Introduction to Psychology
This course is an introduction to the field of psychology, the study of brain and behavior. Your brain and your behavior are unique to you and they have been shaped by genetics, environment, and culture. Thus, psychology can be understood in terms of the events that occur at different levels of analysis: the brain or biological factors, the person including their history, beliefs, desires, and feelings; and the world or group including social, cultural and environmental factors. The course will integrate the diverse range of theories and discoveries within the different fields of psychology. In addition, psychology is an interdisciplinary field that works closely with other disciplines including neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, and medicine (to name a few!). Throughout the semester we will learn how findings from these other areas are integrated into our knowledge of psychology. Finally, students will investigate psychological research and research methodology.
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Apply scientific theories to summarize and draw conclusions from research data.
- Compare and contrast theoretical perspectives on and approaches to the study of behavior and mental processes.
- Demonstrate understanding of the principles of and the methods used to study human behavior across cultures and contexts.
- Identify the major changes associated with the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of the individual.
- Explain the basic concepts of learning, memory, and motivation.
- Discuss the differences between “normal” and “abnormal” behavior; describe the major categories of psychological disorders, and explain how personality develops from several theories of personality.
- Explain the differences between various treatments for psychological disorders and effectiveness of those treatments. In addition, how do society, culture, and individual experience shape treatment of psychological disorder?
- Describe key concepts underlying social interactions among humans.