PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for FA 2011

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PS 101 Introduction to Psychology


FA 2011 HOB


Dr. Patricia A. Marsh


Associate Professor of Psychology


Ph.D. – Social/Personality Psychology – Kansas State University
M.S. – Psychology; Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health Psychology – Kansas State University
B.S. – Psychology – DePaul University

Office Location

MA 319D (in the library near the reference section; currently the “3” is missing from my door)

Office Hours

TR 9 – 11 a.m., W 2 – 4 p.m., or by appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6880


Web Page

Semester Dates

August 15 – December 9

Class Days


Class Time

2:25 - 4:55 PM

Credit Hours


Weiten, W. (2011). Psychology: Themes & variations (8th ed. briefer version). United States: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9780495813347

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Park University’s eCompanion will be used with this course; hence, students MUST access it on a weekly basis.

The professor will provide a quick guide for APA style. However, if your intended major (e.g., Communications, Sociology, Psychology) requires you to learn APA style, then you should purchase the APA Manual (6th edition).
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. ISBN: 978-1-4338-0561-5 (soft cover)
Helpful links: (Learning More about Plagiarism;
APA:  (one of the two national organizations in Psychology)
APS: (one of the two national organizations in Psychology)

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.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PS 101 Introduction to Psychology: (LEGE) 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:
As a professional in the field of Psychology, I am dedicated to the mission of enhancing students’ learning. I set high expectations for myself and my students in our performance, professional behavior inside and outside of the classroom, and in the ethical and respectful manner in which we interact with each other. Learning can be fun and enjoyable process, AND it can thrive within established guidelines and preliminary boundaries. Although structure, organization, and details are intricate to my teaching philosophy, so are life stories, hands-on activities, “props” (e.g., the Bobo doll), some flexibility (when there is a need or meets an educational objective), and assignments/tests that require students to demonstrate their comprehension of material covered in the course. 

Because learning is an ongoing process, students receive multiple forms of feedback and opportunities to engage in the learning process throughout the course. People learn at different paces, through different styles, and from different cultural/societal/family experiences. However, because the course is confined by a set start and end date, students’ strategies for learning the course material will differ and this is to be expected.  Some students, who seek out additional assistance and/or advising with me will, extend the learning process beyond the scope of the course and into their professional development. Learning, mentoring, conducting and applying research, and providing my service to the profession are keys aspects of who I am as a social/personality psychologist. I am also very dedicated and passionate about my career and hope to inspire others to feel that way about their chosen profession.
Expectations I have for students associated with this course:

Assumed Knowledge & Skills
(i.e., what students have walking into this course)

§ How to read a college level textbook; use of eCompanion; and knowledge of university policies.

§ Self-regulation of one’s learning (e.g., taking notes based on your methods of learning, identifying strengths and areas of improvement in your learning endeavors, and receiving and incorporating constructive feedback into your learning process).

§ Ability to read/access and follow a course syllabus.

§ Basic writing skills (e.g., complete sentences, coherent flow and organization of ideas, smooth/understandable transitions across paragraphs, and proper spelling/grammar).

Devoting Time

Students desiring to earn an "A" letter grade in this course will devote on average 6 - 9 hours per week; includes attending class. Depending on the number of Assumed Knowledge & Skills students have when entering into this course, they may need to devote fewer or significantly more hours to achieve an "A" grade. 

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Ability to identify aspects of research design (e.g., independent and dependent variables, experimental and control groups, etc.).
  2. Develop a beginning knowledge of APA style (6th edition).
  3. Enhanced technological skills with Microsoft Word and eCompanion the course management system (e.g., accessing and submitting assignments, quizzes, accessing grades and other documents, etc.).
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:

A more detailed description will be provided in eCompanion.  Below is a brief overview:
130 points       (19%) Quizzes

350 points    (52%) Exams [Note: Exams 1, 2, and the final are worth 100 points each; Exam 3 is only worth 50 points]

 25 points        (4%) Various Assessments  

150 points       (22%) Core Assessment [Controversial Paper Assignment]

 20 points     (3%) Inclass Activities [MUST be present or had made prior arrangments with the professor]
675 points        Total points for the course
Note: Extra credit opportunities will be discussed in class.


Grades in the course are based on the number of points earned by the last day of class and on the day of the final exam. Adjustments on individual assignments/tests are rare and at my discretion. Adjustments to students’ total points at the end of the semester will NOT occur. For example, if students are 1 point away from the next letter grade, I will not simply move them up one point. I do not know what each student’s total points for the course are until I compile grades at the end of final’s week; therefore it is each students responsibility to keep track of his/her own total points and to increase performance during the semester if additional points are needed for the grade he/she wishes to earn in the course.
608 - 675+       A
540 - 607         B
473 - 539         C
401 - 472         D
    < 401           F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Make-up Policy

In class activities cannot be made up unless arrangements prior to (or the day of the absence) have been approved by the professor.

Quizzes are due on at the start of class on the day they are listed (see expanded syllabus in eCompanion).

Papers are due by the start of class time (i.e., 2:25 p.m.) on the day they are due. Late papers may be submitted, but are subject to the following restrictions: (1) a 4-point deduction for each 24-hour period it is late which includes weekends and (2) no paper can be turned in after Monday at 11:59 p.m. following the due date. For example, if the paper was due on 11/1/11 at 2:25 p.m. then late papers would only be accepted until 11/7/11 by 11:59 p.m. and would have lost 24 points if turned in by 2:25 p.m. that day or 28 points if submitted between 2:26 – 11:59 p.m.

Exams can be made up under two scenarios: (1) arrangements are made within 7-days of the absence or on the day of the final exam. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Phone/Pagers: These items are to be placed in the silent, vibrate, or off mode during class. Use of these devices in class (e.g., text messaging) is both rude and disrespectful. Because students in past semesters have disregarded this policy, a new policy was enacted (spring 2010):

All cell phones will be collected at the beginning of the lecture period each day. Phones will be returned after the lecture period. If you violate the policy you will be subject to a 25 point reduction/penalty for each incident.

Drop Policy: In compliance with Park University’s policy. Students will be dropped from the course after two consecutive unexcused absences, when the class only meets once a week.

Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes and this reflects expectations once you graduate (e.g., expectations of employers and graduate programs). To encourage the active engage and participation of students, extra credit points will be allotted to students at the end of the course based on their level of attendance throughout the semester. Regardless of the type of absence (i.e., excused vs. unexcused), students with 0 – 2 absences will earn an addition 20 points toward their total course points. Those with 3 – 5 absences will earn 10 points. Those with 6 or more absences will not earn any additional points.

Absences due to representing Park University (e.g., conference presentation, debate, fieldtrip for another class), taking a university test (e.g., exit exam for your major), will count as officially attending. For this policy to be validated, the instructor must be informed at least 24-hours before the start of class and/or have proper documentation (e.g., letter from another professor associated with the UCM event).
Obtaining lecture notes for missed classes is your responsibility, which means contacting a classmate for the notes/materials that you missed. If you know in advance that you will miss class on a major due date or for long periods of time, please notify me immediately! Ideally any missed work is completed in advance of the due date. Attendance does NOT mean that you show up to class and read a newspaper or text message your friends. Individuals who exhibit behaviors that the instructor considers disrespectful or a hindrance to the learning process will be asked to leave the classroom.
Email policy: Unless I am sick or out of town, I will usually respond to emails within a 24-hour period during the weekdays (Mondays-Fridays) when classes are in session. 
    • I do not make this guarantee on the weekends (UNLESS you are enrolled in one of my online classes), when I’m ill, over holidays, or when I’m at conferences. 
    • Please do not be surprised or upset if you do not receive an immediate response to your emails. 
    • When sending an email to me (or any of your professors), you need to include your first and last name, course name, and the class time. I teach multiple classes and, in some cases, multiple sections of the same course.
    • MUST use your email to ensure I receive your communication; otherwise, I am not responsible for emails lost to the Park’s email spam filter.

Be Respectful (both inside and outside of the actual classroom): As a student in this class, you should know upfront that you will encounter new ideas, topics, images and discussions, which may challenge your worldview. Some students may find this information personally offensive, uncomfortable, distasteful, or upsetting. Because the field of psychology addresses positive, neutral and negative aspects of human and animal behavior, we will discuss a broad range of topics that may not be pleasant for everyone. Please be respectful to your classmates and your instructor(s). Debates on relevant issues are encouraged, however no one should engage in personal attacks inside or outside of the classroom.  

Student BehaviorAt the instructor’s discretion, student behavior deemed disruptive to the educational environment will result in disciplinary action consistent with the university’s academic policy. Consequences of disruptive behavior include, but are not limited to, removal from the classroom and administrative withdrawal of the student from the course.

Students will receive a public warning to cease the activity.  On the second occurrence the student will be instructed to leave the class room. If the student fails to leave the class room, Public Safety Officers (police) will be contacted and the student escorted from the class room.

Office Hours: Specific times for office hours are listed on the front page. Individual appointments are available upon request, and walk-ins are encouraged. Please take advantage of appointments. These times are set aside so that questions or concerns can be addressed, assistance and resources discussed, or for meetings about your professional development (e.g., academic and career). 

Inclement weather/emergency closings: If we miss a class because of a snow/ice day, the exam schedule will remain as planned in the syllabus. The only exception is if a snow day occurs on an exam day. In that case, the exam will take place on the next day we return to class. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1            8/16     Ch. 1: The Evolution of Psychology    [Pre Assessments]

Week 2            8/23     Ch. 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology

Week 3            8/30     Ch. 5: Variations in Consciousness [Submit top 2-3 ideas for the CA paper]


Week 4            9/6       Ch. 5 & Ch. 7: Human Memory

Week 5            9/13     Ch. 7 & Ch. 8: Cognitive & Intelligence [Submit at least two peer-reviewed articles related to the
                                    topic you selected for the CA paper]

Week 6            9/20     Review (optional)
Exam 1: Chapters 1-2, 5, 7-8
Ch. 6: Learning

Week 7            9/27     Ch. 6: Learning & Ch. 15: Social Behavior


Week 8            10/4     Ch. 15; Ch. 3: The Biological Bases of Behavior; and take-home assignment for Chapter 4 [Submit 
                                   draft of the CA paper: title page, two pages of text--one for each side of the controversial topic, and 
                                   a references page]

Week 9            10/11   Fall Recess – no classes

Week 10          10/18   Ch. 3 & Ch. 4 (“Show & Tell”)

Week 11          10/25   Review (optional)

                                    Exam 2: Chapters 6, 15, 3, 9 [chapter 4 NOT included]

                                    Ch. 11: Personality: Theory, Research & Assessment


Week 12          11/1     Ch. 11: Personality: Theory, Research & Assessment

                                      Ch. 13: Psychological Disorders

Week 13          11/8     Ch. 13 & Ch. 14: Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Week 14          11/15   Ch. 14 [Due: Final version of the CA paper]

Week 15          11/22   Review (optional)

                                    Exam 3: Chapters 11, 13 & 14

                                    Ch. 12: Stress, Coping & Health

Week 16          11/29   Ch. 12

Final    12/6     Check Park's Final exam schedule at
**See expanded syllabus in eCompanion

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
Policy on Cheating/Plagiarism: Cheating on examinations and/or plagiarism of written material will be handled in a manner consistent with the university's academic honesty and plagiarism policies. Students who are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or knowingly providing false information may be reprimanded with a (a) failure grade on assignments or exams, (b) failure of the course, or (c) potentially other disciplinary actions. These consequences can occur for unintentional, intentional, or other reasons for such acts.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:
Additional or more detailed information will be presented in class and within eCompanion; therefore, it is critical that you regularly attend class and frequently access eCompanion for this course.


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:8/12/2011 11:06:52 AM