PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology

  • CANVAS - Maricopa ID and password

  • eBOOK - Password and username: mcc


This course is divided up into six modules. Each of the modules comprises one or two chapters from the textbook. We will cover 11 chapters in this course. This website is divided similarly, with chapters located within specific modules.

Module 1: History and Science of Psychology

Module 2: Lifespan Development & Social Behavior

Module 3: Biology of Behavior & Cognition

Module 4: Learning & Memory

Module 5: Motivation and Emotion & Personality

Module 6: Psychological Disorders & Treatments

Each week, you will be responsible for completing:

  • A timed, multiple-choice exam: You have some flexibility in deciding when you want to take exams (see Exams section for details). Exams make up the majority of points for this course. Very few test items focus on recall of names, dates, definitions, etc. Most test items require the application of psychology concepts to real-world scenarios.
  • One or more PsychSim worksheets: Worksheets are completed and submitted via the Assignments utility in Canvas.
  • One or more discussion boards: A complete discussion submission will require one theory-based post to the instructor's topic and two replies to others. One or more discussion boards: A complete discussion submission will require one theory-based post to the instructor's topic and two replies to others.

Nongraded learning/preparation activities include chapter readings, viewing lecture videos, responding to exam review sheet items.

Hello and welcome to PSY 101 online! My name is Derek Borman, and I am an instructor in the Department of Psychological Science here at Mesa Community College. In addition to general areas of psychology, I've spent additional time studying/researching/presenting cognition, lifespan development, statistics and research methods.

I moved away from teaching at a university because I wanted to spend more time with students and classroom instruction. I've never looked back.

Oh, yes. And as I'm sure you've gathered from some of the graphics, I am an avid "Simpsons" fan. Suppose that's what I might look like if I ever made it onto the show.

Currently I'm teaching multiple sections of Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101), the Introduction To Psychology Lab (PSY 102), and Introduction to Statistics (PSY 230/231). I teach at both the Red Mountain and Southern & Dobson campuses, as well as online. Other classes that I teach (or have taught) include: Tests and Measurements (PSY 271) and Educational Psychology (PSY 210). Additionally, I serve as one of the Service Learning Advisors (PSY 282) for my department.

If you would like to know more about these courses, check out some of the other pages at this site or better yet, get in touch with me.

man floating in fish bowlHave you ever heard the phrase, "The last one to know that it's wet is the fish?" What??? Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If the fish has spent its entire life under water, the only thing that it knows is "wet." It doesn't know what "dry" feels like. And without another experience to compare and contrast with its own, the fish doesn't really understand wet, it only understands what has always been...what is its current state. Only when the fish jumps out of the bowl can it truly appreciate the place from which it came.

Very few of us have the opportunity to "jump out of the bowl." That is, consider other perspectives, and compare and contrast those with our own. Most of us, myself included, do not find this an easy path. We've lived a long time on this Earth and have developed and even hard-wired certain beliefs, behaviors and emotions into our daily psychological experiences. We unconsciously find these patterns comforting. But patterns of existence have built in biases.

Part of the challenge of psychological science is to use our understanding of the world to connect with important psychological theories, BUT THEN move beyond our assumptions and prejudices so that we can ask important questions about human behavior. That's not an easy thing to do.

To move toward a more objective view of human beings and ourselves, we will consider such questions as: Why do children acquire languages so much more easily than adults? How are severe mental disorders diagnosed? Why are phone numbers seven digits long? How does mass media impact our thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Are we really better at multi-tasking in the technology age or are we just fooling ourselves? What is "post-traumatic stress disorder" and how does it impact the post-war lives of soldiers? Can one really become "addicted" to video games or online social networks? Why is it that people with "hostile" personalities may be seven times more likely to die from a heart attack?

As we answer these and other questions, we will analyze the very essence of what it means to be human. This is an opportunity for us to grow and see ourselves and the world around us with fresh eyes. In other words, I'm inviting you to jump out of the bowl. One thought that I always want you to keep in mind is this: Psychology is everywhere and it happens quickly. If you don't stop, look and might just miss it! Let's get to it!

I believe that understanding psychology is largely the result of the following elements of critical thinking.


  • Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they're alive and human.
  • Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse.
  • When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.
  • Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one's own despised and unwanted feelings.