Bottleneck Concepts in Psychology: Exploratory First Steps

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The authors take an initial step in identifying potential bottleneck concepts in psychology, that is, concepts that are deceptively difficult, perhaps due to student overconfidence. In order to first identify bottleneck concepts, faculty (n = 65) rated the difficulty of 91 psychological concepts from across the discipline. Students (n = 35) rated both the difficulty of terms and their confidence in their own knowledge of 107 terms typically found in introductory psychology research methods and learning chapters. Additional research into psychology's bottleneck concepts may help instructors to focus more on the content that students struggle with, especially the content in which students overconfidence.

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