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Elements of Psychology

General data

Course ID: 2600-DSMdz1EP
Erasmus code / ISCED: 14.401 Kod klasyfikacyjny przedmiotu składa się z trzech do pięciu cyfr, przy czym trzy pierwsze oznaczają klasyfikację dziedziny wg. Listy kodów dziedzin obowiązującej w programie Socrates/Erasmus, czwarta (dotąd na ogół 0) – ewentualne uszczegółowienie informacji o dyscyplinie, piąta – stopień zaawansowania przedmiotu ustalony na podstawie roku studiów, dla którego przedmiot jest przeznaczony. / (0313) Psychology The ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) code has been designed by UNESCO.
Course title: Elements of Psychology
Name in Polish: Elementy psychologii
Organizational unit: Faculty of Management
Course groups:
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): (not available) Basic information on ECTS credits allocation principles:
  • the annual hourly workload of the student’s work required to achieve the expected learning outcomes for a given stage is 1500-1800h, corresponding to 60 ECTS;
  • the student’s weekly hourly workload is 45 h;
  • 1 ECTS point corresponds to 25-30 hours of student work needed to achieve the assumed learning outcomes;
  • weekly student workload necessary to achieve the assumed learning outcomes allows to obtain 1.5 ECTS;
  • work required to pass the course, which has been assigned 3 ECTS, constitutes 10% of the semester student load.

view allocation of credits
Language: Polish
Type of course:

obligatory courses



Short description:

Students will gain basic psychological knowledge, as a starting point for practical applications: to better understand the social reality and to be able to solve problems effectively.

During the course will discuss four topics:

(1) the source of psychological knowledge and research methods

(2) cognitive reactions

(3), affective reactions, and

(4) behavioural responses

Full description:

Psychology should be one of the basic tools of description of reality in the humanities and social sciences. During the course, students will learn the basics of psychological knowledge, as a starting point for practical applications. Students will learn the key concepts and psychological phenomena by discussing the results of the most interesting research. Classes include four thematic blocks:

1. Class organization. Do we need psychological knowledge?

How do we acquire knowledge? Types of scientific research. Advantage of experimental studies. Situational and psychological realism

2. Cognitive responses

Model of brain functioning. Cognitive categories: classical and natural concepts. Brain networks: their activation – conscious content and operational memory. Cognitive load effect. Role of operational memory content. Primacy, recency and anchoring effects, analytical-rational and intuitive-experiential systems of information processing. Controlled and automatic processing. Cognitive schemas activation. Dynamics of memory. Hindsight bias. Information processing – confirmation effect. Activation and deactivation processes asymmetry. Cognitive inertia. Premature activation effect. Function of attractors in information processing. Competition for cognitive resources. Assimilation and contrast effects.

3. Emotional responses

Types of emotional responses – stenic and astenic emotions, feelings, sensations and moods, endo- and exocentric emotions. Descriptive opinions, assessment: evaluative vs. emotional. Physiological arousal and role of its interpretation. Misattribution of arousal. Emotional contagion. Excitation transfer. Positive-negative asymmetry. Positivity bias. Informational vs. affective negativity effect. Dynamics of emotional responses: perseveration, mere exposure, novelty, and habituation effects. Self-esteem as a basic endocentric emotion.

4. Behavioural responses

Focusing effect in: (1) explaining ones own behaviour (causes vs consequences), (2) processing information about the self vs. the others. Reflective and unreflective (impulsive and habitual) behaviours. Action strategies. Dynamics of goal implementation


Course materials available on the e-learning platform, based on: Wieczorkowska–Wierzbińska, G. „Psychologiczne ograniczenia.” (2011)

Optional reading:

Zimbardo , P. „Psychologia” (2010)

Learning outcomes:

a) In terms of knowledge:

During the seminar a student should:

- acquire the basic psychological knowledge, which would allow for an analysis of cognitive, emotional and behavioural responses – be acquainted with the basic concepts and several key psychological studies

- know methods of building scientific knowledge (differentiate between experiments and correlational studies, know the advantage of experimental studies)

b) In terms of abilities:

Due to the use of different teaching methods, student will have the possibility to develop the following abilities:

- using psychological terms to describe everyday situations

- making his/her cognitive and emotional reactions an object of reflection – analysing their determinants and consequences

- see differences in perception of the self and others, identify errors commonly made when interpreting a behaviour of the self and others

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

• 50%: Activity on the e-learning platform (tests with open and closed ended questions)

• 40%: Final test

• 10%: In-class activities

------- BONUS POINTS -------

• 10% Bonus points for participation in research*

*Bonus points will replace the weakest test score from e-learning platform activities

To complete the course it is necessary to achieve a total minimum of 60% of the points at the end of the semester, including a minimum of 50% of the points for the final test completion. Obtaining a score below 50% for the final test means failure to complete the course, regardless of the total score at the end of the semester.

This course is not currently offered.
Course descriptions are protected by copyright.
Copyright by University of Warsaw.
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warszawa
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