Psychology (PSYC) 290

General Psychology (Revision 8)

PSYC 290

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 is recommended.

Precluded Course: PSYC 206 (PSYC 290 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 290 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Psychology 290: General Psychology provides an introduction to behavioural areas of study, as outlined below.

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed Psychology 290: General Psychology, you should be able to:

  • describe the evolution of psychology,
  • compare and contrast the types of research design to human behaviour problems,
  • discuss relevant research issues,
  • discuss the theories of emotions, and identify the factors that account for human behaviour,
  • establish the relationship between heredity and the environment in light of shaping one’s cognitive and social development,
  • compare and contrast the various theoretical perspectives on personality,
  • define stress, establish possible causes, and discuss emotional, physiological, and behavioural responses to stress,
  • identify a variety of psychological disorders, and discuss the contribution of biological, cognitive, personality, conditioning, and stress factors to the etiology of each type of disorder,
  • identify various types of therapies associated with psychological disorders, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and outline factors to consider when selecting an appropriate therapy, and
  • define social psychology, discuss human behaviour that defies logic and common sense, and explain how such behaviours lead to stereotyping and generalization.


  • Unit 1: The Evolution of Psychology
  • Unit 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology
  • Unit 3: Motivation and Emotion
  • Unit 4: Human Development Across the Life Span
  • Unit 5: Personality—Theory, Research, and Assessment
  • Unit 6: Social Behaviour
  • Unit 7: Stress, Coping, and Health
  • Unit 8: Psychological Disorders
  • Unit 9: Treatment of Psychological Disorders


To receive credit for PSYC 290, you must complete five quizzes, two journal article critiques, research participation, and a final examination. You must achieve a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 60 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Five Graded Quizzes (4 x 8%, 1 x 4%) 36%
Assignment 1: Journal Article Critique 10%
Assignment 2: Journal Article Critique 10%
Research Participation 4%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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. (2019). Psychology: Themes and variations (5th Canadian ed.). Cengage.

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 Resources

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 290 challenge registration, you must complete a research paper and an exam and achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) on the final exam and a composite grade of D (50 percent).

Research Paper Exam Total
30% 70% 100%

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 8, April 12, 2021.

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