a general introduction to psychology,


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Topic Case study
English USA

Psychology 105:         Introductory Psychology

Fall 2018 SSCI –        3 credits

Days/Time:                 Location: 

Instructor:                   Email: 

Office:                            Office Hours: 

Required Materials:

Licht, D. M., Hull, M. G., and Ballantyne, C. (2014). Psych 105: Introductory Psychology. Worth Publishers. New York: NY.

Course Overview:

Welcome to psychology! As a general introduction to psychology, this course will provide a broad overview of the basic terms, processes, principles, and theories related to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. A solid understanding of research methodology and the biological basis of behavior will be emphasized. Psychology is fundamentally a science and material will be presented and evaluated from a rigorous scientific perspective. This course is also an opportunity to develop sensitivity to, and appreciation for, the complexity of human behavior. You should come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diversity of psychology and the importance of psychology in daily life.

Learning Goals:

The following table outlines how the course learning goals, content, and assessment components align both with one another and with specific university learning goals for the baccalaureate degree.

University Learning Goals At the end of the course, you should: Course Topics That Advance Learning Goals How is this assessed?
Critical & Creative Thinking


-Be knowledgeable of key terms, concepts, principles, and prominent theories within psychology

-Be able to explain how biological, psychological, and social variable interact to produce individual differences in behavior

-Understand how psychology can be used to address personal, social, and organizational problems

1) Biology & Behavior

2) Learning

3) Memory

4) Cognition

5) Social Behavior

6) Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

7) Personality

8) Psychological Disorders



Writing Assignments

In-class participations

Scientific Literacy

Information Literacy

The understanding and ethical application of the statistical analyses and research methods used in psychology Exams

Writing Assignments


As a student, there are a number of actions that can both increase your learning in the course and enable you to do well. These are my expectations for you:

· Come to class prepared by reading the textbook, any assigned outside reading, or preparing for any class activities

· Always be present in class, both physically and mentally. Sitting idly by in class will not help either of us, neither is playing on your phone/laptop

· Be an active participant in the course. This means asking and answering questions in class and sending emails when questions arise outside of class time

· Be respectful to both your classmates and me. Psychology is a discipline where we discuss differing viewpoints and being respectful of others and their views is necessary. Students who are disrespectful will be asked to leave.

· Do your own work.

Specific Course Policies

· Technology: Research shows writing notes by hand (as opposed to laptops) actually leads to better performance (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014). Based on this, I do not allow a laptop in my classroom. I also ask that cell phones be put away and on silent during class time. If I see you on your cell phone I will ask you to leave the classroom.

· Emails: Emailing is a form of professional communication. As such, I have expectations for your email to me. When emailing me, please include an appropriate greeting, a closing, and use proper spelling/punctuation. Additionally, please check the syllabus before sending an email.

· Lecture Notes: I will not post lecture notes on Blackboard. I understand that, sometimes, you won’t be able to attend lecture – life happens. If you are sick, please stay home. If you would like to look over Power Point slides from a lecture, I welcome that during office hours.

· Classroom Environment: There may be times when class members share personal experiences and beliefs. Because we all benefit from hearing each other’s perspectives, we must be respectful of those who feel comfortable in sharing this personal information. Therefore, we will have an understood policy that nothing shared in class can be divulged outside of the class. While you may discuss general issues with others, you cannot share any information that may identify another member of the class.

Course Format:


This course consists of 4 exams, each worth 50 points for a total of 200 points. These will take place on 9/10, 10/5, 10/29, and 12/12. Note that the last exam takes place during finals week but is non-cumulative and structured the same as every other exam. The exam during finals week will take place in our regular class room from to 8am – 10am. The date and time of the final exam is set in stone and will not change. All other dates will be kept the same to the extent possible, though I reserve the right to change them if something requires it. Exams will consist of a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions from the book that may not have been covered during lecture.

Absences/Make-ups: Make-up exams will be allowed only if your absence is deemed excusable. There are three general reasons where an absence may be considered excusable: 1) participation in a school sanctioned event; 2) an extended or short-term illness that is severe enough to prevent you from attending class; and 3) a death in the family. Note that make-up exams must be taken within 1 week of the scheduled exam. If you let me know at least 48 hours prior to the beginning of the exam and it is an excused absence, no penalty will be applied. If you let me know within 24 hours after the exam, there will be a 5 point deduction, but you will be allowed to take the exam. All notification must be in written form (via email). Notifications made after 24 hours of an exam will not be considered and will result in a 0 on the exam. There will be no make-ups for make-up exams. That is, if you have an approved reason to make-up an exam and then miss that scheduled time, you will receive a 0 for that exam.

Writing Assignments: There will be 4 short writing assignments throughout the semester, each worth 20 points for a total of 80 points. These writing assignments will be completed in the form of case-based, journal writing assignments designed to help you relate the course material to your experiences outside of the course. The due dates for these assignments are included in the schedule. Writing assignments need to be turned in *two different ways*. You must turn in a hard copy in at the beginning of class on the day indicated on the syllabus. It also must be turned in by 9:10 am on the due date to the dropbox in Blackboard. An assignment will only be graded if it is turned into both locations. Assignments are considered late if they are turned in past 9:10 am on the day that they are due, either in-person or to the Dropbox. For every 24 hours past the due date, an assignment will lose 2 points, up to 3 days past the due date when they will no longer be accepted. Specific requirements for these assignments will be conveyed when we discuss them in class and are in Blackboard. In accordance with the expectation of being respectful, I ask you to adhere to the following recommendations for inclusive language in your assignments, as well as in general interactions with me and your classmates. http://www.apastyle.org/manual/related/nonhandicapping-language.aspx


There are 10 points in this course allocated to revision of your writing assignments. These are not extra credit points, and count just the same as any other assignment. Think of each revision as its own assignment: Assignment 1 and 2 revisions are worth 3 points each, Assignment 3 and 4 revisions are worth 2 points each, for a total of 10 points. If you earn an 18/20 or higher for your assignment, you need not complete a revision and will automatically earn the associated points. If you receive a 17/20 or lower, you need to submit a revision, based on assignment feedback. In your revision, please highlight the areas of concern that you have addressed. Assignment revisions need to be submitted one week after your assignment is returned, by the beginning of class, in hard-copy only. When turning in your revision, you must also turn in the original assignment with feedback – your revision will not be accepted without the original assignment. Late revisions will not be accepted.

Attendance: Attendance is not mandatory. You are all adults. If you come to class, you will learn something and be better prepared for exams. If you choose to not come to class then that is your choice, but keep in mind I do not post my lectures, so make your decision wisely.

Out-of-class Activities: 30 points in the course are devoted to activities completed outside of the classroom. You need to complete three to earn full credit. Submit via BB dropbox.

· Send me a question you think would be a good short-answer choice for an exam

· Attend a meeting of Psi Chi or Psych Club (then tell me what you learned via the dropbox in BlackBoard)

· Send me an interesting new research article related to class discussions

· Find the answer to a question posed by a classmate in class

· Submit 5 questions for “Review Day”

Research Requirement: One objective of Psych 105 is to provide students with a better understanding of the science of psychology. To accomplish this objective, you are required to complete 3 hours of engagement in a research‐related activity for a total of 40 points.

The 3-hour requirement can be met in a number of different ways: completing Option 1, Option 2, or a combination of Options 1 and 2. You must complete all 3 hours (3 credits) of research, research papers, or a combination of research and research papers to complete this requirement. No partial credit will be granted ‐ this is an “all or none” assignment.

**If you complete less than 3 credits, you receive 0 pts**

Option 1 ‐ Research Participation: You may serve as a research participant in studies conducted by the Department of Psychology. Research Study sign‐ups occur via the SONA System: www.wsu.edu/psychology (click on the “Experiment Sign‐Ups” link located under the “Undergraduate Studies” tab of the Psychology Homepage).

-If you opt to complete the research credit by participating in research (i.e., not writing any research paper, see Option 2 below), you must complete 3 research credits with at least one credit coming from a live/in‐ person study (i.e., all credits cannot be earned for participating in online studies).

-To cancel a session, you must notify the experimenters no later than 24 hours before the appointment. You can cancel a session online by clicking on the “Drop Registered Experiments” option. Failure to do so will result in a “NO SHOW”. Two “no shows” locks you out of the SONA system and eliminates you from being able to participate in research to complete this requirement.

-Please note that the SONA system closes on Friday, 12/9 at 5pm, so be sure to complete your research credits before that time. That means that you must be signed up for studies 24 hours prior to that deadline. Also, you must specify to which course the credits will be applied within your SONA profile/account – failure to assign your research credits will prevent me from knowing that you participated in research and will result in a zero for the research participation requirement (i.e., a loss of all 40 points).

Option 2 – Research Papers: If, for any reason, you do not wish to serve as a research participant, you may write 3 critical summaries of research articles selected from an approved list (posted on Blackboard) to earn research credits.

-Each written assignment should take about 1 hour and is worth 1 research credit.

-Research assignments should be turned in using the same protocol as outlined for the writing assignments (that is, turned in both hard copy and via the Blackboard dropbox). Note that there is only one dropbox in Blackboard, so you should turn all of your assignments in using one file.

-Assignments must be two pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. Failure to adhere to these guidelines (trust me, I can tell) will result in your research assignments not being graded.

-Assignments must address: (1) the question(s) the researchers were attempting to answer (the hypotheses) (i.e., the purpose of the study) (2) a description of the participants or subjects in the study (3) the independent and dependent variables of the study (what is being measured) (4) the important findings and if the researchers’ hypothesis was supported (5) the implications of the findings (what the results mean).

-Remember to use your own words to write these summaries and avoid plagiarizing. No credit will be given if the summary is inaccurate, unclear, or plagiarized.

-A list of approved articles that can be written about is posted on Blackboard. Research papers must be submitted by 12/7 via Blackboard in order to earn credit.

*Late submissions will NOT be accepted*

You are responsible for making sure that your submission(s) was(were) successfully uploaded


Exams (4) 50 x 4 = 200 points

Writing assignments (4) 20 x 4 = 80 points

Writing assignments revisions (4) 10 points

Out-of-class activities 30 points

Research 40 points

360 total points

Grades will be calculated using the following scale:

A (93-110%) B- (80-82.9%) D+ (67-69.9%)

A –(90-92.9%) C+ (77-79.9%) D (60-66.9%)

B+ (87-89.9%) C (73-76.9%). F (59.9% & lower)

B (83-86%) C- (70-72.9%)

Grade Disputes: If you have a concern regarding a grade that has been posted, you have 72 hours after the grade is posted on Blackboard to contact me. You may email me a written rationale for the dispute, stop in during office hours, or make an appointment to discuss the dispute.

Midterm grades will be posted on Wednesday of the 8th week of the semester. These grades are merely advisory. They will give you a sense of how you are doing in the course at that point in the semester. Midterm grades do not appear on your official university transcript

Tentative Course Schedule:

Date Topic Readings Assignment Due




Methods/Scientific Writing


pp. 16-27

pp. 28 – 33





Biology & Behavior

Biology & Behavior

pp. 34 – 44

pp. 49 – 67

pp. 68 – 78





Biology & Behavior


pp. 79 – 97




Guest Speaker


pp. 185 – 199



Operant Conditioning

Observational Learning


pp. 200 – 218

pp. 219 – 225

pp. 231 – 253

Plagiarism Assignment






pp. 254 – 266

pp. 267 – 272

Plagiarism revision




Language Development






Social Cognition

Social Influence

Social Influence

pp. 623 – 634

pp. 635 – 646

Media assignment



Groups & Relationships

Discrimination/Criminal Justice


pp. 647 – 664

pp. 425 – 438

Media revision



Sex & Gender

Sex & Gender






Personality Theory

Personality Theory

pp. 465 – 484

pp. 484 – 493

Case study assignment



Personality Assessment

Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders

pp. 494 – 500

pp. 541 – 552

pp. 553 – 559

Case study revision



Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders

pp. 560 – 567

pp. 568 – 578

11/19 –





Review Disorders/Treatment



pp. 583 – 595 pp. 596 – 606

pp. 597 – 618






Careers in Psychology


Integration Revision
12/12 – FINAL EXAM

8:00AM – 10:00AM

Additional Course Policies

WSU Academic Integrity Statement: University instructors have the authority to intervene in all situations where students are suspected of academic dishonesty. In such instances, responsible instructors retain the authority to assign grades to students considering, from an academic standpoint, the nature of the student action. All forms of academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or knowingly facilitating academic dishonesty, are strictly prohibited. You may find definitions of academic dishonesty, including cheating at http://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=504-26-202. If you are caught engaging in academic dishonesty, you will fail the course and your case will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. This includes such infractions as using multiple clickers during a class period to get participation points for another student. Any student caught engaging in this behavior will receive a letter grade deduction.

In addition, please be advised about the university’s policy regarding commercial note-taking services: “Recent articles in the Daily Evergreen have highlighted the increasing use of commercial note-taking services. Below is a statement of clarification regarding these services: any course-related materials, presentations, lectures, etc. are the instructor’s intellectual property and may be protected by copyright. Selling class notes through commercial note taking services, without the written advance permission of the course instructor, could be viewed as copyright infringement and/or an academic integrity violation, WAC 504-26-010 (3)(a,b,c,i). Further, the use of University electronic resources (e.g., [Blackboard]) for commercial purposes, including advertising to other students to buy notes, is a violation of WSU’s computer abuses and theft policy (WAC 504-26-218), a violation of WSU’s Electronic Communication policy (EP 4), and also violates the terms of use for the [Blackboard] software program.” (http://academicintegrity.wsu.edu/resources/commercial-note-taking-services/)

Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities: I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability (even if it is temporary) and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor (http://accesscenter.wsu.edu). All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center If you have already contacted the Access Center and have the appropriate documentation, please contact me immediately so that we can discuss the accommodations I need to be aware of when preparing your exams and/or writing assignments.

Campus Safety Plan & Emergency Management: Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act” protocol for all types of emergencies, and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident at http://police.wsu.edu/activeshooter.html. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able). Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the safety portal [https://faculty.wsu.edu/classroomsafety/].

PSYCH 105: Introductory Psychology

Due October 29th, 2018,

20 pts (10% of your course grade)

The Case Study Assignment



After completing this assignment, you will understand:

1) How casual explanations of behavior made by the average person compare to those made by psychologists.

2) How psychological principles can be used to explain human behavior.


After completing this assignment, you will be able to:

1) Adopt the mindset of a psychologist and form specific, functional connections between the course material

(i.e., the science of human behavior) and your own personal experience.

2) Use the information you have learned in this course (i.e., psychological terminology, principles, concepts,

and/or theories) to explain behavior you observe in the real world.


You will need to recruit a friend or acquaintance to assist you with this assignment. This individual should be a person who has no formal training in psychology (i.e., has not taken a psychology course or received some other form of training on the topic). Ideally, this person will have the opportunity to make a behavioral observation along with you. That way, you are both witnessing the behavior in real time, under the same conditions and circumstances. Be sure to explain this assignment to your friend ahead of time and get permission to use her/his input in your write-up (see below).

Over the next few days, your task is to pay attention to your behavior and the behavior of others around you. You are looking for situations and interactions that you and a friend can collectively observe and then discuss, interpret, and analyze together. Your friend will provide the perspective of the “casual observer” (i.e., the average person). You will provide the perspective of the “social scientist” and use the information you have learned in this course (i.e., psychological terminology, principles, concepts, and/or theories) to explain what you have witnessed. For these reasons, you should focus on observations you can link to any of the topics covered in the course thus far in the semester.

Your behavior observation will be referred to as your “case study.” Once you and your friend have completed the observation, you will construct a “case study write-up” that includes the following information:

1) Date of the behavioral observation (i.e., case study).

2) Location of the case study.

3) Brief Case Description. This description should include any and all details needed to provide a complete

description of the event/observation for someone who did not witness it first-hand. Avoid specific personal identifying details, such as names, to protect the privacy of the people you observe but be sure to provide a comprehensive description of the event itself and the behavior of the persons involved.

4) Casual Explanation. This explanation will be provided by your friend/acquaintance. Ask your friend to

describe what she/he observed and to provide an explanation for, or interpretation of, the behavior. How does the “average person” view the behavior(s) observed? What explanation does she/he give for those behaviors?

5) Psychological Application. This application will be provided by you (the social scientist). In doing so, you will

seek to analyze/explain/interpret the behavior(s) you observed using what you have learned in this course. You will provide functional connections between your observations and relevant course material (i.e., a specific psychological concept, principle, or theory). Be sure to discuss your case study using appropriate psychological terminology. You must also incorporate information from ONE academic source into your analysis (this CANNOT be your textbook). Be sure to cite that source both in text and in a Reference list at the end of your assignment using APA editorial style. You should avoid internet sources, with the exception of electronic versions of articles from peer-reviewed journals.

6) Compare/Contrast. Compare and contrast the explanations provided by your friend (the casual observer) and

you (the social scientist). Were the explanations similar or different? In what ways? Did you focus on different aspects of behavior when trying to explain it? If you focus on different factors/variables when trying to explain the behavior? What did you learn from this exercise about casual, everyday explanations of behavior and those provided by the scientific study of behavior?

7) Reference list. Provide a complete reference entry for any source cited in your psychological application

discussion. The APA tutorial from Assignment 1 covers citation and APA format for journal article references. You are encouraged to use the APA resources posted in Blackboard for help with APA format.


Review the grading criteria for this assignment on the attached grading rubric (see page 3) to understand what you need to address in your case study to earn points on this assignment.

Your Completed Assignment MUST Include:

1) ONE behavioral observation of events in your own life.

2) A 2-3 page write-up (12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced and 1 inch margins) in which

you summarize and then compare/contrast the two perspectives/explanations specified in this assignment (i.e., a causal/everyday explanation [provided by a third party] and the explanation based on scientific investigation).

3) Full in-text and Reference list citation for the research sources used to complete the assignment (in APA editorial


4) A copy of the grading rubric (found at the end of this assignment). Be sure to complete and sign the academic

integrity statement before submitting your assignment.


Chances are you have made a lot of casual observations of human behavior in your lifetime. You have probably also speculated about the causes of many of those behaviors (i.e., asked yourself “why did so-and-so behave that way?”). Psychologists are also keen observers of human behavior. However, in contrast to the average person, psychologists are interested in determining the causes of behavior using the scientific method and using what they learn to explain other instances of similar behavior. When we say psychology is an “applied” science, we are highlighting how psychologists use scientific inquiry to understand behavior and then apply what they have learned to solve problems in the real world.

This assignment will teach you how to adopt the mindset of a psychologist and form specific, functional connections between the course material (i.e., the science of human behavior) and your own personal experience.

REMEMBER: Your write-up should consist of complete, understandable sentences with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Clearly label your work following the example given above. Carefully proof-read your paper before submitting it to avoid losing points.

PRINT THIS PAGE and staple it to your assignment for use during grading.

The grading rubric below will be used to evaluate this assignment. Addressing each element of the rubric well will ensure that you have included all critical aspects of the assignment.

Academic Integrity: Any student caught plagiarizing this assignment will receive an F for the assignment and will be formally reported to the Office of Student Conduct. To reinforce academic integrity, insert your name in the statement below and provide your signature prior to submission.

“I, ______________________________________________, verify that this assignment is my original work.”

Your Signature: _______________________________________________________________


MECHANICS & STYLE (25% = 5 points)

1) Are there 3 or more errors in spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation? If so, -2 pts

2) Are sentences logically related to one another? If not … -1 pt

3) Is the paper’s overall organization consistent and logical? If not . . . -2 pts

APA FORMAT (20% = 4 points)

1) Are the in-text citations in APA Format?

Only 1-2 errors -1 pt

3 or more errors -2 pts

2) Are the references on Reference page in APA format?

Only 1-2 errors -1 pt

3 or more errors -2 pts

NOTE: Failure to include citations for references in your assignment is considered plagiarism so

please be sure to cite all resources you use.

CONTENT (60% = 11 points)

1) Does the write up include a detailed description of an event involving the behavior of

one or more individuals under “real world” conditions” Does the description provide

sufficient details of all behaviors observed (including verbal and nonverbal) so that

someone who has not witnessed it would still have a clear understanding of what had

occurred? ____/3 pts

2) Does the write-up provide a critical analysis that compares and contrasts two

potential explanations or interpretations of the behavior, including:

a) one everyday, casual explanation provided by a third party [i.e., a friend]

and ____/4 pts

b) another explanation that uses a psychological principle/theory/concept to

explain the behavior(s)? ____/4 pts

Was the assignment late? _________

(2 pt deduction per/day including the due date if assignment was submitted after class)

NOTE: Assignments submitted more than 3 days past their deadline will not be accepted.

FINAL GRADE (Mechanics/Style + Format + Content minus any late deductions): _______/20 points

Overall Comments:



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