First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP5070127, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
PS2192, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BASIC CONCEPTS OF PSYCHOLOGY (MOD. A)
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English

Teacher in charge GIANLUCA CAMPANA M-PSI/01

Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses M-PSI/01 General Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Pre-requisites of this course are conceptual capabilities and knowledge typically shown by students with their High School certificate.

Particularly useful prior knowledge are thoset relating to human and social sciences and to logical, numerical and verbal skills. Also useful is a level of mathematical knowledge that allows a correct understanding of graphs and functions, as well as basic knowledge of cell biology and biological evolution.
Target skills and knowledge: Students learn the basic aspect of Psychology as a science at a conceptual and methodological level.

The two modules are complementary and tightly integrated.

Expected knowledge and skills are:

1. The definition, in its complexity of Psychology as a science. 2. The competences required for, and perspectives of a career in Psychology.
3. Knowledge about the history of Psychology through the various movements and the relative provileged methods of investigation. 
4. A consequent understanding of the meaning of the fundamental psychological concepts starting from their first formulation, and their subsequent evolution.
5. Ability to recognize and use the methods of investigation of psychological phenomena that have led Psychology to be characterized as an autonomous scientific discipline.
6. Understanding of the relationships between sensations and the environment through the psychophysical investigation method.

5. Knowledge of the mechanisms of processing of sensations and knowledge of the different functions of (visual) perception.
6. Knowledge about learning theories, understanding of non-associative learning mechanisms, conditioning and complex learning.
7. Knowledge about the characteristics and models of human memory and mechanisms.
8. Understanding of the construct of intelligence, its measurement and the contribution of genes and environment. 

9. Knowledge about the fundamental concepts of Psychology of complex processes such as language, thought and text comprehension.
10. Knowledge and understanding of emotional and motivational mechanisms, with particular reference to the different components of emotions and the distinction between drive theories and incentive theories.
11. Ability to consider psychological phenomena from different theoretical perspectives, with particular emphasis on behavioral, cognitive and biological approaches.
For module B the memory part will constitute a core aspect.
Examination methods: Assessment of knowledge and learned skills is carried out through a written exam that includes 31 multiple choice questions covering all the topics of both modules. The time given for responding to all questions is 40 minutes.
There is no distinction between attending and non attending students.

Students have to register for the exam session 10 to 4 days before the date established through Uniweb platform.
Lessons, exam preparation and scores, as well as the exam dates are organized in collaboration by the two teachers.
Assessment criteria: Assessment criteria are:
1. Completeness of the acquired knowledge.
2. Degree of understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the functions considered.
3. Ability to describe historical, theoretical and methodological contents in a precise and exhaustive manner.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: MODULE A (Prof. Campana)
- Psychophysics: relationship between the physical world and the psychological (sensory) world; psychometric curves and thresholds; laws and methods of psychophysics.
- Sensations: coding of quantity (intensity) and quality of the physical stimulus; early stages of visual processing; the encoding of form and color; early stages of auditory processing; the encoding of intensity and tone of the sound; spatial and temporal coding in the cochlea; chemical senses; the sense of touch.
- Visual perception: location (segmentation of objects, perception of distance and movement); recognition, perceptual constancy, neural basis.
- Learning and conditioning: non associative learning; classical and operant conditioning; learning and cognition; neural bases.
- Thought: concepts (function, prototype and nucleus, hierarchies, neural bases); deductive and inductive reasoning.
- Motivation: drives and homeostasis; incentive motivation; hunger and eating disorders; gender and sexuality.
- Emotions: components of emotions (cognitive appraisal, subjective experience, tendency to thought and action, bodily modifications, facial expressions, emotional responses and emotional regulation); differences of gender and culture.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Teaching will include frontal and interactive lessons, as well as practical exercises where students will be invited to cast in context the learned information.
At the beginning of each lesson, students are encouraged to ask questions about the previous topics in order to create interactive moments that are a valuable support for learning.
In addition, students are also encouraged to discuss their ideas on each topic and ask questions before the topic is addressed. This is useful to stimulate curiosity and to assess any discrepancies between contemporary theories and models and naive psychology.
The discussion in the classroom between students and with the teacher will be strongly encouraged through the use of key questions.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides of the lessons can be found on Moodle platform:

Students are required to study of the texts indicated, supported by the material provided through moodle. The program is the same for attending and non-attending students

The following chapters are to be considered in the recommended manual:
Chapter 4 - Sensory processes
Chapter 5 - Perception (excluding parts on abstraction and perceptual development)
Chapter 7 - Learning and conditioning
Chapter 9 - Language and thinking (excluding the part about language and the part about problem solving part)
Chapter 10 - Motivation
Chapter 11 - Emotion (excluding the part on positive psychology)
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Geoff R. Loftus, Willem A. Wagenaar, Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology 16th Edition. --: Wadsworth Pub Co, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Questioning
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)