John Suler's Teaching Clinical Psychology

Dyad Introductions

dyad introductions


At the beginning of the course, I ask students to pick out someone in the class that they do not know, then sit down to talk and introduce themselves to each other. Afterwards, we all sit in a circle and each person takes a turn introducing their partner to the whole class.

I encourage them to not just report "facts" about the other person, but also to say something they noticed about their partner's personality and their reactions to it. We end by discussing our impressions of the exercise, especially what it was like being introduced. A variety of interesting issues about self-perceptions versus perceptions of oneself by others comes up.

I tell the students ahead of time that they will be introducing their partners, but I suggest that they not take notes during the dyad discussions. Some feel anxious about introducing their partner and want to make sure they "get it right." But relying on memory alone highlights interesting issues about our subjective impressions of the people we meet.

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