2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Pierce College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PSYC& 100 General Psychology (5 credits)

Distribution Area Fulfilled Social Sciences; General Transfer Elective
Formerly PSYCH 110 - CCN

Course Description
Scientific study of animal behavior and experience. Both biological and social basics of behavior are covered with emphasis on heredity, neurology, motivation, emotion, perception, cognition, learning, and intelligence.

Student Outcomes
1. Evaluate reasonableness of psychology-related information received from media, friends and family, and professionals based on general types of research knowledge.
2. Describe practical information about learning, memory, thinking, and learning styles and design ways to apply that information to student’s educational career.
3. Apply and compare the major perspectives of psychology and how the perspectives have shaped which research questions have been asked.
4. Design basic research proposals for psychological study of phenomena, including explanations of decisions and judgments involved in research and their effect on the knowledge obtained from them.
5. Apply understanding of research methods to psychological research encountered in everyday discourse and the media.
6. Appreciate the complexity of human behavior.
7. More carefully observe and describe psychological phenomena.

For each of the following content areas (D thru H), the instructor will select at least two outcomes, with an expectation of more depth in one area.

Content area D. Biological Psychology, Sensation and Perception:
8. Identify different parts of the peripheral nervous system (e.g. sympathetic and parasympathetic) and discuss their functioning in everyday behaviors.
9. Identify major brain areas and their associated functions.
10. Evaluate the reasonableness of popular claims about brain function (e.g. drawing on the right side of the brain).
11. Describe and compare brain areas involved in everyday activities.
12. Describe major processes of neuron firing and key characteristics of that process (e.g. all-or-none principle).
13. Explain process of synaptic transmission.
14. Explain several effects of psychoactive drugs on synaptic transmissions and deduce other reasonable effects on the process in the synaptic gap.
15. Identify some of the types of complexity involved in the nervous system.
16. Explain main mechanisms of genetic transmission and major arguments regarding heritability of traits and social behavior patterns.
17. Explain how senses transform various forms of energy into nerve impulses and associated effects (e.g. just noticeable difference).
18. Compare and contrast how senses transform various forms of energy into nerve impulses.
19. Describe major groups of perceptual processes (e.g. Gestalt, monocular cues) and apply to real life stimuli (e.g. photographs, magic eye pictures, hazy day effects).

Content area E. Learning, Memory, Cognition, and Language
20. Compare and contrast classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning, and latent learning.
21. Explain main variations to each model (e.g. partial reinforcement schedules, stimulus discrimination and generalization).
22. Sketch interventions to change simple behaviors based on learning principles (preliminary design).
23. Identify common issues, conflicts, and cultural values inherent in interventions.
24. Describe models of memory, including major parts of sensory, short-term, and long-term memory as currently perceived by the field.
25. Explain common memory phenomena (i.e. what we remember and forget in everyday life) in terms of models of memory.
26. Explain own study habits and those of peers in terms of models of memory.
27. Design (construct) alternative learning habits based upon principles of memory.
28. Design class review sessions based on principles of memory or learning.
29. Describe ways of testing intelligence.
30. Describe major pieces of evidence related to major arguments about testing intelligence.
31. Compare and contrast algorithms and heuristics.
32. Describe examples of cognitive heuristics in every day life.
33. Discuss the importance of the distinction between grammar and vocabulary.
34. Explain at least one aspect of language development in terms of nature (genetic) and nurture (environmental) determinants.

Content area F. Emotion, Motivation, Personality and Development
35. Compare and contrast emotional experiences using a model that separates parts of an emotion.
36. Describe research that manipulates one aspect of an emotion and its affect on other parts and the overall emotional experience.
37. Identify major theories of motivation.
38. Give examples of ways innate drives (e.g. hunger, thirst) are universal and ways they are shaped by experience.
39. Identify major aspects of the sender, message and receiver that impact how a message transforms in transmission.
40. Give examples of multiple communication styles in the same situation.
41. Differentiate between a style (tendency or emphasis) and individual behaviors.
42. Identify major theories of development (e.g., Erikson, Piaget, Vygotsky).
43. Describe the fundamental quality of life that changes in one major stage theory.
44. Discuss the value of stage theories.
45. Identify underlying mechanism that drives personality in major theories of personality.
46. Compare and contrast the major perspectives of personality.

Content area G. Therapy, Disorders, and Stress
47. Apply the general criteria for diagnosing disorders to a case study, noting value judgments inherent in the process.
48. Apply set of criteria for any particular disorder as a set to a case study.
49. Compare and contrast at least two types of therapy, including distinguishing example excerpts from each.
50. Identify ways in which therapy settings reinforce cultural norms around giving and receiving help.
51. Discuss the role of therapy in societal function.
52. Identify major approaches to stress and coping, including which types of stress the research for each approach has tended to emphasize.

Content area H. Social Psychology, Gender, and Sexuality
53. Explain at least one aspect of gender or gender identity in terms of nature (genetic) and nurture (environmental) determinants.
54. Distinguish among categorization, stereotype, prejudice and discrimination.
55. Distinguish in examples between different processes of prejudice including aversive racism, internalized oppression, individual, and institutional racism.
56. Describe common tendencies in interpreting the social world (e.g., the fundamental attribution error) and its impact on future behavior.
57. Identify aspects of a situation likely to increase or decrease conformity and obedience.

58. Identify and distinguish the effects of different factors affecting small group behavior in applied situations.
59. Contrast evidence for a social construction and biological construction of gender in different areas of behavior (e.g., cognitive, social).
60. Identify main factors in attractions and dating.

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