22910023 - Psicologia generale

The study of General Psychology will allow the student to acquire the following knowledge: Psychic functioning, in order to develop basic skills for the recognition of psychological variables that co-determine educational phenomena; history, theoretical models and methods of investigation in psychological research; states and levels of consciousness; cognitive processes (perception, learning, memory, thought, creativity); emotional dynamics (emotions, motivations and psychic conflict); methodologies related to psychological variables involved in learning and teaching processes and in various educational contexts; the ability to analyze, design, implement and validate psychological evaluation tools useful in education; cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional characteristics in subjects in developmental age and, in particular, in adults.
With the study of General Psychology the student will be able to achieve the following training objectives.
In terms of knowledge and comprehension:
- define the historical, epistemological and methodological foundations of general psychology;
- to know the different research methods used by general psychology.
In terms of ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
- Analyse psychological processes in different learning contexts;
- identify and generalize psychological phenomena and processes.
In terms of autonomy of judgment:
- analyse a problematic situation from different points of view;
- reconstruct the causes that determined a certain problematic situation, also attributing them relative weights appropriately differentiated;
- draw conclusions on the basis of a plurality of observed or inferred facts;
- linking psychological theories to school and training situations;
- evaluate individual and social behaviour.
In terms of communication skills:
- to know and recognize the motivations of one's own behaviour and that of others;
- Demonstrate willingness to listen and ability to interact socially;
- explain, prevent and mediate conflicts;
- adopt a positive attitude based on open-mindedness.
In terms of learning ability:
- Exercise willingness to engage in scientific research;
- Being able to detect and measure psychological variables.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The first part of the course will address the historical foundation of Psychology as a scientific discipline, the principal theoretical approaches and the research methods of psychology. The second part will deepen understanding of the cognitive and affective functioning within the framework offered by experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The third part of the course will focus on application of theory and procedures of general psychology through laboratory activities.

Main contents: 1) Historical introduction and research methods: It will be illustrated the historical origins of psychology as a scientific discipline, as well as the classic theoretical frameworks to the study of psychology. The research methods of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience will also be presented. 2) Brain and behavior: It will be introduced some basic concepts about the functioning of the brain, discussing how this knowledge has influenced the study of behavior in psychology. 3) Sensation and perception: Presentation of the main theoretical models to the study of sensation and perception; In-depth analysis of the mechanisms that control perception across sensory modalities for understanding our environment. 4) Attention: Introduction to the main theoretical models and mechanisms involved in the process of selecting information from the environment for subsequent processing. 5) Conditioning and learning: Introduction to the main theoretical models and in-depth analysis of the mechanisms that make it possible learning processes. 6) Memory: Introduction to the main theoretical models (i.e., memory systems) and in-depth analysis of the mechanisms that regulate the processing, storage and retrieval of information. 7) Thinking and reasoning: Introduction to the main theoretical models and in-depth analysis of the mechanisms that fulfil functions related to concept formation, decision making and problem solving. 8) Language: Introduction to the main theoretical models and analysis of language functions that allow communication and sharing of knowledge. 9) Intelligence: Introduction to the main theoretical models and analysis of the factors that determine intelligence, the component of the intelligence and instruments for measuring intelligence. 10) Motivation: Introduction to the main theoretical models and analysis of the main forms of motivation that guide the individual behavior. 11) Emotions: Introduction to the main theoretical models and mechanisms by which affective systems modulate human behavior. 13) Personality: Introduction to the main theoretical models describing and defining personality.

Core Documentation

Required textbooks

1) Coon, D., Mitterer, J.O. (2020 -in corso di stampa- Edizione italiana a cura di Stefano Mastandrea e Sabrina Fagioli). Psicologia generale. UTET, Torino
2) Canali, S. (2020)). Regolare le emozioni - Teorie e metodi per lo sviluppo e il potenziamento dell'autocontrollo. Carocci, Roma

Students are not required to study some parts of the primary textboox “Psicologia Generale”, di Coon & Mitterer (Edizione a cura di S. Mastandrea e S. Fagioli). Please check in the table below chapters and/or paragraphs that may be skipped:

CAPITOLO 2, Cervello e comportamento
Only the following paragraphs are required:
All 2.5, including :
2.5.1 Gli emisferi cerebrali
2.5.2 La specializzazione emisferica
2.5.3 I lobi della corteccia cerebrale
Study also 2.6.4 Il sistema limbico

CAPITOLO 3, Sensazione e realtà
Only the following paragraphs are required:
3.2 La vista
3.3 Percezione dei colori
3.4 Adattamento al buio
3.5 L’udito

CAPITOLO 5, Percepire il mondo
All the chapter is required EXCEPT:
5.9 Percezione extrasensoriale e fenomeni paranormali
CAPITOLO 6, Stati di coscienza
This chapter is NOT required

CAPITOLO 7, Condizionamento e apprendimento
All the chapter is required EXCEPT:
7.7 Rinforzo Parziale: Las Vegas, la gabbia di Skinner per l’uomo?

CAPITOLO 9, Pensiero e immagini mentali
All the chapter is required EXCEPT:
9.2 (compresi i sottoparagrafi)
9.4.4 Ciclo inferenziale
9.6.3 Sillogismi lineari

CAPITOLO 12 Motivazione
All the chapter is required EXCEPT:
12.2.2 Meccanismi cerebrali della fame

Type of delivery of the course

The course is articulated in 36 hours of lectures and 18 of workshop, with activity either in presence and on line. Class attendance is optional but highly recommended. Attending and non-attending students can register on the dedicated page of the General Psychology course in the "Formonline" platform to obtaining course material (i.e., the slides presented during the lessons), participating in discussion forums and performing practical exercises proposed in the classroom. In case of extension of COVID-19 health emergency, the course will be held online via Microsoft Teams environment.

Type of evaluation

The final exam will consist of a written test including 35 multiple-choice questions (30 questions focusing on the main text “Psicologia Generale” + 5 questions focusing on the secondary book ("Regolare le emozioni"), see “Required textbooks” section).