Psychology 1010 -- an opportunity to reflect on the nature and nurture of human affect, cognition, and behaviour.

General Description

Psychology 1010I is an introduction to the academic study of psychological phenomena. The course emphasizes the historical and cultural origins of the constructs, methods, and purposes associated with contemporary Psychology. Psychologists differ among themselves about the appropriate purposes of Psychology and about the appropriate constructs and methods to adopt in order to achieve those purposes. In this course we consider, in particular, the differences associated with a natural science versus a human science approach to psychological study. Among the constructs examined are learning, personality, and psychological disorders. Among the methods are experimental, survey, naturalistic and hermeneutic methods. And the competing purposes considered are based in a variety of conceptions of Psychology, including Psychology as a basic science, Psychology as a healing technology, and Psychology as a discipline dedicated to the resolution of social problems (poverty and racism, for example).

You will be expected to attend classes, to complete the assigned readings and exercises on time, and to participate in small-group discussions of the course material.

Course Director

Ron Sheese - Department of Psychology and Writing Department

S342 Ross Building

(416) 736-5134



Tutorial Leader

Niloufar Eshgi is the Teaching Assistant for the course. She is a graduate student in York's Department of Psychology and is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She can be contacted at:

Required Reading

Butt, T. (2004). Understanding people. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Damasio, A. (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain. Orlando: Harcourt.

Moghaddam, F. (2005). Great ideas in Psychology: A cultural and historical introduction. Oxford: One World.

Course Reading Schedule

Week 1

     Course Outline

     Moghaddam, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4


You are encouraged to read the assigned course material for the assigned dates. The course moves at double the normal speed, and it is not easy to catch up with the reading after falling behind the schedule. The full Reading Schedule can be found by clicking on that phrase here or on the website navigation bar. 

Course Format

The course meets on Monday and Wednesdays from 11:30 - 2:30. Each class begins and ends with comments from the Course Director on one of the assigned chapters. In the middle portion of the class we break into small groups for discussion of questions related to the chapter topics. Discussion questions are provided for most readings in advance. Following the discussion, you are asked to write a response to one of the discussion questions on the Dialogue Forum, an online discussion board.

All students complete an inquiry project related to the course material. Students formulate a psychological question and compile a set of resources for study of the question. The resources might include, for example, books, articles, films, websites, activities to pursue, and physical locations to visit. Students annotate the collected resources to indicate the relevance of each item to the question of interest. Based on these resources they propose a research study that might be conducted to enhance understanding of the question. The project is completed in stages with deadlines for completion of each stage.

The Dialogue Forum is also available as a means for students who wish to engage in further discussion than is permitted by the time constraints of the course meetings. 

Course Evaluation

Course work will be evaluated in each of the following categories and weighted as indicated in assigning the final mark:

  • 4% Research participation (URPP) 
  • 8% Discussion participation in class
  • 8% Discussion participation online
  • 20% Inquiry project (December 5)
  • 15% Exam 1 (October 4)
  • 20% Exam 2 (November 6)
  • 25% Comprehensive final exam (7:00pm, Saturday, December 9 at AVIVA Tennis Centre)

The York University grading system, including the generic letter grade definitions used in the system, is described in the University Calendar.

Course Websites

Course website:

Dialogue Forum:

Course WIKI:

Undergraduate Discussion Facilitators

Several undergraduate students who have completed Introductory Psychology in previous years will be attending lectures and tutorials to assist in facilitating class discussion and to act as a general resource for students in the course. The Facilitators this year include: Reem Alaklook, Fareeza Baksh, Daniela Del Giudice, Amrita Gill, Asees Mubashar, Ali Ramazan, Angelika Tsimbalov