PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for SP 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


SP 2008 HO


Johnson, Andrew


Professor of Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours

M (11a-2p), R(9a-12p)

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

Jan 14-May 9

Class Days


Class Time

10:00 - 10:50 AM

Credit Hours


  Myers, D. (2006). PSYCHOLOGY (8th Ed.). New York:  Worth publishers.

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.
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Course Description:
A survey of the assumptions, history, methods,and techniques of psychology. A presentation of representative theory and research in the areas of consciousness, learning, motivation, cognition, personality and social behavior. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on student engagement.  Lectures, demonstrations, participation activities, readings, group work, class discussion, examinations, writing, and use of the Internet and technology are significant components of this learning process. Students will be required to analyze, criticize, synthesize course material and apply it to their own lives.

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:

Course Assessment: A variety of methods will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course. Students will be assessed on their class participation, performance on exams, and writing assignments.

Participation: Throughout the semester students will have the opportunities to participate in in-class activities for various points. These activities will not be announced in advance and cannot be made up without an excused absence. There will be 25 points for participation activities.
Quizzes: Students will be required to complete chapter quizzes over the material. The Quizzes will be posted on the eCompanion site under each unit (Prologue and Chapter) and can be taken as many times as the students wants up to the day of the exam. While chapter quizzes will consist of 15 multiple-choice questions (total of 240 points), the quizzes will be weighted as 13 percent of the student’s grade. In other words, the total of 240 will be converted (weighted) to 40 points.

Exams: There will be a total of 4 exams (including the final). The exams will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions. Exam 4 (final exam) will cover only the material after exam 3. The dates for the exams are listed in the reading assignment section. This is a tentative schedule and any change from this schedule will be announced in class. The exams will be worth a total of 40 points each. Make-ups for the exams will be given only to those who have scheduled a test time before that exam. Note: the questions and format of make-up exams may be different than regular exams.

Papers: As an additional means of having you develop an understanding of the course material and how it relates to your life, you are required to write three papers.

The first paper is a one-page (double-spaced) reaction paper to the Myths quiz found in eCompanion class. Your paper should include your quiz score and discussion about the items that you missed or items that surprised you.” The first paper is due in class Friday January 18th and is worth 5 points. 

The second paper is a description of three concepts from the textbook. More specifically, you will select three concepts and provide: 1) a brief description and definition of the concept; 2) a brief description of a research study that involves that concept; and 3) a personal application to the concepts. Be specific. This is due Friday February 22nd to the eCompanion Dropbox is worth 20 points.

The third paper is a position paper on a psychological topic, for example, “Does divorce negatively affect children?” Topics will be drawn from the Taking Sides books on reserve in the Library. This paper is due Friday April 11th to the eCompanion Dropbox and is worth 50 points.

Papers should be typed with 1 inch margins and in 12pt Times New Roman, or 10 pt Arial font.










Myths Paper



Concept Paper



Position Paper






Chapter Quizzes



Exam 1



Exam 2


Exam 3


Exam 4 – Final





Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

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 zero for the assignment.

The course textbook has a website to support the textbook.  It may be found at  (This website has reviews, quizzes, and simulations that reinforce the material in the text.)

Additional information which can be accessed through the following link PS 101 Handouts.

Grading: The course grade is determined by the total number of points from the assignments and exams. Grades will be based on percentage cutoffs, i.e., 90 % = A, 80 % = B, 70 % = C, 60 % = D, and 59% less = F.

Points (total = 300)


270 - 300


240 – 269


210 - 239


180 - 209


Below 180






Course Topics/ Dates / Assignments: 

The Instructor reserves the right to amend this Schedule based on the progress of the course and the needs of the students.Note: Chapter PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded at: PS 101 Handouts.

Week of



Assignments/ Exams

1. Jan 14

Intro / History & Methods          

Prologue, 1  

Paper 1 (due Friday 1-18)

2. Jan 21




Monday January 21 - No Class – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

3. Jan 28

Neuroscience / Perception

2, 6


4. Feb 4

States of Consciousness


Exam 1 (Friday 2-8) Over Prologue + chaps 1, 2, 6, 7

5. Feb 11



Monday February 18 - No Class – President’s Day

6. Feb 18



Paper 2 (due Fri 2-22)

7. Feb 25

Memory/ Thinking & Language

9, 10


8. Mar 3



Exam 2 (3 - 7) Over chaps 8, 9, 10, 11

March 8 - 16  Spring Break

10. Mar 17

Developing Person



Friday March 21 - No Class – Good Friday

11. Mar 24

Developing Person/ Motivation

4, 12


12.Mar 31

Motivation/ Emotion

12, 13

13. Apr 7



Paper 3 Position Paper (due Fri 4-11)

14. Apr 14

Disorders/ Therapy

16, 17

Monday 4-14 Exam 3 Over chaps 4,12,13,15

15. Apr 21

Disorders/ Therapy

16, 17


16. Apr 28

Social Psychology



Final Exam -  Wednesday May 7th, 10:15 am - 12:15 pm  MA 221 (WLC)

Chaps 16, 17, 18

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

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.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. 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".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

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:1/11/2008 3:40:49 PM