General psychology (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Burro
Roberto Burro
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 11, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to promote:
1) knowledge and understanding of the psychological theories that explain the attitudes and behaviors of the individual and groups;
2) the ability to know and apply theories related to the functioning of the individual, groups and organizations to the reading and analysis of learning phenomena and personal and social change;
3) autonomy of judgment concerning the study of observed behavior and internal cognitive processes;
4) the appropriate communication skills in the institutional, public, social and corporate fields of psychological concepts.

Specific objectives:
The course will provide an overview of the basic concepts that characterize Psychology as Experimental Discipline. The topics that will be covered will be: sensory and perceptual processes, learning and memory, motivation, language learning, development theories, social psychology and personality. Through a brief recapitulation of the salient moments of the history of Psychology, some main theories will be analyzed such as Behaviorism, Gestalt Theory and Cognitivism.


1) Scientific psychology: origin and development
- Birth of current psychology
- Currents of Psychology
- Physiological psychology
- Introspectionism
- The Psychology of form
- Dynamic psychology
- Behaviorism
- Scientific assumptions of Psychology

2) Perception and its "laws"
- Perception and sensation
- The sensory bases
- Sensory mechanisms
- The Gestalt laws of perception
- Visual illusions

3) Higher mental functions
- Intelligence
- The thought
- The language

4) Memory and learning
- Memory processes
- Method of studying memory
- Associations
- Constructivism
- Cognitivism and information processing
- Development of the mind
- Learning
- Responsive conditioning
- Operative conditioning
- Cognitive conceptual learning

5) Emotion and motivation
- Drive theory
- Freudian theory of drives
- Ethological theory
- Activation theory
- Secondary cognitive reasons
- Emotions
- The mechanisms of emotion
- Development of emotions

6) States of conscience
- The nature of consciousness
- Brain and consciousness
- Attention and activation
- Daily biological rhythms
- Sleep and dream
- Hypnosis and induced alterations of consciousness

7) Development phases
- What is meant by development
- Development up to 2 years: early childhood
- From 2 to 6 years: second childhood
- Childhood
- Adolescence
- Adulthood and old age

8) Personality and individual
- The theories of traits
- Medical-biological theories
- The psychoanalytic theory
- Behavioral theories and personality

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Canestrari, R., Godino, A. Manuale di Psicologia (Edizione 3) CLUED 2018 978-88-491-5579-2

Assessment methods and criteria

In the "moodle section" relative to the course, from lesson to lesson, it will be possible to find the slides of the course to integrate the exam text.

NB: Following the health emergency due to Covid-19, the usual examination procedures are changed for the 2020 summer session, in accordance with the indications of the University. Specifically: "the exam will be held orally using Zoom".

The exam taken during an official call will consist of a 30 minutes multiple choice question (30) (3 answers alternatives, only one of which is correct.) For the final judgment expressed in thirtieths, a correct answer has value equal to 1 point, an incorrect answer has a value equal to 0 points, an answer not given has a value equal to 0 points).