General Psychology

General Psychology (PSY1010)


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Based on the Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Explain major psychological concepts, theories, and perspectives.

a. For the individuals listed, describe the person’s contribution to psychology and the theory he proposed. Describe and explain any key concepts of the individual’s theory and any stages or levels in the theory including ages if relevant: Freud, Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Skinner, Watson, Pavlov, Selye, Milgram, Zimbardo.

b. Describe how the major perspectives of psychology explain behavior. The perspectives are: psychoanalytic, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, evolutionary, biological, sociocultural, and biopsychosocial.

c. Define and be able to explain the following terms or concepts:

1. Neurotransmitters

2. Short term/working memory and long term memory, reconstructionist model of memory

3. Nature/nurture issue and the current views on this issue.

4. Classical and operant conditioning including their components (USC, UCR, CS, CR, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment, extinction, schedules of reinforcement, discrimination, and generalization)

5. Cognition vs. thinking

6. Functional fixedness vs. mental set

7. Cultural biases in IQ testing

8. Types of IQ tests and their limitations

9. General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and stress

10. Stages of sleep, REM and NREM sleep

11. Prejudice vs. discrimination

12. Social roles/power of the situation

13. DSM 5, criteria for abnormal behavior (cultural relativism)

14. Phobias, PTSD, major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia

15. Forms of therapy and their techniques (family, group, psychoanalysis/psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, biomedical, and eclectic).

16. Describe research methods and tools used by psychologists to understand and explain behavior.

a. Explain the types of research studies used in psychology: case study, survey, naturalistic

observation, correlational method, and experiment.

b. Differentiate between correlational and experimental designs in determining causation.

c. Given an experiment, identify and describe the major components of it, including the

independent variable, dependent variable, control group, and experimental group.

d. Explain random sample and random assignment.

e. Identify an operational definition.

f. Explain the placebo effect.

g. Explain how to calculate a simple mean, median, and mode.

h. Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics.

i. Explain what statistical significance means.

1. Describe the ethical principles inherent in research, teaching, and practice in the field of psychology.

a. Explain the ethical principles of psychological research including: respecting human

dignity, informed consent, confidentiality, and debriefing.

1. Apply psychological concepts to personal, social, and organizational issues.

a. Describe the models of classical and operant conditioning. Given a scenario, be able to label the example as classical or operant conditioning and analyze the components (UCS, UCR, CS, CR, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment, extinction, schedules of reinforcement, discrimination, and generalization).

b. Describe the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and its stages, and be able to apply these stages given examples of stressful situations.

c. Describe Milgram’s studies on obedience and Zimbardo’s Stanford prison study on social roles. Identify other more recent examples in our society of the behaviors studied by Milgram and Zimbardo.

d. Distinguish between prejudice and discrimination.

e. Identify the major criteria used to determine if behavior is abnormal, including cultural relativism.

f. Explain how various therapies use different theoretical models, so that the therapy experience can vary depending on the theoretical orientation of the therapist.

1. Explain how culture influences behavior and mental processes.

a. Explain the role of culture, such as cultures which are individualist or collectivist, in understanding psychological theories and behavior.

1. Use appropriate technology to obtain scholarly information for the purpose of writing or

making presentations on relevant psychological topics.

a. Select and write about a peer-reviewed (referred) journal article.

b. Apply APA style to a peer-reviewed journal article citation

c. Identify sections of a journal article.

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