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PSYC 1101

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours3
Course TitleIntroduction To General Psychology
Prerequisite(s)Exit or exemption from Learning Support reading and all ESL requirements except ENSL 0091  
Corequisite(s)None Specified
Catalog Description
A broad survey of the major topics in psychology including but not limited to, research methodology, biological and social factors influencing behavior, development, learning, memory, personality, and abnormal psychology.
Expected Educational Results
As a result of completing this course the student will be able to:

1. Explain the differences and similarities between the psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, sociocultural, and biological perspectives as well as the current perspective on the relative influences of heredity and environment on human behavior.
2. Describe, compare and provide examples for each of the major research methods used in psychology, including strengths, limitations, and key terminology associated with each, including how descriptive statistics are used to analyze data.
3. Identify ethical issues in psychology.
4. Describe in detail the functioning of the nervous system, including the divisions of the nervous system and their functions, the major structures of the brain and their functions, the types and parts of the neuron, the process of neurotransmission, the role and functions of the major neurotransmitters.
5. Define learning and describe, identify, compare and contrast the major features and principles of operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and social learning.
6. Describe the major theories of memory, including factors that contribute to the retention, retrieval, and forgetting of information.
7. Describe social psychological findings regarding: conformity, obedience, diffusion of responsibility, groupthink, social loafing, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
8. Describe relevant theories and research on prenatal development, temperament, and early childhood development and compare, contrast, and evaluate the viewpoints of major developmental theorists including the following:.
· Freud - psychosexual theory
· Erikson - psychosocial theory
· Harlow & Ainsworth - attachment theory
· Piaget - cognitive theory
· Kohlberg & Gilligan - moral reasoning
9. Outline the basic principles of psychoanalytic, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, biological and trait theories of personality.  Compare and contrast these theories.
10. Identify major objective and projective personality tests and evaluate them based on the characteristics of a good psychological test in terms of reliability, validity, standardization, and norms.
11. Compare and contrast various criteria that can be used to identify a person's behavior as "abnormal."  Describe the current classification system and its strengths and weaknesses.
12. Compare and contrast the major theories on the etiology of psychological disorders, including psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, biological, and sociocultural.
13. List the major characteristics of 1) anxiety disorders, 2) mood disorders, 3) dissociative disorders, and 4) schizophrenic disorders.  Identify the specific disorders that are grouped in each class.
General Education Outcomes
I. This course addresses the general education outcome relating to communications as follows:
A. Students develop their reading comprehension skills by reading the textbook, handouts, and assigned journal articles.
B. Students develop their listening skills by listening to lectures, videotapes, and other students (during group discussions and problem-solving exercises).
C. Students develop their writing skills through written homework assignments, papers, and/or writing essays as part of exams.
D. Students develop their speaking skills by asking questions, through class discussions, and/or through oral reports to the class.
II. This course addresses the general educational outcome of demonstration of effective problem-solving and critical thinking skills by requiring students to apply knowledge gained from the course to analyzing and solving the types of problems that are often encountered in real life.
III. This course addresses the general education outcome of understanding, interpreting, and communicating quantitative data by requiring students to use basic descriptive statistics to summarize and analyze data and to define and interpret key terms used in descriptive statistics.
IV. This course addresses the general education outcomes of recognition and application of scientific inquiry by requiring students to explain the differences between experimental and descriptive research, to identify examples of each, and to identify and describe each of the major research methods used in psychology, including strengths, limitations, and key terminology associated with each.
Course Content
1. Theoretical perspectives
2. Research methods
3. Biology and behavior
4. Human development (through middle childhood)
5. Learning  
6. Memory
7. Personality  
8. Psychological disorders  
9. Social psychology
10. A minimum of one additional topic area
Assessment of Outcome Objectives
Grades from some combination of the following will be used to determine each student’s final course grade:  class participation, homework assignments, papers, projects, oral presentations, and exams.  Exams may be multiple choice, some combination of multiple choice and short answer or essay, or purely essay and/or short answer.  All instructors must give a MINIMUM of two exams for the course, including the final exam.  Individual instructors may determine the relative weightings of each component in determining the grade for the course, and must state the weightings to be used in determining student grades in the course syllabus.

A. This course will be assessed in the spring semester on a three-year assessment cycle.  Objective questions assessing student mastery of outcomes for this course will be included in either the final exam or unit tests for this course.  Each instructor must include these questions in the appropriate exam.  Each instructor is responsible for reviewing and tabulating the results of these outcome assessment questions and transmitting them to the course or curriculum committee responsible for this course.  Individual instructors should use feedback from assessment in their classes to review and evaluate their own teaching practices.
B. The construction of the outcome assessment questions will be the responsibility of the college-wide Psychology Curriculum Committee.

The Psychology Curriculum Committee will meet in either the summer or fall term after the spring assessment to review the course and to evaluate the results.  The review of the course outcome assessment findings will provide information on success in achieving the desired outcomes for this course on a college-wide basis.  If fewer than 70% of the students perform successfully on questions measuring any particular educational outcome, the committee will examine teaching practices related to that outcome, the assessment instrument, and the desired learning outcomes to determine which, if any, of these need modifying.  The committee will share its findings and recommendations with all faculty teaching this course, and may make changes to the desired educational outcomes, teaching practices, or assessment instrument as appropriate.

Updated: October 9, 2003
Reviewed:  May 9, 2005
Minor Revisions:  June 24, 2005
Last Revised: Aug. 11, 2011
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