Psychology (PSYC) 289

Psychology as a Natural Science (Revision 6)

PSYC 289

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science. Course can also be used to fulfill Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: PSYC 206 (PSYC 289 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 206.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 289 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Course Website

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PSYC 289 introduces the broad areas of biological bases of behaviour, sensation and perception, learning and memory, and variations in consciousness. Specific topics covered include the brain, sleep, drugs, altered states of consciousness, touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing, attention, visual perception, emotion, Pavlovian conditioning, operant conditioning, memory, and hypnosis.

  • Unit 1: The Evolution of Psychology: From Speculation to Science
  • Unit 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology
  • Unit 3: The Biological Bases of Behaviour
  • Unit 4: Sensation and Perception
  • Unit 5: Variations in Consciousness
  • Unit 6: Learning
  • Unit 7: Memory
  • Unit 8: Language and Thought


To receive credit for PSYC 289, you must complete eight quizzes, participate in a research project, and pass a final examination. You must achieve a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 60 per cent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Eight Graded Quizzes (5% each) 40%
Research Participation Pass/Fail
Final Exam 60%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Weiten, W., & McCann, D. (2013). Psychology: Themes and variations (Third Canadian ed.). Toronto: Thomson Education Ltd.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other materials

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 289 challenge registration, you must write the examination alone, worth 100% of your final grade, and you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) or more on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, January 9, 2015.

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