Introduction to Psychology as a
Natural Science

This course deals with the natural science aspect of psychology. This course is divided into four modules-- physiological psychology, behavior-genetic analysis, sensation and perception, and learning and memory. A primary objective of any introductory course is to provide the student with the concepts and vocabulary of the subject matter. First, there will be a general over view of the research methods used in psychology. Next, the student will be introduced to four areas within psychology. For physiological psychology, the student will study the structure and function of the neuron, the nervous system (with special emphasis on the brain), and the endocrine system. The student will also see how these structures and systems are linked to motivation, emotion and sleep. The primary goal of behavior-genetic analysis is to look for correlations between genes and behavior. The student will be exposed to basic genetic concepts and methods used by behavior-geneticist. Various experiments will be discussed and the student will be introduced to genetic abnormalities that are correlated with human behavior. The student will also be introduced to the nature-nurture controversy in regard to intelligence. For the module on sensation and perception, the student will be introduced to psychophysics and given overview of the senses and factors influencing perception. The student will also look at the field of parapsychology. For the module on learning and memory, the student will cover classical and operant conditioning, information processing in learning and memory and the cognitive perspective and the adaptive ness of learning. This module will also cover memory models, theories on forgetting, and the biological aspects of memory.