This course provides a strong foundation in psychology, with an emphasis on learning, cognition and behavior. While the course reviews the genetic and biological basis of behaviour (already studied in grade 12 biology), we also look at mental processes of concern to the professional, such as learning, memory, social behaviour, and decision making. Students will develop their understanding of humans and human emotions as part of a complex animal. 


Accountants must be able to understand and navigate the complexities of human behavior, decision-making processes, and interpersonal dynamics. This understanding enhances their ability to communicate, negotiate, and manage conflicts effectively with a wide array of clients and colleagues. Moreover, a grasp of psychological principles aids accountants in comprehending the behavioral aspects of financial decision-making and fraud detection, thereby enabling them to provide more astute financial advice and spot anomalies in financial records.



There are no requisites for this course.




On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

Knowledge Level of
Related PLO
Explain Neurological Basis of Behavior and Mind (CK1)
Explain the role of the major brain structures, neurotransmission and neuroplasticity on behavior and mental processes.
Understand PIP1
Explain Learning Principles of Behavior (CK2)
Explain different types of conditioning and its effects on human behaviour.
Understand PCIT1
Cognitive Skills Level of
Related PLO
Apply Psychological Theories in Business Contexts (CC1)
Apply psychological theories about learning, thinking and social influence in business contexts.
Apply PCIT1
Analyze Cognitive Processes and Biases (CC2)
Analyze the role of cognitive processes and biases on decision making and problem solving.
Analyze PCIT1
Discuss Genetics and Evolution in Psychology (CC3)
Discuss how genetics and evolution is influencing human psychology.
Analyze PCIT1
Communication, Information Technology, and Numerical Skills Level of
Related PLO
Use Information Technology Tools (CCIT1)
Use information technology tools for research and written presentations in psychology.
Apply PCIT2
Interpersonal Skills and Responsibilities Level of
Related PLO
Identify Own Cognition and Behavior (CIP1)
Identify own emotions, behavior and mental health as a result of biological, social and psychological influences.
Organize PCIT1


   Grades will be determined based on a grading score, calculated using the following assessments and score allocations:

SKILL Assessment Skill Weighting for Grade
Partici- pation In-class Tests Assign- Ment 1 Assign- Ment 2 Final Exam
Explain Neurological Basis of Behavior and Mind (CK1) 40% 40% 20% 15%
Explain Learning Principles of Behavior (CK2) 40% 20% 20% 20% 15%
Apply Psychological Theories in Business Contexts (CC1) 40% 40% 20% 25%
Analyze Cognitive Processes and Biases (CC2) 30% 30% 40% 15%
Discuss Genetics and Evolution in Psychology (CC3) 40% 40% 20% 15%
Use Information Technology Tools (CCIT1) 50% 50% 5%
Identify Own Cognition and Behavior (CIP1) 20% 20% 60% 10%



This course is primarily lecture and classwork based. Assigned readings will serve as a reference to material covered in class. Assessments will take place through classwork, assignments and tests. The focus of the assessments will be on understanding and application of psychological theories in a business context. During class, approximately half of the class will be devoted to lecture with another half of the class for classwork provided through Google Classroom.

During the course there are two assignment:

Assignment 1: Applying Psychological Principles to Workplace Dynamics (CC1, CCIT1, CIP1)
Work Group: Group of 3 – 6
Output Format Report
Language: Englishsss
Assignment: Students can choose a psychological theory related to evolution, learning or memory that they have studied in this course and apply it to a business related scenario. Students will write a paper in which they explain the theory, identify a specific business related scenario, analyze the scenario in the context of the chosen theory, and propose strategies or interventions based on the theory to improve this scenario. Scoring will be according to the Assignment Rubric
 Assignment 2:    Integration of Psychological Theories in Accountancy Practices (CC1, CCIT1, CIP1)
Work Group:  Group of 3 – 6
Output format: Research Report
Language: English
Assignment: Students are tasked to explore and analyze how psychological theories can be integrated into accountancy practices. The assignment involves writing a report with the following components:
Theory Selection: Choose a psychological theory related to cognitive, behavioral, or social aspects studied in the course.
Application in Accountancy: Identify specific aspects of accountancy where the chosen theory can be applied. This could include areas like ethical decision-making, client communication, risk assessment, or team dynamics within an accounting firm.
Theoretical Analysis: Analyze how the selected psychological theory can provide insights into the chosen aspect of accountancy. Discuss the potential influences, challenges, or benefits of applying this theory in an accountancy context.
Proposed Strategies/approaches: Based on the psychological theory, propose strategies, approaches, or interventions that could be implemented in the field of accountancy to enhance practices, improve client relations, or address internal organizational challenges.
Critical Evaluation: Critically assess the feasibility and potential impact of these proposed strategies or approaches, considering the practicalities and ethical considerations in the field of accountancy.
Scoring will be according to the assignment rubric  


The course targets the 30 lessons in the study plan below. Each lesson is 1.5 class hours each; there are a total of 45 class hours. The study plan below describes the learning outcome for each lesson, described in terms of what the student should be able to do at the end of the lesson. Readings should be done by students as preparation before the start of each class.  Implementation of this study plan may vary somewhat depending on the progress and needs of students.

Session Lesson Learning Outcomes Teaching (T) and Assessment (A) Methods
1 Introduction Course Lecture (T) Kahoot! (A)

Biological Basis: Genes

  1. Describe basics of DNA and Genetics (CC3)
  2. Illustrate the effect of genes on Phenotype (CC3)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Gene expression” Group problem (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 88 – 93

Biological Basis: Natural Selection

  1. Describe Natural Selection and its effect on Evolution (CC3)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Natural Selection” Group problem “Natural Selection” (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 93 – 97

Biological Basis: Evolutionary perspective

  1. Explain the idea of taking an Evolutionary perspective on human traits (CC3, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Video based discussion (A) Group problem (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 93 – 97

Brain: Nervous system and Cerebral Cortex: 

  1. Describe the nervous system and the position and function of the brain. (CK2)
Review test Lecture (T) Class Brainstorm (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 73 – 79

Brain: Lobes and Hemispheres

  1. Define the different areas of the human brain. (CK2)
Lecture (T) Group problem “parts of a brain” (A) Video ‘Lateralization’ (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 73 – 79

Brain: Neurons and Neurotransmitters

  1. Define neurons. (CK2)
  2. Describe how neurons communicate. (CK2)
Lecture (T) Group problem “Communication (A) Video demonstration Group discussion (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 57 – 65

Brain: Plasticity

  1. Describe how experiences change the brain. (CK2, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Video demonstration Group problem “Phineas Cage” (A) Reading: Psychology pp: 83 – 86

Learning: Classical Conditioning

  1. Describe Classical Conditioning (CK2)
Lecture (T) Group problem “Conditioning” (A) Review test Reading: Psychology pp: 183 – 194

Learning: Classical Conditioning II

  1. Analyze the use of classical conditioning in advertising (CK2, CC1)
  2. Apply theories of classical conditioning for creating meaning (CC1, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Video problem “Ceasar” (A) Group problem “Creating meaning” (A) Reading Psychology pp 183 – 194

Learning: Operant Conditioning

  1. Explain operant conditioning (CK2)
Lecture (T) Group problem “Reinforcers” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 194 – 205

Learning: Operant Conditioning II 

  1. Apply different types of operant conditioning to create specific behavioral changes (CK2, CC1, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Group problem “applying Instrumental conditioning” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 194- 205

Memory: Types of memory

  1. Define the three different types of memory. (CC2)
Lecture (T) Review test (A) Demonstration working memory Video discussion “Dory” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 215 – 226

Memory: Encoding, Storage & Retrieval

  1. Describe the process of encoding and storage. (CC2)
  2. Apply the theory of encoding to improve memorization. (CC1, CC2)
Lecture (T) Demonstration active engagement Demonstration “Encoding” (A) Group problem “Encoding” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 226 – 238

Memory: Retrieval & Forgetting

  1. Describe different ways of forgetting and the importance of retrieval in forgetting. (CC2)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Retrieval” (A) Group discussion (A) Demonstration: “forgetting” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 238 – 247
16  Course Assignment lecture Review test Lecture (T) Group discussion (A)

Mid term review

  1. Discuss the topics covered in the first half of the term.
Lecture (T) Didactic questioning (A) Test review (A) Group discussion (A)

Thinking: Attention

  1. Define attention. (CC2)
  2. Apply techniques to improve attention (CC1, CC2, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Group problem: “Attention (A) Reading: Psychology pp 251 – 260

Thinking: Consciousness

  1. Explain Consciousness and Subconsciousness. (CC2) 
  2. Describe the importance of Subconscious thinking processes. (CC1, CC2)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Stroop task” (A) Group discussion (A) Reading: Psychology pp 311 – 321

Thinking: Decision Making

  1. Define  Dual Processing. (CC2)
  2. Describe decision making through dual processing. (CC2)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Dual Processing” (A) Group problem “Dual Processing” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 262 – 274

Thinking: Heuristics

  1. Apply knowledge of system 1 decision making into the field of marketing (CC1, CC2)
Lecture (T) Demonstration “Heuristics” Video demonstration Group problem “Heuristics” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 262 – 274

Social Influence: Social Perception

  1. Define Stereotypes and prejudice (CC1)
  2. Apply ways of preventing prejudice (CC1, CC2)
Review test Lecture (T) Video demonstration “Reciprocity” Group discussion (A) Reading: Psychology pp 421 – 429

Social Influence: Persuasion

  1. Explain Reciprocity (CIP1)
  2. Describe different techniques in Persuasion. (CC1)
Lecture (T) Video demonstration (A) Group Problem (A) Reading: Psychology pp 429 – 437

Social Influence: Interpersonal Influence

  1. Explain Conformity and Obedience (CC1,CC2, CIP1)
  2. Apply strategies to lessen the effect of Conformity. (CC1, CC2)
Lecture (T) Group Problem “Conformity” (A) Video demonstration “Conformity” Video demonstration “Milgram” Reading: Psychology pp 442 – 449

Social Influence: Interpersonal Influence

  1. Apply knowledge of different social influences in marketing and management (CC1, CC2, CIP1)
Lecture (T) Group problem “social influence”(A) Reading: Psychology pp 442 – 449

Mental Health: Emotions & Stress

  1. Define emotions. (CIP1)
  2. Define stress. (CIP1)
Review test Lecture (T) Group Problem “Mental health” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 379 – 394

Mental Health: Stress Disorders

  1. Classify and Illustrate anxiety disorders (CIP1)
Lecture (T) Group Discussion: “Mental health” (A) Case study (A) Reading: Psychology pp 402 – 409;489 – 497

Mental Health: Mood disorders

  1. Classify and Illustrate mood disorders (CIP1)
Lecture (T) Video demonstration: “Depression” (A) Case study “depression” (A) Reading: Psychology pp 503 – 515

Mental Health: Coping & Treatment

  1. Describe different coping techniques (CIP1)
Lecture (T) Video Demonstration Group discussion (A) Reading: Psychology pp 515 – 520

Closing Lecture

  1. Summarize all course theories (all outcomes)
Lecture (T) Didactic questioning (A) Review test (A) Reading: Psychology pp 694 – 703
Total Hours: 45



  1. Kalat, James W., Introduction to Psychology, 11th Edition, Cengage Learning, Boston,


  1. Kahneman, Thinking, fast and slow, Penguin, London, 2015.
  2. Department of Psychology Royal University of Phnom Penh (2012). Cambodian Mental Health Survey 2012.
  3. Leitner Centre (2012). Special Report: Mental Health and Human Rights in Cambodia