Introducing Psychology: Theory, Scope and Content

Welcome to PSYC 1000 Introduction to Psychology: Social, Developmental and Abnormal. The purpose of Unit 1 is to provide you with an insight into the breath of psychology and to give you the opportunity to explore the depth of the subject area. Psychology can be briefly described as the scientific study and explanation of human behaviour, mental processes and consciousness. This contrasts with common sense views of why people behave in the ways that they do. Understanding the role of psychology in explaining human behaviour in diverse settings will improve your relationship with the individuals and groups in your
personal and professional environment.

This introduction to psychology will be covered in two sessions, in separate but related packages, so that you can read the session over two days, fully absorb the information and complete the in-unit activities and assessment exercises. In the first session, we will define psychology and examine the history, scope and content of the discipline. Consideration will be given to the characteristics of what makes a discipline scientific. The mainstream psychological theories are psycho-analytic, behavioural, cognitive, biological, humanistic and social psychological. These will be outlined and critically evaluated. In the second session, the emphasis switches to psychology’s role in understanding youths. The findings from a survey conducted with a sample of youths aged 15-17 years in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are cited in unit activity 1.3. These findings will provide you with an insight into the concerns of young people and their proposed solutions for addressing these concerns. In this unit when we refer to young people the age range under consideration is from 13 years to 25 years.

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