Human Behavior

Course Details

Course Number: 2203  Section Number: 102

Fall 2011

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 101

Days & Times:

TTh 9:30-10:50

Course Attachments

2203 Syllabus Fall 2011  2203-SYLLABUS Fall 2011.doc


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Laura C. Spiller   
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Course Objectives

Course Objectives 

  1. To provide students with knowledge and understanding representing breadth and depth in major content areas of psychology.
  2. To familiarize students with the concepts, language, and major theories of psychology to account for psychological phenomena
  3. To increase students understanding of the various research methods used to establish knowledge in psychological science
    1. Students will be able to describe how various research designs address different types of questions and hypotheses.
    2. Students will be able to distinguish between designs that permit causal inferences and those that do not.
  4. To develop critical thinking skills in general and in application to psychological science.
    1. Students will evaluate assumptions and theories about human behavior.
    2. Students will analyze the quality of evidence supporting statements and conclusions and recognize sources of bias that influence judgments.
    3. Students will be aware of the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics and requirements for ethical conduct in research and teaching.

Course Expectations

Assignments and Grading


Mini-assignments: For each chapter, there will be a mini-assignment to help you apply and integrate the information.  You can choose any 6 of the 8 available assignments to complete. Each mini-assignment is worth 25 points.  The mini-assignment will be due near the end of time spent on the chapter. See schedule below for specific dates. No late assignments will be accepted. Please submit your assignment through Blackboard on the date it is due.  You may complete as many of the mini-assignments as you like – I will use the assignments with the 6 highest grades to calculate your total grade for the mini-assignments.  In other words, if you don’t do as well as you’d like on one assignment, you can do another to try and make a higher grade.


Examinations:  There will be eight exams (one per chapter) and an optional cumulative final examination.  The examinations consist of 40 multiple-choice questions worth 1-point each.  The exams will cover all the material from the textbook and supplemental material from the lectures.  I will not lecture over all the information included in the text – however, you are still responsible for that information.  In other words, even if I don’t talk about it in class it may still be on the exam!


Exams will be administered on-line through Blackboard.  The exams will be available for a 24 hour period.  You can take the exam any time during this window; however, once you begin the exam you must complete it.  You will be given 90 seconds for each question (60 minutes for entire exam). This is enough time to read and comprehend the questions and think through your response. It is NOT enough time to look up the answers so you must study and prepare in advance, as you would with an in-class exam.  You will not be allowed to return to questions once you have submitted an answer.   Please make sure you have a functioning computer and internet connection before you begin the exam. In the event of temporary technology problems (e.g., the server is down when you try to log in), it is the student's responsibility to make reasonable efforts to log in again within the assignment availability period. Similarly, individual technology problems (e.g., your computer crashes) are the student's responsibility to resolve (e.g., by going to a public computer lab). In the event of a more serious technology failure that affects all students (e.g., the server is down for several hours around the end of the availability period), due dates / times may be adjusted by the instructor.


No make-up exams will be given.  If you miss an examination, you will be required to take the final examination as a replacement for the missing exam grade.  The final will be cumulative and will consist of 100 multiple-choice worth 1/2 point each.  The final is optional and the grade can be used to replace a missed exam or the lowest exam grade.  The final exam will be available online during the scheduled final exam time. The final will NOT be available for more than the 2 ½ hours allotted for the exam.


Attendance & research participation:   A portion of the final grade is based on attendance and research participation.  Fifty points will come from attendance taken on 10 randomly chosen class days.  Students who are present will receive 5 points for that day’s participation.  You will also have at least 3 opportunities to participate in the psychology department’s research projects. You can earn 10 points for each project in which you participate. You are required to participate in at least 2 projects – you may participate in a 3rdfor 5 points extra credit.

Grading Standards

The following chart displays the total points available for the various class assignments.





Available Points

% of total grade







Attendance & Research Participation



Total Points Possible



Final Exam12/6/2011  8:00-10:00

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.