Psychology

Psychology

Introduction to Psychology provides a comprehensive overview of fundamental topics in psychology, exposing students to essential psychological theories, concepts, and terminology. It reviews the history of psychology and explores the scientific study of human behavior through topics such as sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, and group dynamics. The course also explores behavior, personality, psychological disorders and treatments.

 

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Module 1: Introduction to Psychology

  • Recognize and relate the four primary goals of psychological science
  • Summarize the early origins of psychology as a discipline
  • Compare and contrast the first schools of psychological thought
  • Describe the modern psychological perspectives
  • Identify and explain the various steps of the scientific method
  • Differentiate between descriptive, experimental, and correlational studies
  • Explain three areas where ethical issues may arise when conducting psychological research
  • Discuss the five key provisions of the APA ethical principles
  • Argue the importance of ethical considerations in research design
  • Analyze and critique a psychological experiment from an ethical perspective

Module 2: Biological Basis of Behavior

  • Distinguish the difference between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
  • Locate the structures of a neuron
  • Differentiate the function of various neurons
  • Compare and contrast interneuronal and intraneuronal communication
  • Describe the seven key neurotransmitters and the role they play in the body
  • Diagram the anatomy of the brain
  • Interpret the correlation of brain chemistry and mental illness
  • Explain hemispheric communication in the brain
  • Categorize the different lobes of the cerebral cortex and compare the role each handles with regard to human behavior
  • Summarize the functions of the three major endocrine glands

Module 3: Sensation and Perception

  • Distinguish between sensation and perception
  • Summarize the two types of threshold levels for each sense
  • Explain sensory habituation and adaptation
  • Identify the anatomy involved in vision, audition, olfaction, gustation, somesthesis, kinesthetic and vestibular senses
  • Compare and contrast the various theories of color vision
  • Describe the theories of sound perception
  • Interpret the differences between top-down and bottom-up processing
  • Discuss the Gestalt principles of perception
  • Interpret how the brain combines and organizes visual stimuli into meaningful perceptions
  • Analyze the four main perceptual constancies

Module 4: States of Consciousness

  • Describe the three main aspects of human attention
  • Contrast the primary theories of selective attention
  • Relate the two primary theories of why people sleep
  • Explain the role of circadian rhythms
  • Identify sleep patterns and breakdown the various stages that occur during sleep
  • Categorize various sleep disorders
  • Interpret the various theories of why dreams occur
  • Summarize the techniques of meditation and hypnosis
  • Differentiate between physical and psychological dependence
  • Compare and contrast the different types of psychoactive drugs and their effects

Module 5: Learning

  • Discuss the main components of the classical conditioning process
  • Explain stimulus generalization and stimulus discrimination
  • Relate the importance of timing in the classical conditioning process
  • Summarize operant conditioning as a theory of learning
  • Describe the concept of reinforcement and compare different schedules of reinforcement
  • Contrast classical and operant conditioning
  • Outline how operant conditioning concepts are applied in different settings
  • Differentiate cognitive learning theory as a model of learning
  • Compare observational learning theory with earlier theories of learning
  • Discuss the concept of learned helplessness

Module 6: Memory

  • Discuss the three key memory processes
  • Outline the information-processing model of memory
  • Compare and contrast sensory, short-term, and long-term memory
  • Describe the different types of long-term memory
  • Identify ways in which memory can be improved
  • Explain the process of memory retrieval
  • Contrast recall versus recognition
  • Relate encoding failure and decay theory to forgetting
  • Analyze imperfect memories and false and examine why they occur
  • Summarize various memory disorders

Module 7: Cognition and Intelligence

  • Discuss how mental images and concepts are involved with cognition
  • Describe the various methods used to solve problems
  • Diagram the different cognitive strategies used when making decisions
  • Compare divergent and convergent thinking
  • Define and relate the different theories of intelligence
  • Identify various methods of measuring intelligence
  • Argue whether standardized intelligence tests are reliable and valid
  • Differentiate the roles that genetics and environment play with regard to intelligence
  • Summarize the early attempts to measure and quantify intelligence
  • Discuss various criticisms of IQ tests

Module 8: Motivation and Emotion

  • Provide a general definition of motivation
  • Summarize the hierarchical conception of motivational theories
  • Distinguish between reflexes and instincts
  • Distinguish between mechanistic approaches to motivation and approaches that involve cognition
  • Describe various approaches to motivation and explain how they compare and contrast with one another
  • Explain the relationship between motivation and emotion
  • Summarize a number of historically and theoretically important theories of emotions
  • Outline the functions of emotions
  • Explain the neurological basis of emotions
  • Discuss the relationship between emotions and culture

Module 9: Developmental Psychology

  • Discuss the nature versus nurture debate as it relates to human behavior
  • Distinguish the difference between genotypes and phenotypes
  • Outline the major physical stages of human lifespan development
  • Summarize Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
  • Relate criticisms of Piaget’s theory to other theories of cognitive development
  • Explain how language skills develop during early childhood
  • Compare and contrast the social development changes that occur across the lifespan
  • Identify Ainsworth’s theory of attachment styles
  • Analyze Kohlberg’s six stages of moral reasoning
  • Outline both the social learning theory and the gender schema theory of sex-role acquisition

Module 10: Personality

  • Analyze Erikson’s theory of personality development
  • Explain Freud’s dynamic theory of personality
  • Discuss the core conflicts of each of the five psychosexual stages
  • Compare and contrast the Neo-Freudian perspective with Freud’s theory
  • Describe Bandura’s social-cognitive theory of personality
  • Explain how defense mechanisms are used by the ego to mediate between the id and superego
  • Identify various methods used to assess personality
  • Discuss the differences between personality inventories and projective tests
  • Summarize the challenges and limitations of the various types of behavioral methods that are used to assess personality
  • Outline how trait theories of personality have evolved over time

Module 11: Psychological Disorders

  • Summarize the different theories of psychopathology used for explaining and treating abnormal behavior
  • Discuss how the DSM was developed and how its diagnostic categories are utilized in assessing disorders
  • Outline the prevalence of psychological disorders
  • Compare and contrast the various types of dissociative disorders
  • Categorize and discuss mood disorders
  • Explain the various types of anxiety disorders
  • Identify the main symptoms, types and causes of schizophrenia
  • Describe the three clusters of personality disorders
  • Illustrate how the types of eating disorders differ
  • Analyze the difference between different types of dissociative disorders

Module 12: Psychological Therapies

  • Discuss the types of treatments that were historically used to treat mental illness and disorders
  • Differentiate between biomedical therapy and psychotherapy
  • Analyze the fundamental elements of Freud’s psychoanalysis and compare how this approach is different today
  • Explain how behavioral therapies use elements of classical and operant conditioning
  • Identify the goals of various forms of cognitive therapies
  • Discuss the advantages of group therapy
  • Summarize how various biomedical therapies achieve their effects
  • Evaluate the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of psychotherapy
  • Explain the characteristics of effective psychotherapy
  • Discriminate the differences between different types of therapists

Module 13: Social Psychology

  • Identify what factors contribute to conformity, compliance, and obedience
  • Discuss the components of attitude formation and how attitudes can be changed
  • Interpret the four principles of the person perception process
  • Explain how personal perception is affected by social categorization, implicit personality theories, and physical attractiveness
  • Describe the fundamental attribution error and the self-serving bias
  • Relate how attitudes can affect behavior
  • Analyze how in-group and out-group dynamics influence social judgments
  • Distinguish between stereotypes and prejudice and how one relates to the other
  • Summarize factors that contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior
  • Discuss the bystander effect and the factors that increase or decrease helping behavior

Module 14: Statistics, Tests, & Measurement

  • Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Discuss the concepts of validity and reliability and how these each factor into research design methods
  • Summarize the various ways to assess validity
  • Argue the importance of test-retest reliability
  • Explain the importance of population and sample size in inferential statistics
  • Distinguish between the various types of common psychological tests
  • Interpret what is meant by statistical significance
  • Discriminate the difference between the concepts of mode, median and mean
  • Analyze how statistics are used to predict one score from another
  • Discuss the different types of statistics used to examine central tendencies in data, and what types are used to examine variations in data