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This course deals with an Introduction to Psychology as a Science. Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind. But all of us have tried to understand and predict behavior throughout our lives, first with our parents, then with our peers and teachers, and finally with our friends and co-workers. The difference is that psychological scientists conduct research that discovers the facts about behavior and our minds, so its principles are based on science and not just on intuition and experience. The course covers all areas of Psychology, discussing scientific findings relevant to each area. The content of the course has received approval from "Quality Matters", an organization that evaluates on-line courses. The learning outcomes are: (1) Students will be able to recognize and describe major psychological principles, theories and perspectives; (2) Students will be able to distinguish between different methods used by psychological scientists to study the different areas of psychology; (3) Students will be able to describe the "nature-nurture" controversy across different areas of psychology; (4) Students will know that the basic principles of psychology are based on sound research; and (5) Students will know how the nervous system and other biological systems are involved in understanding behavior and the mind.
Section 1: Methodology
This week we will start the course by discussing the methods used by psychologists to determine the facts about behavior and the mind. We will emphasize the experimental method because it allows us to determine causation.
Section 2: Biopsychology
We will examine the relationship between biology and behavior. How does the brain and the nervous system relate to the mind and behavior?
Section 3: Consciousness
Section 4: Sensation and Perception
Information from the environment is translated by our senses into neural energy. This information is then interpreted by the brain (perception).