Psychology | Introductory Psychology for Majors
P151 | 9901 | Hoffman, C

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 are motivated to act.  The 4 units of material in Introductory
Psychology I include: (1) Psychology as a science. P101 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 fact?  (2) 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? 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?  (3) 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? (4) Learned behavior. 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?