PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for F2B 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


F2B 2011 BLA


Harris, Calvin


Sr. Adjunct Professor


Ph.D. Psychology
M.S. Education/Curriculum Development
M.A. Psychology

Office Location


Office Hours

30 minutes prior to class and after class. Email for additional times

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

October 17 - December 11 2011

Class Days


Class Time

2:00 - 4:30 PM



Credit Hours



Myers, D. (2009). PSYCHOLOGY (9th). New York: Worth publishers. 
Hardcover edition
         ISBN-10: 1-4292-1597-6
         ISBN-13: 978-1-429-21597-8

Or ebook edition:

         ISBN-10: 1-4292-2521-1
         ISBN-13: 978-1-429-22521-2

SAGrader online service - (there is a $19.99 charge for this component. You may purchase this directly on the SAGrader website or by a voucher purchased through MBS or the book store). 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

The textbook companion website is accessible at:
Additional online resources that suppliment various topics will be provided throughout the course. 

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:

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, 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.
We will mutually create a classroom culture that will encourage open and comfortable communications an information sharing.  My job will be to guide the creation of this culture, faclitate learning and evaluate how well critical learning objectives were mastered by each individual.

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. Identify the major portions of the central nerveous system (the Brain).
  2. Describe the major senses and which part(s) of the brain they send information to.
  3. Describe the current learning challenges facing individuals and schools.
  4. Present your research and critical analysis findings to the class on a specific topic within the behavioral sciences.
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:

Graded Area

Points Cum Percentage
Attendence   10 10%
Position Paper 20 20%
Class Presentation 15 15%

Mid-Term Exam

25 25%
Final Exam 30 30%
Totals 100 100%
Resources may be found in course links and in the Doc Sharing area.













59 - 0

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Each week's work must be completed by the end of the week (Sunday at midnight Mountain Time). No credit will be received for work turned in late, unless you have contacted be before the due date and explained any special circumstances. I will then decide whether the "special" circumstances are sufficient for late work.  There is no extra credit in this class, so it is important to complete the work during the time frame expected.

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.  Humor at the expense of others will be dealt with on-the-spot in such a manner as to discourage further offenses.
Position papers will have 1 inch margins, double-spacing, using Times-Roman 12pt and formatted in the APA style.  If you are new to higher education and not familiar with the APA Style Manual then this is a very good opportunity for you to learn it.  All papers must be submitted in hardcopy unless arrangements are made with me to send them online.  All online submissons must be either in Rich Text File (RTF) format or MS Word format. 

"Recycling 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.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best.  Do not wait until right before a paper is due to start it.  You open youself up to a long list o problems, none of which will be an excuse for not getting a paper or presentation in on time.  I encourage you to have papers due at least three days prior to submission to allow for computer or logistical problems.  Always backup all work you are doing daily on your computer.  

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and close of business Thursday.  The reason that Thursday is the last academic day our our learning week is that I have another psychology class in the same classroom at the same instructional hours as PS 101 and will be available to receive materials that are due that week.  The first week begins the first day of the term and ends midnight the last Thursday.  You can always submit papers or written assignment early.  I will not give any credit for work turned in after the end of the instructional week that they are due in.  Exceptions to these guidelines will be discussed in class.

E-Mail Procedures - feel free to send email to either or

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

PS 101

Purpose of the e-mail

Full name

It is required that you use Pirate Mail for your online class. All information - problems with assignments, concerns, etc. - pertaining to the class will be sent to you through Pirate Mail.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

We will generally follow the topics in the order that they are presented in our very fine text and cover two chapter's content per week.  I will not limit our discussions in the classrooms nor the presentation topics to Dr. Meyer's text content in order to be responsive to current events in psychology.  We will frequently suppliment the text by critically discussing current events and attempt to analyze the available "factoids" and draw individual and group conclusions.  No topic dealing with the general human condition will be out-of-bounds.    

I will ask each learner to look the first page of each text chapte over and select a topic that they find interesting.  I will ask each student to research, analyze their findings and provide the findings of these analysis to the class with a 20-30 minute powerpoint presentation.  Learners may form small groups to prepare and present their findings.  The instructor is there to mentor and guide every step of this process.  In order to move forward as professionals, you must be able to communicate in front of groups, think critically and present and defend your point-of-view.  I don't want this to be an imposing task for the learner; please contact me if you simply don't know where to start or are experiencing problems of any kind.  My job in the classroom is to arrange the environment so that the maximum amount of education and training takes place within th bandwidth of generally understanding what the field of psychology is all about.  We can have fun and learn at the same time; I insist on it.

Your position paper preparation process will be somewhat similar to the class presentation.  It will require you to select a topic tha is important to you, research work that has been done in the past or is ongoing that is related to your area-of-interest, compress the data that you gather and critically analyze the data to find congruence or incongruence with your assumptions (hypothesis) or point-of-vew.  Construct your positon paper using the standardized APA format.  This is very good practice for future undergraduate an graduate-level academic work. 
Week One:  I will lecture the first week and provide the information in the first four chapters of the text.  
Weeks Two through Eight: each class session will begin with student presentations of topics within the chapter taught that session.  Presentations will be followed by a lecture/discussion on the major leaning objectives within each chapter.  Dr. Myers has arranged each chapter by beginning with the mastery-level learning objectives on the very first page of the chapter; read each chapter prior to class and come prepared to discuss them.  
Mid-Term Exam:  the mid-term will cover the first four weeks of class and include questions from lecture and individual class presentatins.  The purpose of the exam is to measure how well our learning team has mastered the learning objectives.
Final Exam:  the final exam will cover the last four-weeks of instruction as well as the final four-weeks of individual presentations.
Position Paper: this might be the very first paper that any of you have done; look at this as a huge opportunity to develope a critical skill that will be needed in nearly every university-level class that you will take.  Writing skills are not optional for university-level work. 

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
In academic cheating of any type, the person that suffers and is denied is the learner.  This is your education, not Park Universitie's.  Don't cheat yourself.

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

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
I cannot teach to an empty seat.  Our class or learning unit functions best when we are all present and contributing to the learning process.  As described in the grading section, I will do my part in motivating you to attend by deducting 5 points out of 100 for each unexcused absense.  After the third absense, which equates to 15 hours missed out of 40 total instructional hours you will be at risk.
Military personnel and persons working full-time in professions that must respond to unplanned, will be given a lot of "slack" when they are absent due to mission-critical work.  These individuals will be responsible for 100% of the classwork, including exams, papers and presentations.  I will handle these situations on an individual basis with councel from Park University administration.

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: .
Please see me prior to class or contact me via email if you need any accomodations in the classroom for any reason.  There has never been a special need that could not be worked around so that students can full benefit from learning.
Common problems that students are reluctant to discuss are hearing or eyesight limitations; let me know and we'll get you up front or get you a job-performance-aid.

Additional Information:

Communications, including online communications

All communications need to be thought out and delivered with fairness, honesty, and tact. Spelling and grammar are very important. What you put into an online course reflects on your level of professionalism. It is important no to take disagreement personally. Responses to different ideas and observations need to be objective. Being objective means maintaining boundaries and not making personal attacks on the ability of others or making statements that have the potential to be taken personally. An important part of learning is discussion. Differences in thinking are good because our knowledge is broadened. Because we have differences, we will have conflict. The important thing is to handle conflict in a way that does not create defensiveness which does not promote learning. Here are online references that discuss writing and netiquette .


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:9/25/2011 5:56:29 PM