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SYLLABUS

Psychology 100 General Psychology


Fall Semester 2014
Tu, Th 10:50 a.m. 12:05 p.m.
CNS Building, Room C101
Instructor: Dr. Jason Themanson
Office: CNS Building, Room C009B
Phone: x3109 (i.e., 309-556-3109)
Email: jthemans@iwu.edu
Office Hours: Tu: 9:30-10:30; W: 9-11, 1-2; Th: 9:30-10:30 (or by appointment)
Please Turn All Electronic Devices (Including Cellular Telephones) OFF Before Class
Begins! Thank You.
Course Description: This course is designed to familiarize students with the broad field of
psychology and introduce them to the study of human behavior with special emphasis on
perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life, and individual differences in intelligence,
cognitive function, and personality. Further, students will gain knowledge into the scientific
nature of psychological investigations as well as research methods utilized in the field and the
relation of scientific psychological findings to daily life and everyday problems across a wide
variety of human endeavors.
Objectives:

To become familiar with current scientific theory and research in major topic areas in
psychology and provide an opportunity for in-depth discussion relating to major topics
and issues in the field.

To develop the skills necessary to evaluate and think critically about information
concerning psychological phenomena (reports, news, etc.) obtained from research, the
public, and the media.

To discover the relevance of psychological topics to everyday life and events, including
understanding the role psychology plays in our lives and the lives of others; and to
acquire an appreciation of the practical value of psychology.

To provide a strong foundation for future study in psychology.

Texts: Psychological Science (4th ed.) by Gazzaniga, Heatherton, & Halpern


Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues (18th ed.) by Slife

Grading:
Exams: 72%
Assignments: 24%
Participation: 4%
Experiments: Pass/Fail
Exams: There will be four (4) examinations in this class; each exam is worth 19% of your grade.
The exams are all independent of each other. Therefore, there will be NO comprehensive final
exam. The first three (3) exams will be scheduled during the semester and the fourth exam will
be during final exam week (see tentative exam dates below). Exam questions will primarily
cover material from the lectures, but may also include material from the assigned readings. Exam
questions may consist of true-false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and essay
questions. The exam dates listed in the course schedule are subject to change. However, any
changes will be announced in advance so that there are no surprises. If the university cancels
class on a scheduled exam day, the exam will be given in the following class period.
Assignments: There will be a series of papers assigned throughout the semester. These papers
will be relatively short (no more than two pages each) and paper topics will generally relate to
the current topic of course discussion. Paper topics and due dates will be announced in class.
These papers will be graded both on content (ideas, information, knowledge, etc.) and form
(grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.). Papers are due at the beginning of class on the assigned
day. Specific rubrics utilized in the grading of the paper assignments will be made available to
all students at least one week prior to the due date of the first paper.
Participation: Your class participation score will be based upon your oral participation in class
and how much you contribute to the discussion. Simply raising your hand and answering basic
questions will get you some points, but to get the maximal amount of points, you need to show a
deeper understanding of the material. Active involvement in class discussion and sharing
thoughtful and insightful comments which further the discussion provide interesting and useful
information to all of us.
Attendance: Attendance is STRONGLY recommended and encouraged. Exams are heavily
based upon lecture material and some exam questions will come from lecture material that is
NOT covered by the course readings. In addition, paper topics and assignment due dates as well
as any other changes to the course schedule or syllabus will be announced in class. Absences
from class may also detract from your class participation grade. Please refer to the IWU student
handbook or contact me if you have any questions.
Experiments: In order to give you a greater understanding of the science that is psychology and
the studies you will encounter in your readings, each student is required to participate in some
psychological experiments or to write short papers on psychological research (more information
about this course requirement will follow). If you do not finish this requirement, you will receive
an incomplete for the class until the experiment requirement is met.

Important Notes:

The assignments and requirements of this course may not be appropriate for all students.
If you have special characteristics, needs, and abilities that make the course requirements
inappropriate for you, please contact me as soon as possible so that reasonable
accommodations and adaptations can be made.

Please be considerate of your classmates when talking in class. I will not tolerate
remarks that ridicule or exclude persons based on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation,
gender, religion, country of origin, social class, physical abilities, etc. Please refer to the
IWU student handbook or contact me if you have any questions.

Everyone is expected to uphold the principles of academic integrity. Plagiarism and other
forms of cheating will not be tolerated. If you are unsure if an act may be considered
plagiarism, it is usually a good idea to err on the side of conservatism. Please refer to the
IWU student handbook or contact me if you have any questions.

There will be no opportunities to either make up failed or missed exams and


assignments or improve a grade by doing extra work. Additionally, if you miss a
class you are responsible for making arrangements with a classmate to acquire the
notes relevant to the missed class period. In cases of unavoidable absences or
emergencies, please contact me ahead of time in order to make arrangements in
relation to exams and assignments. Please refer to the IWU student handbook or
contact me if you have any questions.

The best ways to contact me are:

see me immediately before or after class


send me an email (to ask a question, set up an appointment, etc.)
see me during my office hours

Please seek my assistance whenever you have a question about an assignment or other
material from class.

Some important announcements may be made to the class via email. Please make sure
that you check your email regularly. All emails from this class will contain Psych 100
in the subject line.

Finally, I do not curve student grades, so there is no reason not to work together in an
attempt to learn the material. I will evaluate your performance in all aspects of this course
at the end of the semester and the following scale will be used to calculate final grades:
A = 93-100
B+ = 87-89
C+ = 77-79
D+ = 67-69
F = < 59

A- = 90-92
B = 83-87
C = 73-76
D = 63-66

B- = 80-82
C- = 70-72
D- = 60-62

Tentative Schedule of Topics and Assignments (The following schedule is subject to change.)
WEEK OF

TOPIC/TOPICS

READINGS

IMPORTANT NOTES

Aug. 25

History / Methods

Ch. 1 & 2

Sept. 1

Research Methods

Ch. 2

Sept. 8

Biological Foundations

Ch. 3

Short paper 1 due: Tues. Sept. 9

Sept. 15

The Mind

Ch. 4

EXAM 1: Thurs. Sept. 18

Sept. 22

Perception

Ch. 5

Short paper 2 due: Thurs. Sept. 25

Sept. 29

Learning

Ch. 6

Oct. 6

Memory

Ch. 7

Short paper 3 due: Tues. Oct. 7

Oct. 13

Social Psychology

Ch. 12

EXAM 2: Tues. Oct 14


Last day to drop class: Fri. Oct. 17

Oct. 20

Clinical Psych/Disorders

Ch. 14

Short paper 4 due: Tues. Oct. 21

Oct. 27

Personality

Ch. 13

Short paper 5 due: Tues. Oct 28

Nov. 3

Development

Ch. 11

Short paper 6 due: Tues. Nov. 4

Nov. 10

Thinking

Ch. 8

EXAM 3: Tues. Nov. 11

Nov. 17

Motivation

Ch. 9

Nov. 24

Health

Ch. 10

Thanksgiving: No class on
Thurs. Nov. 27

Dec. 1

Health

Ch. 10

Last week of class

Dec. 8

Final Exam Week

Final Exam

EXAM 4: Fri. Dec. 12


10:15 a.m. 12:15 p.m.