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Sample Lesson Experience the "look" and "feel" of RioLearn by checking out this sample PSY101 lesson. All information and coursework provided in this lesson has been chosen to show only the general structure, content style, and format of the course. Along with the basics, you can view a sampling of the course Modules, intended to show various features such as "flashcards" and other media enhancements.

Lesson 1
Background of Psychology

Introduction: Connecting Your Learning

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This course will introduce you to significant contributors to the field, the evolution of psychology, research methods, and psychological perspectives that are used to understand behavior. Psychology 101 covers a lot of topics. However, you do not enter the study of psychology without some background. We are consistently exposed to the work of psychologists in our everyday lives. TV talk show psychologist Dr. Phil counsels individuals with personal and family problems. Familiar with crime shows Criminal Minds or CSI? Criminal psychologists or forensic psychologists use psychological principles to help solve problems. And, many people have direct knowledge about psychology because they have visited school counselors, therapists, and religious, marriage, or grief counselors.

Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Readings

Lesson 1 Modules 1-4

Required Assignments

Lesson 1 Short Answer Assignment
Lesson 1 Quiz

Multimedia Resources

Reading Tips


Psychology Research Guide A one-stop shop for all of your psychology related research needs.

This section describes the reading and assignment requirements for the lesson, as well as providing extra resources to aid your learning.

Focusing Your Learning

Course competencies covered in this lesson:

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the historical roots of psychology.
  • Describe how psychology is applied in real world situations.
  1. Define psychology
  2. Summarize the major perspectives and subdivisions in psychology.
  3. Identify ways in which psychology is beneficial to you.

Approaching the Objectives

In this lesson, you will explore the origins and early history of psychology. This will be followed by brief descriptions of the major subdivisions that exist within modern psychology, many of which will be covered in more depth later in the course. The lesson will close by exploring many of the career options available for students of psychology. The diagram below presents a visual guide of how these topics are related.

Learning diagram

Assessing Your Learning

  • Lesson 1 Short Answer Assignment (20 points)
  • Submit the Lesson 1 Short Answer Assignment.
  • Lesson 1 Quiz (10 points)
  • Submit the Lesson 1 Quiz

Assessing Your Learning is where your coursework is submitted to your instructor.

Summarizing Your Learning

The term psychology derives from the roots psyche (meaning soul) and –ology (meaning scientific study of). Thus, psychology is defined as the scientific study of mind and behavior. Students of psychology develop critical thinking skills, become familiar with the scientific method, and recognize the complexity of behavior.