Principles of Psychology - Online psychology courses | Arts and Science Online

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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 an understanding of the role of genes and environment in determining behaviour and mental processes.
  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.

Course Topics

Unit 1 – Foundations

  • Introduction and History
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Learning

Unit 2 - Neuroscience

  • The Neuron
  • Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Consciousness and Sleep

Unit 3 - Sensation and Perception

  • Psychophysics and Transduction
  • The Visual System
  • Other Senses

Unit 4- Cognitive Psychology

  • Memory
  • Language
  • Intelligence and Reasoning

Unit 5 - Developmental Psychology

  • Physical and Lifespan Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Social Development

Unit 6 - Personality and Social Psychology

  • Personality
  • Social Psychology I
  • Social Psychology II
  • Motivation and Emotion

Unit 7 - Mental Health

  • Mental Disorders
  • Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders
  • Treatment of Mental Disorders
  • Health, Stress and Coping


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.

This course is a mix of independent and small group learning.  It is therefore important that you progress through the material at the prescribed rate.


Summer 19: May - July
Course Dates: 
May 6 - July 26, 2019
Exam Dates: 
Proctored Midterm: June 20 & 21, 2019; Proctored Final: July 30 - August 2, 2019


6% - Discussion Activites (x2)
34% - Written Assignments (x1) and Peer Review (x3)
25% - Proctored Midyear Exam
35% - Proctored Final Exam

**Evaluation Subject to change**

Mid-Term & Final Examinations

Mid-term exams will take place during the May-June exam period, June 20 & 21, 2019.

Students must pass the exam component of the course to receive a passing grade.

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 lessons10-12 hours every week
Discussion participation2 hours (approx.) every other week
Written assignment6 hours (approx.) every other week
Quizzes2 hours every week
Refer/review textAs needed
Total:  Approximately 16 hours/week

Students can expect to spend 221 hours total on the course.

Fall-Winter 2019-2020
Course Dates: 
Sept 5, 2019 - Apr 3, 2020
Exam Dates: 
Midyear Exam (proctored) Dec 4 - 19, 2019 Final Exam (proctored) Apr 9 - 25, 2020



**Evaluation Subject to change**

Midyear Exam

The midyear exam will take place during the fall exam period.

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

Students must write their exams 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.


Professor Meghan Norris (

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 9-10 hours per week (221 hours per term) 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.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ 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 onQ 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 or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


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

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

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.