Psychology 238 Course Offerings
- Department: Psychology
- Prepared By: Psychology Department
- Prepared Date: Fall 2017
- Course Title: Introduction to Psychology
- Course Code: PSY 101
- Credits: 3
- Contact Hours: 45
This course is designed to present basic psychological concepts and to introduce students to the scientific study of behavior. Core topics include methods of psychological research, the biological bases of behavior, principles of learning, memory and cognition, personality, and psychopathology. Other selected topics to be covered would include the following: motivation and emotion, life-span development, social psychology, health psychology, sensation and perception, intelligence, human sexuality, statistics, and altered states of consciousness. Credits: 3 (3,0)
PSY 101 Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of PSY 101, students will be able to:
- Define psychology and describe the main focus of each major area of applied psychology including clinical, counseling, school, and industrial/organizational psychology.
- Summarize the major tenants of the various psychological perspectives including the psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, and biological schools of thought.
- Outline the steps of the scientific method.
- Identify the differences between correlational and experimental research methods including the advantages and disadvantages/potential confounds of each.
- Identify the key functions of the neurotransmitters and brain structures described in the course as they relate to human behavior.
- Describe the processes of classical and operant conditioning.
- Describe the key processes of memory including encoding, storage, and retrieval and strategies to enhance these processes to reduce forgetting.
- Identify the major perspectives on how personality traits develop including the psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, and biological perspectives.
- List the defining symptoms of psychological disorders including anxiety, mood, somatoform, dissociative, personality, and schizophrenic disorders.
Note: Students completing this course may not receive credit for PSY 130 or PSY 131
- Prerequisites: None
- Required For: Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Aerospace, Med. Lab Tech. Criminal Justice.
- General Education: This course satisfies 3 credits of the Social and Behavioral Science competency area of the General Education requirements at Farmingdale State College.
- Elective For: All curricula with a social science elective
- Texts Currently in use: Modules for Active Learning, Custom 14 th Edition,, Coon, Mitterer, Martini, Cengage Learning.
PSY 101 Justification
Psychology 101 fulfills the intent of both the Social and Behavioral Science and Science competency areas by applying a research and scientific perspective to the study of human behavior.
Psychology is a way of asking and answering questions about the similarities (AWhat is crowd behavior?@) as well as the intra (ADo I have an eating disorder?)@ and interpersonal variations (AWhy are some people phobic?@) in the human experience. As psychology students study how sociocultural and environmental factors shape human behavior and mental processes, they will come to understand the effect of culture on their individual values and attitudes and on the society in which they live. In learning about psychology, students will trace its evolution from physiology and philosophy into a modern science significantly influenced by technological progress, especially in the areas of neuroscience and behavioral genetics. The sociocultural perspective will encourage students to critically evaluate Apopular@ notions of psychology in terms of gender bias, ethnocentrism, ageism, racism, and heterosexism. In its use of multicultural examples to explore contemporary societal problems (e.g., domestic violence, road rage, child abuse, anxiety/depression), Introductory Psychology imparts a respect for the parallel phenomena of human unity and diversity. With their increased knowledge of both intrapersonal and interpersonal processes students will have a better awareness and understanding of the motivation for, effect of, and ethics of their personal, social, and political actions. This in turn will make them both more productive citizens and more effective at resolving both personal and contemporary societal problems.
Psychology has been defined as Athe scientific study of behavior and mental processes.@ Throughout the course an emphasis is placed on understanding human behavior from a scientific perspective. Students learn to separate the ideas of Apop psychology@ from those established through research, and to appreciate how our current knowledge develops through scientific inquiry. The scientific method is the common thread that both unites the disparate subfields of psychology and runs throughout the course. It is explored in depth and employed to understand individual differences and similarities.
The scientific method and specific research methodologies are covered in their own right and are then revisited throughout the rest of the course as various content areas are explored. Specifically, we discuss research conducted in the different subfields of psychology (e.g., perception, motivation, learning, personality) and critically evaluate both the methodologies and results. Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate ideas and information coming from a variety of sources. Thus, they will be able to critically evaluate public policy outcomes as well as the efficacy of their own behavior and the behavior of others that is aimed at resolving the problems of contemporary society and producing productive, functioning members of society.
- Introduction to Psychology
- Research Methodology
- Biological Bases of Behavior
- Memory & Cognition
- Abnormal Psychology
Optional Topics To Be Selected From Among The Following:
- Altered states of consciousness
- Life-Span Development
- Human Sexuality
- Social Psychology
- Health Psychology/Stress Management
At the completion of this course, the student should be able to define and discuss concepts such as:
- What Psychologists do
- Goals of Psychology
- Scientific method
- Techniques of Research
- Gender bias in psychological research
- Experimenter and Subject Bias
- Critical thinking when reviewing scientific studies
- The Nervous System: Neurons and nerve impulses
- Structure and function of the brain
- The Brain and Behavior
- Images of the brain: diagnostic technology
- Hemispheric Specialization
- Brain Damage: Behavioral effects
- Gender differences in neuroanatomy
- Perceptual constancies
- Perceptual organization
- Perceiving depth and distance
- Optical Illusions
- Perceptual Learning
- Attention, habituation and motives
- Expectancies and sets
- Evaluating Parapsychology
- 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
- Defining personality
- Traits, types, theories
- Structure of personality: id, ego, superego
- Psychosexual stages of development (Freud)
- Humanistic theory: Maslow, Rogers
- Impact of society and culture on the establishment of identity
- Assessment: interviews, questionnaires
- Inventories and projective techniques
- Historical background: from superstition to science
- Definition of abnormality; concepts of normality
- Culture barriers to effective psychotherapy
- The effect of labeling on behavior
- The stigma of mental illness
- Impact of culture on stress
- The cultural relativity definition of normal behavior
- Psychiatric labeling, self-fulfilling prophecy
- Mental health professionals
- Models of psychopathology
- Assessment and classification (DSM-IV)
- Cultural bias in intelligence and personality testing
- Culture fair versus culture free testing
- Mental disorders: anxiety, depression, substance abuse, psychosis (schizophrenia), paraphilias, dementia, dissociation, somatoform disorders
- Etiology, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness
- Institutionalization; legal issues
- Community mental health programs; self-help groups
- Impact of politics on mental health care
- Types of therapy: individual, group, family and marital
- Psychoanalysis; concept of the unconscious mind
- Humanistic therapy; client-centered therapy
- Behavior therapy: desensitization, reinforcement
- Cognitive therapy
- Psychopharmacological therapy, ECT, psychosurgery