Online Psychology Course

The online psychology course at PCDI Canada has been developed by experts in the field. You'll learn about prominent psychological theories, as well as about common research methods.

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Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson Group 2―Foundations of Psychology

What Is Psychology? 

Psychology defined; pseudoscience and popular opinion; thinking critically and creatively about psychology; the history of psychology and current viewpoints of psychological science; professional activities of psychologists.

How Psychologists Do Research 

What makes psychological research scientific; methods used to gather information and establish facts; correlational studies and the factors involved; experimentation basics; evaluating the findings; ethics of studying humans and animals.

Genes, Evolution, and Environment 

Relationship between genes and thoughts, feelings, and actions; the genetics of similarity; courtship and mating; the genetics of difference; the origins of human intelligence.

The Brain and Nervous System 

Function of the nervous system; communication in the nervous system; methods used to map the brain; major structures of the brain and their functions; the two hemispheres of the brain; the flexible brain.

Body Rhythms and Mental States 

Biological rhythms; the importance of sleep; explanations and evaluations of dreaming; hypnosis; consciousness-altering drugs; the physiology and psychology of drug effects.

Sensation and Perception 

Differences between the processes of sensation and perception; differences between absolute thresholds, difference thresholds, and signal detection; relationship between selective attention and inattentional blindness; psychological dimensions of vision and hearing; major structures of the human tongue; importance of smelling; basic skin senses; mystery of pain; perceptual powers.

Lesson Group 3: The Mental Process

Learning and Conditioning 

Overview of classical conditioning and its role in our responses; principles of operant conditioning; latent learning; social-cognitive learning theories.

Behavior in Social and Cultural Context 

Foundations of social psychology; influence of roles and attitudes; how behavior is affected by groups and situations; circumstances that make people obey or rebel; social and ethnic identities; group conflict and prejudice.

Thinking and Intelligence 

How people reason, solve problems, make decisions, and reason rationally; barriers to rational reasoning; measuring intelligence; strategies used to think and behave intelligently; animal intelligence.


Reconstructing the past; measuring memory; different models of memory; biology of memory; memory retention strategies; why we forget.

Emotion, Stress, and Health 

The nature of emotion; how culture shapes emotion; stress and its effects on the body and mind; stress and emotion; coping with stress.


Overview of motivation; the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; biology and psychology of love; research on gender and cultural differences in romantic relationships; biology and psychology of desire; gender, culture, and sexual behavior; motives, values, and the pursuit of happiness.

Lesson Group 4: Development, Theories, Disorders, and Treatments

Infant and Child Development 

Prenatal development; inborn abilities; cultural influences on infant physical and psychological development; attachment; cognitive development; moral development.

Adolescent and Adult Development 

Gender development; physiology and psychology of adolescence; eight stages of development; transitions of life; cognitive functioning as people age; fluid and crystallized intelligence.

Theories of Personality 

Freud and psychoanalysis; structure of personality according to psychoanalysis; defense mechanisms; other psychodynamic approaches; evaluating psychodynamic theories; modern study of personality; genetic, environmental, and cultural influences on personality; humanist and narrative approaches.

Psychological Disorders 

Diagnosing mental disorders; anxiety disorders; trauma and obsessive-compulsive disorders; depressive and bipolar disorders; personality disorders; drug abuse and addiction; dissociative identity disorder; schizophrenia.

Approaches to Treatment and Therapy 

Biological treatments for mental disorders; drugs commonly prescribed for mental disorders; cautions associated with drug treatment; forms of direct brain intervention and the restrictions of each; major schools of psychotherapy; evaluating psychotherapy.

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Program Description

This program provides a foundation in the basic principles of psychology that students can apply to multiple work and life situations to better understand the actions and motivations of others, and to improve their relationships in career and social environments through a better understanding of their personal motivations and actions.

Program Objectives

After completing the Introduction to Psychology program, students will be able to:

  1. Outline the origins and development of psychology as a field of study, describe why psychology is considered a valid field of study, and explain the five major psychological perspectives that inform the field.
  2. Describe psychology as the study of individual and group behavior and explain the role of biology, intelligence, culture, attitudes, social norms, and so on, on this behavior.
  3. Identify the different research methods used by researchers and explain the components, typical experimental conditions and controls, and advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as how to evaluate and communicate findings.
  4. Identify the components of the nervous system, including the structures of the brain, and describe the form and function of chemical messengers in the nervous system, including the relationship among hormones, thoughts, and emotions.
  5. List the major theories of psychology, explain their viewpoints and principles, and describe the work done by the researchers most closely associated with those theories.
  6. Identify methods for assessing psychological disorders and explain the accepted classifications of mental illness.

You'll learn basic psychological principles that apply to any career path. Call 1-800-535-1613 or enroll online today.