Psychology 130 Course Offerings

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Psychology Department
  • Prepared Date: Fall 2015
  • Course Title: Introduction to Psychology (PLMP) (Perception, Learning, Motivation, Physiology)
  • Course Code: PSY 130
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Catalog Description

This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Topics covered include methods of psychological research, biological basis of behavior, altered states of awareness, principles of learning, memory/forgetting, sensation/perception, language/thought, and motivation/emotion/stress. Psychological theories, uses of psychology (individual and general), and careers in psychology will be discussed.

  • Prerequisites: None prerequisites
  • Required for:
  • Elective For: All curricula with a social science elective
  • Texts Currently Iin Use: Modules for Active Learning, Custom 13th Edition, Dennis Coon/John O Mitterer;
  • Cengage Learning. ISBN# 9781305385504


Introduction to Psychology/Research Methodology/Physiological Basis of Behavior

Part A:

  • psychology and psychologists
  • history of psychology
  • goals of psychology
  • scientific method
  • techniques of research
  • pseudopsychologies

Part B:

  • the nervous system: neurons and nerve impulses
  • structure and function of the brain
  • the brain and behavior
  • neurotransmitters
  • images of the brain: diagnostic technology
  • hemispheric specialization
  • brain damage: behavioral effects
  • agnosia and aphasia

UNIT II: Sensation and Reality

Part A:

  • sensory systems
  • psychophysics: thresholds and limits
  • subliminal stimulation
  • vision and visual disruptions
  • hearing and deafness
  • smell and taste
  • somesthetic senses
  • adaptation, attention and gating
  • pain sensations
  • acupuncture

Part B:

  • perceptual constancies
  • perceptual organization
  • perceiving depth and distance
  • optical illusions
  • perceptual learning
  • attention, habituation and motives
  • expectancies and sets
  • evaluating extrasensory perception

UNIT III: States of Consciousness/Conditioning and Learning

Part A:

  • altered states of awareness
  • biological rhythms
  • sleep: stages, types, patterns, disturbances
  • REM and NREM sleep
  • dreams and dream theories
  • hypnosis: susceptibility, induction, effects
  • meditation, the relaxation response
  • sensory deprivation
  • psychoactive substances and drug-altered consciousness
  • alcohol and the development of drinking problems

Part B:

  • principles of classical conditioning
  • antecedents and consequences
  • reinforcement theory
  • anxiety and conditioned emotional responses
  • principles of operant conditioning
  • negative reinforcement and punishment
  • superstitious behavior
  • schedules of reinforcement
  • stimulus control
  • learning, feedback and programmed instruction
  • observational learning
  • behavioral self-management

UNIT IV: Memory/Motivation and Emotion

Part A:

  • stages of memory: sensory, short-term, long-term
  • memory processes: encoding, storage and retrieval
  • measurement of memory: recall, recognition and relearning
  • theories of memory and forgetting
  • types of memory
  • recovered memories and the false memory syndrome
  • techniques for improving memories/mnemonics

Part B:

  • types of motives
  • models of motivation
  • needs, drives and goals
  • homeostasis
  • thirst, hunger and eating, sex, pain
  • eating disorders and behavioral dieting
  • stimulus motives
  • arousal theory
  • leaned motives
  • achievement
  • theories of emotion
  • fight or flight responses
  • physiology and expression of emotion