PSYC 101

Introduction to Psychology

Course overview

You’ll examine the basic concepts, theories and approaches of psychology and analyse how individual behaviour is affected by sensation, perception, cognition, learning, personality and developmental process.

Course information

Available semesters Semester 1 2024
Credits 15
Domestic fees $794.00

What you will learn

After successfully completing this course, you’ll be able to:

  1. Outline the origins and focus of scientific psychology.
  2. Define psychology and describe the range of approaches and areas of research it encompasses.
  3. Explain central themes and theories in these areas (e.g. biological basis of behaviour, social and cultural diversity, individual differences, theories of perception, development, motivation, etc.).
  4. Identify and explain, in basic terms, the major methods used in psychological research.
  5. Outline the major anatomical features of the human nervous system and explain the functioning of neurons.
  6. Describe the anatomy and function of the visual and auditory sensory systems of humans and explain the principal sensory processes (e.g. sensory adaptation).
  7. Identify and explain basic principles and processes of human perception.
  8. Outline the main developmental stages in humans and distinguish and explain the different aspects of human development.
  9. Explain major developmental theories (e.g. Piaget’s, Erickson’s, and Kohlberg’s).
  10. Explain the principles of classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning and provide examples of each.
  11. Clearly discuss the structure of human memory (sensory, short-term, long-term) and its major features (processes of encoding, storage, retrieval, forgetting, motivated remembering, etc.).
  12. Outline principles of thought especially in terms of the theory of human information processing, and explain basic concepts (e.g. ‘concept’).
  13. Describe the main features of the structure of language and its development and acquisition in humans.
  14. Define motivation and explain theories of human motivation (e.g. drive-reduction, arousal theories).
  15. Explain the biological and social bases of emotions.
  16. Identify and explain the main approaches to understanding personality.
  17. Outline the main categories and symptoms of psychological disorders and identify the principal types of causes involved.
  18. Describe the basic process of scientific research.
  19. Frame critical questions concerning psychological theories, methods and findings.
  20. Identify the ethical dimensions of, and explain the ethical issues encountered in, psychological research.

Course examiners

Kevin Moore

Professor Kevin Moore


Faculty of Environment, Society and Design