Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology Course Menu

This course provides an introduction to psychology as the scientific study of mental processes and human behavior. Biological, environmental and social factors which influence human behavior are examined as well as how humans feel, reason, remember, learn and develop. Psychological disorders and therapy methods are introduced.
Prerequisite: None

This course runs for ten weeks.
Next course starts: 2-6-17
Late enrollment through: 2-14-17
Drop date: 2-12-17
Course end date: 4-14-17

Chapter 1

The Science of Psychology

1.1   What Is Psychology?
1.2   Psychology Then: The History of Psychology
1.3   Psychology Now: Modern Perspectives 1
1.4   Psychological Professionals and Areas of Specialization
1.5   Psychology: The Scientific Methodology
1.6   Ethics of Psychological Research
1.7   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking

Chapter 2

The Biological Perspective

2.1   An Overview of the Nervous System
2.2   Neurons and Nerves:   Building the Network
2.3   The Central Nervous System:   The "Central Processing Unit"
2.4   The Peripheral Nervous System:   Nerves on the Edge
2.5   Distant Connections:   The Endocrine Glands
2.6   Looking Inside the Living Brain
2.7   From the Bottom Up:   The Structures of the Brain
2.8   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Paying Attention to the Causes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Chapter 3

Sensation and Perception

3.1   The ABCs of Sensation
3.2   The Science of Seeing
3.3   The Hearing Sense:   Can You Hear Me Now?
3.4   Chemical Senses:   It Tastes Good and Smells Even Better
3.5   Somesthetic Senses:   What the Body Knows
3.6   The ABCs of Perception
3.7   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Beyond "Smoke and Mirrors"-The Psychological Science and Neuroscience of Magic

Chapter 4

Consciousness: Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis, and Drugs

4.1   What Is Consciousness?
4.2   Altered States:   Sleep
4.3   Dreams
4.4   Altered States:   The Effects of Hypnosis
4.5   Altered States:   The Influence of Psychoactive Drugs
4.6   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Thinking Critically About Ghosts, Aliens, and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night

Chapter 5


5.1   Definition of Learning
5.2   What's in It for Me?   Operant Conditioning
5.3   Cognitive Learning Theory
5.4   Observational Learning
5.5   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Can You Really Toilet Train Your Cat?

Chapter 6


6.1   Three Processes of Memory
6.2   Models of Memory
6.3   The Information-Processing Model:   Three Memory Systems
6.4   Getting It Out:   Retrieval of Long-Term Memories
6.5   The Reconstructive Nature of Long-Term Memory Retrieval:   How Reliable Are Memories?
6.6   What Were We Talking About?   Forgetting
6.7   Neuroscience of Memory
6.8   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Alzheimer's Disease

Chapter 7


7.1   How People Think
7.2   Intelligence
7.3   Language
7.4   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Mental and Physical Exercises Combine for Better Cognitive Health

Chapter 8

Development Across the Life Span

8.1   Issues in Studying Human Development
8.2   The Basic Building Blocks of Development
8.3   Prenatal Development
8.4   Infancy and Childhood Development
8.5   Adolescence
8.6   Adulthood
8.7   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Cross-Cultural Views on Death

Chapter 9

Motivation and Emotion

9.1   Approaches to Understanding Motivation
9.2   What, Hungry Again? Why People Eat
9.3   Emotion
9.4   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life: When Motivation Is Not Enough

Chapter 10

Sexuality and Gender

10.1   The Physical Side of Human Sexuality
10.2   The Psychological Side of Human Sexuality:   Gender
10.3   Human Sexual Behavior
10.4   Sexual Dysfunctions and Problems
10.5   Sexually Transmitted Infections
10.6   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   The AIDS Epidemic in Russia

Chapter 11

Stress and Health

11.1   Stress and Stressors
11.2   Physiological Factors: Stress and Health
11.3   Coping With Stress
11.4   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life: Exercising for Mental Health

Chapter 12

Social Psychology

12.1   Social Influence: Conformity, Compliance, Obedience, and Group Behavior
12.2   Social Cognition: Attitudes, Impression Formation, and Attribution
12.3   Social Interaction: Prejudice and Aggression
12.4   Liking and Loving: Interpersonal Attraction
12.5   Aggression and Prosocial Behavior
12.6   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life: Anatomy of a Cult

Chapter 13

Theories of Personality

13.1   Theories of Personality
13.2   The Man and the Couch:   Sigmund Freud and the Psychodynamic Perspective
13.3   The Behaviorist and Social Cognitive View of Personality
13.4   The Third Force:   Humanism and Personality
13.5   Trait Theories:   Who Are You?
13.6   The Biology of Personality:   Behavioral Genetics
13.7   Assessment of Personality
13.8   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   The Biological Basis of the Big Five

Chapter 14

Psychological Disorders

14.1   What Is Abnormality?
14.2   Models of Abnormality
14.3   Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)
14.4   Anxiety Disorders:   What, Me Worry?
14.5   Mood Disorders:   The Effect of Affect
14.6   Eating Disorders
14.7   Dissociative Disorders:   Altered Identities
14.8   Schizophrenia:   Altered Reality
14.9   Personality Disorders:   I'm Okay, It's Everyone Else Who's Weird
14.10   Applying Psychology to Everyday Life:   Taking the Worry Out of Exams

Chapter 15

Psychological Therapies

15.1   Two Kinds of Therapy
15.2   The Early Days:   Ice-Water Baths and Electric Shocks
15.3   Psychotherapy Begins
15.4   Humanistic Therapy:   To Err Is Human
15.5   Behavior Therapies:   Learning One's Way to Better Behavior
15.6   Cognitive Therapies:   Thinking Is Believing
15.7   Group Therapies:   Not Just for the Shy
15.8   Does Psychotherapy Really Work?
15.9   Biomedical Therapies
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