Welcome to the OERu micro-course, Evolution, Learning & Perception. This is the second of three micro-courses that jointly constitute the OERu Introduction to Psychology I course. In this micro-course you will learn about the influence of genetics and evolution on our behavior, review the basics of learning and behaviorism, and explore a general framework for sensation and perception in the context of vision.
This micro-course is intended for students who are interested in gaining foundational knowledge about basic psychological processes, including those who wish to pursue a Baccalaureate degree in Psychology. It can also be useful to anyone interested in the Social Sciences and can contribute to a Bachelor of General Studies.
What will I learn
By the end of this micro-course you will be able to:
- Summarize the basic components of genetics, including chromosomes and genes
- explain the nature vs. nurture debate
- explain epigenetics
- distinguish the concept of genotype from phenotype
- define behavioral genetics and recognize novel examples
- compare and contrast behavioral genetics and molecular genetics
- explain how experience influences with neural development
- Summarize the field of evolutionary psychology and describe the major criticisms.
- Compare and contrast physiological and psychological adaptations, survival and reproductive adaptations
- Describe some of the theories from evolutionary psychology, including sexual selection theory and sexual strategies theory
- Identify the core premises of error management theory and provide empirical examples of adaptive cognitive biases that the theory explains.
- Explain what ‘learning’ means to psychologists
- Identify & explain how learned behaviours are different from instincts & reflexes
- Define classical conditioning, operant conditioning & observational learning
- Summarize how classical conditioning occurs
- Analyze examples of classical conditioning to identify the conditioned & unconditioned stimuli & responses
- Distinguish the processes of acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization & discrimination
- Explain the difference between reinforcement and punishment
- Distinguish between reinforcement schedules
- Define observational learning
- Discuss the modeling process
- define sensation & perception and explain how they relate to the concepts of top-down & bottom-up processing
- define psychophysics and recognize new examples
- compare & contrast absolute thresholds and difference thresholds
- describe the elements of the perceptual process framework
- Completing readings
- Watch videos
- Completing elearning activities
- Writing an exam (for learners taking the course for academic credit)
What prequisites should I have, if any?
Anyone is free to participate in this course; however, it is designed for those who meet Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s English Language Proficiency Requirement. In addition, an internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.)
What micro-courses are required for course credit?
At some point in the future, OERu-affiliated institutions may choose to offer this OERu micro-course for credit towards an undergraduate credential. Learners may also request prior-learning assessment from their institution based on completing this OERu micro-course. Learners will likely be required to complete three micro-courses to gain credit for Introduction to Psychology 1:
- Foundations of Psychological Science
- Evolution, Learning, & Sensation and Perception
- Consciousness, Thinking & Memory