PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for FA 2009

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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


FA 2009 HOB


Sympson, Susie, Ph.D.


Asst Professor of Psychology/Adjunct Faculty


Ph.D. Clinical Psychology University of Kansas

Office Hours

T-R 1:00 -2:00 pm

Daytime Phone

913-469-8500 x4322   voicemail:x6425


Semester Dates

August 17-May 10

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 AM - 12:50 PM

Credit Hours



Ciccarelli, Saundra K. & White, J. Noland.  (2009).  Psychology, 2nd Ed. Pearson: New Jersey.
ISBN# 0-13-600521-7

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:


McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

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
      The primary objective of all introductory psychology courses is to introduce and explore the subject matter in the many diverse branches of psychology. You will become familiar with the historical developments, the vocabulary, basic facts, and the concepts of the field. This course will provide a beginning knowledge base of modern psychology as a rigorous science based on extensive theory and research. You will learn and (hopefully) come to appreciate how psychologists conduct research, gather data, and analyze and interpret experimental findings.

A particular goal of this class is to emphasize the development of critical thinking skills and to prepare you to be a cautious and analytical consumer of information. Psychology addresses many important and controversial issues; many in the field disagree both on which questions are appropriate and what kinds of answers are sought. As you progress through the course, you should become an active questioner as you begin to understand arguments on both sides of issues, identify basic assumptions underlying conclusions, and recognize what constitutes sound reasoning and evidence. 

          I also hope that you will come to appreciate the individual dimension of psychology and derive personal benefits from the class. By applying psychological insights to issues in your own life, you can increase your understanding and acceptance of yourself and others. Ideally, you will gain something from this class that will enrich your personal relationships, lead to personal growth, and add to your success both as a person and in your chosen occupation.

Educational Philosophy:

My teaching philosophy is simple: I try toengage my students, present the information in an entertaining and relevant way, explain and expand on topics by providing multiple perspectives, relate new material to previous lessons, challenge students to go deeper by incorporation multidisciplinary approaches and posing provocative questions, and provide extra assistance to those who ask for it and need it. I firmly believe if I let my students know my expectations, they will rise up to meet them.

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.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

   Students are responsible for reading the assigned text chapters outside of class. While some overlap between the book and lectures is inevitable, lecture material will NOT come directly from your text. Any questions you have over material in the text should be brought up in class. You are expected to attend classes, take notes, and participate in class discussions and demonstrations. An outline of each class lecture is posted with the syllabus. You should download and print these out to bring to class. This will make notetaking much easier for you. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to borrow notes from a classmate.  
   While I will not assign specific points for attendance and participation, occasional "surprise" credit will be awarded for in-class projects or quizzes.  These will not be announced and CANNOT be made up for any reason. These points often make a big difference on final grades.
Grades will be assigned according to overall points received from Take-home tests, exams, class points, and written assignments.


      Four section tests will be given during the semester. They will cover the assigned readings from the text, lectures, films and videos, as well as class discussions and demonstrations. Approximately 40% of the test will come from the book and 60% from class lectures and events. Exams will consist of multiple choice and short essay questions. Each exam will be worth 60 points. Students are expected to take all exams on the day they are given. Any unavoidable conflict needs to be arranged with me prior to the scheduled exam dateThere will be no make-up exams unless arrangements are made beforehand or emergency situations arise!!!! 
      Two take-home quizzes on specific chapters will also be given. All of the material will come from the book chapters and students are allowed to work on the take home tests in groups outside of class. Material from these tests will not be covered on the final. Each quiz is worth 25 points.

Written Projects:

 Each student must complete two written papers during the semester. The 1st paper is the position paper detailed above and will be worth 75 points each.  The second paper is an application paper and you will have your choice of 5 options and will be worth 25 points. A separate handout describing each option in detail is attached below (Application paper handout). Due dates are listed on the class assignment schedule below.
               4 Exams (in class)           @ 60 points each        = 240 points
               2 Take-Home Quizzes    @ 25 points                 =   50 points
                  Position Paper              @ 75 points                   = 75 points
               Misc Class points                                                =   40 points 
                                                                                   Total = 405 points                                                      
     Grading Criteria: A = 100 - 90%, B = 89 - 80%, C = 79 -70%, D = 69 -60%, F =<59%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Points will be deducted from your grade for each class period after the original due date. No work will be accepted after he final class period.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

         Students are expected to attend all classes (arriving on time and remaining for the duration) prepared to take notes and participate in class discussions.  You are encouraged to voice your opinions and are expected to show respect to your classmates. While I expect and encourage debate and differences of opinion, I demand a courteous and respectful atmosphere where everyone feels safe voicing their views.
       Due to the proliferation of cell phones and other electronics and their advanced technology, it is necessary to restrict there use in the classroom. Cell phones, I-pods, PDAs, etc are to be turned off and kept out of view in the classroom. If this rule is not followed and a phone does ring, the owner will bring treats for the entire class the following period.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Tentative Class Schedule

 Date                             Assignment—Chapters should be read before class on the dates below.          

 August          18              Intro and administrative stuff
                      20-27       --Chap 1--The Science of Psychology
                                        History, Perspectives, & Research Methodology
  Sept            1-8             --Chap 2-- The Biological Perspective
                     10-15         --Chap 4-- Consciousness:Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis and Drugs
                     17               Exam 1
                     22-24         --Chap 3   Sensation and Perception 
                     29-1           --Chap 5   Learning
    Oct            6-8            --Chap 6   Memory 
                     20-22         --Chap 8   Development Across the Lifespan
                     27              Exam II
                        29            Take-Home Quiz Due:Chap 7-- Cognition: Thinking Intelligence and Languge
    Nov             3-5          --Chap 9  Motivation and  Emotion
                                       --Chap 10 Sexuality and Gender
                       10            --Chap 10 Sexuality and Gender
                                        --Chap 13 Theories of Personality                                   
                        12            Exam 3
                        17            Take Home Quiz Due: Chap11--Stress and Health 
                        17-19       --
Chap 14 Psychological Disorders
                        24            --Chap 15 Psychological Therapies
                                         Position Paper Due                                  
                        26-29       Thanksgiving--No Classes!!!
Dec                  1-3           --Chap 12 -Social Psychology
                 10             Final Exam  10:15



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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .

Additional Information:

¥    The syllabus for the semester is flexible and subject to change. This is a tentative class schedule; circumstances may warrant adjustments in material covered and dates of exams. Any and all changes will be announced in class and supercede this document. Regular attendance will assure that you are informed of all relevant changes (including test times). You should also access the course homepage regularly. In addition to getting lecture outlines, announcements will be posted. You can access the page under the “My Courses” tab on your JCCC account.

¥    Academic misconduct includes disruption of class, plagiarism, and cheating (receiving or giving answers). Plagiarism includes presenting another’s work without giving credit, ( e.g. buying papers, copying from other sources, downloading from the internet) as well as recycling papers from other classes. Any passage (however minute) from another source must be within quotes indicating that the passage is not your own original words. Quotes should be minimal and must be cited with the page number where it was found. All information paraphrased from another source must be referenced as well. Plagiarism will result in zero points (0 as in “F”) for the assignment.

¥    Any student who has a dsability that may prevent them from fully demonstrating your abilities should contact me as soon as possible to discuss accommodations necessary to facilitate the educational opportunity.

¥    Finally, I am here to help you succeed. Please let me know of any problems you are having or any suggestions you may have for the class. I am always willing to listen to anything you might have to say, but is is your responsibility to approach me. If my office hours don't fit your schedule, we can arrange a more suitable time.

Section 1  Lecture outlines

Section 4 Outlines

Section 2 outlines.DOC

section 3 outlines.doc

Section 2 outlines.DOC


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:8/14/2009 2:21:32 PM