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General Psychology 101

This introductory course focuses on how psychologists conduct research on human behavior and ways to interpret the results.  An emphasis on active learning about the self is included through a series of application and reflection exercises.  Other topics include stress, health and well-being, the brain, learning, memory, thinking, language and intelligence as well as motivation and social psychology.  Students are also introduced to psychological disorders and therapies.  Concepts of positive psychology are introduced such as happiness and positive self-regard.  A critical thinking component complements and enriches interpretation of secondary sources.  There is not an on-campus orientation for this course. Orientation will occur on-line during the first week of class.  Students are required to complete a final exam and an evaluating psychological information exam on campus in the HCC Test Center.

Some of the course material is presented through a pre-produced instructional videos series, “Discovering Psychology.” Students will be required to view these videos. Videos are available on HCC TV and are also streamed on the HCC library E-Reserves page. DVD’s may also be borrowed from the HCC Library.  Often students view these videos online at

PrerequisitesEligible to enroll in ENGL-101 or ENGL-121 (English Composition).
InstructorAllison N. Burns-Pentecost, M.A. M.S.

Objectives | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams


Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

1. Summarize written material by describing the central idea and key points, by analyzing important definitions, and by identifying psychological evidence (Critical Evaluative Reading).

2. Notice, understand, analyze, and evaluate psychological information in the mass media (Critical Evaluative Thinking).

3. Apply concepts to their own experiences (Application).

4. State what they have personally learned about selected topics in psychology.

5. Describe important concepts related to psychological research.

6. Describe the problems of defining mental illness, some of the major types of mental illness, and the major ways to treat mental illness.

7. Explain the influences and limitations on how we perceive.

8. Explain how to modify and change attitides and behaviors.

9. Describe the heredity vs. environmental issue.

10. Describe the selected topics from social psychological research.

11. Compare the views and criticisms of the major perspectives in psychology:

a. The Psychodynamic View

b. The Behavioral View

c. The Humanistic/Positive View

d. The Cognitive View

12. Demonstrate their beginning skills as a researcher and apply the scientific method.

13. Apply what they are learning about groups to become cooperative group participants.

14. Use Psychological research findings to improve study skills, time management skills, and learning.

15. Communicate with writing using APA style

16. Practice academic honesty and avoid plagiarism.

 Course Format

This course is not self-paced; assignments, quizzes, readings and viewings are required weekly as indicated by the course calendar. The communication in the course will take place through emails and threaded discussions.


There is no on-campus orientation for this class.  Please log-on to the course during the first week of the term to begin the on-line orientation that is available for enrolled students.

Course Requirements

Writing Intensive: weekly formal essays with corresponding online discussion.

Critical Thinking: weekly evaluating psychological information (EPI) activities and informal weekly online discussions about critical thinking.

Self Reflection Activities:  A series of application exercises have been designed to increase students active application of course concepts and increase self awareness related to psychological concepts.

Quizzes: online quizzes are given weekly to test course concepts.  

Cumulative Final Exam:  Required proctored exam at testing center.

EPI Test: Required proctored exam, at testing center.

Reading and Videos as Assigned

Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.


For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has online quizzes and an online final exam. A proctored exam on the Evaluating Psychological Information workbook will be given at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have questions about this class, send a message to Allison N.  Pentecost,

© Howard Community College, 1998 Last revised: 21 May 2010

Student Profile - Maribel