ITAL 2F00 Lecture Notes - Alarm Clock, Developmental Psychology, Psychopathology
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Determinations of success in the college student – psychologists have decided to study college
students as college students, what is special about this time of their life? Developmental
pschologists were concerned with young kids in the 1800s. most colleges had 2 different courses
in this area up until 1970. Later on, there was a big shift in developmental psychology – it
doesn’t just occur when young, but through all phases of life. Life span developmental
psychology. A lot of work on old people, does memory, thinking skills deteriorate? Physical
changes. In the 2000’s a large number of psychologists started studying college students as
Why did they do this? Level of sophistication increases with age. Everyday you get older,
smarter, and more competent. Very small changes everyday add up to a big change overall.
in another model, there are times in your life where this isn’t true. Something happens to cause
dramatic increases in sophistication in a short period of time. not a direct relationship, graph
looks a little more jagged. Dramatic change in sophistication. An example of this would be being
able to speak for the first time. Another big example would be being able to walk for the first
time. Both of these examples demonstrate a big life change, thus supporting the jagged graph
model. Peer relationships are also another step in this process, puberty, death of a spouse,
retirement. For the first time, people have suggested that going to college is analogous to this
model, you will experience a pretty dramatic change of life in a short period of time. there are a
bunch of challenges that are important and you will have to face them head on like you have
never before. Intellectually, career choices. These decisions are very important, because the time
crunch is getting more and more tight. The concerns are taken more seriously than they ever
have up until this point.
Philosophy of life questions. Decisions become more prevalent. The cost of making a mistake
later in life goes up dramatically. If you make a mistake, you will have to live with that mistake
for the rest of your life.
Academic achievement in college – if you study freshmen who are here the first week, many of
them will give general and vague answers. Get a good job or be successful. Other people will
give really specific answers on what they want to do and where they want to go. These concerns
become more extreme and specific as time goes on. Seniors and juniors are more grade
conscious than freshmen and sophomores. They are also more concerned with learning and
mastering the material.
Determinant of success among college students
1. General intelligence –
2. Conceptual or theoretical relationship – universities choose students they want, and
students chose the school that they want.
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3. Restriction of range – if you have 2 variables that are strongly correlated, and if you
restrict the range on one of the variables, then the correlation basically disappears. We are
a homogenous group in level of intelligence, we are all very similar. Intelligence is
thought of as a necessary, but not sufficient condition for success.
Good grades, progress through curriculum, happy with school = successful
Necessary to have a certain level of intelligence in order to succeed
Confidence and self- doubt – important in several respecets. Everybody has these things in
combinations both good and bad students. Problems arise when things get out of balance. Most
successful students were marked by 2 things: have a little doubt, fear anxiety, knowing that they
can screw up. A little anxiety gets you to focus and motivation. Most successful students have
these and confidence that they could succeed with the appropriate effort. 2. Most successful
students learn from feedback that they receive and pay close attention to it. They are capable.
Fear and anxiety are balanced out by the confidence.
Unsuccessful students: 3 patterns that come up quite a bit.
1. Overconfidence – refers to the fact that some people have way too much confidence and
little self-doubt. Don’t take demand seriously enough. They don’t learn from the
feedback that they receive. They always find some excuse for their failure other than
themselves. Very convinced that they are smart, talented, and so good.
2. Self-handicapping – too much doubt and not enough confidence. Generally occurs when
people have had great success in the past, but they are afraid that they will not be able to
duplicate success in the future. Involves arranging the situation that if you do succeed
you can take success. But also arranges it in a way that you can blame it on something
3. Defensive pessimism- good grades and success in the past, but now sometimes they are
afraid to duplicate that success in the future. Afraid of failure in the future. Night before
exam stay up all night/day… arranged it so that if you do well you look good, but if you
do poorly you can blame it on something else like staying up all night. By arranging
situation in this way, you hurt probability that you will succeed. Comes from too much
doubt. Exaggerate everything negative about themselves, directly contradicted with
reality. They also typically exaggerate everything that could possibly go wrong, orient
life around everything that could possibly go wrong. What would I do if my alarm clock
broke? Building caught on fire? No balance to life, consumed with school completely.
Teachers love them, because they succeed well short term- but long term they get into
How successful and unsuccessful students differ
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1. Using time – need to make a lot of decisions how to use time. going to class? Successful
students plan on going to every class, and do so. Unsuccessful are the exact opposite.
Most unsuccessful people go to class on a regular basis. going to class Is a necessary, but
not suffiecient condition to be successful. Most unsuccessful people go to class.
Unsuccessful students Spend as much time on class related activities, but don’t use it as
efficiently. They don’t get much out of it. Successful students seem to know how to break
up large diffuse difficult tasks into smaller, more manageable units. Successful students
will organize a big workload, and break it down to smaller sections that are more
manageable. Massed(cramming) versus spaced learning: spaced learning is much better
than massed learning. Boils down to this; everytime you can make a mental connection
between facts, that gives you another way to recall information. When doing spaced
learning, that gives you more time to make different mental connections about the same
material. Successful students tend to spread their study time out more, and use it more
efficiently. Successful students are more organized and prioritize all their tasks. When in
trouble, they drop out low priority items. Sometimes low priority items are non-
academic items. Sometimes it is a academic item. Having radio on in background makes
no difference on success of student, same trend with where and when you study. The one
thing that did matter is that the successful students do only one thing at a time and work
really hard on it. Get to place that makes sense to stop working on it. (end of a chapter).
Unsuccessful students do everything at once.
2. Reading strategies – different types of material call for different reading strategies. Ex –
newspapers are written in an important fashion hierarchy organized. Time magazine –
longer and more linear organization, more intense, requires more attention. Different
books require different types of strategies. When students read the text books on the
computer – major finding was that the reading speeds of the successful students were
much more variable compared to that of the unsuccessful students. Faster –slower-faster-
slower compared with medium –medium. When the successful students are reading, they
are constantly monitoring their own comprehension as they go along. Successful students
will even go back and reread something if they do not understand it, and will have a
negative reading speed. The variable speeds of the successful students reflect their own
comprehension of the material. This is one of the many things in life, in which the rich
get richer and the poor get poorer. The more you already know about a domain, the easier
it is to learn something new. development a mental context as quickly as possible. Don’t
just read the words, understand the words. It is very helpful.
SQ3R method – essential method for learning textbook material. 1- survey. the whole
chapter, see what you are getting into. Pay attention to highlighted terms, and big topics.
2- question. what am I supposed to be getting out of this? Understand the big ideas. 3-
read. How everything flows and is related to each other. 4- recite. When you get to the
end of a chapter, before you move on try to put into your own words what you just
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