonomies need to be simple, and thus Cranney et al. (in press) identified three concepts that currently have meaning in higher education and society generally: scientific literacy, employability, and global citizenship.

 

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American Psychological Association. (2013). The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/undergrad/index.aspx

The revision of the original learning outcomes for APA undergraduate programs—a current focus of activities for the Society for Teaching Psychology.

 

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Bernstein, D., Pooley, J.A., Cohen, L., Goldthorpe, B., Provost, S., Cranney, J., Penner, L., Clarke-Stewart, A., Roy, E. (2013). Psychology: An international discipline in context: Australian and New Zealand Edition. Melbourne: Cengage.

This first-year psychology text is the first to integrate information on psychological literacy. For the specific resource on psychological literacy and graduate attributes, see: http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/0170218414_395332.pdf

 

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Mair, C., Taylor, J., & Hulme, J. (2013). An introductory guide to psychological literacy and psychologically literate citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/disciplines/psychology/MairTaylorHulme-intro-psyc-lit.pdf

This HEA guide outlines the theoretical context for psychological literacy and its rationale, and offers some ideas about aspects of the curriculum that lend themselves to developing psychological literacy in your students.  It also signposts a comprehensive list of resources and references to facilitate further study on the topic.

 

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Watt, R. (2013). Developing the psychologically literate citizen at the University of Stirling. Retrieved from
http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/disciplines/psychology/Watt-developing-psyc-lit-Stirling-v2.pdf

This HEA guide offers insight into how the psychology undergraduate curriculum at the University of Stirling has been developed with psychological literacy at its heart.  It provides a reflective account of one academic's experiences of embedding and integrating psychological literacy into his own teaching, which is intended to stimulate creative thinking to help other academics to do the same.

 

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Cranney, J. (2013). Toward psychological literacy: A snapshot of evidence-based learning and teaching. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 1-4. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12013
This brief article is a call to action to those educators who value psychological literacy—and provides the rationale for why all psychological scientist and practitioners should be interested in psychological literacy.

 

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Morris, S., Cranney, J., Jeong, J.M., Mellish, L. (2013). Developing psychological literacy: Student perceptions of graduate attributes. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 54-62. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12010. See http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111/ajpy.12010

This cross-sectional study examined student perceptions of psychology graduate attributes (GA) and of psychological literacy (PL), which were expected and found to be significantly related. GA and PL ratings were moderately high; reflecting substantial awareness, perceived development, and perceived importance of these concepts. These perceptions varied as a function of degree program major and year, and specialist units completed. The general pattern for overall group differences for most GAs, from highest to lowest ratings, was:

(1) psychology major students who had completed specialist units,

(2) psychology major students who had not completed the cornerstone/foundational unit, and

(3) non-major students (who had completed a few non-specialist psychology units).

All students in condition 1 indicated that they were aware of the term psychological literacy; this was not the case for the other students. Once PL was defined, however, all students rated this concept as important. The limitations of this study, as well as implications for teaching strategies such as cornerstone and capstone units, are considered.

 

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Burton, L. J., Chester, A., Xenos, S., & Elgar, K. (2013). Peer mentoring to develop psychological literacy in first-year and graduating students. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 12(2), 136-146. Available for download at: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/23823

First- and final-year undergraduate students have unique transition issues. To support both the transition of first-year students into the program, and the transition of third-year students out of the program and into the workforce or further study, a face-to-face peer mentoring program was embedded into the first-year psychology curricula at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. The 34 peer mentors, third-year students taking a course on mentoring and career preparation, worked in pairs with small groups of first-year students (N = 231) in class time to help them develop study skills that underpin the first-year assessment tasks. This article reports on a peer mentoring program designed to develop and consolidate psychological literacies of both first- and third-year students. Comparing pre- and post-tests for first-year students, there was a significant increase in self-ratings across 8 of the 9 ability areas used to measure psychological literacy. In contrast, third-year mentors only showed significant change in the ability to understand basic psychological concepts. Correlational data reveal, for mentees, final course grades were significantly correlated with domain-specific psychological literacy, comprising knowledge and understanding of basic psychological concepts, scientific research practices, application of psychology, and ethics; for mentors, final course grades were significantly correlated with general psychological literacy, comprising cultural competence, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and self-awareness skills. While first-year students indicated an overall positive experience with the mentoring program, the third-year mentors showed strong support for the program. The key implications are discussed.

 

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Chester, A., Xenos, S., Burton, L.J., & Karen Elgar, K. (2013). Peer mentoring: Supporting successful transition for first year undergraduate psychology students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 30-37.     See http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111/ajpy.12006 

This article examines the effectiveness of a mentoring program supporting the transition of first year psychology students. The program, in which third year students worked with small groups of first year students within tutorials, was developed to enhance five aspects associated with student success (capability, connectedness, resourcefulness, purpose, and culture), encourage deep and strategic learning approaches, and build psychological literacy. The program was implemented across first year of the undergraduate program at a metropolitan Australian university and 241 first year students (166 females and 65 males) provided data for the evaluation study. Significant positive change was noted on three of the five aspects of student success, with an increase in deep and strategic learning approaches and a decrease in surface learning. Significant change was reported for six of the nine psychological literacies. Compared to previous cohorts, grades also showed a shift upwards, with a higher proportion of final grades in the range between 60% to 80%. Together, these findings suggest that proactive interventions in the first semester of first year can enhance important aspects of learning and increase success for undergraduate psychology students. Recommendations for amendments to the mentoring program, particularly surrounding its use with mature age students, are discussed.

 

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Crowe, S., Andrews, S., Badcock, D., Cranney, J., Dunn, J., …. & Tyson, G. (2012). Psychology 2020: The 2011-2012 Presidential Initiative on the Future of Psychological Science in Australia. Retrieved from http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2012/october/crowe/
Chapter 5, “Promoting psychological literacy within the community”, addresses the development of psychological literacy in high-schools, university students, university educators, and psychology spokespeople. 

 

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Cranney, J., Botwood, L., & Morris, S. (2012). National standards for psychological literacy and global citizenship: Outcomes of undergraduate psychology education. Final report of ALTC/OLT National Teaching Fellowship. Retrieved from http://www.olt.gov.au/resource-national-standards-psychological-literacy

This report documents the outcomes of an OLT Fellowship program that focused on psychological literacy as an outcome of undergraduate psychology, and on global literacy as an outcome of tertiary education.

 

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Trapp, A., Banister, P., Ellis, J., Latto, R., Miell, D., & Upton, D.(2011). The future of undergraduate psychology in the United Kingdom. York, UK: UK Higher Education Academy Psychology Network. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/subjects/psychology/Future-undergrad-psych-uk

This report is based on a two-day retreat which took place at the end of November 2010, where invited participants met at Chicheley Hall, the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, to consider what changes may be needed to ensure UK undergraduate psychology education is seen as 'fit for purpose' in five years’ time. Data from over 450 responses to an online national consultation on the future of psychology education informed the intensive group work and discussions, which is also highlighted in this report.

 

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McGovern, T. V. (2012). Faculty virtues and character strengths: Reflective exercises for sustained renewal. Retrieved from the American Psychological Association / Society for the Teaching of Psychology Web site: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/index.php

McGovern’s current interests focus on faculty development initiatives that synthesize psychological literacy with Positive Psychology’s research agenda. An APA / Society for the Teaching of Psychology E-Book, Faculty Virtues and Character Strengths: Reflective Exercises for Sustained Renewal, became available through their website in spring, 2012. A special section on resources from the teaching of psychology argues for the integration of psychologically literate citizenship as a transdisciplinary outcome across the curriculum.

 

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McGovern, T.V. & Brewer, C.L. (2012). Undergraduate education in psychology. In D.K. Freedheim (Ed.) History of Psychology. Volume 1 in I. B. Weiner (Editor-in-chief), Handbook of Psychology. (2nd Edition) (pp. 507-529). New York: Wiley.

The McGovern & Brewer (in press) chapter is an historical review in which the authors, both participants in the Puget Sound Conference, highlight psychological literacy and its citizenship applications as central to the future blueprint of the discipline.

 

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Cranney, J., & Dunn, D. (Eds.) (2011). The psychologically literate citizen: foundations and global perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN- 13: 978-0-19-979494-2

Review:  here

Jacquelyn Cranney and Dana Dunn, in an attempt to continue the development of the concept, put together a team of international psychology education leaders to produce the volume “The Psychologically Literate Citizen: Foundations and Global Perspectives” (2011, Oxford University Press).
The brief for the authors was to discuss their particular topic in relation to the two paradigmatic concepts of psychological literacy and the psychologically literate citizen (McGovern et al., 2010). Cranney and Dunn’s hope for the volume was that undergraduate psychology educators, curriculum designers, and policy creators would be inspired to re-examine the aims of undergraduate psychology education, and as a consequence reshape pedagogy and curriculum, thus better preparing students for their increasingly uncertain but potentially very exciting futures. The intended focus of the volume was on expanding the theory and practice around the paradigmatic concepts of psychological literacy and the psychologically literate citizen. McGovern and colleagues (2010) explicitly referred to the global implications of those concepts, and the Cranney & Dunn volume sought to extend the work of the “Blueprint” volume beyond the shores of the United States. Although most of the chapters were written by U.S. and Australian authors, there are several chapters written by education leaders on other continents, and the chapter by Dudgeon and colleagues gives a distinctly non-Western perspective. Essentially, the primary aim of this volume was to provide some answers from across the world on the “why” and “how” of educating the psychologically literate citizen—the proposed universal outcome of the psychology major. That is, this volume extends into global territories of the paradigm-shifting disciplinary movement initiated by the “Blueprint” volume. It simultaneously links traditional approaches and concepts in psychology to these new concepts in a transformative manner, and provides practical suggestions for embedding these concepts in everyday teaching practice.

  • In the introductory chapter (Psychological Literacy and the Psychologically Literate Citizen: New Frontiers for a Global Discipline) Cranney and Dunn develop further McGovern and colleagues’ (2010) concepts of psychological literacy and the psychologically literate citizen, in particular by making reference to understandings, from diverse sources, of the concepts of literacy, scientific literacy, citizenship, and global citizenship. Cranney and Dunn propose that psychological literacy can be defined as psychological knowledge that is used adaptively. This definition is not as simple as it seems. First, use of knowledge infers that one has knowledge to begin with. Second, here “knowledge” includes not only the core content areas, but all the aspects defined by McGovern et al., including critical thinking, research skills, and communication. Third, knowledge also includes knowledge of ethics, and the authors argue that knowledge in this area necessarily means that “used adaptively” translates to ethical behaviour in all domains of life. Fourth, this definition of psychological literacy implies a relatively well-integrated and functional set of schemas that across individuals may show some variability in expression, but in terms of central tendency, can be recognised and assessed as “psychological literacy”. Finally, in the context of discussing the concept of “global citizen”, Cranney and Dunn proposed that psychologically literate citizens use their psychological literacy to problem-solve in an ethical and socially responsible manner in a way that directly benefits their communities.

The section on “Curriculum Perspectives” addresses several key pedagogical and curriculum aspects such as program structure, core content areas, and key skills.

  • Dana Dunn, Robin Cautin, and Regan Gurung (Curriculum Matters: Structure, Content, and Psycholgical Literacy) open the section with a consideration of how student learning outcomes related to psychological literacy might shape disciplinary curricula for undergraduates, acknowledging the necessary balance between graduate and undergraduate needs, the balance between cutting-edge and core knowledge, and the need to take a more global perspective.
  • In the context of the increasing complexity of current and projected everyday living, Diane Halpern and Heather Butler (Critical thinking and the Education of Psychologically Literate Citizens) argue that critical thinking is a core component of psychological literacy.
  • Graham Davidson and Shirley Morrissey (Enhancing Ethical Literacy of Psychologically Literate Citizens) argue that “ethical literacy” is a core component of psychologically literate citizenship. Both of these chapters contain examples and clear links to useful classroom teaching strategies, so that educators can immediately start to integrate this material into their curriculum.
  • Fiona White (The Social Psychology of Intergroup Harmony and the Education of Psychologically Literate Citizens) evaluates the social psychological research literature on effective prejudice reduction strategies to promote intergroup harmony and then outlines how students can directly experience and learn from these specific evidence-based strategies to reduce intergroup conflict, both within and outside the classroom.
  • Pat Dudgeon, Dawn Darlaston-Jones, and Yvonne Clark (Changing the Lens: Indigenous Perspectives on Psychological Literacy) give an indigenous perspective on the history of psychology in Australia, and suggest strategies for initiating the development of cultural competence in the undergraduate psychology program. As they argue, there needs to be increased emphasis on the development of cultural competence in an increasingly globalized world, as well as in countries where First Nation peoples are clearly disadvantaged.
  • Lorelle Burton and Kathie McDonald (Introductory Psychology and Psychological Literacy) point out that psychology educators are uniquely situated to help students develop aspects of psychological literacy (e.g., critical thinking, self-knowledge) that would (a) be helpful in the transition process for all first-year psychology students, regardless of the program they are undertaking, and (b) build toward university aspirational goals of developing “global citizens.” Thus, they argue that the development of psychological literacy should be the primary aim of first-year psychology courses.
  • Nida Denson and Marsha Ing (Educational Psychology and Psychological Literacy in Higher Education: Developmental and Cultural Aspects of Racial Diversity) outline developmental psychology and educational psychology theory relevant to understanding the nature of undergraduate students and their learning processes, and particularly as relevant to different forms of diversity in the university context. They then present evidence for the positive association between culturally diverse classrooms and the development of psychologically literate skills such as critical thinking.
  • Suzy Green, Paula Robinson, and Lindsay Oades (The Role of Positive Psychology in Creating the Psychologically Literate Citizen) argue for the value of a positive psychology approach in the undergraduate curriculum and how this relates to psychological literacy; they then give examples of evidence-based positive psychology interventions within the curriculum.
  • Jane Halonen, Dana Dunn Suzanne Baker, and Maureen McCarthy (Departmental Program Approaches for Educating) provide a comprehensive model for assessing psychological literacy, which is conceptualized as a multilayered developmental model.
  • Jacky Cranney, Sue Morris, Frances Martin, Steve Provost, Lucy Zinkiewicz, John Reece, Josephine Milne-Home, Lorelle Burton, Fiona Wahite, Judi Homewood, Joanne Earl, and Sherri McCarthy (Psycholgical Literacy and Applied Psycholgy in Undergraduate Education) argue that students should be given the opportunity to purposefully apply the basic principles of psychology to new problems or in new situations, in an experiential and active manner. They briefly consider the background to the issue of “applied” psychology in undergraduate education, and then give some concrete examples of how applied psychology learning and teaching strategies can be implemented to support the development of psychological literacy.

In the “Global Perspectives” section, national leaders in undergraduate psychology education were challenged to discuss the relevance of the two concepts from their particular national perspectives.

  • From the Italian perspective, Remo Job, Lorella Lotto, and Claudio Tonzar (Psycholgical Literacy: An Italian Perspective) identify four features that would allow students to develop psychological literacy during their undergraduate education, and include examples of how psychological literacy is being developed and displayed.
  • Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono (An Indonesian Perspective on Psychological Literacy) argues that psychology in Indonesia has been fostering psychological literacy in its students, in its researchers, and also in its population (through the popular media) for the past 60 years.
  • Annie Trapp and Jacqui Akhurst’s (A U.K. Perspective on Psychological Literacy and Citizenship) chapter considers the challenging concept of citizenship, particularly in the context of current pressures on undergraduate psychology education in the United Kingdom. They argue that existing course specifications and the U.K. benchmark statements define a high level of psychological literacy.
  • Victor Karandashev (Psychological Literacy Goals in Psychology Teaching) contrasts the professionally oriented undergraduate programs that have been typical for Russia (as well as for many European and South American countries) with the liberal arts education tradition typical for the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America. He also emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between general and professional psychological literacy, as well as recognizing different conceptualizations of psychological literacy across cultures.
  • Niki Harré, Taciano Milfont, William Helton, and Andrea Mead (Sustainability and the Psychologically Literate Citizen) point out that the current ecological crisis is of enormous relevance to psychology teaching, as it is essentially a problem of human behavior. They urge psychology educators to consider how they can nurture the psychologically literate citizen through a focus on ecological sustainability, and present four learning and teaching cases designed to increase student psychological literacy in this important area.
  • Steve Charlton and Jocelyn Lymburner (Fostering Psychotically Literate Citizens: A Canadian Perspective) consider how educators can foster the development of psychologically literate global citizenship in their psychology students, and discuss how psychological literacy may manifest itself through some of the key social issues facing Canadians today: volunteerism, environmental sustainability, illicit drug use, healthcare, and multiculturalism and diversity. Methods and examples of how to foster psychological literacy are presented through classroom exercises, case studies, and curriculum development.

 

The “Integrative Perspectives” section contains a number of chapters which comment on the core concepts, or which focus on the educator or the system of education.

  • Jacky Cranney and Sue Morris (Adaptive Cognition and Psychological Literacy) consider the relationship between psychological literacy and adaptive cognition, defined as ways of thinking (and consequently behaving) that are beneficial to one’s (and others’) survival and well-being. The adaptive cognition approach draws on a number of perspectives in psychology, including developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, cultural psychology, and human ecology. Cranney and Morris argue that we are in the privileged position of being able to choose to use strategies that we know will improve our chances of achieving the goals of living a purposeful and fulfilling life, and psychology education is one arena in which this perspective can be shared and experienced.
  • Building on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s claim that “Intelligence plus character . . . is the goal of true education,” Bryan Sokol and Janet Kuebli (Psychological Literacy: Bridging Citizenship and Character) explore the parallels between character development and psychological literacy. They argue, in particular, that promoting the skills of psychological literacy must be balanced against principles of citizenship and community in order to avoid the dangers of instrumental reasoning.
  • Daniel Bernstein (A Scientist-Educator Perspective on Psychological Literacy) extends the notion of the “scientist-educator” introduced in the “Blueprint” volume and cogently explores the process whereby a scientist-educator would seek to provide students with opportunities to develop into psychologically literate citizens.
  • Thomas McGovern (Virtues and Character Strengths of Psychologically Literate Faculty) argues that psychology educators are ideal role models for the psychologically literate citizen and outlines a program for faculty development and sustained renewal that can make explicit the connections between psychological literacy, citizenship, and virtues and character strengths.
  • In their consideration of the alumnus perspective on psychological literacy, Harold Takooshian and Giulia Lanndi (Psychological Literacy: An Alumni Perspective) present data that clearly demonstrate the increasing number of psychology honors graduates, which again raises the issue of what students acquire during a psychology major, particularly as very few undertake further study in psychology.
  • In the final chapter, Jacky Cranney and Dana Dunn (What the World Needs Now Is Psychological Literacy) reconsider the concepts of psychological literacy and global psychologically literate citizenship in light of the previous chapters. They argue that there is a global need for the development of psychological literacy in the general population, and undergraduate psychology education is an opportunity that cannot be ignored if we as psychology educators are ourselves psychologically literate. The aims of undergraduate psychology education in several countries are briefly and selectively reviewed, and we argue that the development of psychological literacy is compatible with current aims. They then provide some examples of renewed curricular and pedagogical strategies to enable undergraduate students to gain psychological literacy. They build on Halpern’s (2010) “Call to Action” to psychology educators to reinvent their pedagogy and curriculum to better meet the needs of our students who will best serve themselves and lead their local and global communities by developing a high level of psychological literacy—that is, by becoming psychologically literate global citizens.

 

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American Psychological Association. (2011). Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/principles.aspx

These principles are based on Halpern et al.’s (2010) chapter, and adopted by the APA as policy. Principle 5 stands.

 

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McGovern, T. V., Corey, L. A., Cranney, J., Dixon, Jr., W. E., Holmes, J. D., Kuebli, J. E., Ritchey, K., Smith, R. A., & Walker, S. (2010). Psychologically literate citizens. In D. Halpern (Ed.). Undergraduate education in psychology: Blueprint for the discipline’s future (pp. 9-27). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

The current conceptualisation of psychological literacy came about during the National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology (NCUEP, 2008, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, USA), led by Diane Halpern and supported by a number of organisations including the APA and Psi Chi. This “conference” was really a workhouse to facilitate the continued writing of chapters that would soon become Diane Halpern’s edited volume “Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline” (2010, APA, Washington, DC), which has already been described as a classic in the field. Tom McGovern, Laurie Corey, Jacky Cranney, Wallace Dixon, Jeff Holmes, Janet Kuebli, Kristin Ritchey, Randy Smith, and Sheila Walker worked through group dynamic lows to produce the concepts of psychological literacy and the psychologically literate citizen. McGovern et al. stated that psychological literacy encapsulates the common graduate attributes or capabilities that students should acquire while undertaking a major in psychology, such as acquiring discipline knowledge and developing a scientific way of thinking. As a result of communication between the chapter groups, these two concepts were mentioned in Diane’s introduction as well as two other chapters: [should NOT be line below]

Landrum, E., Beins, B.C., Bhaalla, M., Brakke, K., Briihl, D.S., Curl-Languager, R.M., Pusateris, T., & Kirk, J.J. (2010). Desired outcomes of an undergraduate education in psychology form departmental, student, and societal perspectives. [This chapter (a) argues that basic psychological literacy is an important learning outcome of introductory psychology courses, and (b) discusses the proximal contexts for becoming a psychologically literate citizen within Brofenbrenner’s 1979 model of ecological development.]

Halpern, D.,Anton, B., Beins, B.C., Bernstein, D.J., Blair-Broeker, C.T., Brewer, C.L., Buskist, W., Casad, B.J., Dixon Jr., W.E., Harper, Y.Y., Hailstorks, R.l., Kite, M.E., Puccio, P., & Rocheleau, C.A. (2010). Principles for Quality undergraduate education in Psychology.

[Quality Principle 5: Policy makers and the general public understand why psychological literacy is necessary for informed citizens and an effective workforce.]


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Boneau, C.A. (1990). Psychological literacy: A first approximation. American Psychologist, 45, 891-900.

The term “psychological literacy” was first coined by Alan Boneau of the Department of Psychology, George Mason University, who attempted to define the 100 most important facts and concepts in each of 10 subfields in psychology.

http://people.auc.ca/brodbeck/4007/article12.pdf

 

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Books

 

This book extends the concepts of psychological literacy and the psychologically literate citizen. More


 

 

This e-book on the application of psychological science to sustainability issues does not mention psychological literacy, but is a good example of it! More


 

 

Chapter 1 in this book operationalizes psychological literacy and coins the term “Psychologically literate citizen”. More

In the News

Psychological Literacy in the News

August 3-4, ICOPE 2014
“Psychological literacy around the world”
More

April 2014 EFPTA Conference
Sewing the seeds of psychological literacy
More

January 2014 UK HEA
Psychological Literacy Resources
More

2011 UK Psychology Network
Future of Undergraduate Psychology
More

March 2010, Observer
Ryan Goldstein on “Major Developments in Undergraduate Psychology”
More

September 21, 2009, Psychology Today (in “Head of the Class”).
Dana Dunn on “Thinking About Psychological Literacy: How psychologically literate are you?”
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February 14, 2009, Psychology Today
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