San José State University psyc 1: General Psychology, Section 03

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San José State University

PSYC 1: General Psychology, Section 03

Spring Semester 2014

Basic Information

Instructor Jeffrey W. Danese

Office Location Clarke Hall 412F

Telephone (408) 924-4726


Class Days/Time Section 03 Tuesdays 6:00-8:45

Office Hours Tues & Thurs 2:00-4:00 & Wed 1:00 - 3:00, or by appointment

Classroom DMH 359

Prerequisites None.

GE/SJSU Studies Area D1: Human Behavior.

Course Description

renaissance painting with angled fleshy figures of a woman, a young man kissing her, and two child-like characters playing in the background. the face and muscular arm of an older man with beard hovers over then all. this classical woodcut engraving in black and white shows a traveller at the edge of the world poking his head through a flimsy veil of stars to see the vast mechanical workings of the planets, the solar system, the zodiac signs, and the entire universe. a large tree with very thick trunk and multiple branches is portrayed in black and white with each branch labelled with a genus and the smaller branches as various phylum down to the leaves labelled as individual species. this black and white etching shows a person sleeping on his desk as if taking a break from his work or taking a nap. he is beset by bats, owls, and other evil flying creatures.

Graphics are (from left to right): Bronzino’s Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time; The Flammarion engraving; Haeckle’s Tree of Life; and Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.

Psychology is a diverse field that seeks to describe, explain, predict, and influence behavior, cognition, emotion, and physiology. As a Social Science, Psychology can offer something of interest to every student, whether one wishes simply to fulfill 3 units of GE credit, to apply the information learned to career objectives, to gain insights into the nature of human experience, to develop understanding of the self and others, or to start on the path to a career in the social and behavioral sciences. This course will cover “the study of perception, attention, learning, remembering, thinking, development of the individual, intelligence, aptitudes, emotion, motivation, adjustment and conflict” (SJSU course catalog).

Learning Outcomes

Students will be assessed for knowledge acquired relating to each of the five learning objectives listed below. Assessment opportunities will occur throughout the semester and may include: (a) exam questions (e.g., multiple choice, essay, fill in the blank, matching); (b) writing assignments (e.g., short reports, essays, article summaries, or reaction papers), (c) class discussions (e.g., individual participation, small groups, or via Desire2Learn (D2L) discussion boards); (d) in-class activities (e.g., quizzes, group work, individual assignments, questions pertaining to films/videos presented); and (e) take-home assignments/homework (e.g., worksheets, data collection activities, projects, library tutorials, web-based exercises or activities).

ThisCourse Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

  1. Students shall be able to identify and analyze the social dimension of society as a context for human life, the processes of social change and social continuity, the role of human agency in those processes, and the forces that engender social cohesion and fragmentation.

General topics addressed: sensing, organizing, identifying, and recognizing; reality, ambiguity, and illusions; sensory knowledge of the world; organizational processes in perception; identification and recognition processes; cognitive development across the lifespan, acquiring language, social development across the lifespan, gender development, moral development, learning to age successfully; constructing social reality, attitudes, attitude change and action, prejudice, social relationships; the power of the situation; roles and rules, social norms, conformity, situational power; altruism and prosocial behavior; aggression, evolutionary perspectives, individual differences, cultural constraints; the psychology of conflict and peace, obedience to authority, the psychology of genocide and war, peace psychology.

Assessment example of a potential writing project for this learning objective: In 1963, Yale psychologist, Dr. Stanley Milgram, conducted a now famous experiment examining obedience to authority. What historical events led Dr. Milgram to study obedience? Describe the methods and procedures of the experiment. What were the independent and dependent variables? Describe the results of the study. What were the main conclusions of the study? How are findings of this experiment relevant today? Grammar, clarity, conciseness and coherence in your writing will be assessed.

  1. Students will be able to place contemporary developments in cultural, historical, environmental, and spatial contexts.

Assessment example of class group-work and discussion for this learning objective: The class is divided into groups representing each of the five psychological perspectives (i.e., behavior, cognitive, humanistic, group, and biomedical). Each group will identify the etiology of the following disorders based on the perspective to which they are assigned: (a) obsessive-compulsive disorder, (b) generalized anxiety disorder, (c) bipolor disorder, (d) major depressive disorder, (e) post-traumatic-stress-disorder, (f) autism, and (g) schizophrenic disorder. After identifying the etiology of the disorder, identify the most likely therapies and/or treatments for those disorders that are associated with your psychological perspective.
3. Students will be able to identify the dynamics of ethnic, cultural, gender/sexual, age-based, class, regional, national, transnational, and global identities and the similarities, differences, linkages, and interactions between them.
Assessment example of an in-class writing activity for this learning objective: Compare and contrast sex differences and gender differences. Describe how gender roles are acquired and provide an example of how one’s environment might contribute to gender identity. How does biology (genetics) influence gender development? Grammar, clarity, conciseness and coherence in your writing will be assessed.
4. Students will be able to evaluate social science information, draw on different points of view, and formulate applications appropriate to contemporary social issues.
Assessment example of web-based homework activity for this learning objective:

The instructor may direct you to a web site where you can find articles describing various research studies that went terribly awry. After reading these articles answer the following questions: What was the goal/purpose of the research? In what phase was this clinical trial? For what indications did the scientists intend to use the test drug? What type of experimental design did the trial use? What method of dose selection was used for drug administration? Given what you know about research design and control procedures, what would have been a better method for dose selection? Describe the characteristics of the participants. Describe what happened to the participants when they received the test drug? How long did these effects last? Did all participants fully recover? If not, what were the end results of the drug trial? Compare and contrast the risks and benefits of conducting research with humans in relation to this unfortunate, and perhaps preventable, clinical trial gone wrong. Was informed consent obtained? Describe the process of informed consent and discuss the historical origins of informed consent (i.e., Tuskegee Syphilis study, Willowbrook school, etc.). Finally, what, if any, steps should be taken by the scientific community to ensure that the events that occurred in this recent clinical trial do not happen again? Grammar, clarity, conciseness and coherence in your writing will be assessed.

5. Students will be able to recognize the interactions of social institutions, culture, and environment with the behavior of individuals.
Assessment example of a possible exam question for this learning objective: Describe and provide an example of how one’s culture might help determine whether one has a independent construal of self or an interdependent construal of self. Given what you know about the bystander effect, what happens to the probability of a bystander helping in an accident when the number of bystanders increases? What are some variables that have been shown to counter the bystander effect? Provide examples of at least three variables. Grammar, clarity, conciseness and coherence in your writing will be assessed.
NOTE: There will be a minimum of three writing assignments in this course. These assignments are designed to:

  1. Comply with the University’s General Education course credit writing requirement of a minimum of 1500 words in order to: (a) provide you with practice in writing, (b) provide you with feedback on your writing, and (c) provide you with the opportunity to incorporate the instructor's feedback into your writing assignments.

  2. Help students achieve mastery of various aspects of the five Learning Objectives given above.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Upon successful completion of the psychology major requirements…
PLO1 – Knowledge Base of Psychology – Students will be able to identify, describe, and communicate the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

PLO2 – Research Methods in Psychology – Students will be able to design, implement, and communicate basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretations.

PLO3 – Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology – Students will be able to use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and a scientific approach to address issues related to behavior and mental processes.

PLO4 – Application of Psychology – Students will be able to apply psychological principles to individual, interpersonal, group, and societal issues.

PLO5 – Values in Psychology – Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and recognize their role and responsibility as a member of society.

Required Texts/Readings

Schachter, Gilbert, & Wegner. (2012) Introducing Psychology, 2e. New York: Worth Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-4230-1. Available at Spartan Bookstore.

(also find used text books online at,,,, (used books),, or similar).

Other Reading Assignments Distributed by Professor

Course Canvas site

The course Canvas site is an online resource supplement for this course. Use of this site and the information provided is not a substitute for attending lectures. The site will be updated regularly throughout the semester. This site contains:

  • Discussion Board (student-to-student questions, discussion)

  • Links to webpages that will be of use to you throughout the course

  • Handouts and articles

  • Lecture slides (generally posted after lecture is presented)

  • News Items (on course home page)

Check this site regularly for course announcements.

Accessing Course Canvas site

To access the course Canvass site go to http://

Username = firstname.lastname, but may have an appended number (e.g., joshua.doe2)

Password = Your initial Canvass password is your 9 digit SJSU ID number.

See the online tutorial for additional login and usage information:

Canvas Student Resources: http://

Assignments and Grading Policy Overview

A variety of activities and assessments will be the basis of determining your final grade for the course:

Quizzes: One on-line (Canvas) automated quiz per chapter available from Wednesday mornings through Tuesday afternoons at 5:00 pm of each week. Unlimited attempts are permitted during the quiz window (each attempt creates a new quiz randomly drawn from a test bank of multiple choice and/or true-false questions, but you will only have 10-12 minutes for each attempt) and only the highest score is recorded as your grade. (13 quizzes at 15-20 items per quiz = approx. 250 pts total).
Midterm and Final Exams: Multiple-choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank and/or matching taken on-line. You will have two attempts limited to 60 minutes each with the items drawn from a limited pool. (75 pts ea = 150 pts total).
Group Work and Informal Homework Assignments or Handouts: Groups are randomly assigned for classroom activities or for breakout groups throughout the semester. Some handouts or other evidence of in-class work may be required of you to turn in. (40 pts approx.)
Formal Homework Assignments: As required throughout the semester, including short integration papers, webquests, provided in-class or online 10-25 pts ea x 9 (out of at least 12 possible) = 120 pts total (approx).
Class Participation: 40 pts based on number of completed assignments, participation, attendance, etc.

Course Grade and Research Requirement

Course grades will be based on the number of points accumulated throughout the semester. To know your percentage grade at any point during the course, divide your points earned by the total points possible at any time throughout the course. At the end of the course, you will divide by the total possible for the course (Approx. 600).

A=93-100%; A-=90-92%; B+=87-89%; B=83-86%; B-=80-82%; C+=77-79%;

C=73-76%; C-=70-72%; D+=67-69%; D=63-66%; D-=60-62%; F=59% or less.

In addition to the above grading criteria, in order to pass this class each student MUST:

Complete the research-participant requirement (this requirement will be addressed in class by the Psychology Department Research Coordinator). Most semesters, this means 4 credits of research participation. You sign up for the research participation on the SONA online system:

Dept Policy Concerning Research Participation Requirement: "If an incomplete is assigned as a result of not completing the required research participation hours, then, for the purposes of creating the incomplete contract at the time of grading, the student's final grade in the class will be reduced by 4% for each hour (2% for half hours) they did not complete (up to 16% total).  That is, a 90% becomes a 74%. If the student completes the required hours within one year of the incomplete, then no grade penalty will be imposed." (Psychology Department Policy)

University Policies

Academic Integrity

Students should know that the University’s Academic Integrity Policy can be seen at: . Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University’s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The website for Student Conduct and Ethical Development is available at .
Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the DRC (Disability Resource Center) to establish a record of their disability.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. Information can be found at: Information on late drops can be found at: Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for adding and dropping classes.

Definition of a Credit Hour

It is important that you understand what the official CSU definition of a unit is. For every unit, it is expected that you spend 1 hour in class and 2 hours outside of class per week. That means for this course (3 units) that you be spending a total of at least 9 hours per week (3 in class and 6 outside of class).

Classroom and Course Protocol

Class Participation:

This is key to a successful class. It means more than merely attending and listening - it means being prepared and taking responsibility for your own learning and the general tone of classroom discussions. We teachers are often at our best when students are engaged, curious, and ask questions - relevant to course topics. My job is NOT to entertain you in this class – though I may crack some jokes at times, my passion for knowledge and my desire for you to learn may sometimes get lost – and so, it is your responsibility to at least TRY – because we are in this together.
We all know that some students have no trouble speaking up in class. Fantastic! But we also know how sometimes an oppressive classroom dynamic can develop in which the more shy, introverted students can feel shut out, frustrated, or worse. I will make every effort to prevent this from happening, but sometimes teachers need the help of you shy introverts! Come to class with something to say, whether it is a question, a comment or a topic – ready in advance. We are ALL here to learn – right? – and you owe it to yourself, your potential to grow, and your own learning to speak up. If you suspect that you may be one of the more confident or extroverted students, I ask you to give others a chance at times, to relax, and consider if your contribution is relevant to class material and discussion, or if something I said needs clarification, or if I am leaving out something important, or if I used a term unfamiliar to you – all are very good and useful reasons to speak up! Less useful contributions might be speculation unrelated to course content (Hey, it could all be the work of ancient aliens, right?), sarcastic or possibly hostile reactions (You are only saying that because you are jealous!), or crude offensive language (Are you @&#$*@ kidding me? or That’s all a bunch of @#%$!#!!).
In general, open communication in class requires a basic feeling of safety, respect for one another as unique individuals, common courtesy, and perhaps some patience and occasionally, forgiveness. This will help all of us have a successful, interesting semester – maybe even fun at times…. But when we examine or discuss ideas, values, people, behavioral norms or events that are related to your core values, deepest desires, hopes, or faith convictions – you can expect to feel uncomfortable and possibly afraid. This is a good thing – because it is a sign that you then have the opportunity to examine what anthropologists refer to as your own ethnocentrism, or previously unexamined assumptions, or to discern and articulate the strong – and perhaps surprising – feelings that are at the core of your being-in-this-world, your passion, and inspiration to grow, learn, and transcend – or not. The choice is yours – and if you try, I will help you in any way I can.

Time Management & Regular Attendance

Time management is a major issue for students in this class. As in the workplace, deadlines are real. Assignments are due one after another and you need to keep on top of them! You can fall quickly behind if you fail to turn every assignment in on time. Although the course has an online resource, this resource is not a substitute for attending lectures.

While it is against SJSU policy for attendance to directly affect academic evaluation, it is expected that students will make their BEST EFFORT to attend ALL class sessions. Notify the instructor in advance when you will not be attending and why. School-sponsored events and personal issues that we BOTH agree are important enough will be excused, but absences WILL count against your participation grade. If you miss a homework assignment, DO NOT ASK ME (feel free to ask fellow students) about it. It is not my job to make up for your absence. I consider attendance (and attention) to be ESSENTIAL to learning and to completing any of my courses successfully – and homework assignments, unscheduled quizzes, and class participation.

Laptops, Cell Phones, and Any Other Electronic Devices

NONE allowed in class AT ALL If I even think you are checking a text message, or if any device makes a noise, you get one warning, next time you let me hold the device (turned off) until the end of class. The empirical evidence supports this policy – see .

Social Encounters:

Generally, when I encounter a student outside of class, at a local bar, around town, or online – consistent with my training as a mental health counselor – I will only recognize and respond AFTER the student greets or says hello to me, first. This protects confidentiality and puts students in the social driver’s seat so-to-speak. It also prevents any dual relationship that could in any way distort or be construed to distort my professional role as Lecturer and instructor. As a rule I do not “friend” or even recognize students on Facebook, LinkedIn, or on any other social web site…until well after the semester’s, and/or if we have some mutually recognized common interest or research project – in which case do please stay in touch!!

Contacting the Instructor

  1. I will answer emails Tues - Thurs, 9:00 - 5:00. Allow 1-2 business days for a response. If you email me from Thursday night or on the weekends, do not expect a response until the following Tuesday (and possibly Monday).

  2. Through Canvas discussion board. Best for questions about the course that need not remain private and that other students can likely answer faster than I. Chances are others have the same questions you have.

  3. Through regular email. .

  4. By phone. Best if you need to contact me quickly and cannot use email at the time. Leave a short clear message and repeat any important information (like your phone number). If a reply is warranted, I should get back to you – like emails – within 1-2 business days.

  5. Consider emails for this course as professional correspondence.

    1. Subject Line should include your class and a brief description of the issue (e.g., Subject: Psych 154: absence on 10-10-11).

    2. Greetings should be formal and use your instructors title (e.g., Dear Prof. Danese or Mr. Danese)

    3. Identify yourself and the course/section you are in (cuz I often teach many different classes!).

    4. Issue or question should be stated clearly, concisely, respectfully, and with attention paid to grammar, complete sentences, and so forth.

    5. Expect replies within 1 – 2 business days. Polite follow-ups are encouraged if you have not heard from me in that period of time!

Example email correspondence

Subject: PSYC 154: Assignment due date question

Dear Professor Danese (or Mr. Danese),

My name is Maggie Jackson and I am in your T/Th 154 class. I am not sure when the Response Journal assignment is due because of conflicting information. The syllabus schedule says Nov. 5, but the assignment sheet itself says Nov 9. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Regards, (or Best, or Cheers, or Sincerely, or In Solidarity, or Respectfully, …or be creative!)


student id # 123456789

Recording and Copying Course Materials

Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor’s permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. This permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, powerpoints, or homework solutions without instructor consent.

Student Resources

Learning Assistance Resource Center

The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) is located in Room 600 in the Student Services Center. It is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic potential and to inspire them to become independent learners. The Center's tutors are trained and nationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). They provide content-based tutoring in many lower division courses (some upper division) as well as writing and study skills assistance. Small group, individual, and drop-in tutoring are available. Please visit the LARC website for more information at

SJSU Writing Center

The SJSU Writing Center is located in Room 126 in Clark Hall. It is staffed by professional instructors and upper-division or graduate-level writing specialists from each of the seven SJSU colleges. Our writing specialists have met a rigorous GPA requirement, and they are well trained to assist all students at all levels within all disciplines to become better writers. The Writing Center website is located at

Peer Mentor Center

The Peer Mentor Center is located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall in the Academic Success Center. The Peer Mentor Center is staffed with Peer Mentors who excel in helping students manage university life, tackling problems that range from academic challenges to interpersonal struggles. On the road to graduation, Peer Mentors are navigators, offering “roadside assistance” to peers who feel a bit lost or simply need help mapping out the locations of campus resources. Peer Mentor services are free and available on a drop –in basis, no reservation required. The Peer Mentor Center website is located at

Student Success and Wellness

Attending to your wellness is critical to your success at SJSU. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the workshops and programs offered through various Student Affairs Departments on campus such as Counseling Services, the SJSU Student Health Center/ Wellness & Health Promotion Dept., and Career Center. See or for workshop/events schedule and links to many other services on campus that support your wellness! You may go to to register for any one of the workshops.

Library Liaison for Psychology

Berndt Becker, King Library: Phone: 408.808.2348 Email: Psychology LibGuide:

Useful Web Sites

Instructor’s faculty web page @ with background and courses taught.

Instructor’s youtube channel @ with course playlists and more.

Text Book Student Resource Site @ with many free and downloadable resources, flashcards, Spanish translations, chapter objectives, outlines, etc.

SJSU Psychology Department Web Site @ where you will register for your research requirement for this course on the SONA system.

PSYC 1 Sec 03 – Spring 2014 - Course Schedule - Danese








Jan 28


Course Orientation

Ch 1: History of Psych



Feb 4

Thinking Like a Psychologist

Ch 2: Methods



Methods + Critical Thinking

HWK Common Sense 1 Due



Feb 11

Methods + Critical Thinking

Ch 2: Methods



Famous Studies

HWK Common Sense 2 Due




Brains, Neurons, Evolution

Ch 3: Neuroscience



HWK Evo Psych Due




Pain, Pleasure, Senses

Ch 4: Sensation and Perception



HWK Near Death Experience Due



March 4

Drugs, Meditation, Hypnosis

Ch 5: Consciousness



HWK Drugs Due



March 11

Remembering and Forgetting

Ch 6: Memory



HWK Recovered Memories Due




How we change, Behavioral Psych

Ch 7: Learning



HWK Environment Due





April 1

Food, Sex, Money

Ch 8: Emotion and Motivation



Midterm Exam (Chapters 1-7)



April 8


Ch 9: Language, Thought, intelligence



HWK Race and IQ Due




Childhood, Moral Development

Ch 10: Development



HWK Dev Psych Due




Freud, Human Nature

Ch 11: Personality

HWK Personality Due




Collective Behaviors, Groups, Altruism, Violence, Racism

Ch 12: Social psychology



HWK Terrorism Due



May 6

Mental Disorders and Therapy

Ch 13: Psychopathology + Ch 14: Treatment

HWK Mental Illness in the Media Due



May 13


Ch 15: Stress and Health

HWK T.B.A. Due


May 20

 Tuesday 5:15 - 7:30  DMH 359 Final Exam (Chapters 8-15)

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