PSY191 - Foundations of Psychology I

Outline info
Last revision date Nov 19, 2019 5:15:10 PM
Last review date Nov 19, 2019 5:15:10 PM

Subject Title
Foundations of Psychology I

Subject Description

This course examines selected theories, research and applied forms of psychology as well as the development of the discipline. It is designed for students in the Liberal Arts Program, and, in combination with Foundations of Psychology II, will provide an introduction to the discipline, preparing students for ongoing study in the field. Students will also gain an appreciative understanding of psychology?s diversity, the history and nature of the discipline, and its relevance to some of the more interesting contemporary issues in our world. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments, this course will introduce students to some of the research methods, theories, major figures, and perspectives found in psychology. The course emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, facilitates the practical application of student learning, and promotes the integration of course materials into students? understanding of themselves and their world.

Credit Status
This course is required for all students in the Liberal Arts Program and Arts and Science University Program.

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

1.    Demonstrate an understanding of psychology as a science and of some of the research methodologies used by psychologists.

 2.    Demonstrate an understanding of psychological concepts, sub-disciplines, and their utility in a variety of human domains.

 3.    Demonstrate a beginning understanding of psychology’s historical development as a scientific discipline including a knowledge of some of the major figures who have contributed to the field.

4.    Demonstrate an ability to apply some psychological concepts, theories, and research findings to current social issues and the observation of contemporary society.

 5.    Demonstrate an understanding of the history and development of selected psychological theories and concepts.

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

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

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 Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Not Applicable

Topic Outline

The following topic areas provide a guide to the major areas of content in the Foundations I course:

·         The history of psychology including an examination of major schools and early methods in the development of the discipline and its foundations in philosophy

·         The scientific method, research methods in psychology, and an introduction to the ethics of research

·         Memory

·         Learning

·         Developmental psychology: the neonate; early brain development; language development; nature and nurture; cognition; moral development; attachment.

·         Social psychology: our social natures, understanding others, the individual in the group, aggression and pro-social behaviour.

·         Theories of Personality

Mode of Instruction

Evaluation over the course of the term will include an examination of student’s written communication of their knowledge constituting a minimum of 25% of the term mark. This attention to written work, along with the assigned readings, will help prepare students to comprehend and evaluate research materials and provide some of the beginning skills required to write research reports and other scholarly work.

Prescribed Texts
Please see your professor's addendum.

Student Progression and 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

Tests, mid-term and/or assignments                 70%   

 Final Exam*                                                             30%

Approved by: Camille Soucie