Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PSY 101
Course Title:
Psychology and Human Relations
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Applies psychological principles to relationships in both personal and professional environments. Includes an overview of basic personality and social psychology concepts, as well as specific skill development in the areas of communication, listening, and conflict resolution. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:
1. Apply an understanding of psychological and social influences on human behavior to objectively analyze one€™s own interpersonal experiences and relationships.
2. Utilize intra- and interpersonal management skills to increase effectiveness in personal and professional relationships.
3. Use knowledge of culturally diverse practices to increase sensitivity and competence in a variety of social and cultural interactions.
4. Communicate, listen, and manage conflict more effectively in personal and professional relationships.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate intended outcomes by any combination of the following as determined by the instructor:  

1. Written and /or oral assignments designed to promote integration of class material with personal reflection, experience, and/or skill acquisition.  

2. Multiple choice, short answer and essay questions that require integration, application, and critical examination of material covered in the course.  

3. Participation in dyad and group exercises and/or discussions, including skill-building exercises and activities within and outside the classroom. In- and outside-classroom activities may include email, online discussion, and video-taping.  

4. Attendance at lectures, workshops , on-campus and community events directly related to the course outcomes.  

5. Student-teacher conferences where verbal and non-verbal skills may be demonstrated and competency assessed.  

6. Participation in and critical assessment of a service learning project directly related to the course outcomes

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Core principles of the basic perspectives on human nature, personality and behavior (these may include psychodynamic, learning, cognitive, humanistic, and trait-based perspectives).  

2. Factors that contribute to the development of self-concept and its possible distortions.  

3. Physiological, socio-cultural, and gender influences on perception, judgment, and communication.  

4. Basic distinctions among and causes of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination, and how to reduce these barriers to understanding others.  

5. Basic human emotions and the verbal and nonverbal expression of emotions, and how emotions impact thinking, perception and communication.  

6. The relationship among cognitions, emotions, and behavior, including the principles of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.  

7. The creation, development, and maintenance of communication climates.  

8. Common ambiguities in verbal language that contribute to misunderstandings, as well as strategies for overcoming them. Contrasting fact vs. inference, and the use of I-language.  

9. Effective listening strategies, particularly active listening and paraphrasing as a means of increasing understanding and reducing conflict.  

10. Cultural and gender differences in verbal and nonverbal communication.  

11. Origins of defensive reactions, recognition of common language patterns that promote defensiveness, and development of effective strategies for communicating non-defensively.

12. Common patterns of interpersonal conflict, the benefits and limitations of each, and how to develop more assertive strategies for managing conflict.

13. Basic conflict outcomes and strategies for promoting satisfactory outcomes.    

Competencies and Skills :  

1. Explain one€™s own characteristics and behavior using psychological perspectives described in the course.  

2. Identify factors influencing development of and analysis of the accuracy of one€™s own self-concept, including socio-cultural, gender, and individual influences, and how self-concept is maintained and changed.  

3. Demonstrate understanding of how physiological, socio-cultural, gender, and individual factors influence perception of self and others.

4. Understand basic attribution theory from an individualistic cultural viewpoint, including the fundamental attribution error, self-serving biases, blaming the victim, and other cognitive distortions involving judgments of self and others.  

5. Understand basic social-psychological principles relating to the development and maintenance of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.

6. Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to use strategies for improving understanding of others, including perception-checking and paraphrasing.  

7. Identify a wide range of human emotions, and ways of expressing them that are sensitive to the socio-cultural and relational context €  

8. Demonstrate consistent congruence between verbal and nonverbal communication.  

9. Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to use strategies for management of one€™s own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including Rational Emotive Therapy (or REBT).  

10. Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to apply more effective communication strategies, including the use of €œI€ language and other methods of communicating with responsibility.  

11. Identify effective and ineffective listening strategies and demonstrate effective listening skills.  

12. Identify and understand defensive responses, and demonstrate skills to manage defensiveness in communication.  

13. Demonstrate an ability to apply basic assertiveness skills as appropriate in conflict situations.  

14. Demonstrate understanding of different conflict outcomes and the ability to apply effective conflict resolution skills.  

15. Demonstrate knowledge of the factors involved in the creation, development, and maintenance of communication climates in both personal and professional environments.