LSO260 - Principles of Psychology

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:54:38.979
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:55:13.69

Subject Title
Principles of Psychology

Subject Description
As we move through the world and interact with those around us, we all play the role of 'psychologist', trying to understand why we and others do what we do, feel what we feel, think what we think. This course is designed to introduce you to the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. By understanding how psychological research is conducted, by examining the evidence that has accumulated in the field, and by using critical thinking and analysis, it is hoped that the assumptions and intuitions you have gained through experience will be reexamined and reevaluated in a new and interesting light. A variety of areas within this broad and fascinating field will be examined, including learning, memory, social psychology, developmental psychology, stress and health, personality, and abnormal psychology.

Credit Status
This course may serve as a lower level Liberal Studies Option for the Degree programs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Define psychology and identify the various historical perspectives from which the modern science of psychology developed.
2. Describe a variety of methods used by psychologists in researching the field, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical principles in selected areas of psychology, including learning theory, memory, stress and health, personality, and social psychology.
4. Critically examine how psychological findings are presented in popular media.
5. Evaluate the differences and similarities between personal beliefs and assumptions, and empirically derived psychological theories and principles.
6. Discuss issues and work with other students in the class and present individual and group ideas to others.
7. Apply knowledge gained from the class to enhance thinking, relating, and behaviour in the world beyond the classroom.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ENG106 or equivalent.

Topic Outline

  •     Introduction to Psychology
  •     States of Consciousness
  •     Learning
  •     Memory
  •     Development
  •     Motivation and Emotion
  •     Social Psychology
  •     Personality Theory and Assessment
  •     Health and Stress
  •     Psychological Disorders

Mode of Instruction
A variety of appropriate teaching modes and techniques will be used, such as the following: lecture, question and answer, videos, demonstrations, classroom discussion, group work, individual and/or group presentation, and computer-aided instruction.

Prescribed Texts
Coon, Mitterer, Brown, Malik, and McKenzie. Psychology: A Journey + Printed Access Card (Latest Canadian Edition). Nelson.

All students are required to use the following research guide for their assignments: Seneca Libraries. MLA Citation Guide. Seneca College. Web. .

Reference Material

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of an assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty resulting in a lower grade.

Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be arranged in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

4 in-class tests 50%
4 assignments (in-class and take home) 25%
Final Exam 25%

Students are graded on form as well as content. Marks (up to 5% of the final grade) may be lost for poor organization of ideas and errors in spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation.
Students are not permitted to use instructional aids during tests or exams.
To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified, and achieve an overall grade of 50% or more.  It is expected that students have a sufficient command of the English language to express themselves clearly in both written assignments and class discussions. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see the Academic Policy at

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood