Selected Research:

Textbooks have little in common at the level of terms.

Firmin, M. W., Johnson, E. J., & Wikler, J. (2009). Professional human services occupation biases represented in general psychology textbooks. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36, 194-202.

Examined the coverage given by General Psychology textbooks, representing 8 major commercial publishers, regarding the professions of psychology, counseling, marriage & family therapy, and social workers.

Landrum, R. E., Gurung, R. A. R., & Spann, N. (2012). Assessments of textbook usage and the relationship to student course performance. College Teaching, 60, 17-24. doi:10.1080/87567555.2011.609573

Zechmeister, J. S., & Zechmeister, E. B. (2000). Introductory textbooks and psychology’s core concepts. Teaching of Psychology, 27, 6 – 11. doi:10.1207/S15328023TOP2701_1


Many previously highly cited articles and books have decreased in citation frequency (Griggs & Christopher, 2016).

Analyzed current textbooks to update the citation findings of these studies for the most cited articles, books, and psychologists.

Griggs, R. A., & Christopher, A. N. (2016). Who’s who in introductory psychology textbooks: A citation analysis redux. Teaching of Psychology, 43(2), 108-119. doi:10.1177/0098628316636276


Approximately one-fourth of Intro Psych students read the textbook outside of test times (Clump, Bauer, & Breadley, 2004).

Knowing that the study strategies of students using college textbooks can be a powerful predictor of performance in the classroom, we examined the extent to which students in different psychology courses reported reading their textbooks.

Clump, M. A., Bauer, H., & Breadley, C. (2004). The extent to which psychology students read textbooks: A multiple class analysis of reading across the psychology curriculum. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 31(3), 227 – 232.


The textbook potentially influences what is taught in the classroom (Griggs & Jackson, 2013).

Objectively analyzed the most current editions of the 13 full-length introductory texts published since 1997.

Griggs, R. A., & Jackson, S. L. (2013). Introductory psychology textbooks: An objective analysis update. Teaching of Psychology, 40, 163-168. doi:10.1177/0098628213487455


Common overall themes emerge between textbooks (Leichner, Mayer, & Krampen, in press).

This paper reports the development of a fixed-choice test for the assessment of basic knowledge in psychology, for use with undergraduate as well as graduate students.


Differential textbook ratings from students do not relate to differential learning outcomes (Gurung, Daniel, & Landrum, 2012).

Key measures included an instructor rating, ratings of textbook quality and helpfulness, study time, student self-evaluations of study behaviors, approach to learning, self-report of learning, and a measure of quiz performance using biopsychology and learning chapter questions from a College Board Advanced Placement exam.

Gurung, R. A. R., Daniel, D. B., & Landrum, R. E. (2012). A multi-site study of learning: A focus on metacognition and study behaviors. Teaching of Psychology, 39, 170-175.


One of the newest areas of research on textbooks pertains to the growth of open educational resources or OER.

Biswas-Diener, R. (2014). The nonobvious advantages of open digital textbooks. Psychology Teachers Network, 24, 8-11.

Friesen, N. (2013). The past and likely future of an education form: A textbook case. Educational Researcher, 42, 498-508. doi:10.3102/0013189X13513535

This article analyzes the textbook as an evolving pedagogical form, as changing medium comprised of smaller media components.

Gurung, R. A. R. (2017). Predicting learning: Comparing an open educational resource and standard textbooks. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 3(3), 233-248. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/stl0000092

Jhangiani, R. S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (Eds.). (2017). Open: The philosophy and practices that are revolutionizing education and science. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bbc


 Faculty members now have free alternatives to expensive textbooks via sources such as the Open Textbook Library (Stagnor, 2013) and Noba (www.nobaproject.com).

Stagnor, C. (2013). Introduction to psychology. Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge.


The best studies show no differences in exam scores between OER and publisher book users (Allen et al., 2015; Bowen et al., 2014; Hilton et al., 2013).

The ChemWiki is constructing a virtually and horizontally integrated resource that addresses STEM education at multiple levels of sophistication and context (Allen et al., 2015).

We measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine‐guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face‐to‐face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with about three hours of face‐to‐face instruction each week) (Bowen et al., 2014).

Hilton et al., 2013 report on one community college’s adoption of a collection of open resources across five different mathematics classes.


Other research articles to check out:

Balch, W. R.  (2005). Elaborations of introductory psychology terms: Effects on test performance and subjective ratings. Teaching of Psychology, 32, 29-34.

Griggs, R. A., & Jackson, S. L. (2017). Studying open versus traditional textbook effects on students’ course performance: Confounds abound. Teaching of Psychology, 44(4), 306-312. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0098628317727641

Griggs, R. A., Bujak-Johnson, A., & Proctor, D. L. (2004).  Using common core vocabulary in text selection and teaching the introductory course.  Teaching of Psychology, 31, 265-269.

Gurung, R. A. R., & Landrum, R. E. (2013). Bottleneck concepts in psychology. Psychology of Learning and Teaching, 12, 236-245.

Gurung, R. A. R., & Landrum, R. E.  (2012). Comparing student perceptions of textbooks: Does liking influence learning?  International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 24, 144-150.

Gurung, R. R., & Martin, R. C. (2011). Predicting Textbook Reading: The Textbook Assessment and Usage Scale. Teaching Of Psychology, 38(1), 22-28.

Peden, B. F., & Hausmann, S. E. (2000). Data graphs in introductory and upper level psychology textbooks: A content analysis. Teaching of Psychology, 27(2), 93-97.


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