PS101 Introduction to Psychology

for FA 2012

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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 2012 HOB


Dr. Patricia A. Marsh


Associate Professor of Psychology


Ph.D. Social/Personality Psychology
M.S. Psychology; Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health Psychology
B.S. Psychology

Office Location

Mabee (MA) 208B; across from the Copy Center in the underground

Office Hours

MW 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 am.; T 10:15-11:00 a.m., 12:45-2 p.m., or by appointment

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6880


Web Page

Semester Dates

August 20 – December 14, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

1:30 - 2:45 PM

Credit Hours


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

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

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Textbook’s Companion website:

  • The FREE option has some available tools to help you learn the content (e.g., concepts, theories, people, studies, etc.). You are NOT required to purchase the expanded access.

The professor will provide various resources for APA style (6th edition). However, if your intended major (e.g., Communications, Sociology, Psychology, etc.) requires you to learn APA style, then it is recommended that you purchase the APA Manual (6th edition).

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. ISBN-13: 978-1-4338-0561-5 (soft cover)

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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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PS 101 Introduction to Psychology: 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. Research has shown that learning can be enhanced with activities that generate what Bjork (1994) had called desirable difficulties, because these tasks “trigger encoding and retrieval processes that support learning, comprehension, and remembering” (as cited in Bjork & Bjork, 2011, p. 58). Although learning should be challenging it can also be an enjoyable process. Structure, organization, and details are key elements of my teaching approach along with techniques such as conveying life stories, hands-on activities, “props” (e.g., the Bobo doll), and assignments/tests that reflect the knowledge, skills, and attributes identified by APA (2007) as core to the undergraduate psychology major

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 preset start and end dates, 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, tend to 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 or eCollege; and knowledge of university policies.
  • Knowledge of the university’s student resources (e.g., tutoring, writing help, etc.);
  • 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, useful of proper spelling/grammar; and avoiding plagiarism).

Devoting Time

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

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. Being able to differentiate (i.e., tell the difference between) peer-reviewed/academic journal articles vs. periodical sources such as magazine articles, newspaper reports, and most websites.
  4. 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.).
  5. Enhanced knowledge of ethical writing (e.g., avoiding plagiarism).
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:
Unless otherwise stated, assignments are to be completed/submitted/uploaded/turned-in at the start of class as indicated in the schedule portion of the syllabus.

(Grade percentage)


Brief description

Pre/Post Assessments



Online Pre & Post Surveys (5 points each)

Pre Assessment Test – Testing Center (15 points)

Plagiarism Assignments (2%)


All 3 parts must be completed to earn the full points; NO partial credit will be granted.

Core Assessment



Core Assessment [Controversial Topic Paper] Assignment. 

Part 1: Title page, 2 full pages of content that summarize key information from the selected sources related to the selected controversial topic, references page with 2 peer-reviewed articles. (75 points)

Part 2 (final submission): Expand upon Part 1 by addressing all the university’s literacies that are listed in the professor’s rubric for this assignment—see attachment in this syllabus. Must contain at least 3 full pages of content. (75 points)

Weekly Quizzes


130 (maximum)

Weekly quizzes will be completed via eCompanion (i.e., online quizzes) unless otherwise stated by the professor. There will be a few additional quizzes to assist students will earning the maximum quiz points for the course.




All exams are worth 50 points. Exam questions may consist of multiple-choice, true/false, matching (i.e., formats that fit onto the bubble sheet provided by the professor). I reserve the right to keep the exams. The final is cumulative.



20 (maximum)

In class activities [MUST be present or had made prior arrangements with the professor]. The maximum number of points is 20.

Extra Credit



(maximum; lack of absences policy)

(maximum; participating in research studies or equivalent research experience)





Grades in the course are based on the number of points earned by the last day of class and points earned on 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.

Final course grades will be determined as follows:


Letter Grade

486 – 540+


432 – 485


378 – 431


324 – 377


< 324




Late Submission of Course Materials:
Make-up Activities & Papers

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 in eCompanion (also see course schedule).

Papers (i.e., to be upload in eCompanion as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf) and homework assignments are dueby the start of class time (i.e., 1:30 p.m.) on the day they are due. Late papers may be submitted but with a 4-point deduction for each 24-hour period they are late, which includes weekends. After 1 week or when points can no longer be earned, late papers will NOT be accepted.

Make-up Exams

Exams can be made up under two scenarios: (1) arrangements are made within 7-days of the absence or (2) 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. Students caught using their phone in class or in the computer lab will be asked to place their phone at the front of the room or face a 25-point deduction in their grade. Repeat occurrences will result in additional points being deducted and for the student to regularly place his/her phone at the front of the classroom for each class meeting.

Phones may be placed on top of the desk in the quiet mode for purposes such as seeing a clock, deciding whether to take a call/text (which means the student physically leaves the room to address the call/text then quietly re-enters the room), or as a calculator.

Drop Policy: In compliance with Park University’s policy. Students will be dropped from the course after two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences.

Professor’s Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes and this reflects expectations once they graduate (e.g., expectations of employers and graduate programs). 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 professor considers disrespectful or a hindrance to the learning process will be asked to leave the classroom.

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
  • 3 – 5 absences will earn 10 points
  • 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, WCT), will be documented as Excused absences (Park documentation purposes) but will NOT count toward an absence for these extra credit points. 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 the students’ responsibility, which means contacting a classmate for the notes/materials. 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.

Email policy: Unless I am sick or out of town, I will usually respond to emails within a 48-hour period when regular classes are in session. Such policies do not apply during breaks (e.g., spring, summer, fall, or winter breaks), official Park holidays, or during school closings. 

  1. Please do not be surprised or upset if you do not receive an immediate response (i.e., less than 48-hours) to your emails. 
  2. 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. Your professors/instructors teach multiple classes and, in some cases, multiple sections of the same course.  Therefore if you wish a professional response then you must provide sufficient information regarding your inquiry and identity.
  3. Students MUST use email to ensure I receive their 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 professor’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. 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:
All assignments are due by the start of class time (i.e., 1:30 p.m.) unless otherwise stated.

I reserve the right to keep this schedule flexible, which means small modifications might occur depending on circumstances throughout the semester. Such announcements are mentioned in class and may be conveyed in Course Announcements within eCompanion.




Activities/Due Dates



Ch. 1: The Evolution of Psychology

Introductions to the course, syllabus, and eCompanion



Ch. 1

Syllabus quiz (in class)



Ch. 1

Special note on Park policy: This is the last day to drop the course, I’m assuming with some type of tuition refund.

Due: Online Pre Survey

Due: Pre Test (in the Testing Center)

Due: Quiz 1



Ch. 2: The Research Enterprise in Psychology



Labor Day – No class

Finish reading Ch. 2



Ch. 2

Ch. 5: Variations in Consciousness

Due: Quiz 2



Ch. 5



Ch. 5

Ch. 7: Human Memory

Due: Quiz 3 (Ch. 5)



Ch. 7



Ch. 7

Ch. 8: Cognitive & Intelligence

Due: Quiz 4 (Ch. 7)



Ch. 8

Due: Core Assessment Part 1



Exam 1 (Chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, & 8)

Due: Quiz 5 (Ch. 8)



Ch. 6: Learning



Ch. 6



Ch. 15: Social Behavior

Due: Quiz 6 (covering Ch. 6)



Ch. 15



Fall Recess – no class

Recommend: Read Ch. 15, watch the selected video clips (You-Tube videos) under Webliography tab within eCompanion, and complete online quiz.



Fall Recess – no class


Recommend: Read Ch. 15, watch the selected video clips (You-Tube videos) under Webliography tab within eCompanion, and complete online quiz.

Optional: read and complete quiz for chapter 4 (counts toward extra quiz points)

Optional: read and complete quiz for chapter 10 (counts toward extra quiz points)



Ch. 15 Q & A (Students ask questions about the content in the chapter, and the professor provides answers to those questions)

Ch. 3: The Biological Bases of Behavior

Due: Quiz 7 (covering Ch. 15)

Due:Extra quiz points for chapters 4 & 10, these were optional but points count toward your maximum quiz points.



Ch. 3



Ch. 3

Due: Quiz 8 (covering Ch. 3)



Exam 2 (Chapters 6, 15, & 3)

F (11/2)

Special note on Park policy: Friday, November 2nd is the last day to withdraw (W) from 16-week classes.




Ch. 11: Personality: Theory, Research & Assessment



Ch. 11

Due: Core Assessment Part 2 (final submission of the paper)



Veteran’s Day Observed – no class

Start reading Ch. 13: Psychological Disorders



Ch. 13

Due: Quiz 9 (covering Ch. 11)



Ch. 13

Ch. 14: Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Due: Quiz 10 (covering Ch. 13)



Ch. 14

Note: Thanksgiving break does not start until Wednesday, Nov. 22nd



Ch. 14

Due: Quiz 11 (covering Ch. 14)



Exam 3 (Chapters 11, 13, & 14)



Ch. 12: Stress, Coping & Health

Due: Online Post Survey


Reminder: Complete the online Student Opinion of Teaching Survey



Ch. 12: Stress, Coping & Health

Due: Quiz 12 (covering Ch. 12)

Course Evaluations (in class)

12/12 (W), 1 – 3 PM   

Cumulative Final Exam (for 60 out of the 100 items)! The remaining 40 items are pulled from Chapter 12.During this time, any student needing to make-up Exam 1, 2, or 3 can do so.

Check Park's Final exam schedule at 


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 95-96

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 95
Cheating on examinations and/or plagiarism of written material, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ACTS WERE INTENTIONAL OR UNINTENTIONAL, will be handled in a manner consistent with the university's academic honesty and plagiarism policies. Students who are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or (un)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. Again, these consequences can occur for unintentional, intentional, or other reasons for such acts.

Park University's Resources on Plagiarism: (Learning More about Plagiarism;

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 98
(Additional) Attendance Policy:

ATTENDANCE WILL BE COLLECTED DURING THE FIRST 20 MINUTES OF CLASS.  If you are late to class you will be marked late, which will be counted as an Excused Absence and it will count as an absence toward the extra credit points associated with lack of absences; see Course Policies.

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:
References cited in this syllabus

Bjork, E. L., & Bjork, R. (2011). Making things hard on yourself, but in a good way: Creating desirable difficulties to enhance learning. In M. A. Gernsbacher, R. W. Pew, L. M. Hough, & J. R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the real world: Essays illustrating fundamental contributions to society (pp. 56-64). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

AA Rubric for PS101CA Paper (FA12).docx


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:8/15/2012 4:13:27 PM