Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
1.1: Psychology in Context Page Where Does Psychology Fit In with the Other Sciences?

Psychology is a social science. Take a look at this video to explore how psychology fits within the other social sciences. After watching, you should be able to explain how psychology is a unique discipline. 

URL Psychology: "Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychology"

Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 1. As you read, consider these questions:

  • Why do you think psychology courses like this one are often requirements of so many different programs of study?
  • Why do you think many people might be skeptical about psychology being a science?
  • How did the object of study in psychology change over the history of the field since the 19th century?

Page David Baker and Heather Sperry's "History of Psychology"

This article answers to the question "What is psychology?" The field's name derives from the roots psyche, meaning soul, and -ology, meaning scientific study. Therefore, the field of psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Students of psychology develop critical thinking skills, become familiar with the scientific method, and learn to recognize the complexity of behavior. Think about your own definitions of psychology and mental health. How have these evolved over the years?

Before moving on, you should be comfortable with these topics:

  • The importance of Wundt and James in the development of psychology
  • Freud's influence on psychology
  • The basic tenets of Gestalt psychology
  • The important role that behaviorism played in psychology's history
  • The basic tenets of humanism
  • The way the cognitive revolution shifted psychology's focus back to the mind

1.2: The Scientific Method and Psychological Research URL Psychology: "Chapter 2: Psychological Research"

Read this chapter to learn about the concepts surrounding the scientific method, which is the basis for conducting scientific research. Pay particular attention to section 2.2, "Approaches to Research," which covers important topics related to research methods in psychology. After reading this chapter, you will understand important terminology and concepts associated with psychological research, such as experimentation, causality, correlation, validity, reliability, and hypothesis testing.

Page Psychology Research Methods

Watch this lecture on research methods in psychology. Pay close attention to why correlation does not imply causation and how other variables can influence a relationship between two factors.

1.3: The American Psychological Association URL American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading organization representing psychology in the United States. The APA is a valuable resource for psychology students and career psychologists as the organization not only promotes psychology as a discipline but it also outlines a code of professional ethics psychologists must abide by. Aside from advancing the field and providing valuable career advice, the APA also outlines a framework for psychologisits to write about research and the field, in general. The "APA citation format" has become a standard publication format within psychology and even across some other social sciences. When writing about psychology research, writers must acknowledge previous scholars' work by properly citing their work. As you read through this sub-unit's course materials, pay attention to how writers are to pay proper credit and how the type of publication (e.g., journal article, book, book chapter, website) a writer refers to affects the citation. Similarly, pay attention to the fact that all cited publications in a text must be listed in a reference list.

URL Excelsior Online Writing Lab: "Citation and Documentation, APA Style"

Read this page, which provides an overview and specific examples of APA citation and research writing.

2.1: Biopsychology: Human Genetics URL Psychology: "Section 3.1: Human Genetics"

Read this section, which introduces the role of genetics in the study of psychology.

Page Eric Turkheimer's "The Nature-Nurture Question"

Read this chapter, which poses questions such as why is the concept of nature and nurture still studied today. Nature and nurture work together like complex pieces of a human puzzle. The interaction of our environment and genes makes us the individuals we are. As you review this unit think about yourself and how nature and nurture have aligned to make you the person you are today.

Page Twin and Adoption Studies

Watch this video about twin studies. Although researchers are working to expand and develop twin study designs and statistical methods, the assumptions made in many twin studies are being questioned. However, many researchers agree that twin studies will continue to be an important tool, alongside emerging genome and molecular research methods, in shedding light on human behavioral genetics.

Page Deanna M. Barch's "Risk Factors for Developing Schizophrenia"

Read this section about the risk factors for developing schizophrenia. It is clear that there are important genetic contributions to the likelihood that someone will develop schizophrenia, with consistent evidence from family, twin, and adoption studies.

2.2.1: What Is a Neuron and Why Is It Important? URL Psychology: "3.2: Cells of the Nervous System"

Read this section, which introduces biopsychology. After you read section 3.2, also read section 3.3, "Parts of the Nervous System". Biopsychology is a branch of psychology that analyzes how the brain and neurotransmitters influence our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. This field can be thought of as a combination of basic psychology and neuroscience.

Page Sharon Furtak's "Neurons"

Read this selection about neurons. Before moving on to the next assigned reading, you should be comfortable with the following key terms:

  • action potential
  • axon
  • cell membrane
  • dendrite
  • electrostatic pressure

In addition, review the critical thinking questions at the close of the chapter to support your understanding of the materials.   

Page Anatomy of a Neuron

Watch this video on the anatomy of a neuron. You will see what a neuron looks like and how the neuron transmits signals. Think about how many signals are transmitted at any given time. Human beings are made up of very complex programming!

2.2.2: Action Potentials and Neurotransmitter Release & Functions Page Neuron Action Potential Mechanism

Watch this video about the action potential mechanism, which is essential for neural communication.

Page Types of Neurotransmitters

Watch this video, which explains the types of neurotransmitters and how they excite or inhibit neurons (nerve cells). Each neurotransmitter can directly or indirectly influence neurons in a specific portion of the brain, thereby affecting behavior. There are billions of nerve cells located in the brain, which do not directly touch each other. Nerve cells communicate messages by secreting neurotransmitters. Some common neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). Acetylcholine and norepinephrine are excitatory neurotransmitters while dopamine, serotonin, and GABA are inhibitory.

2.3: The Brain and the Endocrine System URL Psychology: "3.4: The Brain and Spinal Cord"

Read sections 3.4 and 3.5, "The Endocrine System", which will introduce you to the various parts and functions of the brain. Pay attention to how communication in the endocrine system differs from neurological processing.

Page The Nervous System

The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, and all of the nerves that connect these organs with the rest of the body. Watch this video to understand how together, these organs are responsible for the control of the body and communication among its parts.

Page Structure of the Nervous System

This video illustrates the nervous system especially the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Page Introduction to the Endocrine System

Watch this video of the endocrine system and familiarize yourself with the major glands and hormones. 

Page The Brain

Watch this lecture on the brain and its importance to the study of psychology.

2.4: Brain Injuries Page Strokes

Watch this video to understand the cause and effect of strokes. Pay special attention to the discussion regarding how a stroke harms a person. Because brain cells need blood to supply oxygen and nutrients and to remove waste products, when brain cells are deprived of oxygen – as happens during a stroke – they cannot function properly. In addition, as you review the physical impacts of a stroke, think about how survivors of stroke experience many changes resulting from their illness. Most people are aware of the physical changes that occur following stroke, for example paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, or difficulty with speech and language comprehension. However many people also experience some changes in their mood. For some these changes last for a short time, yet others may have ongoing problems.

Page Diane Beck and Evelina Tapia's "The Brain"

Read this article, and focus especially on the split-brain operation video. Afterwards, test your knowledge by describing a split-brain patient and at least two important aspects of brain function that these patients reveal.

2.5.1: Sleep URL Psychology: "Chapter 4: States of Consciousness"

Read the introduction to Chapter 4 and sections 4.1 through 4.4. After you read, you should be able to differentiate between consciousness, biological rhythms, and sleep, and be able to characterize the different stages of sleep.

Page National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep"

Read this article about how sleep is important in the functioning of our brain and how stages of sleep describe different levels of consciousness. This article also provides detailed information about the role of circadian rhythms in everyday functioning and explains different sleep disorders.

Page Sleep Stages and Circadian Rhythm

Watch this video on the importance and function of sleep.

Page Sleep Disorders

Watch this video about sleep disorders.

2.5.2: Substance Use and Other States of Consciousness URL Psychology: "Sections 4.5 and 4.6: Substance Use and Abuse and Other States of Consciousness"

Read sections 4.5 and 4.6, which cover how substances affect neurotransmitter functioning and alter states of consciousness.

URL National Institute on Drug Abuse: "Commonly Abused Drugs"

Review this page, which describes the acute effects and the health risks of both legal and illegal drugs.

URL National Institute on Drug Abuse: "Drugs and the Brain"

Read this page about drugs, their effects on the brain, and how psychological and physiological addictions form.

URL National Institute on Drug Abuse: "The Science of Addiction"

If you are interested in learning more about the science of drugs, the brain, and behavior, feel free to read the other sections of the website that discuss addiction prevention, health, treatment, and recovery.

3.1: Sensation versus Perception URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 1: Sensation versus Perception"

As you read this section, take note of the concept that sensation is what comes into our body through our sensory organs and perception is what our brain does with that information. Think about examples of how we might be tricked in the process!

Page Sensation and Perception

Watch this lecture on sensation and perception.

3.2: Waves and Wavelengths URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 2: Waves and Wavelengths"

Read this section to develop a better understanding of how the physical properties of light and sound waves affect perception.

3.3: Vision URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 3: Vision"

Read this section, which discusses vision.

Page Visual Cues

Watch this video for perspective on how our eyes perceive stimuli, including the different levels of perceptual organization: depth, form, motion, and constancy.

Page Visual Field Processing

Watch this video, which describes how we process our visual field and how information from the right and left visual field is broken down and sent to the brain.

3.4: Hearing URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 4: Hearing"

Read this section, which discusses the basic structure of our auditory system and how sound is encoded in our brain.

Page Auditory Structure

Watch this video about the structure of the ear and auditory system. Pay attention to how sound waves are created and perceived and the different functions of the inner and outer ear.

Page Auditory Processing

Watch this video about how sound is processed in the ear and brain, the importance of the cochlea, and its role in sound perception.

3.5: The Other Senses URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 5: The Other Senses"

Read this section about the other senses, such as taste and smell. As you read, consider how our biological systems permit the brain to store rough sketches of how pleasure and displeasure are produced by smells and tastes.

Page Gustation - Structure and Function

Watch this video to learn more about the structures and functions involved in the sense of taste.

Page Olfaction - Structure and Function

Watch this video to learn more about the structures and functions involved in the sense of smell.

3.6: Interpreting Sensory Information URL Psychology: "Chapter 5, Section 6: Gestalt Principles of Perception"

Read this section about perception. You should be able to explain why Gestalt psychologists often say "the sum is greater than its parts" when talking about perception.

Page Gestalt Principles

Watch this video about the Gestalt principles of perception. You should be able to describe and differentiate the law of similiarity, the law of Pragnanz, the law of proximity, the law of continuity, and the law of closure. 

4.1: Major Theories and Models of Learning URL Psychology: "Chapter 6: Learning"

Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 6, which covers important topics related to learning in psychology. After you read, you should understand the concepts associated with different theories of learning, including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and modeling.

Page Learning

Watch this lecture to learn more about the various theories of learning.

Page Mark E. Bouton's "Conditioning and Learning"

Read this article on conditioning and how it relates to learning.

Page Classical Conditioning

Watch this video on classical conditioning, which is important as both a behavioral phenomenon and as a method to study simple associative learning.

4.2: Memory URL Psychology: "Chapter 8: Memory"

Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 8, which discusses memory. Afterwards, think about memory in relation to the concept of thinking, and be sure you can explain the sensing process, memory, and the medium.

Page Information Processing

Watch this video to learn about human information processing. 

Page Memory

Watch this lecture on memory.

4.2.1: The Memory Process Page Kathleen B. McDermott and Henry L. Roediger's "Memory (Encoding, Storage, Retrieval)"

Read this article and think about the following questions: What do you encode? How do you get information into memory? How do you distinguish between visual encoding, acoustic encoding and semantic encoding? Why is encoding such an important step? What happens if you encode incorrectly?

4.2.2: Problems with Memory Page Memory, Part 2

Watch this lecture on amnesia and memory problems.

Page Cara Laney and Elizabeth F. Loftus' "Eyewitness Testimony and Memory Biases"

Read this article and focus specifically on misinformation. Why do you think young adults are often susceptible to misinformation, but children and older adults tend to be more susceptible, even without an intention to deceive?

Page Nicole Dudukovic and Brice Kuhl's "Forgetting and Amnesia"

Read this selection to learn about forgetting and amnesia that can occur as a result of brain injuries.

5.1: Developmental Psychology Theories and Research Page Overview of Theories of Development

Watch this video for an overview of the basic theories of lifespan development. What concepts are central to all theories of development?  Contrast the four theories discussed.

URL Psychology: "Chapter 9: Lifespan Development"

Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 9, which discusses lifespan development. This chapter's scope is broad, and touches on a wide range of topics that address how people grow and change through the course of life.

Page Jennifer Lansford's "Adolescent Development"

Read this section regarding adolescence and think about the major biological and emotional changes that occur to a person during this stage in life. Think about the challenges faced and supports needed.

5.1.1: Freud's Theory of Development Page Freud's Psychosexual Development

Think about the limitations of Freud's theory as you watch this lecture on Freud and psychosexual development.

5.1.2: Erikson's Lifespan Approach URL Psychology: "Chapter 11, Section 3: Neo-Freudians: Adler, Erikson, Jung, and Horney"

Read the subheading about Erik Erikson to learn about his well-supported theory of psychosocial development.

Page Erikson's Psychosocial Development

Watch this video to learn the stages and conflicts in Erikson's model.

5.1.3: Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development Page Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Watch this video. You should be able to identify and explain Piaget's stages of cognitive development.

5.1.4: Vygotsky's Scaffolding and Zone of Proximal Development Page Vygotsky and Sociocultural Development

Compare and contrast Piaget's notion that children's' development must necessarily precede their learning with Vygotsky's idea that "learning is a necessary and universal aspect of the process of developing culturally organized, specifically human psychological function".

5.1.5: Attachment Theory Page R. Chris Fraley's "Attachment through the Life Course"

Read this article and think about how our early attachment experiences with our primary caregiver influence the adult that we become.

These experiences forge our patterns of communication, emotional experience, intimate relationships, and way of living in the world. If our early attachments are secure, we learn to access and communicate adaptive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In contrast, if our early attachment experiences are insecure, we may struggle with dysregulated, maladaptive emotions and have difficulties in our intimate relationships – leading to anxiety, depression, and excessive or misdirected anger.

As you move forward with this reading, think about how cultural contexts and socialization, such as warmth and contingency, beginning in the early stages of human development impact a person over their lifetime.

Page Social and Emotional Development in Infancy

Watch this lecture from Dr. Alison Gopnik's "Developmental Psychology" course at the University of California, Berkeley.

5.1.6: Gerontology and Successful Aging Page Tara Queen and Jacqui Smith's "Aging"

Read this article. What does it mean to "grow old"? Which psychological processes change in later life and which do not?

5.2: Psychological Problems of Childhood URL Psychology: "Chapter 15, Section 11: Disorders in Childhood"

Read this section, which reviews psychological disorders commonly diagnosed in childhood. While children can have similar mental health problems that adults have, like anxiety or depression, children may have difficulty with changes associated with growing up, such as beginning school. They may lag behind in comparison to how other children their age are progressing, or during stressful times, they may behave like a younger child would. Even when children do have problems that also appear in adults, the problem tends to look different in a child. Think about the differences and similarities in childhood psychological problems as those compared with adults.

Page What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Watch this video to learn about autism spectrum disorders.

Page Richard Milich and Walter Roberts' "ADHD and Behavior Disorders in Children"

Read this article to learn more about childhood behavior disorders, especially ADHD, from the perspective of different phases of typical child development. Think about the similarities and differences between children and adults in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders.

6.1: Personality Psychology Page Personality

Watch this lecture on personality to understand how personality is defined and measured as well as the history of this line of inquiry. Pay attention to the Big Five Personality test, and consider taking it yourself!

URL Psychology: "Chapter 11, Section 1: What is Personality?"

Read this section. Think about how personality is defined and the role it plays in your everyday life and interactions. Pay attention to the historical context, particularly Galen's theory on the 4 underlying temperaments, which was dominant for almost 1,000 years. Can you relate to these 4 temperaments?

6.2: Perspectives and Approaches URL Psychology: "Chapter 11, Sections 2-6"

Read sections 11.2 through 11.6 to learn about the various perspectives of personality development. Much emphasis is placed on Sigmund Freud's influential and deterministic theory which highlights sexual and aggressive drives. The next section discusses the Neo-Freudian approaches like that of Carl Jung who placed emphasis on the idea of a collective unconscious. Think about how these theories differ and build on each other as psychologists try to understand how personality is developed. The final part of this reading examines social situations and outside influences on our personality development. Can you relate to the work by Albert Bandura and Julian Rotter who coined the terms self efficacy and locus of control, respectively? This reading concludes with an examination of biological factors in personality development, specifically the similarities (and differences) in personality among identical and fraternal twins who were raised apart. 

Page Psychoanalytic Theory

Watch this video on Freud's psychoanalytic theory, which describes the first dominant and complete theory of personality development.

Page Humanistic Theory

Watch this video explaining the humanistic approaches of personality development as introduced by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.

Page Biological Theory

Watch this video to learn about the biological role of personality development.

6.3: Personality Traits and Assessment URL Psychology: "Chapter 11, Sections 7-9"

Read sections 11.7 through 11.9. These begin with a discussion of personality traits or characteristics that shape our behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Pay attention to how personality traits differ from temperament. The sections conclude with a brief overview of personality assessment strategies and tools. Do you think these are good methods for assessing personality? If not, how do you think they should be improved?

Page Trait Theory

Watch this video on trait theorists like Gordon Allport, Raymond Cattell, and Hans Eysenck, and their personality assessment techniques.

URL Edward Diener and Richard E. Lucas' "Personality Traits"

Read this article, which describes personality traits and the Five-Factor Model.

URL David Watson's "Personality Assessment"

Read this article on personality assessments. What are some strengths and limitations within each approach?

7.1: Social Thinking Page A Person in the World of People: Self and Other

Watch this introductory lecture on social psychology.

URL Psychology: "Chapter 12: Social Psychology"

Read the Introduction and 7 sections of Chapter 12, which provides an overview of social psychology. Many psychologists would agree that most emotional and behavioral problems are essentially social and interpersonal problems. Not only are psychological difficulties typically caused or maintained by interpersonal processes, but also problems typically manifest themselves in the course of personal relationships. Many emotional and behavioral problems are rooted in "normal" interpersonal processes – precisely the processes that social psychology describes. As you study this unit think about how people impact one another. How does this impact our homes, community, and world?

7.1.1: The Attribution Theory Page PsychWiki: "Attribution Theory"

Read this article to learn about this important theory regarding causal inferences in social psychology.

Page Attribution Error and Culture

As you watch this video, consider the following questions: What happens when we consider our own behavioral attributes? Are we more likely to think we are victims of our own circumstance?

7.1.2: The Fundamental Attribution Error Page PsychWiki: "The Fundamental Attribution Error"

Read this article to learn about this important concept in social psychology.

7.2.1: Obedience and Stanley Milgram's Shock Experiment Page PsychWiki: "Milgram's Study of Obedience"

Read this article to learn about Stanley Milgram's controversial yet seminal studies on obedience. As you read this section consider Milgram's claim that "The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act".

Page Jerry M. Burger’s "Conformity and Obedience"

Read this selection and watch the videos, which explain Milgram’s experiments.

7.2.2: Group Influence Page PsychWiki: "Group Influence"

Read this article to learn about the influence of the group on individual action through social facilitation, social loafing, deindividuation, group polarization, and groupthink.

Page Donelson R. Forsyth’s "The Psychology of Groups"

Read this selection regarding the psychology of groups. A major controversy (real or alleged) from the last 25 years is the concept of “group think”. Think about examples of how the desire for harmony or conformity in a group could result in irrational or a dysfunctional decision-making outcome.

7.3.1: Stereotypes Page PsychWiki: "Stereotypes"

Read this article to learn about the research and theory related to stereotypes.

Page Susan T. Fisk's "Prejudice, Discrimination, and Stereotyping"

Many of us like to believe that we are in control of our own actions. However, social psychologists have often found that the attitudes, actions, and even the mere presence of other individuals can influence our behavior. As you read this section on prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping, think about how other individuals and/or social norms may affect behaviors of the individual, group, community, and world.

7.3.2: Hostile and Helping Behavior Page Brad J. Bushman's "Aggression and Violence"

Read this selection about aggression and violence. Simply stated, violence, such as assault, rape or murder, is an extreme form of aggression. Violence has many causes, including frustration, exposure to violent media, violence in the home or neighborhood and a tendency to see other people's actions as hostile even when they're not. Certain situations also increase the risk of aggression, such as drinking, insults and other provocations, and environmental factors like heat and overcrowding.  Think about the impact of aggression and violence on the development of person throughout their lifespan. How can lifelong trauma impact a person’s biological and psychological development?

Page Aggression

Watch this video on aggression and consider the following questions. As genes, cells, and DNA can cause aggression, and aggression can cause crimes, does this mean that criminals can successfully argue that it's their DNA, something they can't control, that's making them do what they do? What role does testosterone play with aggression?

7.4: Emotion and Motivation URL Psychology: "Chapter 10: Emotion and Motivation"

Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 10, which cover emotion and motivation. Think about an everyday interaction with friends or peers. You should be able to differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and be able to apply Maslow's hierarchy of needs to this real-world situation. 

Page Theories of Emotion

Watch this video to differentiate between the James-Lange theory of emotion as well as the Cannon-Bard theory, the Schachter-Singer theory, and the Lazarus theory. Which theory makes the most sense to you? Why?

8.1: Industrial and Organizational Psychology Page I/O Psychology

Watch this lecture, which provides an introduction and discussion of the chapter you'll read next.

URL Psychology: "Chapter 13, Sections 1-3"

This introduction and first three sections of Chapter 13 introduce the field of I/O psychology. Pay attention to the distinction between industrial and organizational psychology. What does an industrial psychologist do an a daily basis? How is this different from an organizational psychologist? Can these two terms be used interchangeably?

URL Berrin Erdogan and Talya N. Bauer's "Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology"

Read this article, which outlines what an I/O psychologist does. Is this a career option you might be interested in?

8.2: Human Factors Psychology URL Psychology: "Chapter 13, Section 4: Human Factors Psychology and Workplace Design"

This section focuses on human factors psychology, particularly the integration of humans and machines in the workplace. This field draws not only on psychology but also has roots in engineering and design. As you read, ask yourself what machines are important for your work, and how you interact with them. Are there methods for improving those interactions?

9.1: Stress and Stressors Page Stress

Watch this lecture on stress. Pay attention to physical stressors as well as psychological enhancers.

URL Psychology: "Chapter 14, Sections 1-2"

Read the Introduction and first two sections of Chapter 14 to learn about stress and the stress process. Pay attention to the role of positive stress and familiarize yourself with the research by Walter Cannon and Hans Selye. After you read, you should be able to identify stressors in everyday life and in the workplace.

URL Emily Hooker and Sarah Pressman's "The Healthy Life"

Read this article to familiarize yourself with the field of health psychology and its relation to medicine.

Page Stressors

Watch this video on stressors. Pay attention to the 4 major categories of stressors.

9.2: Stress and Illness URL Psychology: "Chapter 14, Section 3: Stress and Illness"

Read this section to understand how stress can impact our immune and cardiovascular systems.

Page Physical Effects of Stress

Watch this video on how your body, particularly your heart, responds to stress.

Page Stress Management

Watch this video to learn how you can cope with stress.

9.3: The Regulation of Stress URL Psychology: "Chapter 14, Section 4: Regulation of Stress"

This section discusses coping with or regulating stress. Social support and control can be very important tools for managing stress in our daily lives. 

Page Behavioral Effects of Stress

Watch this video, which explains how stress such as depression can affect our bodies. Pay particular attention to the role of learned helplessness as well as the effect of stress on your heart.

9.4: Positive Psychology and Happiness URL Psychology: "Chapter 14, Section 5: The Pursuit of Happiness"

Positive psychology is uplifting, and explores happiness and its elements. As you read this section, ask yourself how you define happiness in your life. What do you think of the subfield of positive psychology, or, as it is also known, the science of happiness? What emphasis should psychology place on happiness? 

URL Robert A. Emmons' "Positive Psychology"

Read this article to learn about the subfield of positive psychology and how it can make a difference in people's lives

10.1: Psychological Disorders URL Psychology: "Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders"

Read the Introduction and sections 1 through 3 of Chapter 15, which provides an overview on the nature of psychological disorders. Much current research is framed by the model of psychopathology portrayed in current versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although the modern DSMs have been fundamental in advancing psychopathology research, recent research also challenges some assumptions made in the DSM, such as the assumption that all forms of psychopathology can be categorized discretely.

Page Introduction to Mental Disorders

Watch this video, which provides an introduction to the variety of categories of mental disorders.

Page What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness

Watch this two-part lecture on mental illnesses.

10.2: Treatment of Psychological Disorders URL Psychology: "Chapter 16: Therapy and Treatment"

Read the Introduction and 5 sections of Chapter 16, which discusses therapy and treatment. You should appreciate the historical context of mental health treatment and be able to describe common forms of therapy today. What do you like about each treatment method? What are possible drawbacks? Do you think people are more open about mental health problems today than they were 100 years ago? 50 years ago? 10 years ago? 5 years ago? Why? 

10.2.1: Mood Disorders URL Psychology: "Chapter 15, Section 7: Mood Disorders"

Read this section on mood disorders. Mood disorders fall into the basic groups of elevated mood such as mania or hypomania, depressed mood of which the best-known and most researched is major depressive disorder (MDD) (commonly called clinical depression, unipolar depression, or major depression), and moods which cycle between mania and depression known as bipolar disorder (BD) (formerly known as manic depression). When reading this section think about the effects of mood disorders on people's lives. Major questions to consider include what are the major mood disorders? What are the diagnostic criteria? Who is affected by mood disorders?

10.2.2: Anxiety Disorders URL Psychology: "Chapter 15, Section 4: Anxiety Disorders"

Read this section on anxiety disorders. Many people in our everyday life suggest they are "anxious" - what are the specific criteria for a psychologist to diagnose a patient with an anxiety disorder? How might what you already know about learning theories and behaviorism help explain and treat patients with anxiety disorders?

10.2.3: Psychotic Disorders and Schizophrenia Page Deanna M. Barch's "Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders"

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by incoherent or illogical thoughts, bizarre behavior and speech, and delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices. Schizophrenia typically begins in early adulthood. Antipsychotic drugs aren’t the only treatment people with schizophrenia need. As you read this unit, think about how medication, psychotherapy, and support can help a person diagnosed with schizophrenia regain their life.

Page Biological Basis of Schizophrenia

Throughout this course we have emphasized the alignment of the mind and body. As you review this video regarding the biological basis of schizophrenia, think about how this mind-body interaction affects a person living with this illness. What are the implications of this interaction to help a person with this diagnosis live a quality life?

10.2.4: Personality Disorders Page Cristina Crego and Thomas Widiger's "Personality Disorders"

Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole. As you read this section, think about how the convergence of nature and nurture may contribute to a person developing a personality disorder.

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