Introduction to Psychology

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to the fundamental principles of psychology and to the major subjects of psychological inquiry. It has been designed to not only provide you with the tools necessary for the study of psychology but to present you with a sampling of the major areas of psychology research. The course begins with a short overview of how psychology developed as an academic discipline and an introduction to a number of the principle methodologies most commonly deployed in its study. The subsequent units are arranged around broad areas of research, including emotion, development, memory, and psychopathology. We will focus on well-substantiated research and current trends within each of these categories.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology. General information about the course and its requirements can be found below.
 
Course Designer: Helena (Mimi) Martin, PhD, and Professor Michael Poulakis

Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials. These materials include audio and video lectures, as well as more traditional textbook-type materials. A sizeable portion of the video and audio lectures is found in the iTunes University academic library.

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Units 2 and 3, as these may be particularly challenging to students who do not have a background in biology. Units 6, 7, and 8 are theory-based and will provide the foundation for our more advanced psychology courses. You will also need to complete assessments for Units 3, 4, and 5, along with the final exam.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to complete all readings, lectures, and quizzes.

In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 90 hours to complete. Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you should expect to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and then set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take approximately 9 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunits 1.1 and 1.2.1 (a total of 3 hours) on a Monday, subunit 1.2.2 (3 hours) on a Tuesday, subunit 1.2.3 (3 hours) on a Wednesday, and so forth for the other units.

Tips/Suggestions: Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This will help you differentiate and later provide you with a “refresher” as you study for the final exam.

 
A version of this course is also available in iTunes U.
Preview the course
 in your browser or view our entire suite of iTunes U courses.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • identify the steps of the scientific method and explain how this method applies to psychological research methodology and statistical analyses;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the general history of the field;
  • explain the nature versus nurture argument and the current status of thinking regarding gene-environment interaction;
  • identify the basic components and mechanisms of the major biological systems often studied in psychology; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basic findings within a variety of areas of psychology, including sensation and perception, memory and learning, development, social psychology, and psychopathology. 

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language; and

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: The History and Methods of Psychology  

    “Psychology has a long past but a short history.”  This brief statement by one of the pioneers of psychological research, Herman Ebbinghaus, captures the history of psychology as a discipline.  Though it is relatively new as a formal academic subject, the questions it seeks to answer have been around since the beginning of man.  In this unit, we will review the history of psychology as a discipline, by learning about both its ancient philosophical (“prescientific”) roots and its more recent reincarnation as a “scientific” field of study.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Introduction to Psychology: Historical Context and Definition  
  • 1.1.1 Introduction to Psychology  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 1.1.  Focus specifically on pages 1–2.

    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Introduction”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101 (Anroid App) 

      Instructions: If choosing to use this app, you will first need to download the version appropriate to your mobile device. Note that there are costs associated with both of these apps, which is why they are optional. No quiz or exam questions will be derived from materials within, but they are still useful supplementary resources. Once downloaded, open WAGmob’s Psychology app and read the tutorial "Introduction to Pyschology." Once you have a firm grasp of the material, test yourself with the "Basic Definitions" flashcards and then finish this activity with the "Introduction to Psychology" quiz (only available on Android version). This exercise will provide the supplementary information regarding fundamental psychology concepts and definitions.

      This activity will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • 1.1.2 History of Psychology: Major Schools of Thought  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 1.1.  Focus specifically on pages 3–13.

  • 1.1.3 Major Fields of Psychology  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 1.1.  Focus specifically on pages 14–15.

  • 1.2 Research in Psychology  
    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Research in Psychology”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101 (Android App)

      Instructions: Open the Psychology app and read the tutorial "Research in Psychology." This exercise will provide supplementary information regarding methodological concepts, definitions, and processes in psychology. Review this information as needed.

      This activity will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 1.2.1 The Scientific Method  
  • 1.2.2 Psychological Research Methodology  
    • Reading: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 2: Research Methods”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach“Unit 2: Research Methods” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link and read this chapter, which covers important topics related to research methods in psychology.  After reading this chapter, you will understand important terminology and concepts associated with psychological research (e.g., experimentation, causality, correlation, validity, reliability, hypothesis testing, etc.).

      Reading this chapter should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of TL Brink from Crafton Hills College.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

  • 1.2.3 The Role of Statistics: Defining and Measuring Relationships  
    • Reading: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 3: Statistics”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach“Unit 3: Statistics” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link and read this chapter, which introduces you to relevant concepts in statistics and stresses the relationship between science and mathematics.

      Reading this chapter should approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of TL Brink from Crafton Hills College.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

    • Optional Mobile App: GetYa Learn On, LLC’s Statistics 1

      Link: GetYa Learn On, LLC’s Statistics 1 (iOS App) or GetYa Learn On, LLC’s Statistics 1 (Android App)

      Instructions: If choosing to use this app, you will first need to download the version appropriate to your mobile device. Note that there are costs associated with both of these apps, which is why they are optional. No quiz or exam questions will be derived from material within, but they are still useful supplementary resources. Once downloaded, please visit the "Lessons" section and review the topics "Introduction," "Central Tendency & Z-Scores" (focusing more on the central tendency), "Correlation," "Inferential Stats," "Hypothesis Testing," and "Making Sense Statistical Significance." Also, visit the "Sims & Tools" sections and review the topic "Hypothesis Testing Procedure." In addition, you may visit the "Flashcards" and "Glossary" sections at any time to further learn/review relevant materials. 

      This application is exceptional in presenting statistical information, calculation and processing, and translating it to real life, hypothetical scenarios using lessons/tutorials, sims and tools, flash cards, formula quick reference guides, and an in-depth glossary.

      This activity will take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Unit 2: The Nature and Nurture of Behavior  

    What makes you “you”? This question gets to the heart of one of the longest-running debates in psychology: the nurture versus nature dispute, which asks whether humans are a product of their environment or of their biological makeup. While it is unlikely that we will ever conclusively answer this question, research has provided us with some important insights that will assist you in understanding arguments on both sides of the debate. This unit will introduce you to a number of these concepts, identifying several of the factors that psychologists have isolated as potential identity-shapers. We will examine the interplay of these forces and focus in on the gene-environment interaction.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Reading: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Hastings Center: Catherine Baker’s Behavioral Genetics: “Chapters 1–7”

      Link: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Hastings Center: Catherine Baker’s Behavioral Genetics“Chapters 1–7” (PDF)

      Instructions: Chapters from this online text will be assigned throughout this unit. You may choose to download this document now, and read the chapters from it as they are assigned, or you may use the links provided within each subunit to access the document later. 

      These chapters will illustrate scholarly research with applicable examples.  As you progress through the subunits listed below, test yourself on what you have retained.  Remember: The process of reflection is important to “creating a memory” of the material you have learned; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.  Ask yourself the following questions to both test your knowledge and to help you retain the information presented:
       
      a)   What are the main takeaway points of this subunit?  For example, what do I know about the gene-environment interaction?  You are testing yourself as to whether you can list several important points that address this question.
      b)   What are the main terms associated with the concepts in this chapter?  In attempting to answer this question, you are testing yourself on whether you can speak about this topic in an articulate way such that you can sufficiently communicate the main ideas of the chapter.  In other words, you are asking yourself if you understand the language and concepts associated with the topic of learning.

      If you notice that it is difficult to answer these questions, don’t worry!  Try rereading the text while paying special attention to the information that you think helps answer the questions listed above.  After rereading the text, test yourself again to see if your comprehension and retention have improved.

      Note on the Text: This text is geared toward introducing you to behavioral genetics, which is a separate (albeit related) field often associated with the idea of “nature versus nurture.”  This is an interdisciplinary field that is influenced by psychology and several other fields.  We chose this book as it sufficiently represents and highlights both the environmental and genetic influences that affect individual differences in traits.  The examples used throughout this text are particularly useful in highlighting the real-world implications of the scholarly knowledge presented.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1 Behavioral Genetics: The Gene-Environment Interaction  
  • 2.1.1 Behavioral Genetics: An Overview  
  • 2.1.2 The Gene-Environment Interaction: An Introduction  
  • 2.2 Behavioral Genetics: Methods of Study  
    • Reading: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Hastings Center: Catherine Baker’s Behavioral Genetics: “Chapter Four: How is Genetic Research on Behavior Conducted?”

      Link: American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Hastings Center: Catherine Baker’s Behavioral Genetics“Chapter Four: How is Genetic Research on Behavior Conducted?” (PDF)

      Instructions: Scroll to “Chapter Four: How Is Genetic Research on Behavior Conducted?” on page 35 and read the initial sections. Skip the sections “Linkage Analysis,” “Association Studies,” “Microarray Analysis,” and “Knockout Studies.”  After skipping these sections, continue to read the rest of the chapter, as it will bring you back to the applied example that runs throughout the chapter and give you a good sense of the benefits and drawbacks of both nonmolecular and molecular research.  For the purposes of this course, it is not essential that you understand the ins and outs of molecular research; however, it will be important that you understand the pros and cons of both molecular and nonmolecular research in determining the gene-environment contributions of any one particular trait.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 2.2.1–2.2.3.

      Reading this chapter should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.2.1 Animal Studies  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 2.2.  Focus specifically on pages 40–41 (the third and fourth PDF pages).

  • 2.2.2 Twin and Adoption Studies  

    Note: This subunit is also covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 2.2.  Focus specifically on page 42, under the title “Twin Studies,” and read through page 45, including the chapters titled “Adoption Studies” and Combined Studies.”

  • 2.2.3 Pros/Cons of Molecular and Non-Molecular Research Studies  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 2.2.  Please read from “Concerns about Molecular Research” to the end of the chapter.

  • 2.3 The Gene-Environment Interaction: Examples  
  • 2.3.1 Intelligence  
  • 2.3.2 Mental Disorders  
  • Unit 3: The Biology of Psychology  

    Early psychologists considered the brain a “black box” that controlled certain processes, though they did not know how to identify these processes or how the brain controlled them.  This is no longer the case; nowadays, scientists insist that the psychological mind and physiological body are fully integrated with one another.  As such, in the past few years, no subject has become more relevant to psychology than neuroscience, or the study of the structure and function of the brain.  Today, knowledge of the biological origins of our psychological states is integral to the study of psychology.  In this unit, we will review the basic biological and neurological structures that psychologists associate with human thought processes and behaviors.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Reading: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 4: The Nervous System”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 4: The Nervous System” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link and read this chapter, which provides general background information on the biology of psychology.  This reading will introduce you to the main topics in the biology of sensation and perception and should serve only as a “primer” to introduce you to the topic.  It will also be important to review the other readings listed below.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 3.1.1–3.1.4.

      Reading this chapter should take approximately 4 hours.

      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of T. L. Brink from Crafton Hills College.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

    • Assessment: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 4: The Nervous System Quiz”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 4: The Nervous System Quiz” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please go to the links at the end of the chapter, which contain instructions for how to access online quizzes specific to the material.  This quiz will test your knowledge of the nervous system.

      Completing this quiz should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Optional Mobile App: Rainer Goebel, Brain Innovation’s Brain Tutor 3D

      Link: Rainer Goebel, Brain Innovation's Brain Tutor 3D (iOS App)

      Instructions: If choosing to use this app, you will first need to download it to your mobile device. Note that it is only available for iOS devices, thus no quiz or exam questions will be derived from material within, but it is still a useful supplementary resource. Once downloaded, please visit the "Lobes," "Gyri," Sulci," and "Brodmann Areas" sections to review descriptions of each component, brain location, and function/connectivity. While reviewing each component, click on the "Left Hemi," "Right Hemi," or "Head" utilities to see 3D colored sections of the area being studied and its relation to additional brain anatomy.

      This application provides graphic 3D illustrations of major brain anatomy, areas, and components that influence the biological nature of psychology including neural circuitry, communication, and connectivity (i.e.., how physical structures play important roles in the behavior of individuals).

      This activity will take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Biological Foundation of Behavior”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101  (Android App) 

      Instructions: Open the Psychology app and read the tutorial "Biological Foundation of Behavior." This exercise will provide supplementary information regarding the biological nature of psychology and its connection to individual behavior. Review this information as needed.

      This activity will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 3.1 Neural Communication  

    Note: Neurons are the specialized cells that make up the body’s nervous system.  They send signals to each other to communicate thought, mood, motion, and the five senses.

  • 3.1.1 What Is a Neuron and Why Is It Important?  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 3.

  • 3.1.2 Different Parts of the Neuron: The Soma, the Axon, the Dendrites, and Myelin  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 3.  Focus specifically on the first webpage.

  • 3.1.3 Action Potentials and Neurotransmitter Release  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 3.  Focus specifically on the third webpage.

  • 3.1.4 Neurotransmitters and Their Function: Acetylcholine, Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, GABA, and Glutamate  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 3.  Focus specifically on the third webpage.

  • 3.2 The Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems  
  • 3.2.1 The Peripheral Nervous System  
  • 3.2.2 The Central Nervous System: An Overview  
  • 3.3 Neuropsychology  
  • 3.3.1 Brain Injuries  
  • 3.3.2 Split-Brain Operations  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 3.3.  To review, please select “Part Two: Neuropsychology: The Split-Brain Operation.”

  • 3.3.3 The Pleasure and Fear Centers  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 3.3.  To review, please select “Part Two: Neuropsychology: Pleasure Centers.”

    • Optional Mobile App: PPL Development Company LLC’s Brainwave Tuner Lite

      Link: PPL Development Company LLC’s Brainwave Tuner Lite (iOS App) or PPL Development Company LLC’s BrainwaveTuner Lite (Android App)

      Instructions: Please click on the above link as appropriate for your mobile device’s operating system to experience the biological nature of psychology as related to brain anatomy and function, particularly neural communication and the body’s nervous systems.  This application integrates the “mind-body” philosophy by focusing on biological/neural stimulation to help with sleep, healing, meditation, relaxation, concentration, and learning. To fully understand this application's function, please read the "info" section (notepad) found at the top right of the application screen to familiarize yourself with brain wave stimulation, EEG pattern frequency, and application of beat tonalities.

      Then, if using the Android version, please visit the "Sleep and Healing" section, which helps tune your brain frequency toward a drowsy state, enhancing your sleep quality and mental health, the "Meditation and Relaxation" section, which helps you quickly attain a meditative state, so you can relax your busy mind, and/or the "Focus and Learning" section, which helps bring about increased attention and boosts your mental speed. If using the iOS version, please visit each of the eight preset wave pattens, "Headache Therapy," "Dreamy," "Self-hypnosis," "Attention Increase," "Creativity Enhancing," "IQ Increase," "Learning Aid," and "White Noise" to experience binaural beats specific to those neural stimulation. Please note that if you want to experience additional binaural beats using the iOS version, you will need to purchase the app to gain full access. 

      This activity will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Unit 4: Sensation and Perception  

    As human beings, we perceive our world through our senses.  This means that we are constantly performing a complex set of processes by which we take in sensory information, convert it into a form usable by the brain, and have the brain send signals to a relevant part of the body in order to tell it how to respond – all in a matter of milliseconds.  In this unit, we will highlight two sensory systems and gain a deeper understanding of how we perceive the world around us.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
    • Reading: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach: “Unit 5: Perception”

      Link: San Bernardino Community College: Professor T. L. Brink’s Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach“Unit 5: Perception” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link and read this chapter, which provides general background information on sensation and perception as they relate to the field of psychology.  Please read up to the section titled “What are Dreams?”, as the sections after this point are less applicable to the study of sensation and perception.  This chapter will serve as a primer, offering a general overview that will be more fully fleshed out in the resources below.

      Reading this chapter should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of T. L. Brink from Crafton Hills College.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

  • 4.1 Visual Sensation  
  • 4.1.1 The Eye  
  • 4.1.2 The Visual Cortex  
  • 4.1.3 The Association Cortex  
  • 4.2 Our Other Senses  
  • 4.2.1 Hearing  
  • 4.3 The Interpretation of Sensory Information  
  • 4.3.1 Perception  
  • Unit 5: Learning and Memory  

    Psychologists are concerned with how people learn and create memories of the information to which they are presented within their environment.  For example, early psychologists such as Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner performed experiments that explained human action by measuring changes in behavior.  These experiments informed our understanding of the process of learning and marked the beginning of the field of behaviorism.  In addition, the subfields of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology have endeavored to determine how people think, perceive, remember, and learn.  In this chapter, we will draw from behaviorism, cognitive psychology, and neuropsychology to learn the basic principles of learning and memory.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Major Theories and Models of Learning  
  • 5.1.1 Classical (Respondent) Conditioning  
  • 5.1.2 Operant Conditioning  
  • 5.1.3 Other Types of Learning  
  • 5.2 Memory  
  • 5.2.1 Types of Memory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Focus specifically on page 120.

  • 5.2.2 How Memory is Measured  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Focus specifically on page 123, “Measurements of Retention.”

  • 5.2.3 Process of Memory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Focus specifically on pages 123–125, Question 7.3, “What are the Stages in the Processing of Memory?”

  • 5.2.4 Problems with Memory  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Focus specifically on pages 128–129 under the headings “Retrograde Amnesia,” “Anterograde Amnesia,” and “Retrieval Failure.”

  • 5.2.5 The Role of Memory in Perception  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 5.2.  Focus specifically on Professor Kihlstrom’s lecture, “Attention and Memory I.”

  • 5.3 Memory: A Neuropsychological Perspective  
  • 5.4 Memory and Psychotherapy  
  • Unit 6: Development  

    The physical, mental, and emotional changes that an individual undergoes over the course of his or her lifetime raise a number of questions about who we are and how we develop as human beings.  One such question is whether our traits are stable or changeable throughout our lifetime; another is whether development is a continuous, gradual process or a set of discrete stages.  Though these questions remain unresolved, this unit will provide you with ways to think critically about these issues.  It will also provide you with an overview of human development, from infancy to old age.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Important Theories/Research Related to Developmental Psychology  
  • 6.1.1 Harry Harlow and Rhesus Monkeys  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.1.  Begin reading on page 269.

  • 6.1.2 Gerontology  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.1.  Begin reading on page 277.

  • 6.1.3 Vygotsky and Scaffolding  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.1.  Begin reading on page 286.

  • 6.1.4 Freud’s Theory of Development  
  • 6.2 Infancy and Childhood Development  
  • 6.2.1 Infancy  
  • 6.2.2 Childhood  
  • 6.2.3 Attachment Theory  
  • 6.2.4 Psychological Problems of Childhood  
  • 6.2.5 Piaget Stages of Cognitive Development: Sensorimtor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, and Formal Operational  
  • 6.3 Adolescent Development and Adulthood  
  • 6.3.1 Adolescence  
  • 6.3.2 The Development of Moral Thinking: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development: Preconvential, Conventional, and Postconvential  
  • 6.3.3 Psychosocial Development: Erikson’s Lifespan Approach to and Stages of Development  
    • Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s A History of Psychology: “Erikson: Psychosocial Development”

      Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s A History of Psychology“Erikson: Psychosocial Development” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this webpage to learn about Erikson’s well-supported theory of psychosocial development.

      Reading this webpage should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Missouri State University: Todd Daniel’s Great Ideas in Psychology: “Erik Erikson on Development”

      Link: Missouri State University: Todd Daniel’s Great Ideas in Psychology: “Erik Erikson on Development” (iTunes)

      Instructions: Please click on the link and choose “view in iTunes.”  Watch lecture 31, which provides an overview of Erikson’s theories on development.

      Watching this lecture should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Optional Mobile App: Radiance House’s Personality Types

      Link: Radiance House's Personality Types (iOS App)

      Instructions: If choosing to use this app, you will first need to download it to your mobile device. Note that it is only available on iOS devices, and also has associated costs, thus making it optional. No quiz or exam questions will be derived from material within, but it is still a useful supplementary resource.  Once downloaded, open the app to learn about and apply the 16 personality types. This application uses Dr. Carl Jung's assertion that the eight cognitive processes people use (i.e. Extroverted vs. Introverted, Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking, and Feeling) combine to match 16 personality types. The 16 personality types are then differentiated on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (i.e. Extroverted vs. Introverted, Sensing vs. Intuiting, Thinking vs. Feeling, Judging vs. Perceiving) showing the cluster of cognitive processes a particular individual uses (e.g. INFJ- Introverting, Intuiting, Feeling, and Judging). Determining one's personality type can help you understand what goes on "inside" a person's head and heart, and how they relate back-and-forth with others. It also demonstrates how personality is innate as well as influenced over the lifespan as related to external causes.

      Then, please visit the "Assess" utility and take the personality quiz. It is recommended that you use the "Long-Form" assessment as this will be most accurate in determining your personality type. After you've completed the assessment, review your personality type result and visit the "Types" grid to compare your specific personality type with one of the other 15 types. You may also ask a friend or family member to take an assessment and then compare your personality types. For additional information on personality typing, please visit the "About" utility and review the resources provided.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 
       

    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Personality”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101 (Android App)

      Instructions: Open the Psychology app and read the tutorial "Personality." Once you have a firm grasp of the material, test yourself with the "Personality" flashcards, and then finish this activity with the "Personality" quiz (both the flashcards and quiz are only available on the Android version). This exercise will provide supplementary information regarding personality characteristics, theories of development, and conditioning. Retake the quiz as needed until you understand the material.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

       

  • 6.4 Adulthood and Old Age  
    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Human Development”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101  (Android App)

      Instructions: Open the Psychology app and read the tutorial "Human Development." Once you have a firm grasp of the material, test yourself with the "Human Development" quiz (only available on the Android version). This exercise will provide supplementary information regarding systematic psychological change that occurs over the lifespan, theories of development, and stages of development. Retake the quiz as needed until you understand the material.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

    • Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s A History of Psychology: “Aging”

      Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s A History of Psychology: “Aging” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this webpage to get a sense of the developmental issues related to aging.  Note that this webpage will cover the material you need to know for subunits 6.4.1 and 6.4.3.

      Reading this webpage should take you approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.4.1 Successful Aging  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.4.  Focus specifically on the “Successful Aging” section.

  • 6.4.2 Strokes  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.4.  Focus specifically on the “Strokes” section.

  • 6.4.3 Alzheimer’s Disease  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath subunit 6.4.  Focus specifically on the “Alzheimer’s Disease” section.

  • Unit 7: Social Psychology  

    Human beings are social beings.  As psychologists, we acknowledge this fact by studying the ways in which an individual’s social environment impacts his or her emotional and mental functioning.  This is called social psychology – the focus of this unit.  We will discuss the social behavior of individuals, groups, and entire societies as well as the influences that our relationships to these entities have on us as individuals.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 Social Thinking  
  • 7.1.1 The Attribution Theory  
  • 7.1.2 The Fundamental Attribution Error  
  • 7.2 Social Influence  
  • 7.2.1 Conformity and Solomon Asch’s Experiments  
  • 7.2.2 Obedience and Stanley Milgram’s Shock Experiment  
  • 7.2.3 Group Influences: Social Facilitation, Social Loafing, Deindividuation, Group Polarization, and Groupthink  
  • 7.3 Other Interpersonal Phenomena: Stereotypes and Hostile and Helping Behaviors  
  • 7.3.1 Stereotypes: Psychological Mechanisms and Theorized Function  
  • 7.3.2 Hostile and Helping Behavior  
  • Unit 8: Psychopathology  

    Today, we commonly think of psychology as a means of treating mental disorders.  However, the branch of psychology that addresses these disorders is known as psychopathology, a field of study made famous by Sigmund Freud.  Clinical psychologists have since refined the field, developing more sophisticated methods for diagnosis and treatment so that clients can maintain a normal lifestyle.  In this unit, we will aim at understanding different perspectives on psychological disorders, learning to identify characteristic symptoms of each.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 Understanding What Mental Disorders Are  
  • 8.1.1 Definition, Epidemiology, Etiology, Diagnosis, and Prognosis  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on pages 220–222.

  • 8.1.2 Models of Mental Disorders: Bio-medical, Defining Mental Disorders: Abnormality and Functional Impairment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 223.

  • 8.1.3 Treatment of Mental Disorders: Medication and Psychotherapeutic Approaches  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on pages 226–230.

  • 8.2 Mental Disorders  
  • 8.2.1 Mood Disorders  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 239.

  • 8.2.2 Anxiety Disorders  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 246.

  • 8.2.3 The Mind-Body Connection: Somatoform Disorders  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 251.

  • 8.2.4 Psychotic Disorders and Schizophrenia  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 257.

  • 8.2.5 Personality Disorders  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the resources assigned beneath Unit 8.  Focus specifically on page 261.

    • Optional Mobile App: WAGmob’s Psychology: “Psychological Disorders”

      Link: WAGmob's Psychology & Psychiatry  (iOS App) or WAGmob's Psychology 101 (Android App)

      Instructions: Open the Psychology app and read the tutorial "Psychological Disorders." Once you have a firm grasp of the material, test yourself with the "Psychological Disorders" flashcards, and then finish this activity with the "Psychological Disorders" quiz. This exercise will provide supplementary information regarding major psychological disorders and causes. Retake the quiz as needed until you understand the material.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • 8.3 Psychological Therapies  
  • 8.3.1 Summary of Therapy Types  
  • Final Exam