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PSY2012 Intro to Psychology

Fall 2004 - Spring 2005 Syllabus

Course Description:  This course offers an introductory seminar which includes historical, legal, and the theoretical background of Psychology.  Topics include bio-physiology and behavior, genetics, sensation, perception, and states of consciousness.  Theoretical issues are discussed concerning learning, memory, cognition, language, intelligence and mental abilities.  Human development issues including motivation, emotion, personality factors, health psychology & stress, abnormal behavior, and treatment issues are discussed.

Syllabus topics:

Course Objectives
Class Participation
Academic Honesty
Grading Scale
Determination of Course Grade
Major Course Assignments
Office Hours
How to contact the instructor
Required Text:  Morris, Charles; Psychology:  An Introduction, Tenth Edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1998.

Course Objectives:  Objectives for this course include providing the student with a base knowledge of terms and definitions unique to the field of Psychology.  Conceptual frameworks will be provided to allow the student to sequentially follow the steps in identifying a Psychology or Social problem and developing a working hypothesis to professionally investigate that problem.  Human development issues relative to the field of Psychology are discussed in terms of mental health issues relevant to all human behavior.

  • Students learn the bio-physiological makeup of the central nervous system and autonomous and sympathetic nervous system.
  • Students are provided with tasks to assist in learning the physical and mental body parts and how they impact behavior and human emotions.
  • Students gain an understanding of human body systems and thought processing systems, such as, memory and cognition, sensation and perception, and problem solving abilities.
  • Students are exposed to historical foundations of Psychology as well as legal, professional, and ethical issues that arise in the field.
  • Students are presented with data concerning the different disciplines of Psychology, such as, social, behavioral, biological, and industrial psychology.
  • Students are provided an opportunity to understand statistical methods of studying Psychology and how experimentation and research efforts assist Psychologies in examining hypotheses concerning human behavior.
  • Attendance:  Attendance is your responsibility.  Students are accountable for anything they miss.  The class meets for 40 contact hours, and you are required to attend every class and be on time.  I am required to take attendance and those who are excessively absent do not pass this course.  Please see the current Hillsborough Community College Catalog for the official attendance policy.  Grading implications: 1 hour of absence = 2% deduction in the final grade average.  Attendance is taken within the first 5 minutes of the hour.

    Class Participation:  Your participation and involvement is required.  It is my belief that everyone has something to contribute and these contributions are not only welcome, but essential for an interesting class discussion.  You have freedom of expression as long as you do not infringe upon the rights of others.  Violent expression is not a protected form of expression.

    It is important to be prepared for class by reading text assignments prior to lecture.  I realize that it will not always be possible to understand every concept simply be reading the text, but if you make a sincere effort to comprehend most of the readings, then lectures and class discussion can clear up the rest.  Do not let a concept slide by without fully comprehending it.  Always feel free to ask questions of me in or out of class.

    Academic Honesty:  Plagiarism or copying the work of another either “word for word” or in nearly identical paraphrasing is considered a form of cheating, and will result in a failing grade on the assignment involved.  This includes copying the ideas of others from published research or copying those of your fellow students.  You are encouraged to read research reports and journal articles related to project work, and to discuss project work with your fellow students.  However, when it comes time to write any report or take any exam, this becomes an individual effort. If two reports or exams come to me with nearly identical phrasing, they will both receive a failing grade even though I realize one must be a copy and the other the original.   It is your responsibility to keep your paper from being copied.  Do not “lend” your paper to someone who might copy it.  Any act of plagiarism will result in a failing grade on the exam involved.  Multiple occurrences of academic dishonesty (plagiarism) will result in a failing grade for the course and expulsion from the campus.

    Cheating on any quiz or exam under any circumstance is unacceptable.  As plagiarism and cheating are the most serious academic crimes, the penalties are severe.  Any act of cheating on an exam will result in a failing grade in the course and ban from taking courses on this campus.  Administrative action can include expulsion from the school and notation on your permanent transcript at the discretion of the Dean.   Military members are subject to sanctions by the Military.


    A   90 - 100
    B     80 - 89
    C     70 - 79
    D     60 - 69
    F       0 - 59

    The instructor reserves the right to grant quality points or to deduct penalty points from the final average for class participation, attendance, and other work-related considerations.

    Your attention is directed to the current Hillsborough Community College Catalog for withdrawal & incomplete grade policies.  A grade of "I (Incomplete)" is given only if an arrangement is made BEFORE the last day of class.  If you stop attending the class, be sure to following college withdrawal policies.  A grade of "F" is assigned for work not completed. 

    Distractions to the learning process:  Electronic devices emitting noises during the class session are not permitted. 

    Determination of Grade:

     A. Class quizzes   25%
     B. Chapter presentation  25%
     C. Reaction papers  10%
     D. Journal article summary 25%
     E. Final Exam   15%
    Major Course Assignments:
  • Class quizzes – Chapter quizzes are given to serve as review of material covered in the reading assignment.  Only the ten highest scores (of 14) will be used in the calculation of this grade component.  Late quizzes, even by one minute,  lose 10% of the grade automatically.   If the quiz is not completed prior to the last scheduled day of class, the grade is automatically recorded as a zero.  There is no make-up of quizzes and those missed will receive a grade of zero. The Quiz is due by NOON the day BEFORE the chapter is scheduled.  The Quiz is due by NOON the day BEFORE the chapter is scheduled.  Early quizzes (more than 1 week) are not accepted and automatically deleted.  See the course schedule for dates of quizzes as there are no exceptions regardless of the reason.  Please refer to the handout or this link (How to take Chapter Quizzes) to get more information.
  • Chapter presentation – Each student will prepare a presentation on an assigned chapter topic.  These will be assigned before the end of the 2nd class meeting.  You will be expected to prepare a very detailed set of outline/notes with related handouts and distribute those to your fellow students.  Provide an electronic copy of your notes prior to the presentation date for review and suggestions for the best possible grade. Your chapter presentation with be given for the Chapter you select -- see the course schedule for the date of presentation.   If you are not prepared for the presentation as scheduled, your grade on this assignment is "F".  The related page on Chapter presentations is an addendum to this syllabus as must be followed.
  • Reaction paper – The reaction paper is your opportunity to reflect and consider each topic presented in this course.  It should contain your own thoughts, reactions, opinions, areas of agreement or disagreement that you arrive at as you progress through the class.  It may be a reaction to something you read in the text, or outside class material, a reaction to a classmate’s comment, class discussion, instructor comment, or other class-related activities.  The paper should be hand-written in ink and a minimum of one page (front & back), single-spaced.  All papers must be submitted every Sunday or Wednesday for the previous week.  They are not graded for content.  See the course schedule for reaction paper due dates.
  • Journal Article Summary – Your summary will cover what the research study is about, how and why the research study was conducted; where and on whom the research was conducted, and the conclusions made by the research.  The purpose of this assignment is to expose the student to the scholarly materials published in the field of Psychology.  The report must be in your own words, do not copy the abstract, summary, or conclusions if presented in the article.  You must include a copy of the Journal Article you select for review.   Be sure to read Guidelines for Writing Critical Reviews and Research Evaluation Tips to assist you in this assignment will be presented on the 2nd class meeting.  See the course schedule for Journal Article Summary due dates.
  • The “Gordon Rule” established by the State Board of Education, requires all students in this course be given an assignment to write at least 1715 words to demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate in writing.  The Journal Article Summary assignments are required to receive any grade higher than a “D” in the course regardless of test scores.

    NOTE:  At the option of the instructor, if any requirement above is eliminated, the final grade will be determined by the remaining requirements.  For example if 1 of 4 requirements was eliminated, and if they were previously worth 25% each, then they would now be worth 33% each.  The Gordon Rule requirement can not be eliminated as a course requirement.

    Office Hours:  by appointment, typically before and after class in the assigned classroom.   Contact me via e-mail or phone number provided to you on the first day of class.

    HCC complies with, and fully supports, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability in the services, programs, and activities provided and operated by the College. HCC also complies with, and fully supports, other federal, state and local laws that protect the rights of disabled persons, such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Florida Educational Equity Act.  If you are a student wishing academic accommodations, you must self-identify and provide appropriate documentation of your disability to the Office of Services for Students with Dsiabilities.  You are encouraged to begin this process at least one month prior to the start of the semester.


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