First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP4067768, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
PS1082, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (MOD. B)
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian

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 01/10/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Basic conceptual capabilities and knowledge typically shown by students with their High School certificate.
With reference to the prerequisites assessed in the admission test to the Degree Course, the most relevant ones are those relating to "knowledge of 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 conceptual and methodological notions that are constitutive of psychological science. Module A provides the tools necessary to better follow the topics that are developed in module B and that concern the sensory, perceptive, cognitive, emotional and motivational processes.

The knowledge and skills that are expected to be learnt are:
1. Knowledge about the history of Psychology through the various movements and the relative privileged methods of investigation.
2. A consequent understanding of the meaning of the fundamental psychological concepts starting from their first formulation, and their subsequent evolution.
3. Ability to recognize and use the methods of investigation of psychological phenomena that have led Psychology to be characterized as an autonomous scientific discipline.
4. 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. Understanding of the characteristics of attention and executive functions.
7. Knowledge of the characteristics and models of human memory.
8. Knowledge of learning theories, understanding of non-associative learning mechanisms, conditioning and complex learning.
9. Knowledge of the fundamental concepts of psychology of thought and language.
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. Understanding of the construct of intelligence, its measurement and the contribution of genes and environment.
12. Ability to consider psychological phenomena from different theoretical perspectives, with particular emphasis on behavioral, cognitive and biological approaches.
Examination methods: Assessment of the knowledge and skills learned is carried out through a computer-administered written exam. The assessment includes 26 multiple choice questions and 2 open questions covering all the topics of both modules. Students will have 34 minutes for responding to the multiple choice questions, and 30 minutes for responding to the two open questions (its is advised to dedicate about 15 minutes to each of the two open questions). The correct acquisition of the content and methodological concepts that characterize the course program is verified through these questions. Multiple choice questions require more detailed knowledge. In open questions it is required to place the required topics in the appropriate theoretical framework and to describe the various topics in an exhaustive way.

Students have to register for the exam session 10 to 4 days before the date established through Uniweb platform.
The two modules are tightly integrated. Lessons, exam preparation and scores, as well as the exam dates are organized in collaboration by the two teachers.

Attending students have the possibility of taking an intermediate exam at the end of module A. This test is written and administered by computer, and includes 13 multiple choice questions and 1 open question. Students will have 17 minutes for responding to the multiple choice questions, and 15 minutes for responding to the open question. Students who successfully pass the intermediate exam and attend module B lessons can complete the assessment of the second module (consisting of 13 multiple choice questions and one open question) in the two sessions available in winter (it is possible to present oneself to either one or both, in case the outcome of the first session was not sufficient or was in any case considered unsatisfactory).
The final result is the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in each of the two modules, provided that the mark is equal or higher than 18 in each of the two modules.
The exam program is the same for attending and non-attending students.
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.
4. Properties of the technical terminology used.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: MODULE B (Prof. Campana)
- Psychophysics (about 4 hours of lesson): relationship between the physical world and the psychological (sensory) world; psychometric curves and thresholds; laws and methods of psychophysics.
- Sensations (about 5 hours of lessons): the 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 (about 6 hours of lesson): location (segmentation of objects, perception of distance and movement); recognition, neural basis.
- Memory (about 5 hours of lesson): memory stages and storage; sensory memory, working memory and long-term memory; implicit memory; constructive memory; memory improvement.
- Language (about 3 hours of lessons): language properties and structure; effects of the context; neural bases; language acquisition.
- Thought (about 3 hours of lesson): concepts (function, prototype and nucleus, hierarchies, neural bases); deductive and inductive reasoning.
- Motivation (about 6 hours of lessons): drives and homeostasis; incentive motivation; hunger and eating disorders; gender and sexuality.
- Emotions (about 6 hours of lesson): 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.
- Intelligence (about 4 hours of lesson): methods of assessment of intellectual abilities in history of psychology; theories of intelligence; genetics and environment; emotional intelligence; intellectual disabilities.
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, Perceptual constancies and Perceptual development)
Chapter 8 - Memory (exluding the part on "Constuctive memory ane legal system")
Chapter 9 - Language and thinking (excluding the parts about development of language and Problem solving)
Chapter 10 - Motivation
Chapter 11 - Emotion (excluding the part on Positive psychology)
Chapter 12 - Intelligence (excluding the part about Generalized learning difficulties)

The (original) English version of Atkinson & Hilgard's textbook is also available.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Nolen-Hoeksema, Fredrickson, Loftus, Wagenaar, Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduzione alla Psicologia, 16esima edizione. Padova: Piccin, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo