Human Behavior

Course Details

Course Number: 2203  Section Number: 101

Fall 2012

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 102

Days & Times:

MWF 10-10:50

Course Attachments

Fall 2012 SyllabusSyllabus for Fall 2012 PSYC 2203: Human Behavior   2203 syllabus Fall 2012-20120905-213259.doc

Fall 2012 Syllabus - pdf  2203 syllabus Fall 2012-20120905-213936.pdf


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Laura C. Spiller   
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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


Expectations and Preparation for this course


For an A in this class expect to study 6-9 hours per week just for this course.  You must read the text book and should read the assigned chapter BEFORE we discuss it in class.  The exams will cover material in the text that is not discussed in class.  You can not pass this class without reading the text.  There is an online learning center for this textbook that includes various study activities for each chapter: - click on Student Edition in the box on the left.


Assignments and Grading


Chapter discussion questions:  Each chapter contains Test Yourself questions.  You will prepare type-written responses to these questions. Due dates for each set of questions is listed in the schedule at the end of this syllabus.  Your preparation of these questions will count toward your grade in two ways.

First, I will randomly call on students during class to provide a response to these questions.  If I call on you and you provide a correct answer, you will receive a maximum 10 points.  Incomplete or unprepared answers will earn partial credit.  I will call on each student 4 times during the semester so you can earn a possible 40 points for your oral responses. You can expect to be called on one time for each of the 4 sections of the course (divided by the 4 exams). If I call on you and you are not present, I will call on you a 2nd day. However, if you are absent both days that I call on you then you will receive a zero for one of your question for that section of the course. 

Second, you are required to submit your answers to at least 2 sets of questions for each chapter.  Each set of questions is worth a possible 10 points for a total of 160 points.  A higher grade will be assigned to responses that are written in your own words and not transcribed verbatim from the text.  These must be turned in at the end of class and will only be accepted if they are type-written.


Examinations:  There will be four exams and an optional cumulative final examination.  The examinations consist of 50 multiple-choice questions worth 2-points 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!


Make-up exams will be given ONLY under exceptional circumstances (e.g. you are hospitalized).  If you miss an examination, you may 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 point each.  The final is optional and the grade can be used to replace a missed exam or the lowest exam grade. 


Research participation:  A portion of the final grade is based on research 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 3rd for 5 points extra credit.

Grading Standards

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




Available Points

% of total grade




Chapter discussion questions

160 + 40 = 200


Research Participation



Total Points Possible




Once points are calculated, grades will be assigned as follows:




 (90 -100%) 558 points and higher


 (80 – 89%) 496 – 557 points


 (70- 79%) 434-495 points


 (60- 69%) 372 - 433


Less than 372 ( 59% or less)


Course Policies

Final Exam12/12/2012  10:30-12:30

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.

Other Policies

Course Policies


Cell Phones and Pagers: During class, please turn off all devices that make noise (e.g. cell phones, pagers, games, etc.). DO NOT send text messages during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.


Cheating Policy: Any evidence of cheating on exams or quizzes will result in dismissal from this class with a grade of “F”. To avoid questions of cheating, mark Scantrons clearly, use a No. 2 pencil, and erase completely. Errors due to a poorly marked Scantron will not result in a grade change.


Communication by Email:  I am happy to communicate with you by email (in fact I prefer it). 

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.