Psychology 131 Course Offerings

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Psychology Department
  • Prepared Date: Fall 2015
  • Course Title: Introduction to Psychology (Personality, Abnormal, Therapy, Social)
  • Course Code: PSY 131
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Catalog Description

This course is designed to present basic concepts in the scientific study of interpersonal behavior. Topics covered include methods of psychological research, psychology as a profession, human development, intelligence, theories of personality, mental health/abnormality/stress, psychological assessment of emotional/behavioral disorders, psycho-therapy, and social psychology. 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 in Use: Modules for Active Learning, Custom 13th Edition, Dennis Coon/John O Mitterer; Cengage Learning. ISBN# 9781305385504

Course Outline

UNIT I   Introduction to Psychology

  • History of Psychology
  • Psychologists and other Mental Health Professionals
  • Research Methodology in Psychology
  • (observation, correlational studies, experimental method, the clinical case study, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies; placebo effect, ethicalissues in research)

UNIT II   Developmental Psychology

  • Behavioral genetics, nature vs. nurture
  • Pre-natal development and environmental influences
  • Birth process
  • Characteristics of the neonate
  • Infant and child development: social, language, cognitive, moral
  • Life-Span Development
  • Psychosocial stages of development (Erikson)
  • Cognitive stages of development (Piaget)
  • Typical childhood problems
  • Childhood disorders
  • Parenting styles
  • Dysfunctional families, child abuse
  • Adolescence and puberty
  • Adulthood and aging
  • Death and dying; bereavement and grief

UNIT III   Intelligence

  • Defining intelligence; the IQ controversy
  • Assessment and psychometric testing
  • Cognition, problem solving and creativity
  • Mental retardation

UNIT IV   Personality

  • Defining personality
  • Traits, types, theories
  • Structure of personality: id, ego, superego
  • Psychosexual stages of development (Freud)
  • Humanistic theory: Maslow, Rogers
  • Assessment: interviews, questionnaires
  • Inventories and projective techniques

UNIT V   Abnormal Psychology

  • Historical background: from superstition to science
  • Definition of abnormality; concepts of normality
  • Psychiatric labeling, self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Mental health professionals
  • Models of psychopathology
  • Assessment and classification (DSM IV)
  • Mental disorders: anxiety, depression, substance-abuse, psychosis
  • (schizophrenia), paraphilias, dementia, dissociation
  • Etiology, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness
  • Institutionalization; legal issues
  • Community mental health programs; self-help groups 
  • Psychotherapy
  • Types of therapy: individual, group, family, marital
  • Psychoanalysis; concept of the unconscious mind
  • Humanistic therapy; client-centered therapy
  • Behavior therapy: desensitization, reinforcement
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Psychopharmacological therapy, ECT, psychosurgery

UNIT VI   Social Psychology

  • Definition and concepts of social psychology
  • Relation to psychology and sociology
  • Social roles and expectations
  • Personal space and boundaries
  • Attitudes, persuasion, stereotypes, prejudice
  • Brainwashing and cults
  • Interpersonal attraction
  • Cognitive dissonance theory
  • Process of social influence: compliance, conformity, ower, obedience,
  • helping behavior
  • Social cognition, comparison and perception
  • Theories of aggression
  • Attribution theory