Introduction to Psychology - Part 2

Course Number: PSY 202A
Transcript Title: Intro to Psychology - Part 2
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: April 15, 2019
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.


Course Description

Surveys the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in personality theory, psychological disorders, therapy, emotion, motivation, intelligence, health psychology, and social psychology. Provides an overview of popular trends, examines the overarching themes of heredity vs. environment, stability vs. change, and free will vs. determinism, and emphasizes the sociocultural approach which assumes that gender, culture, and ethnicity are essential to understanding behavior, thought, and emotion. Psychology 202A is the second term of a two-term sequence in introductory psychology. Recommended: PSY 201A. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  1. Analyze personal lifestyle and apply problem-solving techniques to situations while understanding the limitations of one’s psychological knowledge and skills, recognizing that ethically complex situations can develop in the application of psychological principles.
  2. Recognize and respect human diversity while anticipating that psychological explanations may vary across populations and contexts, and exhibit sensitivity to feelings, emotions, motives, and attitudes regarding specific behavioral concerns.
  3. Recognize and explain the difference between personal views and scientific evidence and identify claims arising from myths, stereotypes, common fallacies, and poorly supported assertions regarding behavior.
  4. Articulate the ways that psychological theories can facilitate personal, social, and organizational change, describe issues pertaining to psychological aspects of human dignity, and anticipate that psychological explanations may vary among populations and contexts.
  5. Evaluate public and private assumptions concerning individual and group differences using a global and multifaceted sociocultural approach.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)

Not addressed

3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

Not addressed

5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate achievement of these outcomes by any of the following:

  1. Written assignments designed to promote integration of class material with personal reflection and experience.
  2. Written or oral assignments designed to stimulate critical thinking.
  3. Multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions that require integration, application, and critical examination of material covered in class.
  4. Active participation in class discussion.
  5. In-class participation in individual and group exercises, activities, or class presentations.
  6. Design and completion of research projects.
  7. Service learning activities.
  8. Participation in online discussions and/or completion of assignments through electronic media.

Course Activities and Design

Course activities are the same as the above assessments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Explain human reasoning and problem-solving, the biases in intelligence testing and reasoning, the implications of these biases and the determinants of intelligence.
  • Describe the effective use of problem-solving techniques.
  • Describe the divergent thinking present in creativity.
  • Describe the role of thought in language development.
  • Compare motivational theories.
  • Describe the nature of achievement motivation and how it applies to students’ lives.
  • Describe the sexual response cycle and sexual motivation. Be able to critically evaluate the effects of sex research and sex education.
  • Describe the importance of communication and building communication skills in sexual relationships.
  • Be able to appreciate and have empathy for the challenges faced during sexual orientation development.
  • Describe how our body image affects our self-concept.
  • Describe the nature of emotion and how emotions are expressed.
  • Identify the components of emotion and compare theories of emotion.
  • Describe the role of cognition in emotion. Identify causes and consequences of anger.
  • Describe how socio-cultural factors affect emotions and their expression (i.e. description of effects of facial expressions on emotion).
  • Develop an appreciation for cultural differences and similarities in emotional expression.
  • Recognize the symptoms of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
  • Define personality, discuss the role of culture in personality, and be able to identify the role personality traits and situational factors play in influencing human behavior.
  • Describe cultural variations in the emphasis on "self" and discuss how these variations affect the study of personality while describing the impact of individualism and collectivism on self-identity and social relationships.
  • Compare and contrast the following psychological perspectives: psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, sociocultural, and biological theories and relate the different personality approaches to the following issues: innate vs. learned, conscious vs. unconscious and internal vs. external determinates.
  • Explain how Freud’s theory has been a major influence on Western culture.
  • Explain how defense mechanisms protect the individual from anxiety.
  • Critically evaluate the psychoanalytic perspective taking into account Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, Freudian structures of personality (the id, ego, and superego), and modifications of Freudian theory by the neo-Freudians (Horney, Adler, and Jung).
  • Summarize the important research on genetic influences on personality in terms of temperament and heritability.
  • List the characteristics of a fully functioning person and identify the important research on self-esteem.
  • Explain the criticisms of the behavioral and social learning perspectives, and discuss the concepts of optimism and pessimism, observational learning, learned helplessness, and reciprocal determinism.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design a hypothetical self-change project using Bandura's social-cognitive theory or Skinner’s principles of operant conditioning.
  • Explain how personal control, delay of gratification, self-efficacy and locus of control are related to human personality and behavior.
  • Describe the characteristics of behavioral assessment.
  • Define what is meant by a personality inventory, identify some of the most popular instruments used in personality assessment, and outline the major differences between objective and projective tests while evaluating the pros and cons of both types of testing.
  • Define psychological disorders and contrast the modern psychological view of such disorders with the historical perspective of the past.
  •  List and refute the myths about abnormal behavior.
  • Describe and evaluate the medical model of abnormal behavior.
  • How do psychologists identify, explain, and classify abnormal behavior? Explain what is meant by psychological well-being.
  • Explain the DSM classification system and consider whether diagnostic labels help or hinder effective treatment.
  • Discuss the evidence on culture and pathology. Differentiate among culturally relative, culturally bound, and culturally universal psychological disorders.
  • Compare and contrast mood disorders, anxiety disorders, Somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, and substance-related disorders. Discuss the prevalence of various disorders and the timing of their onset.
  • Discuss biological and psychosocial theories of schizophrenia and their criticisms, and consider how schizophrenia differs across cultures.
  • List the signs of substance abuse and the components that interact to influence addiction and abuse, and distinguish between the biological and the learning models of addiction.
  • Distinguish between suicide attempters and completers. Cite some of the factors that may influence a suicide attempter and list the steps that can be taken to help a person who is suicidal.
  • Identify the major categories of psychotherapy, evaluate the effectiveness of each, and describe the various types of mental health professionals involved in dispensing therapeutic services. List the characteristics that all psychotherapies have in common and explain the limitations of psychotherapy.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of biomedical therapies, including drug therapy, electroconvulsive shock therapy, and psychosurgery. Explain why psychologists might resort to biologically based therapies. List the ethical issues and concerns involved in the use of any of these treatment modalities.
  • Explain how genetic, neurochemical, cognitive, and interpersonal factors may be related to the development of mood disorders.
  • Describe each class of psychotropic drugs, and indicate the types of disorders for which they may be prescribed.
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an informed consumer of mental health services, with an awareness of the multiplicities of theoretical perspectives and treatment options available. Discuss which therapies work best for specific problems.
  • Explain the scientist-practitioner gap and discuss why it has developed.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of individual self-help efforts as well as the successes, failures, and rationale of self-help groups.
  • Identify the issues raised by deinstitutionalization and involuntary commitment, and explain the legal concept of insanity.
  • Describe cultural universals and cultural differences in therapy.
  • Explain the rationale of preventative mental health programs.
  • Distinguish between health psychology and behavioral medicine.
  • Demonstrate the ability to access, utilize, and evaluate health care options using a sound knowledge base and an awareness of the factors that influence both disease and well-being.
  • Describe the nature of our appraisals of stress and discuss the effects of emotional arousal while addressing issues like life changes, hassles, frustrations and conflicts as contributors to stress. List some of the known environmental stressors.
  • Explain the concept of hardiness and its relationship to health.
  • Define burnout and list the known factors associated with burnout. List the factors associated with stress at work and explain why assertive behavior benefits mental health.
  • Discuss posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems and disorders that can result from perceived stressors.
  • Compare optimistic and pessimistic explanatory styles and describe their relationship to locus of control.
  • Describe the physiological effects of stress, including effects on the immune system and recent research in psycho-immunology.
  • Identify and discuss the major coping strategies for dealing with stress while distinguishing between emotion-focused and problem-focused strategies. Outline a plan for developing a stress-reduction program.
  • Discuss how personality, cognition, social environment, gender, and sociocultural variables are related to health and explain what contemporary psychologists mean by the term "health.” List and explain the factors that influence whether or not social support is helpful.
  • Discuss health-impairing and health-promoting activities.
  • Explain what is meant by the psychology of being sick, in terms of when individuals adopt a sick role and seek medical care, and under which circumstances individuals comply with medical advice.
  • Explain the principles of person perception and resulting interpersonal behavior.
  • Discuss attribution theory and the fundamental attribution error.
  • Define the processes involved in relationships: liking, loving, and leaving another person, and the cultural variations in these processes.
  • Explain how attitudes are formed and involved in making social judgments.
  • Identify the factors involved in conformity and obedience to authority, the major research studies involved, and the cultural parameters of conformity and obedience behaviors.
  • Be aware of influences of groups on individual behavior including the principles of deindividualization, groupthink, and social influence strategies, group productivity and social loafing, and the bystander effect.
  • Be able to evaluate the applications of the principles listed above in the current world of work.