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Intro Psych


Submitted By fjcarter
Words 3307
Pages 14
Course Description

Psychology asks, and in scientific ways attempts to answer, questions about why and how people think, feel, and behave as they do. Because we are all human and have much in common, sometimes discoveries can be applied more universally. However, psychology must also take into account differences in biology, in the social and cultural contexts of our lives, and in the individual way we interpret the world. Differences in perspective and the power of perspective to shape experience are themes that run throughout the course. We will study the major perspectives in psychology, research methods, brain and nervous system structures, states of consciousness, learning, memory, cognitive and social-emotional development in infancy and childhood, social psychological issues such as conformity and obedience, and some of the major categories of psychological disorders and therapies. You will have a chance to pursue some topics in more depth. The goal of the course is to strike a balance between giving a survey of a very rich, complex field and covering topics in depth. Both understanding of basic psychological principles and practical application will be emphasized. The aim is to enrich your knowledge of psychology and your ability to apply psychological principles to everyday life.

Required Text
Myers, D. (2011). Exploring psychology, 8th ed. NY: Worth. ISBN: 1-4292-3826-7

Course Learning Objectives

To be able to understand, illustrate, apply, and discuss: 1. The major perspectives in psychology 2. How psychologists ask and answer questions 3. The basic structures and functions of the brain and nervous system 4. States of consciousness 5. How humans learn and remember 6. Cognitive and emotional-social development in infancy and childhood 7. How individuals are influenced by others and social contexts 8. Major categories of psychological disorders and treatments 9. The practical relation of psychological research and principles to life

What to Expect from Me

Introductory psychology can be one of the hardest courses in psychology because we cover many topic areas in a short time (10 weeks) and it is always a struggle to balance depth and breadth in the course. I know that some topics will interest you more than others, but we will not have time to go into too much depth and still cover everything. I also know that the pacing of the course may be too fast or too slow for some of you. I will query you about this at regular intervals with the goal of moving at a pace that “works” for all students, even though it might not be optimal for you, and I may modify the syllabus at the service of achieving our learning goals. You can expect me to be enthusiastic about the subjects and to care about you and what you are learning. I will give examples, apply terms to life, and attempt to explain material in different ways. I will also challenge you to articulate what you are learning in groups with your peers and in class discussions. Do not expect that I will cover all the material that is assigned in the text. I view the classroom not only as a place to go over the material that you have read, but as a context to add depth and richness to your understanding of psychology.

How to do Well in This Course

1. Read the assigned material prior to class. Prepare questions, make relevant comments about things you are interested in, things that arose for you as you thought about the material. 2. Participate. Get comfortable hearing your own voice in class. Asking questions and making relevant comments during class are a good way to participate. When one person has a question, usually others share it and can benefit. Be an active contributor to group discussions and complete in-class and other assignments. 3. Actively work with the material you are studying. Learn how you study the most effectively (i.e., by yourself, in a study group). What are your expectations for yourself? How much do you need to do to succeed in college? You may find that this is very different from what you found worked for you in high school or community college. 4. Understand that you absolutely must study regularly outside of class. Do not “cram” for tests. First, there is simply too much information for you to memorize. Second, you will not only be tested on your memory, but on your deeper understanding of the material, such as being to relate ideas to each other, seeing human behavior from different perspectives, and applying an idea to a real world situation. Mastery of the material in this course will require distributed practice, this means setting aside time after every class to actively work with the material. Research clearly shows that distributed practice is more effective than cramming or what is referred to as massed practice. 5. Be proactive with your learning – get the support you need. • Office hours • Study groups • Disability Support Services • Study skills and the CTLT • Counseling Center 6. Don’t make these mistakes • Assuming this will be your easy class • Thinking that reading and highlighting the text material is actively studying • Thinking your personal beliefs, attitudes or opinions will compensate for knowing the material – thinking psychology is just “common sense” • Not asking for help or not asking for help early enough • Cramming/waiting until the night before to actively study for exams

Classroom Policies

Do not use cell phones, beepers, palm pilots, mp3 players, or any other electronic devices during class. I expect all such electronic devices to be turned off during class sessions. If you need a cell phone or beeper for emergency reasons (i.e., for your job or for child care), you should speak to me about this. You may use a laptop computer for taking notes during class periods, but not for playing games, accessing email or social networks, or other such activities. You may not use a computer or other electronic devices during quizzes.

Classes will begin and end on time. You are expected to attend all class sessions, to be on time, and to have read the materials to be covered in class that day. If you must come late or leave early, please sit next to the door so that you do not disturb your classmates. Chronic lateness to class will affect your final participation grade. If you miss more than two classes, I may, at my discretion, drop you from the class, or lower your grade one letter grade for each additional absence.

You may bring snack food or covered beverages that do not disturb others in the class.

Inclement Weather Procedure: In case of weather that makes driving hazardous, call the 253-383-INFO line to determine whether campus operations have been suspended. Regardless of whether class is being held, you should use your own judgment about whether driving is safe.

Campus Safety Information

Safety Escort Service: Safety Escorts are available Monday through Thursday 5:00 pm – 10:30 p.m. They can be reached either through the Duty Officer or by dialing #300 from a campus phone.

In case of fire alarm: Take your valuables (and your car keys) and leave the building. Plan to return to class once the alarm has stopped. Do not return until you receive an all-clear from campus officials, the web, or email.

In case of earthquake: DROP, COVER, and HOLD. Once the shaking has stopped, take your valuables (and your car keys) and leave the building. Do not return to the building until you receive an all-clear from campus officials, the web, or email.

For more information, please refer to the Emergency and Safety Plan prepared by the UWT Safety Committee:

Course Requirements and Earning Points

Quizzes & Optional Final Exam
Four quizzes help me evaluate what you are learning and help you stay on top of the course material. The quizzes each consist of multiple-choice questions. Each quiz is worth 50 points. Although quizzes are not cumulative, some concepts will carry across the quarter and across quizzes. Quizzes take place in the Blackboard environment, and are available for two days prior to the class in which they are due. Most students complete the quizzes in under an hour; when you are finished, submit your quiz. You must submit your quiz prior to the deadline in order to receive credit. I will drop your lowest grade among the four online quizzes. More details will be provided in class.

The final exam is cumulative, and will be administered during the final exam period on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 8:00-10:05, in CP 105. This cumulative exam is similar in format to the quizzes and will also be worth 50 points, but it covers the entire course. This is a paper-and-pencil test to be taken on-site, rather than in an online format.

Application Paper
This paper allows you to apply what you have learned in the course, as well as what you have learned through your independent analysis of the readings in the text. The purpose of the application paper is to get you to use your critical thinking skills to apply concepts to real life concerns. You should pick a topic that is of interest to you and that applies what you are learning in this course to a specific “real world” concern related to psychology. Examples of concerns you might address include: How do children acquire new behaviors simply by observing adults (hint: the modeling process) and what are the implications for the effects of media violence (e.g., TV, movies, video/computer games and the Internet) on children and subsequent violent or aggressive? What does cognitive dissonance tell us about bringing about real-life behavioral change and what does that have to do with hypocritical behavior? How can two seemingly opposing views, i.e., “that repressed memories simply do not exist” and “the surfacing of repressed memories during specific and intense forms of therapy,” be reconciled? Using the Myers text and resources you identify, you will write a 4-5 page paper on the topic you choose. This paper is worth 200 points. To be equitable to all students in the time allowed for completing this project, late papers are penalized 5 points per day, except in the cases of documented emergencies.

Class Participation
Your class participation is an important part of the learning experience for the entire class. Collectively, we constitute a community of scholars, and your absence or lack of participation deprives the community of your unique perspective. In addition to providing an opportunity for class members to share knowledge with each other, class discussions that are meaningful and respectful can generate new knowledge. Your class participation grade is based on your participating meaningfully and respectfully in both large group and small group discussions and completing class activities, such as short quizzes over reading materials and working within your learning partnerships. Of course, you must attend class to participate in these ways and you must also be prepared to participate by having read assignments prior to coming to class. Missed class activities cannot be made up. You can earn up to 100 points for class participation, including work both in-class and in the Blackboard environment. Each complete week of classes (and accompanying out-of-class activities) in which you participate is worth approximately 0-10 points, and is evaluated on quality of participation and contribution, not quantity.

Course Grading System

|Quizzes and Final | |
|4 @ 50 points |200 points |
|Application Paper |200 points |
|Participation |100 points |
|Total |500 |

To determine your final grade, the points are assigned as listed on the table shown below. In computing your final points, don’t forget to drop your lowest quiz score.
Using Blackboard
Blackboard will be used to provide important documents for the course, including the syllabus and other course instructions, as well as lecture notes and other study aids. You will be submitting your assignments via Blackboard, and will also find your grades posted to you there. You must enroll yourself in Blackboard in order to access this information, and participate effectively in the class. You are responsible for checking Blackboard for posted documents. For information on how to create or access Blackboard see:
I am happy to discuss your grade with you at any time, but I cannot do this via email due to federal regulations concerning student privacy. Please save all graded assignments until you have received your final grade. Remember that you will need papers in the portfolio that you must complete before you can graduate, so keeping all your papers across your career at UWT is a good idea.

Grade Appeal Procedure: Except in case of error, I cannot change a grade that has already been submitted to the registrar, usually on the Monday following the final exam week. If you believe your final grade is incorrect, you must submit your request for a review in writing and meet with me no later than the end of your next quarter in residence. Be prepared to show your class notes and all graded assignments. This request must include a) your name, b) course section, c) date of grade change request, d) title of assignment, e) assigned grade, and f) justification for changed grade. I will then schedule a conference to discuss the request. No grade change will be considered without a formal request. If you are not satisfied with the result of this meeting, you must submit a written appeal to the director of IAS within 10 days of our meeting. For further information, see
Incompletes: An incomplete can only be given when you have attended class, completed satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter, and furnished evidence to me that the work cannot be completed because of circumstances beyond your control. The decision of whether or not to grant an incomplete is at my sole discretion, so you should not automatically assume that an incomplete will be granted. Incomplete work must be turned in to me no later than the last day of classes of the next quarter. I do not follow up on the completion of this work. If you do not turn it in by the last day of classes of the next quarter, your grade will automatically revert to the grade you would have made without completing this work.
UW Grading System for Undergraduate Students
The University of Washington uses a numerical grading system at both the graduate and undergraduate levels of instruction. At the undergraduate level, instructors may report grades from 4.0 to 0.7 in 0.1 increments and the grade 0.0. The number 0.0 is assigned for failing work or unofficial withdrawal. Grades in the range 0.6 to 0.1 may not be assigned. Grades reported in this range will be converted by the Registrar's Office to 0.0. Numerical grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as follows:
|Letter grade |Numerical grade |
|A |4.0 – 3.9 |
|A- |3.8 – 3.5 |
|B+ |3.4 – 3.2 |
|B |3.1 – 2.9 |
|B- |2.8- – 2.5 |
|C+ |2.4 – 2.2 |
|C |2.1 – 1.9 |
|C- |1.8 – 1.5 |
|D+ |1.4 – 1.2 |
|D |1.1 – 0.9 |
|D- |0.8 – 0.7 - Lowest passing grade |
|E |0.0 - Failure or Unofficial Withdrawal. No credit earned. |

Academic Honesty & Plagiarism Policy

Students at the University of Washington-Tacoma are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic conduct. Most UWT students conduct themselves with integrity and are disturbed when they observe others cheating. Students are responsible for learning what constitutes academic misconduct and to adhere to these standards. For more information, please refer to the Academic Honesty: Cheating and Plagiarism document prepared by the Committee on Academic Conduct in the College of Arts and Sciences, UW Seattle located on the web at

I expect that any work you turn in for this course (quizzes, papers, in-class writing, etc.) to be your own work. You are responsible for knowing what plagiarism is and for not using any uncited sources in any work for this course. To plagiarize is to appropriate and to pass off as one’s own the ideas, writing, or works of another. Plagiarism is no less a misconduct violation than vandalism, theft, or assault. Ignorance of proper documentation procedures is the usual cause of plagiarism. This ignorance does not excuse the act. Students are responsible for learning how and when to document and attribute resources used in preparing a written or oral presentation. You are encouraged to consult the Teaching & Learning Center for assistance if needed in understanding how to avoid plagiarism.

You are responsible for understanding these policies. If you have questions about what is allowed, feel free to ask me for clarification.


______ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

| | |Assignments due at beginning of class. Check Bb regularly for|
| | |updates! |
|1/4 |Introduction to the Course |Syllabus |
|1/6 |The Science of Psychology and Studying Behavior |Nevid, Chapter 1 |
| |Scientifically/Introduction to Blackboard | |
|1/11 |Biological Foundations of Behavior |Nevid, Ch 2 |
|1/13 |States of Consciousness |Nevid, Ch 3 |
|1/18 |QUIZ 1/ Learning Partnerships | In-class writing, discussion |
|1/20 |Nature, Nurture, & Human Diversity |Nevid, Ch 4 |
|1/25 |Development Through the Life Span |Nevid, Ch 5 |
|10/27 |Sensation and Perception |Nevid, Ch 6 |
|2/1 |QUIZ 2/Learning Partnerships |In-class writing, discussion; Research Paper Proposal Due|
|2/3 |Learning and Memory |Nevid, Ch 7 & 8 |
|2/8 |Thinking, Language, & Intelligence |Nevid, Ch 9 |
|2/10 |Motivation |Nevid, Ch 10 |
|2/15 |Emotions, Stress, and Health |Nevid, Ch 11 |
|2/17 |QUIZ 3/Learning Partnerships |In-class writing, discussion |
|2/22 |Personality |Nevid, Ch 12 |
|2/24 |Psychological Disorders |Nevid, Ch 13 |
|3/1 |Treatment of Psychological Disorders/Methods of Therapy |Nevid, Ch 14 |
|3/3 |Social Psychology |Nevid, Ch 15 |
|3/10 |QUIZ 4/Learning Partnerships |In-class writing, discussion |
| |LAST CLASS – Summary & Conclusions |Application Papers due at beginning of class on 3/10 |
|3/15 |Final Exam |Comprehensive, in-class |



Points |% |Grade | |Points |% |Grade | |Points |% |Grade | |Points |% |Grade | |500 |100% |4.0 | |445-449 |89% |3.4 | |390-394 |78% |2.3 | |335-339 |67% |1.2 | |495-499 |99% |4.0 | |440-444 |88% |3.3 | |385-389 |77% |2.2 | |330-334 |66% |1.1 | |490-494 |98% |4.0 | |435-439 |87% |3.2 | |380-384 |76% |2.1 | |325-329 |65% |1 | |485-489 |97% |3.9 | |430-434 |86% |3.1 | |375-379 |75% |2 | |320-324 |64% |0.9 | |480-484 |96% |3.8 | |425-429 |85% |3 | |370-374 |74% |1.9 | |315-319 |63% |0.8 | |475-479 |95% |3.8 | |420-424 |84% |2.9 | |365-369 |73% |1.8 | |310-314 |62% |0.7 | |470-474 |94% |3.7 | |415-419 |83% |2.8 | |360-364 |72% |1.7 | |305-309 |61% |0.6 | |465-469 |93% |3.7 | |410-414 |82% |2.7 | |355-359 |71% |1.6 | |300-304 |60% |0.5 | |460-464 |92% |3.6 | |405-409 |81% |2.6 | |350-354 |70% |1.5 | |295-299 |59% |0.4 | |455-459 |91% |3.6 | |400-404 |80% |2.5 | |345-349 |69% |1.4 | |290-294 |58% |0.3 | |450-454 |90% |3.5 | |395-399 |79% |2.4 | |340-344 |68% |1.3 | |285-289 |57% |0.2 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |250-284 |50-56% |0.1 | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

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