Lyall Watson famously stated, “If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.” Nevertheless, we will take a crack at using our mighty brains to gain insight into ourselves and those around us. In this survey course, students will be introduced to core concepts and methods of inquiry and evaluation in the study of psychology. We will take every opportunity to relate these concepts to our own experiences and perceptions, an endeavor uniquely suited to the subject of psychology. Among the topics covered will be the history of psychology, major psychological theories, sensation and perception, learning and memory, intelligence and testing, developmental psychology, states of consciousness, personality, motivation and emotion, prejudice and discrimination, group dynamics, abnormal psychology, treatment and therapies, and careers in psychology. At the end of the course students should have a greater understanding of psychology as a field of inquiry, increased insight into the complex factors that drive our behavior, and be intelligent consumers of psychological theories.
Open to all seniors, and to juniors with permission of the Department Chair.