PSYK1200 The History of Psychology Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Psykologiens historie
Study programme
Bachelorstudium i psykologi med vekt på atferdsanalyse
Year of study
Course history


The course provides an introduction to the methodological and theoretical basis of psychology, and its origin and development as a scientific discipline. This includes looking into the philosophical forerunners of psychology, the beginnings of experimental psychology, psychoanalysis, behaviourism, learning theories including social-cognitive, developmental psychology, humanistic psychology and cognitive psychology. It also provides a short introduction to philosophy of science approaches to psychology and behaviour analysis.

Required preliminary courses

Admission to the programme.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence:


The student

  • has knowledge of the difference between rationality and empiricism

  • has knowledge of structuralism and functionalism

  • has knowledge of the most important contributors to psychology as a discipline

  • is familiar with different experiments in learning and memory

  • is familiar with different phenomena and experiments in gestalt psychology (e.g. pi)



The student is capable of

  • describing and reflecting on the difference between essentialism and operationalism

  • describing and reflecting on science and the rejection of case studies, the importance of specific predictions and characteristics of an experiment



The student is capable of

  • reflecting on the history of psychology, and psychology as a science today

Teaching and learning methods

Work and teaching methods used in the course are lectures and self-study and student-initiated group work. Seminars will also be held where the students present subject matter. Participation in these seminars is compulsory. Students will present texts from the syllabus and encourage discussion, and will receive guidance on further reading. During the course, the students can submit four practice assignments related to key topics in the syllabus. The assignments will be set by the lecturer. The students’ learning outcomes will be documented through presentations and the exam.

Course requirements

  • Participation at compulsory seminars with presentation of given subject matter

The required coursework must be approved before the students can take the supervised written exam.


Supervised individual written exam, 4 hours.

Permitted exam materials and equipment


Grading scale



One internal and one external examiner