William S. Altman, Ph.D.

Welcome to General Psychology at Ithaca College

I love teaching general psychology. I think it’s the most fun course in our entire curriculum. We explore nearly every part of the science of psychology, and learn through experiments, demonstrations, and other hands-on exercises. As an educational psychologist, I like to stress the practical applications of the things we learn. So we won’t only talk about the theories, we’ll look at how psychology can help in many different aspects of your life.

In this course, we'll explore nearly every part of the science of psychology. Students will engage in experiments, demonstrations, and many other hands-on exercises. We'll stress the practical applications of the things we learn, and look at how psychology can contribute to many different aspects of life. Starting with a definition and description of psychology, and the richness of its various fields and applications, we'll also look at the history of psychology, and the different research methods that psychologists use in our work. Then we'll cover topics such as how the brain and nervous systems work, how we understand the world around us, and how we learn and remember. We'll also take a close look at the nature of intelligence and creativity, and how we can increase our own capabilities. Along the way, we'll study what motivates people, how to persuade them to do things (and how to shield ourselves from being persuaded!). Rounding out the course will be units on our emotions, personality, and how people interact with each other in social situations. Students will be able to engage in experiments to understand the brain-body connection. For instance, they may use an electroencephalograph to measure each other's brain activity while engaging in various tasks or an electrocardiograph to measure heart activity during a stress-relief exercise.

This website contains all sorts of information designed to help you learn more about psychology, and do well in our course. Please explore it and have fun!