Psychology 100 - Introduction to Psychology

FALL, 2017: 4th Period MWF (Section 01) - Room E-117 SMAC 
                     6th Period MWF (Section 02) - Room E-117 SMAC
                     Lab/Discussion Sections: Thursdays, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, or 6th period - Room as assigned.

Frank T. McAndrew (SMC E131, Ext. 7525)

Introduction to Psychology (11th Ed.) by James W. Kalat  (ISBN: 978-1-305-27155-5; Regular Student Edition) (ISBN: 978-1-305-63054-3; Loose-leaf Edition)

Allie Bird,
Avantika Gupta, Madeline Lag, Vela Lu, Mara Neel, Jelisa Powell, Sam Tatum, Joel Vargeese






Welcome to Psychology 100!  I sincerely hope that you have a good experience this term and that at the end you think it was time well spent, whether this is the only psychology course that you will take or just the first of many.  There are a number of goals that I have for this course.  I would like you to become a more sophisticated observer of human behavior.  By this I mean that you will learn to think about humans scientifically, relying on data and evidence for your beliefs as you come to understand the limitations and pitfalls of intuition.  In other words, I would like you to become more skeptical in almost all ways.  In your life you will be regularly exposed to outrageous, unsubstantiated claims about products, health remedies, and various other phenomena, and I hope that as a result of taking this course you will be at least a little bit better at evaluating the quality of evidence used in support of such arguments.  In addition to my informal goals, every course that you take is designed to help you acquire formal knowledge and skills.  This course will help you achieve the following departmental learning goals:
1) Apply the scientific method to studying the mind, the brain, and behavior.

2) Understand the basic theoretical approaches and classic empirical findings of psychology.

3) Effectively communicate both orally and with clear, grammatically-correct writing.

The written lab reports and recitation section discussions address goals #1, #2, & #3 above.  The textbook reading and lectures address goals #1 & #2; the exams and recitation section quizzes are designed to assess how well you have achieved the first two learning goals.

                                                           TOPICS and READINGS

Introduction to the Field of Psychology & It's Methods of Research (Chapters 1 & 2)

Thursday, September 14 - DISCUSSION: Science Vs. Pseudoscience -  Readings:
Drawing the line between science and pseudo-science (J. D. Stemwedel); Power balance technology (H. Hall); Why some people see ghosts and other presences (F. T. McAndrew)

TEST #1 (Wednesday, September 20 - Chapters 1 & 2)

Thursday, September 21 - LAB #1 - Drawing Conclusions from Experimental Data: A Mirror-Drawing Experiment

The Biology of Behavior (Chapter 3)

Thursday, September 28 - LAB #2 - Reaction time as a measure of the speed of neural transmission; DISCUSSION: Brain, Nervous System, & Behavior                                                                                                                  Readings: Half a World (V. S. Ramachandran & D. Rogers-Ramachandran); Phantoms (O. Sacks)                          

TEST #2 (Friday, September 29 - Chapter 3)

Learning: Operant & Classical Conditioning (Chapter 6)

Thursday, October 5: LAB #3 - Sniffy the Virtual Rat

Perception (pp. 125-139)Hall of Illusions

Thursday, October 12 - LAB #4 - The Stroop EffectDISCUSSION: Memory & Emotions
Readings: A feeling for the past (I. Chen); We can’t be happy all of the time – but don’t stop trying. (F. T. McAndrew)

Cognitive Psychology: Memory & Attention (Chapter 7 & pp. 251-261)

TEST # 3 (Friday, October 13 - Chapters 6 & 7;  & pp. 125-139 & pp. 251-261)

Thursday, October 19 - LAB #5 - Comparing Strategies of Memory Encoding

Consciousness (Chapter 10)

Human Development (Chapter 5)

Thursday, May 5th: LAB #6 - Nonverbal Communication

Social Psychology (Chapter 13)

TEST # 4 (Monday, October 30 - Chapters 5, 10, 13)

Thursday, November 2 -  DISCUSSION: Personality & The Dark Triad
Readings: Shedding light on psychology’s dark triad (S. K. Whitbourne); The “dark triad” of personality traits will help you get ahead in your career (R. Andrews); What’s so right about Mr. Wrong? (Psychologies)

Personality & Emotion (Chapter 14; pp. 379-400) 

The Nature & Treatment of Mental Disorders (Chapter 15)

Thursday, November 9 - DISCUSSION: Mental Illness, Bipolar Disorder, & a Dead, Cold, Hairy Leg
Readings: The man who fell out of bed (O. Sacks); In their shoes: Understanding what bipolar disorder feels like (B. Krans); My journey back to sanity (S. Dime-Meenan)

TEST #5 (During Scheduled Final Exam Time: NOT COMPREHENSIVE! - Chapters 14, 15, & pp. 379-400)

Your grade will be based upon the percentage of total possible points that you accumulate on the five tests, on five lab reports that you will be writing, on quizzes and class discussion in the weekly recitation section, and on attendance points acquired in the lab and recitation sections. All tests will be multiple-choice.  In order to acclimate you to the course, the first two tests will be shorter than, and be based upon less material than, the last three tests.

Letter grades will be as follows:
A = 93-100%
A- = 90-92%
B+ = 88-89%
B = 83-87%
B- = 80-82%
C+ = 78%-79%
C = 73-77%
C- = 70-72%
D+ = 68-69%
D = 63-67%
D- = 60-62%
F = <60%.


On Thursday of every week you will attend a laboratory/Discussion section led by an upper class psychology major.  You will receive two points just for attending each one of these sessions.  During each session, you will engage in a brief demonstration or experiment, OR you will engage in a discussion of assigned readings.  Some weeks, both of these things will happen. 

In weeks in which there is a lab, an experiment will provide the data needed to write up the lab report for that week, and it will be due on the following Thursday.  You are required to write SIX lab reports throughout the term.  All reports will be typed, double spaced, and written in the appropriate format.  The quality of your writing WILL be a contributing factor in the grade that you receive.  Each report will be worth 10 points.  While the length and format will differ a bit from lab to lab, the average report will only be about two or three pages in length. 

Lab reports will NOT be accepted late.  If you do not hand in a report on the Thursday that it is due, you will receive a score of zero.  I will, however, DROP YOUR LOWEST LAB REPORT SCORE so that only five lab grades will be figured into your final grade in the course.

The discussion days are designed to give you the chance to read some interesting things and discuss them with other students in small groups.  There will frequently be videos and other activities on the discussion days as well.  In each discussion week you will have “homework” in that you will read one or two articles before coming to class.  These articles have been selected because they are short, interesting, and relevant to the topic being covered in the course at that time.  Each discussion class will begin with a brief quiz based upon the assigned readings for the day (worth five points).  The quiz will be followed by class discussion or other activities for which you will receive up to five more points toward your final grade.  This means that you will receive a weekly total of up to 10 points on discussion days.  The discussion day points will be easy to get!  Just do the readings and show up with something to say and you will do well.

There are two dates (September 28 and October 12) on which both a lab and a discussion will occur.  Grading on these days will be the same as any other discussion days, and the lab report will count as a separate grade.

By participating in research projects being conducted in our department, you can earn bonus points(extra credit). You are free to participate in as many studies as you like, and you will earn one point for each half-hour of reseacrh that you participate in.  However, no one will earn more than 8 points through research participation.  If you volunteer to participate in an experiment and fail to show up, you will no longer be eligible to receive extra credit in this class.  PLEASE SEE THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT POLICY ON RECEIVING CREDIT FOR BEING IN EXPERIMENTS.

To download the powerpoint presentations that were used in the lectures for this course, click on the picture of the overhead projector.