Course Syllabus of General Psychology
Course Title: General Psychology
Course code: PSY 101
Credit hours: 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the basic psychological concepts and processes to understand human mind and behavior in relation to self and others. Specifically, it provides a basic understanding of psychological science of human nature. It familiarizes students on how biology, cognition and action influence the human behavior and personality of the individual. It helps to acquire the knowledge of different psychological processes and their effect on human cognition and behavior. Finally, it develops an understanding of how human behavior can be understood, shape, and applied in individual and group/social level.
This course surveys the major concept, theories, and processes of basic psychology. It addresses the core psychological process as well as their importance on individual and social setting.
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Know basic concepts of human psychology and the core processes related to psychology;
• Have an idea of the major theories that explain human behavior and cognitive processes;
• Use psychological knowledge to describe and explain human behavior in personal and social settings;
• Apply human psychology in understanding and explaining individual and social level of behavior.
Unit I: Introduction to Psychology as a science of Mind and Behavior 5 hours
Nature, modern history, of Psychology, common sense and psychology, similarities and differences with other social sciences; Perspectives of psychology (Biological perspective, cognitive perspective, behavioral perspective, Psychodynamic and humanistic perspective, Socio-cultural perspective and evolutionary perspective); Scientific method and psychological research
Unit II: Biological Basis of Behavior 5 hours
Importance of Biology in psychological understanding of behavior, Neurons, nervous system, structure and functions of central nervous system, Endocrine system and its importance.
Unit III: Sensation and Perception 10 hours
Sensation: Meaning, importance, sensory threshold, habituation and adaptation; Types of sensory experiences, structure and functions of Visual and auditory sensation, Perception: definition and characteristics; Perceptual processes (Pathways in Brain and top-down and bottom-up processing), subliminal and extrasensory perception, Theoretical explanation of perceptual organization (Gestalt principles), Perceptual ambiguity and distortion. Social cognition and behavior: process of social cognition, attitude, social influence, prejudice and discrimination.
Unit IV: Learning and Memory 9 hours
Learning:Nature of learning (Behavioral vs. cognitive, instinct, and complex forms of learning) Classical condition learning and its application; Operant conditioning learning and behavior modification and shaping, Cognitive learning (cognitive map, insight and observational learning).Memory: Memory phenomenon and basic processes (encoding, storage and retrieval), Models of memory; Parallel Distributed Processing Model and Information Processing Model, Retrieval (cues, recall, recognition, reconstruction, and automatic encoding); Forgetting: nature and causes of forgetting, memory and the brain, amnesia and false memories.
Unit V: Cognition (Thinking and Intelligence) 7 hours
Thinking: Definition and nature, component of thought (mental images, concepts, prototypes) and reasoning, thought and brain; Problem solving and decision making (preparation, production and judgment): obstacles in problem solving thinking and decision making; Creativity; Intelligence: nature, types, and determinants of intelligence, Intelligence tests and concept of IQ. Individual differences in intelligence.
Unit VI: Motivation, Emotion and Stress 7 hours
Motivation:Nature and characteristics of motivation, Instinct, drive-reduction approach, arousal approach, incentive approach of motivation, cognitive approach to motivation; Physiological need and motivations (Hunger and sex), Socio-psychological motivation (need for achievement and power); Emotion: nature and types and functions of emotion; James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter-Singer theories of emotion. Emotion and Health; Stress: stressor and the cost of stress, general adaptation syndrome model, psychoneuroimmunology of stress; Coping stress, style and learned helplessness, social support;
Unit VII: Personality 5 hours
Nature and determinants of personality, Theories of personality: Freud’s theory;Trait theory (Allport and Cattel’ theory); Big five personality traits, evaluation; Bandura’s social cognitivetheory, evaluation; Humanistic approach; Measurement of Personality; Self-report, Projective tests, Behavioral assessment.
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