Psychology | Introduction to Psychology I for Majors
P151 | 4010 | C. Hoffman

Many students believe that the field of psychology is primarily about
studying people who have difficulty coping with stress or who have
mental illness.  Psychologists do study these issues.  Psychology is,
however, also about understanding how people perceive the world around
them, how they learn, remember and forget; and how they get motivated
to take action.  The 4 units of material in P151:
1. Psychology as a science. P151 will briefly overview all of the
areas of psychology and introduce you to the science of psychology.
How do psychologists conduct research?  How much of psychology is
2. Cognitive psychology: What methods do cognitive psychologists use
to discover how we attend to, think about and remember events? What do
psychologists know about human memory that you can use to your
advantage in your college courses? Are there skills we can learn that
will help us be better at solving problems? What is the nature of
intelligence?  Does IQ matter?
3. Biological psychology. Students are
often surprised to learn that psychologists study questions that they
might expect a biologist to study. Do genes determine behavior?
Exactly what does the child of an alcoholic inherit that predisposes
them for alcoholism?  Where in the brain are memories stored?  What
parts of the brain are active when you listen, look, read or speak?
What does someone mean when they say that a mental illness is caused
by a chemical imbalance in the brain?  How do our eyes and brain work
together to register and interpret visual sensation?  Why do different
individuals perceive the same event in such different ways? How you
learn and think and feel and behave depends on your brain and
body...therefore the questions that psychologists ask about biology
are relevant to everyone.
4. Experimental psychology. How do our experiences shape our behavior?
Why is it so difficult to rid ourselves of phobias that result from
personal experiences?  How can you establish a successful program to
modify your own behavior?  What motivates people to take goal-directed
action?  Why are expectations and desires about sexual relationships
so different for men and women? What influences sexual behavior and
sexual orientation in humans?