Introduction to Psychology

Course Number
PSYC 110
About the Course

What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

Course Structure
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2007.

Syllabus

Professor
Description

What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can apes learn sign language? Why can’t we tickle ourselves? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

Texts

Gray, Peter. Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers, 2007. 
Marcus, Gary, ed. The Norton Psychology Reader. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.

Requirements

Exams: There is a mid-term and a final. The final is on the last day of class. There will be no exam during the final exam period. Sample exams will be provided on the course website. You must have a Dean’s Excuse to take a makeup exam.

Reading Responses: Starting on the third week of class, you will submit a short reading response every week. These responses will be graded pass/fail. There are ten responses, but you are allowed to skip or fail one of them without penalty (you only need to pass 9 of them). Details will be discussed in class.

Book Review: You will write one book review. Details will be discussed in class.

Experimental participation: All Introductory Psychology students serve as subjects in experiments. Specific details will be discussed in class.

Grading

Reading responses: 15%
Book review: 20%
Midterm examination: 30%
Final examination: 35%

Sessions

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in PSYC 110 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.