90324 - General Psychology Workshop (C1A)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Course contents

Methodology for studing cognitive processes. The design of a descriptive, correlational and experimental study. Definition of dependent and independent variables. Control group. Control conditions. Randomization. Practical exercises to evaluate what is the best choice among the various types of experimental design to test the validity of some specific assumptions.

Behavioural measures: reaction time and mental chronometry. Neuropsychology and the importanceof the neural bases of mental function. Brief mention of neuroimaging methods: PET (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). EEG (electroencephalography) and evoked potentials.

Memory. The 3 stages: encoding, retention, retrieval. Photographic memory. The fallibility of memory and the experiments of E. Loftus. Serial model of Atkinson and Shiffrin. Exercises on the ability of short-term memory. Exercises on the serial position curve. Long-term memory explicit and implicit. Exercises on priming. Forgetfulness and amnesia, and the patient HM.

The emotions. The classical theories. Contemporary theories with particular attention to the somatic marker theory of A. Damasio. Adaptive role of emotions: facial expressions. P. Ekman and FACS system. Neurobiological basis of emotions. The mirror neurons. The amygdala and its role in social behavior. Role of emotional response in maternal behavior.


Textbook: Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner (2010). General Psychology. Zanichelli.
In addition, students will use the handouts provided by the teacher (which correspond to the slides of the lectures) that summarize the information in the textbook and provide some supplementary information that can be evaluated in the exam.

Teaching methods

Lectures and illustration of psychological testing materials.

Assessment methods

Test with forced choice and open-ended questions. Oral examination.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint slides, softwares to illustrate the experimental tasks, exercises in psychological testing.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Maria Russo