An Introduction to Psychology (I)

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
PSYC 1100
An Introduction to Psychology (I)
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hours per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The primary method of instruction will be the lecture, but the course may involve various other methods of instruction such as small group activities, discussion groups, seminars, oral presentations, laboratory demonstrations, field trips, computer simulations, videos, film, or guest lectures.

Course Description
Psychology 1100 provides an introduction to selected areas in the field of psychology. Emphasis is placed on psychology as a natural science (theories, methodology and statistics) and the focus is on the investigation of major basic psychological processes such as sensation, perception, learning, memory, consciousness, the biological foundations of behaviour, and life span development.
Course Content
  1. Foundations of Psychology
    • What is psychology?
    • Scientific attitudes and theories
    • Psychology’s methods and aims
    • Critical thinking
    • The scientific method
    • Statistical reasoning
  2. Biological Roots of Behaviour
    • Neural communication
    • The nervous systems
    • The brain’s structures and functions
    • The endocrine system
    • Tools for examining the brain
  3. Consciousness
    • Defining and measuring consciousness
    • Daydreaming
    • Sleep and dreams
    • Hypnosis
    • Drugs and consciousness
  4. The Nature and Nurture of Human Behaviour
    • Biological influences over behaviour
    • Environmental influences over behaviour, especially culture
    • Development of gender
  5. Development Over the Life Span
    • Developmental issues (e.g. nature or nurture)
    • Prenatal development
    • Infancy
    • Childhood
    • Adolescence and adulthood
  6. Sensation
    • Sensing the world - basic principles
    • Vision
    • Hearing
    • The other senses
    • Effects of sensation on behaviour
  7. Perception
    • Basic issues in perception (e.g. innate versus learned)
    • Perceptual organization
    • Perceptual interpretation
    • Extrasensory perception
  8. Learning
    • Classical conditioning
    • Operant conditioning
    • Observational learning
    • Cognitive interpretations
  9. Memory
    • Studying memory
    • Forming memories: encoding, storage, retrieval
    • Forgetting
    • Memory construction
    • Improving memory.
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Define psychology, and give examples of different kinds of phenomena that psychologists study.
  2. Identify areas of specialization and list and describe the major perspectives in psychology.
  3. Describe the experimental methodology and statistical approaches used in contemporary psychology.
  4. Outline the major divisions and subdivisions of the nervous system and their relation to behaviour.
  5. Describe the various theories and phenomena involved in sensation and perception.
  6. Define learning and memory and describe the various paradigms and procedures used in these areas of research.
  7. Identify various states of consciousness including sleep, hypnosis and the effects of various drugs on consciousness.
  8. Explain the complex nature of life span development and compare and contrast various theories in developmental psychology.
  9. Write a report demonstrating basic knowledge of APA (American Psychological Association) style.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Four multiple choice tests at 15% each    60%
One written final exam  20%
Laboratory activities    5%
Attendance and participation    5%
APA-style written assignment  10%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

Schacter, D. L., Gilbert, D. T., Wegner, D. M., Nock, M. K., & Johnsrude, I. (2015). Psychology (3rd Canadian ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers 


Note: The textbook choice will be used in both PSYC 1100 and PSYC 1200.

Which Prerequisite

PSYC 2300, PSYC 2301, PSYC 2315, PSYC 2341, PSYC 2360 AND ALL PSYC 3000 and 4000 Level Courses