Introduction to Psychology
Course:PSYC 1100: Introduction to Psychology
Professor:Dr. Linda M. Woolf
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:00 - 11:00 or by appointment.
- 301 WH, Behavioral and Social Sciences Department.
- Phone 968-6970 or 968-7062
Text:Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2009). Psychology (10th ed.). Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780205711468
Course Description:Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Although psychology is most often associated with clinical issues (i.e. abnormal, personality), this makes up only a small portion of the field. Other specialties within the field include, to name a few, physiological, social, organizational, and developmental psychology. We cannot understand ourselves or the individuals around us without looking at how we develop, how we behave in a social context, or the physiological components of our behavior. Thus, this course will serve as an overview of the major fields within psychology with an emphasis on developing an understanding of psychology as the science of human thought and behavior. We will also learn to critically evaluate "common sense" knowledge about how people function.
PSYC 1100 has been coded for the Social Systems and Human Behavior content area.
PSYC 1100 has been coded for the Critical Thinking skill area.
Course Objectives and Outcomes:
- Objective: To gain a better understanding of the field of psychology both historic and current.
- Objective: To become familiar with the research methodology commonly used by psychologists. To become familiar with the scientific method, and examine the benefits and limitations of this method of inquiry as it relates to developmental psychology.
- Objective: To become familiar with the biological bases of behavior.
- Objectives: To develop an understanding of processes involved in learning and cognition.
- Objective:To develop an understanding of the various types of development that an individual experiences across the life-course.
- Objectives: To become familiar with the theories concerning psychological health and disorders.
- Objective: To become familiar with the theories concerning human behavior in a social context.
- Objective: To become familiar with the rapidly growing body of literature on psychology.
- Objective: To further develop writing skills in conjunction with the use of APA format.
All students should be capable of integrating and evaluating information, critical thinking, and writing at the college level.
Class Meetings:The class will meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 - 11:50. Attendance is strongly recommended as material will be presented that is not in the book and missing class can adversely impact your grade.
Course Requirements:Six exams and a term paper.
All grades will be assigned on a scale of 0 - 10 with:
90 - 100 A-, A Superior Work 80 - 89 B-, B, B+ Good Work 70 - 79 C-, C, C+ Satisfactory Work 60 - 69 D, D+ Passing, but less than Satisfactory (not passing if a requirement for the major or general education) Less than 60 F Failing
Percent of Grade:
Examinations 85% Critical Thinking Review Paper 15%
Examinations: Six exams will be given and the examination format will include multiple choice, short answer, matching, and essay. They will cover material presented in lecture, readings, and discussion. POLICY STATEMENTS: All exams must be taken on the date scheduled. No make-up exams will only be made available for students with a documented excuse AND who discuss their situation with the instructor prior to missing an exam.
Additional study materials have been placed on eReserves for the class. For example, I will place selected slides from my lecture on this site (not all slides will be put online) and there are also practice tests available for your study and review.
Critical Thinking Review Paper: Students are required to research and write a critical thinking review paper for 15% of their final grade. The specific requirements are given below:
- To assess critical thinking, students will be given the opportunity to evaluate current literature related to a controversial contemporary issue in psychology (e. g., child spanking, ESP, Mozart Effect). Students need to clearly state the area they wish to explore (must be approved by the instructor -- see note below), assess the existing research on the topic, critique different perspectives on the issue using existing research, and provide an informed conclusion based on their knowledge of the topic and psychology. Students must also annotate their references and assess the quality (pros/cons) of each article/book referenced) The paper is to be a 7 - 10 paper review and analysis.Critical Thinking Course Outcomes:
Critical Thinking: Habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, carried out by analyzing and evaluating assumptions and arguments, constructing well-supported arguments, and developing innovative plans or ideas to solve problems.
Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Describe an issue/problem clearly and comprehensively, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding.
- Develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis of the relevant evidence including the thorough questioning of experts.
- Analyze their own and others' assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of context when presenting a position.
- Present a position which is imaginative, comprehensive, and synthesizes all available information on the topic (including other points of view).
- Create/Extend a novel or unique idea, questions, format, or product to create new knowledge that crosses boundaries.
- Generate conclusions/outcomes that are logical and reflect a student's informed evaluation of the evidence.
- Paper topics must be approved by the instructor (See additional instructions below). Deadline for final acceptance of projects is April 27. NOTE: This deadline is not a suggestion. Papers accepted following the deadline will experience a drop of one letter grade for every two days late except in cases of emergency discussed in advance with the instructor. It is up to the instructor's discretion whether to accept or not accept a paper following the April 27 deadline.
- Paper topics must be approved by the instructor. NOTE: All paper proposals must be submitted via e-mail to the instructor. Paper topics that have not been approved will not be accepted. Paper topics proposals must be submitted via email (email@example.com) for approval by February 8.
At least five references for your paper must come from refereed journals (not Psychology Today or Newsweek, for example). NOTE: Do not rely heavily on popular literature, for example, a book you happen to see on Amazon.com. Often times these books are not empirically based. To do an excellent job on the paper, you will most likely need more than the minimum of five journal references.
All papers must be typed, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, and in APA style format.
If you are in doubt as to what this means, see me for details.
Note that one of the major purposes of the paper is to facilitate your learning of APA format. Thus, you will need to become familiar with this publication format. We will discuss the format in class but you will also need to consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (the library has copies). Note that all journal articles for APA journals such as the American Psychologist are written and referenced in APA format. Twenty percent of your grade will be related to your use of APA format. If you write your paper in an alternate format such as MLA, it will be difficult to earn a passing grade on the paper.
- Purchase or go to the library to view a copy of the APA 6th Edition Publication Manual
- Go to OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
The paper should be submitted electronically in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copies of the paper will not be accepted.
Policy Statements:Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom: Please respect others in the class by turning off all cell phones before entering the room. Text messaging during class is not acceptable. Laptops/tablets may be used in class but are only to be utilized for class related activities (e.g., taking notes). If it becomes apparent you are using the computer for non-class activities (e.g., checking your email, playing games,F ace book) then you may be asked to turn off your computer and refrain from bringing it into class in the future. Laptop use is restricted to the back or sides of the classroom so that other students are not distracted during lecture.
Plagiarism (attempting to pass off the work of another as one's own) is not acceptable. Plagiarism includes copying all or part of another's writings (even a single sentence), inappropriate paraphrasing, using another student's paper as your own, submitting a paper for more than one class. All papers will be submitted to the university's plagiarism database for review. Plagiarism, either intentional or unintentional, will result in a grade of 0 for that assignment but also may be turned over to the appropriate university source for disciplinary action and a grade of F for the course. In addition, cheating on exams will also result in the same fate. In addition, cheating on exams will also result in the same fate.
Here are some Web sites that will help you avoid the problem of plagiarism particularly plagiarism resulting from paraphrasing too closely to the original source. -
- Webster University's Plagiarism Info site
- Establishing Authorship by Paul C. Smith, Alverno College
- How to Avoid Plagiarism Tutorial All students are required to complete and submit a copy of the certificate of complete for the following tutorial:
- The University of Indiana's Online Plagiarism Tutorial
It should be noted that, as is common in many university courses, little time will be spent lecturing on topics adequately addressed by the text. Students are expected to arrive at class meetings having already read the material assigned, and to ask questions to clarify any areas that remain unclear. While every attempt will be made to explain or expand upon particularly difficult areas, the primary purpose of classroom lecture is to enhance, rather than to duplicate, the textbook material.
Late withdraws from this class will not be approved by the instructor except in cases of emergency discussed with the instructor. No late withdraws will be approved on the basis of poor class performance.
This syllabus is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. All changes concerning course requirements will be provided in writing. Changes concerning exam dates may be made at the instructor's discretion and communicated verbally to the class.
It is understood that remaining in this course (not dropping or withdrawing from this course) constitutes an agreement to abide by the terms outlined in this syllabus and an acceptance of the requirements outlined in this document.
Topic and Readings
January 18 Introduction to the Class
What is psychology?
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 1
January 25 How Psychologists do Research
Readings:Exam I - January 25
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 2
The Brain: Source of Mind and Self
Readings:Paper topic due - February 8
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 4
February 15 Body Rhythms and Mental States
Readings:Exam II - February 15
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 5
February 22 Learning and ConditioningReadings:
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 7
Thinking and intelligenceReadings:Exam III - March 8: Do not schedule early travel for Spring Break!
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 9
Development over the Lifespan
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 13
April 5 Theories of PersonalityReadings:Exam IV - April 5
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 14
April 12 Psychological disordersReadings:
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 15
April 19 Approaches to Treatment and TherapyReadings:Exam V - April 19
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 16
Behavior in Social and Cultural Context
Paper due - April 27
- Wade & Tavris, Chapter 8
Check Final Exam Schedule Exam VI
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