Availabilities:

Location Domestic International
Coffs Harbour Session 1 Session 1
Online Session 1,  3 N/A

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Introductory

Unit aim

Introduces four fundamental areas of psychology: biological psychology, quantitative methods, learning, and intelligence. It focuses on the biological basis and learned aspects of behaviours and cognition. The scientific methodology of psychology is introduced, along with foundations of quantitative data analysis. The unit complements Introduction to Psychology II.

Unit content

Topic 1 The science of psychology
Module 1 Biological bases of behaviour (Objectives 1&2)
Topic 2 The brain, behaviour and evolution
Topic 3 Communication and organisation of the nervous system
Module 2 Introduction to quantitative methods (Objectives 3&4)
Topic 4 Science method and experiments
Topic 5 Correlational designs, evaluation of research and ethics
Module 3 Learning (Objectives 5&6)
Topic 6 Classical conditioning
Topic 7 Operant conditioning
Module 4 Intelligence and psychological testing (Objective 7)
Topic 8 Testing and the measurement of intelligence
Topic 9 The nature-nurture debate and IQ - social and cultural issues

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 describe the organisation of and communication processes in the human nervous system and summarise the key functions of the different brain components
2 demonstrate an understanding of the basic issues and concepts in psychophysics
3 understand the conceptual and methodological basis of scientific inquiry in psychology and describe data using graphs and appropriate measures of central tendency and dispersion
4 describe and illustrate correlations between continuous variables
5 describe the role of rewards and punishment (operant conditioning) in the shaping of human behaviour and describe the role of stimuli in eliciting behaviour (classical conditioning)
6 apply conditioning principles to the understanding and modification of human behaviour and design a basic reinforcement schedule to increase or decrease specific behaviours
7 define the various meanings of the term 'intelligence', describe the influence of culture in the conceptualisation of intelligence and explain the role of environmental and genetic influences on intelligence.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe the organisation of and communication processes in the human nervous system and summarise the key functions of the different brain components
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the basic issues and concepts in psychophysics
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  3. understand the conceptual and methodological basis of scientific inquiry in psychology and describe data using graphs and appropriate measures of central tendency and dispersion
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  4. describe and illustrate correlations between continuous variables
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  5. describe the role of rewards and punishment (operant conditioning) in the shaping of human behaviour and describe the role of stimuli in eliciting behaviour (classical conditioning)
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  6. apply conditioning principles to the understanding and modification of human behaviour and design a basic reinforcement schedule to increase or decrease specific behaviours
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  7. define the various meanings of the term 'intelligence', describe the influence of culture in the conceptualisation of intelligence and explain the role of environmental and genetic influences on intelligence.
    • GA1:
    • GA4:

Prescribed texts

  • Copies are available in the University Library. Older/newer versions are fine to use: Weiten, W, 2013, Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th edn, Thomson. ISBN: 9781111354749.

  • Copies are available in the University Library. Older/newer versions are fine to use: Weiten, W, 2013, Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th edn, Thomson. ISBN: 9781111354749.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.