1. Help students to gain an overview of the fundamental principles of psychology.
2. Increase student ability to glean and retain pertinent information vis-à-vis independent study.
3. Gain a perspective of the relevance of psychological research in today’s world.
The primary methods for attaining the above mentioned goals are attendance of class lecture, independent reading, and experiential homework. Progress towards the above mentioned goals will be assessed vis-à-vis performance on quizzes, exams, and a final comprehensive exam.
In order to encourage students to keep current with their reading and to help students prepare for exams, twelve quizzes will be given during the semester. These quizzes will help students identify important concepts emphasized in the exams. Quizzes may be multiple choice or short answer in format and will be worth 10 points each. Each student may drop his or her two lowest quiz scores. Although quiz scores will not be calculated into the final grade, students may use their quiz scores to replace their lowest exam score.
Exams will be worth 100 points each. Each exam will be comprised of 40 multiple choice questions worth two points each and one essay question worth 20 points. Material on the exam will include both information presented in class lecture as well as information contained in the text. In other words, all lecture material as well as all material in the text is apt to appear on the exams. It will not be sufficient to simply attend lecture to be successful in this course.
Essay questions for each exam will be chosen from a list of provided potential essay questions. These potential essay questions cover the most important content areas for each portion of the course. Therefore, while only studying the essay questions would be a poor preparation strategy, students who do well on the essay questions are more successful than students who do poorly on the essay portion of the exam.
The final examination will be a comprehensive exam worth 200 points. The exam will be comprised of 80 multiple choice questions worth two points and two essay questions worth 20 points each. The final exam will be administered only at the scheduled time.
Given the importance of research and research ethics in the field of psychology, all students are required to participate in one of the two following research related exercises:
1) Participate in the General Psychology Screening. Participants will provide anonymous responses to several psychological questionnaires soliciting general demographic information (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, class rank) as well as information regarding attitudes, behaviors, and emotional experience. You will be provided information regarding the logistics of the screening prior to the Thanksgiving break. It is anticipated that participation will require approximately one hour.
2) Complete a research ethics essay. Participating students will read academic writings addressing research ethics. Following their reading, students will complete a three-page typed review of the information contained in the readings. Essays will be submitted electronically to the email address provided above. Completion of this activity should require approximately one hour.
No credit will be given for participation, but students must complete one of the two options. Failure to do so will result in a letter grade reduction for the course. The research requirement must be completed by November 30th.
Attendance is required for the course. Each student will be allowed three absences without penalty. Each additional absence will result in a 5% reduction of the student’s final grade. Students arriving following the taking of attendance will be considered absent. Students will be responsible for the information presented during the class periods for which they were absent. This information includes but is not limited to course content, syllabus changes, and information regarding the research requirement.
Students will not be allowed to make up quizzes missed due to absence. Up to two missed quizzes will be dropped from the students quiz total. There will be no make up exams for this course, unless a student is required to miss an exam for a mandatory university event. Students missing an exam will have that score automatically replaced by their quiz total. Exams may not be taken early.
A 540-600 C 420-479 F 0-359
B 480-539 D 360-419
Although cheating does occur on campus, any evidence of cheating (e.g., looking on another’s paper, allowing someone to look on your own paper, using an unauthorized memory aide) will result in automatic dismissal from the course with a letter grade of “F” and a referral to the Dean of Students, as cheating is a violation of the university honor code.