PSY181 - Learning, Thinking and Problem Solving

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-01 14:28:39.837
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:01.387

Subject Title
Learning, Thinking and Problem Solving

Subject Description
Psychology is an academic discipline that is concerned with all aspects of human existence, focusing in particular upon human thought, emotion and action. Psychology combines the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes with the development of therapeutic and practical approaches to human problems and concerns.  Psychology is, in addition, a major contributor to the ongoing development of our understanding of human nature more generally.  After a brief historical overview, this subject examines psychology as a science.  Psychological research and theory making facilitates our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as members of social groups by describing, explaining and predicting how we develop and relate in society, how we create ourselves and our world; applied psychology makes its contribution through efforts to enhance individual development and adaptation within society.  Students benefit by gaining an introductory knowledge of psychology that can be applied to their daily lives.  

Credit Status
One General Education Credit

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

Describe psychology as a science and outline the research methodologies used by psychologists.

Discuss major psychological concepts, sub-disciplines, and their utility in a variety of human domains.

Apply some psychological concepts and research findings to current social issues and the observation of contemporary society.

Demonstrate an ability to analyze selected topics using psychological concepts and theories.

Discuss the history and development of selected psychological theories and concepts.

Utilize selected psychological concepts and research in their development as students and their self-understanding as members of diverse human communities.

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.

Corequisite: EAC149 or equivalent.

Topic Outline

  • Psychology: A science with different methodologies and perspectives
  • Physiology: The nervous system and the Endocrine System
  • Personality: Psychodynamic, Behavioral, Humanist and Trait Theories
  • Learning: Behavioral vs. Cognitive Theories
  • Memory, Problem Solving and Study Skills
  • Motivation and Emotion: Individual determinants of behaviour
  • Developmental Theories: Stages of Maturation
  • Social Learning Theories: The impact of others
  • Wellness: The impact of Health and Stress
  • Intelligence: Defining and measuring our potential

Mode of Instruction
There are two modes of delivery for this course:

1. In-class: Students attend classes on campus each week. All instruction is delivered in a face to face environment.

2. Online: All class work is completed in a fully online environment. Students do not attend any classes on campus; however, the final exam must be written in-person at the Test Centre.

Teaching and Learning Methods:
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the learning process, instructors can use such teaching methods as class and small group discussions, essays and research, individual and group presentations, readings, lectures, workshops, in-class exercises, and/or web-based instruction. The mode of delivery will dictate the most appropriate teaching methods available to an instructor.

Prescribed Texts
Psychology: A Journey, 4th Canadian Edition Dennis Coon, John O. Mitterer.  ISBN 9780176662530

Reference Material
Students are referred to the following web site for the Seneca College Library APA Style Guide and Guide to Integrating Quotations (APA Style):

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

To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achieve an overall grade of 50% or higher. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Term work:
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 the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned. 
Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Traditional Classroom:

Self Analysis Part I 15%
Self Analysis Part II 15%
Midterm test 20%
Research Assignment 25%
Final Exam 25%

On Line:

Self Analysis 1 10%
Self Analysis 2 15%
Discussion Board Posts 20%
Online Midterm 10%
Research Essay 25%
Online Final Exam 20%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class. Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.
Please access the course every week (or more) and keep up with assigned readings. Make sure you participate in online discussions and hand in any assigned work on time. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.

Students should keep copies of all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade.

Students may appeal final grades in a subject, academic standing, continuation of status in a program, School, Faculty or the College following the recommendation of a Promotions Committee. It is the policy of the College that a student who invokes this appeal process will be given a fair hearing. For further information on appeals, please see Section 12 of the Academic Policy Handbook.

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood