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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: PSYC 101
Course Title: General Psychology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Introduction to the field of psychology and the major sub-areas including the biological basis of behavior, sensation, perception, learning, memory, motivation, emotion, personality, stress, as well as abnormal, developmental and social psychology. Students majoring in Psychology must earn a grade of C or higher. G.E.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Text 1 is recommended.

By Myers, D. (Worth)
Publication Manual
(American Psychological Association)
Understanding Psychology
By Feldman, R.S. (McGraw Hill)
Psychology: The Adaptive Mind
By Nairne, J.S. (Wadsworth)
By Rathus, S. A. (Wadsworth)
Category/Comments - Text for the Online Campus
Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior
By Passer, M.W., & Smith, R.E. (McGraw-Hill)
Essentials of Psychology
By Coon, D. (Wadsworth)
Course Objectives
  • To understand and describe the major perspectives of psychology and the theoretical and applied aspects of each.
  • To understand how psychologists think, conduct research, write, and provide treatments and impact human society.
  • To begin to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills as they apply to general psychological questions.
  • To understand the process by which scientific research in psychology is conducted.
  • To develop an appreciation for the discipline of psychology as a science and its historical development.
  • To understand the basics of major topics, theorists, principles and vocabulary of psychology.
    Measurable Learning
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding representing appropriate breadth and depth in selected major content areas of psychology.
  • Describe basic research concepts in scientific psychology, including experimental method and correlation method.
  • Recognize the necessity for ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology.
  • Demonstrate reasonable skepticism and intellectual curiosity by asking questions about causes of behavior.
  • Recognize and respect human diversity and understand that psychological explanations may vary across populations and contexts.
  • Describe how psychological knowledge, skills, and values are used in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.
  • Recognize the relevance of psychological knowledge in occupations and other settings.
    Topical Outline: It is recommended that a semester course cover at least 12 of the following topics:
  • Historical foundations of psychology
  • Psychology as a science
  • Fields of psychological study
  • Physiological/biological psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • States of consciousness
  • Sensation and perception
  • Learning theory
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Personality theories
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Treatments
  • Emotion
  • Motivation
  • Intelligence/testing
  • Health psychology
  • Industrial/organizational
  • Social psychology
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Graham Higgs Date: January 14, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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