PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for F1QQ 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 101 Introduction to Psychology


F1QQ 2008 HI


Davis, Paul B.


Adjunct Professor


PhD Clinical Psychology - Walden University - In Progress
MS General Psychology - Capella University - 2004
BS Social Psychology - Park University - 2002

Office Location


Office Hours

By Appointment only

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

18 August to 12 October

Class Days


Class Time

7:30 - 10:15 PM



Credit Hours



Myers, D. (2006). PSYCHOLOGY (8th ed.). New York: Worth publishers. ISBN: 0-7167-6428-8

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Course Description:
PS 101 Introduction to Psychology: (MGE) A survey of the assumptions, history, methods, and techniques of psychology. A presentation of representative theory and reseach in the areas of consciousness, learning, motivation, cognition, personality and social behavior. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

This course surveys the diverse range of areas in the discipline of psychology.  We will begin with a brief history of the discipline and examine the keystone of psychology - scientific/ critical thinking and the scientific method.  The first half of the term we will explore psychological principles in neuroscience, nature versus nurture, development, sensation, perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, thinking, and intelligence.  The second half of the term will address development, motivation, emotion, personality, psychological disorders and therapy, social psychology, and behavior genetics. 

My goal is to share the general principles of psychology in each of these areas and to have you apply the concepts to your own lives and experiences.  As you learn to do this you will find that psychology is an important area that allows us to understand our behaviors and those of others.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define and apply basic psychological vocabulary.
  2. Critically analyze psychological concepts, theories and ethical issues.
  3. Apply psychological concepts to one's life and circumstances.
  4. Identify representative theories in the areas of learning, motivation, cognition, personality, social influence, abnormal behavior and multicultural issues.
  5. Effectively gather, evaluate, and communicate about psychological issues present in the popular media and scholarly publications.
  6. Identify the basic assumptions, history, methods, and techniques of psychology.

Core Assessment:

PS 101 Introduction to Psychology

Position Paper- Controversial Topic

The purpose of this critical thinking assignment is to examine both sides of a controversial issue, select a position, apply it to a multicultural context, and to apply the Park University General Education literacies:  aesthetic, civic, critical, science, and values. Two of these literacies (critical and values) are perceived to cut across disciplines and departments, while the other three (aesthetic, civic, and scientific) literacies address major academic concerns.  Students with these literacies should be able to succeed in communicating, computing and problem-solving, clarifying values, using the arts, functioning within social institutions, and using the sciences and technology.



  • Selection of a controversial topic
  • Descriptions of both sides with a personal position.
  • Application to a multicultural context and the Park University literacies.
  • Utilizes a minimum of 2 sources (one for the pro perspective and one for the con perspective of the controversial issue.
  • Paper should be organized and presented according to the sections presented in the assignment instructions.
  • Text body should be no less than 3 pages.
  • References should be formatted in a standardized form, e.g., APA, MLA.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

This class will be graded based on six components:

100 Points will be available for class attendance and participation.  This 100 points will be evenly divided between the 15 class meetings that comprise Fall I (6 points each + 10 points that I will gift to make the math easier on myself).  In order to earn points you will need not only to be present and on time, but also on task.  On task activities include participating in class discussions and taking notes.  If you are caught using a cell phone or playing on a computer you will lose your participation points for the day.

100 Points are available for the  Core Assessment.

100 Points will be available for the final exam.  The final exam will consist of True / False, Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank questions.  There will also be two or three essay questions on the exam.

45 Points will be available for Homework assignments. Homework assignments will consist of questions assigned based on the chapters that have been studied for the week.

45 Points will be available for in-class quizzes. 

10 points will be available for the outline of the core assessment.

Total possible points for the class -- 400.














Late Submission of Course Materials:
Work may be submitted up to one week late with a penalty of 10%.  Work may be submitted between one week late and up until Monday of the last week week of class with a 50% penalty.  No work will be accepted after the end of class on the final Monday of the Term.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

 I expect that the interactions and communications in this class will be civil and professional. Derogatory language, profanity, and personal attacks are unacceptable.

To facilitate uniformity, I expect that papers will have 1 inch margins, double-spaced, using Times-Roman 12pt or Courier New 12pt as the font.  They will include a title page.

Submission of papers written for other classes is not acceptable. I expect that each paper you submit in this class is a unique paper created by you. Violation of this will result in a failing grade for the assignment.

Please recognize that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink, Internet connections die, and hard drives crash. You are responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your submissions and your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

E-Mail Procedures

General e-mail: When sending an e-mail, you must identify yourself by:

PS 101 -- A subject line -- and your full name

All information - problems with assignments, concerns, etc. - pertaining to the class will be sent to you through Pirate Mail.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

 18 and 20 August  -- Week 1

Welcome, class syllabus, expectations

Ch 1 (Thinking Critically With Psychology). 

Ch 2 (Neuroscience &Behavior).

25 and 27 August -- Week 2

Quiz from week 1 on Monday

Ch 3 (Nature, Nurture, and Behavior).

Ch 4 (Developing Through the Lifespan).

Ch 5 (Sensation).

Ch 6 (Perception).

01 and 03 September -- Week 3

Labor Day Holiday

Homework from Week 2 Due on Wednesday

Activity:  Are people made or are they born?  The stories of Captain Picard and Commander Data. 

08 and 10 September  -- Week 4

Quiz from Week 3 on Monday
Ch 7  (States of Consciousness)

Ch 8  (Learning)

Ch 9  (Memory)

Outline for Core Assessment is Due with references

15 and 17 September -- Week 5

Homework from week 4 Due on Monday

Ch 10  (Thinking and Language)

Ch 11  (Intelligence)

Ch 12  (Motivation and Work)

22 and 24 September -- Week 6

                Quiz from week 5 on Monday

Ch 13  (Emotion)

Ch14  (Stress and Health)

Ch 15  (Personality)

Core Assessment Due

29 September and 01 October -- Week 7

Homework from week 6 Due Monday

Ch 16  (Psychological Disorders)

Ch 17  (Therapy)

Ch 18  (Social Psychology)

06 and 08 October -- Week 8


Final Exam.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Analysis & Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
There are more than 2 distinct descriptive statements and 1 distinct statement of evaluation for each side

There are 2 distinct descriptive statements and 1 distinct statement of evaluation for each side

There are fewer than 2 distinct descriptive statements and 1 distinct statement of evaluation for each side

No literacy application errors and no multicultural application error

No literacy application errors, e.g., student correctly applies the topic to the literacies of: critical thinking, science, civic, and values

Literacy application error(s)

Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Position paper contains all of the components and formatted in correct APA style

Position paper contains the following components: an introduction, topic position descriptions, personal position with explanation, multicultural application, application to four literacies, a conclusion, reference page

Position paper has a component error or writing errors that are distracting



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Last Updated:8/14/2008 12:27:03 PM