Psych 101- General Psychology

Laurie McCabe

Learning Objectives for Chapter 1

The Evolution of Psychology

1. Summarize Wundt's accomplishments and contributions to the evolution of Psychology.

2. Summarize Titchner's accomplishments and contributions. Define introspection.

3. Summarize Watson's views on the appropriate subject matter of psychology, nature versus nurture, and animal research.

4. Describe the psychodynamic approach: Summarize Freud's principle ideas and why they inspired controversy.

5. Summarize Skinner's views and influence.

6. Summarize the contributions of humanistic psychology.

7. Describe two recent trends in research in psychology that reflect a return to psychology's intellectual roots; define cognition.

8. Explain why Western psychology traditionall6y had scant interest in other cultures and why this situation has begun to change.

9. Summarize the basic tenets of evolutionary psychology.

10. Explain four key insights that represent the essence of Darwin's theory of evolutions (pp. 108-114).

11. List and describe seven major research areas in psychology.

12. List and describe four professional specialities in psychology.

13. Explain the key difference between psychology and psychiatry.

14. Discuss the text's three unifying themes relating to psychology's field of study; define empiricism and theory.

15. Discuss the text's four unifying themes relating to psychology's subject matter.

16. Discuss three important considerations in designing a program to promote adequate studying.

17. Describe the SQ3R method and explain what makes it effective.

18. Summarize advice provided on how to get more out of lectures.

19. Summarize advice on improving test-taking skills.

20. Summarize advice on improving reading retention.

21. Discuss women's influence on the field of Psychology.


Learning Objectives for Chapter 2

The Research Enterprise of Psychology

1. Explain science's main assumption and describe the goals of the scientific enterprise in psychology; define variable.

2. Describe psychology's relations to other sciences, and outline the steps in a scientific investigation; define hypothesis and operational definition.

3. Discuss the advantages of the scientific approach compared with common sense.

4. Describe the experimental method of research, explaining independent and dependent variables, experimental and control groups, and extraneous variables; explain what is meant by random assignment of subjects and explain why it is important.

5. Describe the Featured Study on the efficacy of subliminal self-help audio tapes.

6. Explain the major advantages and disadvantages of the experimental method.

7. Explain how experimental and descriptive/correlational research are different.

8. Discuss three descriptive research methods: naturalistic observation, case studies, and surveys.

9. Explain the major advantages and disadvantages of descriptive/correlational research.

10. Describe three measures of central tendency and one measure of variability.

11. Distinguish between positive and negative correlations, and explain how the size of the correlation coefficient relates to the strength of an association.

12. Explain how correlation relates to prediction and causation.

13. Explain the logic of hypothesis testing and the meaning of statistical significance.

14. Define sample and population.

15. Explain what makes a sample representative; discuss sampling bias.

16. Explain what placebo effects are and when they are likely to be a problem.

17. Explain what experimenter bias is and discuss techniques for avoiding it.

18. Discuss the pros and cons of deception in research with human subjects.

19. Discuss the historical background of ethics pertaining to research.

20. Explain how this chapter highlighted two of the text's unifying themes.

21. Discuss the roll of the Institutional Review Board as discussed in the "in class" Activity.



Learning Objectives for Chapter 3

The Biological Bases of Behavior

 1. Describe the main functions of the two types of nervous tissue.

2. Describe the various parts of the neuron: soma, dendrites, axon, myeline sheath, terminal buttons, synapse.

3. Describe the functioning of neurons: resting potential, action potential, the all-or-none principle.

4. Describe how neurons communicate at chemical synapses.

5. Distinguish between the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons, and excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials.

6. Discuss how acetylcholine and the monoamines are related to behavior.

7. Explain what endorphines are and how they are related to behavior.

8. Provide and overview of the organization of the nervous system, differentiaing between the central and peripheral systems.

9. Describe the somatic division of the peripheral nervous system, distinguishing between afferent and efferent fibers.

10. Describe the autonomic division of the peripheral system, distinguish between sympathetic and parasympathetic systems and their functions.

11. Describe how the EEG, lesioning, and ESB are used to investigate brain functioning.

12. Describe the new brain imagining methods (CT, PET, MRI cans) that are used to study brain structure and function.

13. Describe the featured study on brain anatomy and schizophrenia; note how does this study relate to earlier studies on the same topic.

14. Summarize the key structures and functions of the hindbrain and the midbrain.

15. Summarize the key functions of the thalamus, hypothalmus, and limbic system; describe findings on "pleasure centers."

16. Describe the structure and functions of the cerebrum, including left and right cerebral hemispheres, the corpus callosum, the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, the primary visual, auditory, somatosensory, and motor control areas.

17. Describe cerebral asymmetry (or laterality), locating Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Summarize evidence that led many to view the left hemisphere as the dominant hemisphere, and describe how research on cerebral specialization has challenged this view.

18. Describe some of the basic workings of the endocrine system.

19. Explain how this chapter highlighted three of the text's unifying themes.

20. Critically evaluate each of the five popular ideas on cerebral specialization and cognitive processes in light of currently available evidence.

Learning Objectives for Chapter 4

Sensation and Perception

1. Define absolute threshold and explain how thresholds are determined.

2. Define just noticeable difference and explain Weberís law.

3. Describe the basic thrust of signal detection theory. Define these terms: hit, miss, false alarm, and correct rejection.

4. Describe some evidence on perception without awareness and discuss the practical implications of subliminal perception.

5. Discus the meaning and significance of sensory adaptation.

6. List the three properties of light (amplitude, wavelength, and purity/complexity) and the aspects of visual perception that they influence.

7. Describe the role of lens, iris, and pupil in the functioning of the eye.

8. Describe the retina using the following terms: rods, cones, fovea, optic nerve, and blind spot. Distinguish between the functions of the rods and cones.

9. Describe the routing of signals for the eye to the brain and the brainís role in visual information processing. Explain feature detectors.

10. Discuss the trichromatic and opponent process theories of color vision and the modern reconciliation of these theories: describe and explain afterimages.

11. Distinguish between top-down and bottom-up processing.

12. Explain the basic premise of Gestalt psychology, and describe Gestalt principles of perceptual organization discussed in your text.

13. Define Perceptual set.

14. Describe the monocular and binocular cues employed in depth perception: which would be used to create the illusion of three-dimensional scenes, drawings and paintings.

15. Describe the Featured Study on perceiving geographical slant.

16. Describe perceptual constancies and visual illusions, and discuss their importance.

17. List the three properties of sound waves and the aspects of auditory perception that they influence.

18. Describe human hearing capacities, and explain how sensory processing occurs in the ear.

19. Compare and contrast the place and frequency theories of pitch perception, and discuss the resolution of the debate.

20. Discuss the cues employed in auditory localization.

21. Describe the stimulus and receptors for taste, and discuss factors that may influence perceived flavor.

22. Describe the stimulus and receptors for smell and how olfactory information is routed to the brain.

23. Describe the processes involved in the perception of pressure, temperature, and pain.

24. Describe the receptors for the kinesthetic and vestibular systems, and discuss the perceptual experience they mediate: discuss the semicircular canals.



1. Define and discuss the nature of consciousness and levels of awareness.

2. Discuss the relationship between consciousness and brain activity.

3. Describe how sleep research is conducted.

4. Summarize what is known about our biological clocks and their relationship to sleep.

5. Summarize evidence on the value of melatonin for resetting biological clocks.

6. Describe how the sleep cycle evolves through the night.

7. Compare and contrast REM and NREM sleep; explain the paradoxical nature of REM sleep.

8. Summarize age trends and cultural variations in patterns of sleep; define the term co-sleeping. 

9. Discuss the neural and evolutionary bases of sleep.

10. Summarize evidence on the effects of complete and partial sleep deprivation.

11. Describe the Featured Study on the impact of sleep deprivation in college students.

12. Define insomnia and discuss its prevalence, causes, and treatment.

13. Describe the symptoms of narcolepsy, sleep apnea, somnambulism, and night terrors; distinguish between night terrors and nightmares.

14. Summarize findings on dream content, and discuss how dreams are affected by real-world events; define the terms manifest content and latent content.

15. Describe cultural variations in beliefs about the nature and importance of dreams.

16. Describe the three theories of dreaming covered in the chapter.

17. Recognize the name of the person considered to be the originator of hypnosis.

18. Discuss hypnotic susceptibility, list some prominent effects of hypnosis, and explain the role-playing and altered-state theories of hypnosis; define dissociation.

19. Summarize evidence on the short-term and long-term effects of mediation.

20. List and describe the major types of psychoactive drugs and their effects.

21. Discuss the various factors that influence the effects of psychoactive drugs; define synergistic effects.

22. Summarize evidence on the major physical health risks associated with drug abuse.

23. Define the terms tolerance, physical dependence, and psychological dependence.

24. Discuss the results of the Shedler and Block (1990) study and its implications for the relationship between excessive drug use and psychological health.

25. Explain how the chapter highlighted four of the textís unifying themes.

26. Summarize evidence on common questions about sleep and dreams discussed in the Chapter Application.

27. Discuss the influence of definitions and how they are sometimes misused as explanations for the phenomena they describe.




1.       Define classical conditioning and identify two other names for this form of learning.

2.     Describe Pavlovís demonstrations of classical conditioning.

3.     Define the following terms: unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, neutral stimulus, conditioned stimulus, conditioned response.

4.     Discuss how classical conditioning may shape emotional responses and other physiological processes.

5.     Describe the Featured Study on classical conditioning and sexual responses.

6.     Describe acquisition, extinction, and spontaneous recovery as they apply to classical conditioning.

7.     Describe the processes of stimulus generalization and discrimination, and summarize the classic study of Little Albert.

8.     Define operant conditioning; identify other names for this type of learning.

9.     Describe the prototype experimental procedures and apparatus used in studies of operant conditioning.

10.  Describe acquisition, shaping and extinction as they apply to operant conditioning.

11.   Explain how stimuli govern operant behavior and how generalization and discrimination occur in operant conditioning.  Define discriminative stimulus.

12.  Distinguish between primary and secondary reinforcers.

13.  Identify and distinguish the various types of schedules of reinforcement, and discuss their typical effects on responding.

14.  Describe Skinnerís principle of reinforcement; explain the distinction between positive and negative reinforcement.

15.  Describe and distinguish between escape learning and avoidance learning.

16.  Explain two-process theory and the role of negative reinforcement on avoidance behavior.

17.  Describe punishment and its effects.

18.  Discuss instinctive drift, conditioned taste aversion, and preparedness and their implications for traditional views of conditioning and learning.

19.  Describe research on signal relations and response-outcome relations, and explain their theoretical importance.

20. Discuss the nature and importance of observational learning.

21.   List the basic processes in observational learning and discuss Banduraís view on whether reinforcement affects learning or performance.

22. Explain how the chapter highlighted two of the textís unifying themes.

23. List and discuss the five steps in a self-modification of behavior program.

24. Describe how classical conditioning is used to manipulate emotions




1.   List and describe the three basic human memory processes.

2.  Describe the levels of processing theory and the experimental evidence supporting it.

3.  Discuss elaboration, including visual imagery and self-reference as techniques for enriching the encoding process.

4.  Describe Atkinson and Shiffrinís model of memory storage.

5.  Describe sensory memory, including its duration and storage capacity.  Describe Sperlingís procedure and results.

6.  Describe the duration and capacity of short-term memory.  Define chunk.

7.  Explain how attention influences the transfer of information from sensory memory to short-term memory.

8.   Explain why short-term memory is often called working memory and immediate memory.

9.  Define long-term memory and discuss its capacity and duration.

10.  Describe the use of various organizational frameworks in long-term memory; define schema.

11.   Describe how retrieval cues and context cues are related to retrieval.

12.  Summarize evidence demonstrating the reconstructive nature of memory.

13.  Define and distinguish between source monitoring and reality monitoring, and discuss their implications.

14.  Describe the various measures of forgetting/retention.

15.  Explain how forgetting may be due to ineffective encoding.

16.  Explain decay theory; compare and contrast decay and interference as potential causes of forgetting; distinguish between retroactive and proactive interference.

17.  Explain how forgetting may be due to factors in the retrieval process, including motivated forgetting.

18.  Summarize evidence for the view that most recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse are genuine.

19.  Summarize evidence for the view that most recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse are inaccurate.

20. Describe the Featured Study on the creation of hypnotic pseudomemories.

21.  Recognize alterations in synaptic transmission, the creation of localized neural circuits, long-term potentiation, and the influence of hormones as physiological memory processes.

22. Distinguish between retrograde and anterograde amnesia; distinguish between organic (biogenic) amnesia and psychogenic amnesia.

23. Distinguish between implicit versus explicit memory, declarative versus procedural memory, episodic versus semantic memory, and prospective versus retrospective memory.

24. Explain how this chapter highlighted two of the textís unifying themes.

25. Discuss the importance of rehearsal, distributed practice, and interference in efforts to improve everyday memory; define mnemonic devices.

26. Describe the serial-position effect.

27. Discuss the value of deep processing, transfer-appropriate processing, and good organization in efforts to improve everyday memory.

28.Explain how hindsight bias and overconfidence contribute to the frequent inaccuracy of eyewitness testimony.