Welcome to PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology
Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.
Get a detailed introduction to the fundamental principles of psychology and to the major subjects of psychological inquiry.
This course will introduce you to the fundamental principles of psychology and to the major subjects of psychological inquiry. It has been designed to not only provide you with the tools necessary for the study of psychology but to present you with a sampling of the major areas of psychology research. The course begins with a short overview of how psychology developed as an academic discipline and an introduction to a number of the principal methodologies most commonly deployed in its study. The subsequent units are arranged around broad areas of research, including emotion, development, memory, and psychopathology. We will focus on well-substantiated research and current trends within each of these categories.
This course includes the following units:
- Unit 1: The History and Methods of Psychology
- Unit 2: Neuroscience
- Unit 3: Sensation and Perception
- Unit 4: Learning and Memory
- Unit 5: Development
- Unit 6: Personality
- Unit 7: Social Psychology
- Unit 8: Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Unit 9: Health and Stress Psychology
- Unit 10: Psychopathology
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the general history of the field of psychology;
- demonstrate familiarity with social science research methods;
- understand the steps of the scientific method, how it applies to psychological research methodology, and the types of analysis common in psychological research;
- explain the nature versus nurture argument and the current status of thinking regarding gene-environment interaction;
- identify the major components of biological systems often studied in psychology; and
- demonstrate an understanding of the following subfields within psychology: sensation and perception, learning and memory, human development, social psychology, and clinical psychology/psychopathology.
Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.
The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.
All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.
Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score
Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.
There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.
Earning College Credit
This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you want to earn college credit, you must take and pass the Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. You must also take the graded quizzes, which are described below.
If you are seeking credit for this course, your grade will be calculated based on three graded quizzes and the Saylor Direct Credit final exam. Each of the graded quizzes counts for 15% of your total course grade. The final exam counts for 55% of your total course grade. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a total course grade of 70% or higher. Your score on the quizzes and on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete them. If you pass the Direct Credit exam and the graded quizzes, you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate and be eligible to earn an official transcript. For more information about applying for college credit, review the guide to college credit opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details like fees and technical requirements.
There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam and the graded quizzes. There is no waiting period between attempts for the not-for-credit exam and the Direct Credit exam or the graded quizzes. You may only attempt the Direct Credit final exam and the graded quizzes a maximum of 3 times each. Be sure to study in between each attempt!
Tips for Success
PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 64 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.
Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:
- Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
- As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
- Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.
This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.
- To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.
This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.
This course also has an optional final exam that can give you an opportunity to earn college credit. This exam requires the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring for this optional exam is $5 per session.