Return to Headlines

Course Objectives

Following are the course objectives
I. History and Approaches  (Psychology and Life Chp 1)
Psychology has evolved markedly since its inception as a discipline in 1879. There
have been significant changes in the theories that psychologists use to explain
behavior and mental processes. In addition, the methodology of psychological
research has expanded to include a diversity of approaches to data gathering.
II. Research Methods (Psychology and Life Chp 2)
Psychology is an empirical discipline. Psychologists develop knowledge by doing
research. Research provides guidance for psychologists who develop theories to
explain behavior and who apply theories to solve problems in behavior.
III. Biological Bases of Behavior (Psychology and Life Chp 3)
An effective introduction to the relationship between physiological processes and
behavior — including the influence of neural function, the nervous system and the
brain, and genetic contributions to behavior — is an important element in the AP
IV. Sensation and Perception (Psychology and Life Chp 4 & 5)
Everything that organisms know about the world is first encountered when stimuli in
the environment activate sensory organs, initiating awareness of the external world.
Perception involves the interpretation of the sensory inputs as a cognitive process.
V. States of Consciousness (Psychology and Life Chp 6)
Understanding consciousness and what it encompasses is critical to an appreciation
of what is meant by a given state of consciousness. The study of variations in
consciousness includes an examination of the sleep cycle, dreams, hypnosis, circadian
rhythms, and the effects of psychoactive drugs.
VI. Learning (Psychology and Life Chp 7)
This section of the course introduces students to differences between learned and
unlearned behavior. The primary focus is exploration of different kinds of learning,
including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. The
biological bases of behavior illustrate predispositions for learning.
VII. Cognition (Psychology and Life Chp 8 & 9)
In this unit students learn how humans convert sensory input into kinds of
information. They examine how humans learn, remember, and retrieve information.
This part of the course also addresses problem solving, language, and creativity.
XII. Abnormal Behavior (Psychology and Life Chp 15)
In this portion of the course, students examine the nature of common challenges to
adaptive functioning. This section emphasizes formal conventions that guide
psychologists’ judgments about diagnosis and problem severity.