Principles of Psychology

PSYC 100/6.0

An introductory survey of basic areas of psychology including perception, cognition, learning and motivation and their biological substrata. Also reviewed are child development, individual differences, social psychology and abnormal psychology.


Welcome to the fascinating world of psychology, the science of behaviour and the mind. This course introduces you to the broad range of topics that we study in the field of psychology including perception, cognition, learning and motivation and their biological substrata as well as social psychology, infant and child development, individual differences, and abnormal psychology. You should gain some insight into what makes people think, feel, and behave the way that they do. NOTE: this course is not intended to help you solve behavioural/emotional problems requiring professional attention.Each module in this blended course consists of three components. The student is expected to study the assigned lecture notes and online resources; read the assigned sections of the textbook; and attend and participate in the tutorial sessions (either online or in person).


Average of 10 highest marks out of 12 participation quizzes10%
7 Assignments35%
7 Discussion Participation15%
Final Exam40%
Note: Assignments that are more than 1 week late will not be accepted and/or marked unless documentation is provided. The late penalty for assignments is 0.5 marks (out of 5) for each day late

You must write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period


Learning Outcomes

  • Summarize the major areas and themes of psychology
  • Demonstrate how topics in psychology can be fruitfully addressed at different levels of analysis and with different perspectives (e.g., developmental, clinical, comparative
  • Describe the major psychological theories and the empirical evidence upon which they are based.
  • Apply the scientific method to the formulation and answering of questions related to psychology
  • Assess the validity of, and provide accurate interpretations of, psychological findings
  • Communicate the relevant and potential contributions of psychology to everyday life and society as a whole.


Fall: Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science

  • Foundations I:  Introduction and History
  • Foundations II:  Research Methods and Statistics
  • Foundations III:  Genetics and Evolution
  • Foundations IV: Learning
  • Neuroscience I:  The Neuron
  • Neuroscience II: Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience III:  Consciousness and Sleep
  • Sensation & Perception I:  Psychophysics and Transduction
  • Sensation & Perception II:  From Sensation to Perception
  • Sensation & Perception III:  Perception
  • Cognitive Psychology I: Memory
  • Cognitive Psychology II:  Language

Winter: Developmental, Social & Clinical

  • Cognitive Psychology III:  Intelligence, Reasoning and Decision Making
  • Developmental Psychology I:  Physical and Lifespan Development
  • Developmental Psychology II:  Social Development
  • Personality
  • Social Psychology I
  • Social Psychology II
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Health, Stress and Coping
  • Clinical Psychology I:  Mental Disorders
  • Clinical Psychology II:  Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders
  • Clinical Psychology III:  Treatment of Mental Disorders


Instructional Team:

Coordinating Professor:

Jill Atkinson, Ph.D.

Administrative Coordinator:

Cheryl Hamilton,  M.A.


Fall: Jordan Poppenk, Ph. D.

Winter: Ada Mullett, M.A.

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.