Special Topics in Psychology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 2901
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course examines a special topic or emerging questions in the field of psychology of direct relevance for students in a wide range of disciplines. Readings and topical content will be approachable to students with no prior coursework in psychology and will include theory, critical debate, and applications relevant to the specific topic.
Course Content

The general framework of a lower-level special topics course in psychology can be represented as below:

  1. Historical Context
  2. Theories
  3. Mechanisms and Processes
  4. Applications
  5. Remaining Questions

A specific example of topics for a course on Decision Making:

  1. The origins and limits of human rationality
  2. Assumptions of rationality in humanities and sciences, utility theory, prospect theory, two-system theory, somatic marker hypothesis
  3. Evidence of biases and fallacies in judgement and decision making
  4. Observing and exploiting/compensating for human decision-making tendencies
  5. Individual and cultural differences, neural mechanisms, implications for artificial intelligence
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

  • Lecture
  • Audio-visual materials
  • Small group discussion
  • Problem-based learning
  • In-class research projects
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:

  • Weekly reading quizzes 10%
  • Small group assignments 10%
  • Term project paper 20%
  • Midterm exams 40%
  • Final exam 20%
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and describe relevant theoretical influences on current scholarship relating to the specific topic of the course.
  2. Define key terms and concepts relating to the specific topic of the course.
  3. Recognize and apply concepts from the course in/to real world situations.
  4. Locate and leverage appropriate sources of information relating to the specific topic of the course, such as peer-reviewed papers.
Textbook Materials

Example text (for topic Decision Making): Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman, D. Macmillan.  

Additional readings may also be curated by the instructor and students.



Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:

  • No prerequisite courses


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 2901
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX PSYC 2XX (3)
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC PSYC 1XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR PSYC 1XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU PSYC 1st (3)
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC SOCS 200 lev (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 1XXX (3)
LaSalle College Vancouver (LCV) LCV PSY 1XX (3)
North Island College (NIC) NIC PSY 2XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW PSYC 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) No credit
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC PSYC 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC PSYC 1XXX (3)

Course Offerings

Winter 2023