Distance Education - Start Your Psychology Studies Here

  • Develop a solid foundation in psychology including the nature and scope of psychology, neurological and environmental effects on behaviour, personality, consciousness, perception, needs, drives and motivation.
  • Start building an ability to analyse aspects of a persons psychological state and apply derived knowledge to motivate that person.
  • Gain a greater insight into the human mind and how it works. A must for any student of human behaviour.
  • This course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about human behaviour and psychological theories and research.

Study Behavioural Management, Counselling and Psychology Skills by Distance Learning.

  • Learn about the scope and nature of psychology.
  • Start to understand human behaviour.
  • Internationally recognised, learning focused course.
  • Highly Qualified and Experienced Tutors with decades of experience, based in both the UK and Australia.


Course Structure and Lesson Contents

There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

Lesson 1. The Nature and Scope of Psychology
  • Different approaches to psychology.
  • It's all common sense isn't it?
  • Key issues in psychology.
  • Free will and determinism.
  • Applying psychology.
  • Developing questionnaires.
Lesson 2. Neurological Basis of Behaviour
  • Structures of the nervous system.
  • Central nervous system.
  • Peripheral nervous system.
  • How nerves transmit messages.
  • The brain and method.
  • Methods of investigating the brain.
  • Brain damage.
  • The strange case of Phineas Gage.
  • Split brain operations.
  • Localisation of function.
Lesson 3. Environmental Effects on Behaviour
  • Learning and behaviour.
  • Modelling.
  • Conditioning.
  • Extinction.
  • Punishment.
  • Learning and memory.
  • Memory improvement strategies.
Lesson 4. Consciousness and Perception
  • Status of consciousness in psychology.
  • Nature of consciousness.
  • Relationship between consciousness and perception.
  • Unconscious and subconscious.
  • Altered state of consciousness.
  • Day dreams.
  • Sleeping and dreaming.
  • Chemically altered perception.
  • Perception.
  • Selective attention.
  • Factors affecting perception.
  • Perceptual biases.
Lesson 5. Personality
  • Theories of personality.
  • Personality traits.
  • Theoretical approaches to human personality.
  • Id, ego and superego.
  • Oedipus Complex.
  • Electra Complex.
  • Psychological defence mechanisms.
  • Genes and personality.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Multi-trait theories.
Lesson 6. Psychological Development
  • Nature v. nurture.
  • Environment and development.
  • Stages of development.
  • Moral development.
  • Psychosexual development.
  • Psychosocial development.
  • Adolescence.
  • Adult psychological development.
  • Criticisms of stage theories.
Lesson 7. Needs, Drives and Motivation
  • Motivation.
  • Behaviourist theories of human motivation.
  • Drives.
  • Maslow's theory of human motivation.
  • Complementary and conflicting motives.


Duration: 100 hours


Course Aims

This course aims to teach the student how to -

  • Explain the nature and scope of psychology.
  • Explain characteristics of the neurological basis of behaviour.
  • Explain environmental effects on behaviour.
  • Explain the differences between consciousness and perception.
  • Explain the effect of personality on behaviour.
  • Explain psychological development.
  • Apply different techniques to motivate people.


What Will You Do In This Course?

Students may carry out the following tasks in this course:

  • Define different psychological terms such as ambivalence, apathy, behaviour, catalyst, cognition, empirical, fixation, homoeostasis, obsession, perception, performance, psychosomatic, socialisation, stereotype, temperament, trait.
  • Explain how psychology can be applied in different types of jobs.
  • Explain risks involved in applying psychology in 2 different specified situations.
  • Differentiate between developmental and interactive explanations of behaviour, in a case study.
  • Describe how the nervous system functions to transmit messages throughout the body.
  • Explain how the dis-functioning of different parts of the nervous system, can influence behaviour.
  • Compare the function of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
  • Explain 2 examples of conditioning, which you observe.
  • Explain an example of behaviour affected by modelling, observed by yourself.
  • Compare the likely affects of positive and negative re-enforcement in a case study.
  • Distinguish between consciousness and perception, in the attitude of an observed individual.
  • Explain selective attention, in a case study.
  • Explain in summaries, different states of consciousness including daydreams, sleeping and dreaming, meditation.
  • Explain the relationship between consciousness and behaviour in a case study.
  • Explain three different theories of personality.
  • Distinguish between the "id" and "superego" in a person you are familiar with.
  • Compare the application of humanistic approaches with the social learning approach with the psychoanalytic approach, in educating children.
  • Explain through examples, different defence mechanisms, including repression, displacement, rationalisation, projection, denial, evaluation, sublimation, reaction/formation, intellectualisation.
  • Explain the factors which may have influenced the psychological development of a teenager who you know.
  • Compare cognitive development with physical development, in a case study.
  • Explain through a summary, the four main stages of development including sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, formal operational.
  • Explain moral development in two different case studies
  • Explain psycho sexual stages of development in a case study.
  • Explain psychosocial stages of development in a case study.
  • Distinguish between needs, drives and instincts in a specific workplace.
  • Explain the cyclical nature of primary drives, in a case study.
  • List examples of secondary drives.
  • Explain how to motivate a worker in a specified situation using the psychoanalytical approach.
  • Summarise Maslow's theory of human motivation.
  • Demonstrate the application of three different motivation techniques, in three different specified situations, through role playing.


Behaviour is Affected by Both our Genetics and Our Learning

Psychological attributes or types of behaviour can be construed as a result of nature or nurture. Even where a behaviour is genetically programmed, however, its expression (the form it takes and whether the behaviour is expressed) can be profoundly influenced by learning. Throughout life, our natural tendencies to behave in one way or another are changed, largely as a result of learning from our environment. For instance, though all normal infants express fear when confronted with a long fall, or the illusion of it, they can also learn to be less fearful, and eventually, to overcome this inherent fear. 

Learning Behaviour

Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behaviour as the result of practice or environmental influence. It can and does occur in many ways, often as a result of our experience rather than as an intentional activity. In fact, most of our learning occurs naturally, not within the context of a formal educational situation. Some key learning processes are described below.

Modelling and Conformity

Perhaps the most basic form of learning is vicarious learning or modelling, which refers to learning by imitating the behaviour of others. Much of what a child learns is acquired by imitating the behaviour of a parent or significant other whom they love or admire. Children learn their social and gender roles through modelling, and will generally acquire their basic belief and value system through modelling and conformity (which is modelling behaviour on the behaviour of others in order to be accepted by them).  

For example, it is common for a little girl to imitate her mother, turning the backyard into an imaginary kitchen and making mud pies instead of muffins. Little boys quickly learn to imitate their father’s attitudes and behaviour, and if these imitations are approved or somehow rewarded (with smiles or praise), they will be adopted as part of the child’s behaviour patterns.  Although modelling is a very simple process of learning, we cannot underestimate the profound effects it has upon an individual’s behaviour for the rest of his or her life.


Most learning, including modelling, would not have far reaching effects unless it was influenced and encouraged by the environment and the people who surround us.  Parents reward their children for behaviour of which they approve, and the child learns to associate a particular behaviour with positive stimuli. The learning that results is called conditioning. Conditioning involves certain environmental factors (positive associations or stimuli) which encourage learning to take place. 

On a large scale, society conditions us to model our behaviour  according to a certain set of norms by approving of conformity. Conformity has been defined as "a change in behaviour as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or group of people". The “pressure”, however, is not always felt as pressure, but can come in the form of subtle rewards for behaving in certain ways, and holding certain values. It can come from repeated associations of certain behaviours with positive and desirable stimuli. 

For instance, much social conditioning occurs through the media (magazines, newspapers, television), where we repeatedly see certain kinds of people associated with desirable stimuli.  The obsession many have with dieting and slimming has its origins in such associations, for young men and women may believe the advertisements that show slender people receiving admiration, being loved, living happy, and successful lives (positive stimuli), as being associated with body size and weight. 

Conditioning also takes place in our everyday interactions. Psychologists who are most concerned with the environmental influences on learning behaviour are said to belong to the "behaviourist school." Behaviourists provided a systematic study of the process of learning behaviour, with a central focus on associative learning. Associative learning is the most basic process of learning and occurs in two forms:

  • Classical Conditioning - learning to associate two separate stimuli with each other.
  • Operant Conditioning - learning that a particular response to a stimulus leads to a particular outcome.

Hilgard & Atkinson (1983) give good examples of both:

  • In classical conditioning a baby learns to associate the sight of the breast with the taste of milk.
  • In operant conditioning, he learns that if he responds to the stimulus (i.e. the sight of the breast) by taking the nipple in his mouth, the outcome will be the ejection of milk.


You Can Enrol At Any Time

You can enrol on this distance learning course at any time. Our specialist tutors will be on hand to assist and guide you through your studies.



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