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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

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

Course Topics

MODULE 1 – Introduction to Psychology and Clinical Psychology

  • Scientific research in the field of psychology
  • Research methods, Experimental Design and Ethics
  • Health Psychology and Health Management
  • The Biological, Psychological and Social Causes of Mental Disorders
  • Treatment of Mental Disorders

MODULE 2 - Neuropsychology

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Functional Anatomy of Sensation
  • Perception
  • Cognitive Neuroscience, Consciousness and Attention
  • Learning
  • Attention, Memory, Reasoning and Decision-making

MODULE 3 – Developmental Psychology

  • Language
  • Genetics and Intelligence
  • Lifespan Development
  • Major Theories of Developmental Psychology
  • Self and Others: A comparative perspective
  • Social Development

MODULE 4 - Evolution, Social and Personality Psychology

  • Evolution, Heredity and Behaviour
  • Motivation
  • Emotion
  • Personality Theories
  • Social psychology


Welcome to the fascinating world of psychology: the science of behaviour and the mind! The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the broad range of topics that we study in the field of psychology, including perception, cognition, learning and motivation and their biological bases. Also reviewed are child development, individual differences, social psychology and abnormal (clinical) psychology. In the process you will hopefully gain some insight into what makes people think, feel, and behave the way that they do. This course is not intended to help you solve behavioural or emotional problems requiring professional attention.

The course is based on a blended model where on-line learning is supplemented with small-group discussion conducted on the internet (through Moodle).


Average of 10 highest marks out of 12 participation quizzes10% total
5 Assignments35% total
5 discussion participation15% total (3% / discussion)
Final Proctored Exam40%

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

Note: The late penalty for assignments is 0.5 marks (out of 5) for each day late. Assignments that are more than 1 week late will not be accepted and/or marked unless documentation is provided.

** Subject to Change **

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.

Time Commitment

Completing/reviewing online lessons9 hours every week
Reading/reviewing the text3 hours every week, as required
Discussion participation2 hours (approx.) every other week
Assignment write up4 hours (approx.) every other week
View Video Lectures2 hours every week
Quizzes30 minutes every week
Total:  Approximately 17.5 hours/week

Students can expect to spend 221 hours total 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.