Introduction to Psychology

Common Course ID: PSYC 1: Introduction to Psychology

CSU Instructor Open Textbook Adoption Portrait

Abstract: This open textbook is being utilized in a Psychology 1 course for undergraduate Psychology majors and General Education students by Leslye M. Tinson, M.S., LMFT at San Jose State University. The open textbook provides a CSU digitally enhanced version of the Spielman Open Stax textbook. The main motivation to adopt an open textbook was to redesign the course to be effective for both Psych majors and General Ed students. Students were able to download a PDF to their smartphone or laptop, use the Bookstore’s e-text software, or go directly to the OpenStax website for this particular resource

Reviews: The book has been reviewed by faculty from within the three segments (CCC, CSU, and UC) of the California higher education systems.

COOLforED is a service of the California State University-MERLOT program.
Partial funding provided by the State of California, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundationand the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Questions? Email

About the Textbook

Textbook Title: (2014). Introduction to Psychology.

Description: Psychology 2e is designed to meet scope and sequence requirements for the single-semester introduction to psychology course. The book offers a comprehensive treatment of core concepts, grounded in both classic studies and current and emerging research. The text also includes coverage of the DSM-5 in examinations of psychological disorders. Psychology incorporates discussions that reflect the diversity within the discipline, as well as the diversity of cultures and communities across the globe. 


Rose M. Spielman, Formerly of Quinnipiac University

William J. Jenkins, Mercer University

Marilyn D. Lovett, Spelman College


Supplemental resources: List resources including online homework systems, interactive study guides for students, and faculty-only resources such as solutions and slides that are available. [Link to publisher information]

Cost savings: $80 per student 

Accessibility and diversity statement.

License: OpenStax is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License v4.0  

About the Course

PSYC 1: Introduction to Psychology 

Description:  Study of perception, attention, learning, remembering, thinking, development of the individual, intelligence, aptitudes, emotions, motivation, adjustment and conflict; designed to give insight into oneself and others.

Prerequisites: N/A

GE credit: 3 credits

Syllabus available here: [link to online syllabus]

Learning outcomes:

1. Describe the historical, philosophical and scientific basics of the discipline of psychology;

2. Compare and contrast different explanations of human and animal behavior;

3. Critically evaluate claims and evidence in psychological research;

4. Describe biological aspects of human behavior;

5. Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method and experimental analysis.

6. Prepare the future psychology major or the non-major for further coursework in psychology.

7. Compare and contrast theories concerning the origins of psychological disorders.

8. Describe theories (behavioral, biological, cognitive, evolutionary, humanistic, psychodynamic

and sociocultural) and apply them to social contexts.

9. Identify various types of development that an individual experiences across the lifespan.

10. Recognize and discuss the impact of diversity on psychological research, theory and

application, including but not limited to: age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, socioeconomic

status, disability and sexual orientation.

11. Demonstrate critical thinking skills and information competence as applied to psychological


Curricular changes:

I changed the textbook and I changed my in-class technology policy. I grew up in an “old-school” no phones out system, but I think  it’s important as instructors to figure out ways to incorporate technology into our teaching practices and classroom activities. The students now are so attached to their phones! We might as well find creative ways to include them into our classroom experience.

Teaching and learning impacts:

Collaborate more with other faculty : No
Use wider range of teaching materials: Yes
Student learning improved : Yes
Student retention improved : Yes
Any unexpected results: Yes

I teach on things that are not in the text, and so those test items did have lower rates. While I highly encourage other instructors to do more than “stick to the book” this was an unintended consequence. I plan to also review my study guides and add missing details there also..

Textbook Adoption

OER Adoption Process

For the OER Team Grant, I decided to redesign PSYC 1 – General Psychology. PSYC 1 is a General Education requirement and a core course in the Psychology major at SJSU. I have taught this course for several semesters at another school, I was assigned to teach General Psychology for the first time here at SJSU for the Fall 2017 semester. I have revised this course to reflect an OpenStax textbook for General Psychology.

Student access: Students were able to download a PDF to their smartphone or laptop, use the Bookstore’s e-text software, or go directly to the OpenStax website for this particular resource 

Leslye Tinson I am a Psychology and African American Studies professor at the San Jose State University. I teach a large number of Psychology department and AA Studies department courses.

Originally from Compton, CA, I am a passionate instructor, mentor and student organization advisor. I love to read, and have taught a variety of courses at SJSU in both Psychology and African American Studies. As an instructor, I utilize a multicultural, intersectional framework as foundational to my teaching approach.