Syllabus for General Psychology Course: psyc 101 Section 1425 3 Credits Dates

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Prince George’s Community College

Syllabus for General Psychology
Course: PSYC 101 Section 1425 3 Credits

Dates: Spring Semester: January 26 – May 5, 2004

Instructor: Dr. Dawn K. Lewis

E-mail address:

(I check my e-mail daily)(Be sure to put PSY101PGCC2:00in the subject line)

Office Phone Number(301) 386-7587

Meeting Time: M-W 2:00-3:15 p.m. Room: Marlboro Hall 2080

Office Location: Marlboro Hall 2064

Office Hours: To Be Announced
Please feel free to arrange an appointment if my office schedule is inconvenient. Also,

you may drop in if you like. I always like to see my students!

COURSE DESCRIPTION: General Psychology introduces the field and scientific methods of psychology and examines the dynamic factors that influence human behavior, including personality, intelligence, perceptual processes and learning. In addition, applications of theory are discussed.


Upon successful completion of the course, students will demonstrate the following:

1. Describe the major perspectives in psychology (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychoanalytic, biopsychological and socio-cultural perspective);

2. Identify major theorists and theories in psychology;

3. Describe major research methods and tools used by psychologists to understand and explain behavior;

4. Examine, synthesize, and evaluate psychological research to produce projects and reports;

5. Use technology to access psychological research and to prepare projects and reports; and

6. Describe the roles of contemporary psychologists.


Zimbardo, P.G., Weber, A.L., & Johnson, R.L. (2003). Psychology: Core Concepts (4th Edition). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Additional course readings will be assigned by the instructor.

Grading and assignments are designed to tap into a variety of strengths and skills. This means that there are many methods to succeed in this course. The grade in the course will be determined as follows:

1. Tests (4) 100 points @ 400 points

2. Quizzes (5) (best of 6) 20 points @ 100 points

3. Critique of Article 25 points 25 points

4. Internet Critique/Group Presentation 25 points 25 points

5. Final Exam 50 points 50 points

Total 600 points

The following grading scale will be employed:

A = 600-540 points (90%)

B = 539-480 points (80%)

C = 479-420 points (70%)

D = 419-360 points (60%)

F = Below 359 points


1. Class Participation: Class participation exhibits your breadth and depth of knowledge learned as well as the ability to raise thought provoking questions. All students are required to participate in class. Your attendance at class meetings is expected. To be successful, you must keep up with the assigned readings and be prepared to discuss them in class.

2. Exams and Quizzes: Tests will consist of multiple choice, short-answer and long essay questions. You will have to make arrangements for taking any missed test immediately, within 1-2 days. If you take all tests on time, you will not have to make up any tests. You will only be able to make up one test. The final is cumulative and will consist of only multiple choice items. It is strongly recommended that students do not miss tests. If you miss 2 tests, you will only be allowed to make up one test – regardless of the reason. I must also be notified prior to the start of the exam as well if consideration is to be given. Lateness will result in less time to complete the exam.
Make sure to be on time for tests. Six short quizzes will be given throughout the semester. They will test material already covered as well as material assigned for that day. All quizzes will begin at the start of class. If you are late, you will miss the quiz or have less time to complete it. NO makeups will be allowed for quizzes, for any reason.


If you find that you absolutely cannot be on campus during a scheduled exam period, be sure to contact me IMMEDIATELY within 1-2 days. If you have a legitimate reason (as determined solely by ME) for missing the scheduled time, I will try to arrange some form of makeup for you. I will NOT even consider scheduling a make-up unless I hear from you BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHEDULED EXAM PERIOD!! It is YOUR responsibility to contact ME. There are VERY FEW ACCEPTABLE EXCUSES for missing exams. If a make-up exam is granted, AND IT RARELY IS, I reserve the option to change the format of the exam.

A missed exam without an ACCEPTABLE (to me), DOCUMENTED EXCUSE will give you an AUTOMATIC ZERO on that exam.

3. 5 Page Critique of Article: The critique of the article promotes a demonstration of using psychological journals. Each student will critique an article from a psychological journal on an issue affecting psychology. Magazine and newspaper sources are not acceptable. For example, The Journal of Counseling or The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology is acceptable, but Psychology Today is not. An abstract alone is not acceptable. You may choose a topic based on 1 of the 14 chapters from your textbook for the course. Your article will be due at an earlier date than your final critique. You must abide by all the deadlines.
Project Steps for the Critique of Article

Step 1:

Write a 5 Page double-spaced essay (12-point font size). In your paper, the following criteria must be included: a) summarize the article, b) critically analyze the author(s) main points, c) indicate the pros and cons of the article with regard to participants and setting, and d) make your own recommendations to improve the article. In addition, include the research question or hypothesis and why this is important. Briefly, describe the methods the researchers used.

Step 2:

Next, critique the article. Comment on the findings (you may use points made by the researchers in the discussion section), but add your own point of view. Was the study flawed in some way? Are the results useful? How is the study relevant to this course in general?

Step 3:

Besides the preceding requirements, your paper will be graded on the following:

  1. Adequate description of the topic, b) the thoughtfulness of your analysis, and c) and the expository clarity and coherence of your paper, and c) spelling and grammar. Each student must obtain approval from the instructor before beginning work on the assignment.

Project Steps for the Critique of Article Continued

Step 4:

Steps in Choosing an Article for the Critique:

  1. Choose a topic on psychology

  2. Select an article from a reputable psychological journal dated within the past 9 years – no earlier than 1994. Some journals you might select include:

  • American Psychologist

  • The Counseling Psychologist

  • The School Psychologist

  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

  • The Family Psychologist

  • Psychological Bulletin

  • Human Development

  • Cognitive Psychology

  • Journal of Black Psychology

(*In addition, journals cited in the back of the textbook (reference section) are acceptable as well.)

  1. Obtain the instructor’s approval for your topic and journal citation before submitting your paper.

4. Find a published experiment by skimming through textbook(s), using a university library and skimming through a scientific article on psychology.
Resources for Psychological Journals:

The MdUSA databases:

PsycInfo see

For available titles and

PsycArticles see

For title list. Included are rich full text resources in the area of psychology.

PGGC website: and look under psychological articles section
4. Internet Critique: Navigating the information highway and using the computer are two skills that are essential to success in academia. In this assignment, you will work as a group to present your findings to the class. Your group will be assigned one topic from the course (e.g., sensation and perception, psychopathology, etc.). You will then locate 2 websites related to that topic. You will print 2 pages from each site. In the critique, you will do several things. One, summarize what is on the website such as who owns the site and how current the information is. Two, you will critically evaluate the information, concentrating on its accuracy using the textbook as your authority. Three, you will critique the website including ease of use, design, etc. Four, your group will present the findings on your assigned topic on the assigned date. In order to earn points, each member must complete his/her responsibility for the group’s assignment. Early in the semester, groups will be assigned by the Professor.

5. Final Exam: The final examination serves the useful purpose of evaluating the

knowledge you gained for the course. The final exam is “closed book” and “closed notes” so preparation and study are extremely important. It will consist of multiple choice questions. The final exam will be cumulative.

The exam will consist of concepts, definitions and theories you should remember when you have finished this course.

A grade of I (Incomplete) can only be given for verifiable medical reasons (I will ask for details – a note saying you are sick will not be sufficient) or for documented circumstances beyond your control (this does NOT mean a dead car battery but some severe incident). Documents must be in writing and will be verified. Additionally, it is my choice to give or not give the “I”. The Dean must also approve all Incompletes. He seldom does so. DO NOT ASSUME you will be granted one. If you miss a test during the semester and then do not take the scheduled makeup, you will receive a 0 (zero) on that test. You will not receive an Incomplete.


Course Requirements:




Test #1


Test #2


Test #3


Test #4




Final Exam





Quiz #1


Quiz #2


Quiz #3


Quiz #4


Quiz #5


Quiz #6














COURSE SCHEDULE: (Subject to Change)

Week of: Exams: Readings/Assignment(s)

January 26 Introduction/Course Overview

January 28 Chapter 1: Mind, Behavior, and Science

February 2 Chapter 1 Continued

February 4 ***Quiz 1 (Ch. 1) Chapter 2: Biopsychology

February 9 Chapter 2 Continued

February 11 Chapter 3: Conception, Heredity, and Environment

February 12 Chapter 3 Continued

February 16 ***PRESIDENT’S DAY – NO CLASSES***

February 18 ***Quiz 2 (Ch. 3) Chapter 4: Psychological Development

February 23 Chapter 4 Continued

February 25 ***Test 1 (Ch. 1-4)

March 1 Chapter 5 Sensation and Perception

March 3 Chapter 5 Continued

March 8 ***Quiz 3 (Ch. 5) Chapter 6: Learning

March 10 INTERNET CRITIQUE DUE Chapter 6: Continued

March 15 ***Quiz 4 (Ch. 6) Chapter 7: Memory

March 17 Deadline for Submission of ArticleChapter 7 Continued

March 22 ***Quiz 5 (Ch.7) Chapter 8: Thinking and Intelligence

March 24 Chapter 8 Continued

March 29 ***Test 2 (Ch. 5-8)

March 31 Chapter 9: Emotion and Motivation


April 12 ***Quiz 6 (Ch.9) Chapter 10: Stress, Health, and Well-Being

April 14 Chapter 10: Continued

April 19 CRITIQUE DUE Chapter 11: Personality

April 21 ***Test 3 (Ch. 9-11) Chapter 12: Psychopathology

April 26 Chapter 13: Therapies for Mental Disorder


May 3 ***Test 4 (Ch. 12-13)

May 5 ***FINAL EXAM (2:00 p.m.)*** CHAPTERS 1-13

Monday, Feb.16 Presidents’ Day – No Classes
Thursday, April 1 – Sunday, April 11 Spring Break – No Classes
Monday, April 12 Classes Resume
Wednesday, May 5 Final Exam


All Written Assignments:

Written assignments are designed to enhance your learning of course materials. ALL projects must be typed or done on a word processor. You must double-space your work. Your paper must be stapled and should have a cover sheet with your name and section number on it. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Late assignments will not be accepted unless arranged in advanced. All work should be saved to a computer file or photocopied before submission. Late assignments – each day that an assignment is not turned, you will lose points on a daily basis. Points will be deducted for work turned in on a day other than the due date and your work may not be returned.

Pay attention to your writing skills as these figure into the final grade. Reference pages must follow the American Psychological Association Style Manual. The Manual is available in the library.
Here are some websites that may help you with writing APA Style:
College Policies:

All college policies regarding student conduct, academic integrity and disability referrals apply. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of such policies. For copies, check the Student Handbook or contact the Office of Academic Advising. Students are also responsible for knowing and following all College policies regarding registration, withdrawal, etc.

Attendance and Participation:

Attendance and punctuality are important if students expect to do well in this course (and other courses). Please Be On Time For All Classes! Absence means the student misses a great deal of information, which will not be retaught. Students are responsible for finding out from other students what is covered in any missed classes and for any announcements made. Therefore, students should make every effort to attend. In addition, my teaching style requires a 2-way process of communicating. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in class activities and discussions. Such attendance and participation will have an effect on the final grade.

Classroom Conduct:

Students are expected to observe the College code of conduct found in the PGCC Student Handbook. Smoking and eating are not permitted in the classroom. There is also to be no sleeping in the classroom. Disruptive students will not be tolerated and are subjected to dismissal procedures as outlined in the Handbook. While open discussion in this course is encouraged, the differing opinions of others must be treated respectfully.

*Cell Phones/Beepers and other forms of Technology: Please turn these off when you are in class. You may keep them on vibrate, but under no circumstances should a student speak on their mobile phone during a class or an exam.
Cheating is obviously unacceptable behavior and is grounds for failing the class. If you cheat on any test or assignment, you will receive a 0 for that assignment/test. You will not be allowed to make-up any such item. In addition, your behavior will be reported to the Dean.
Students with Disabilities

Any student with a documented disability, including learning disabilities, that the student feels may affect classroom performance should discuss the matter privately with their instructor at the beginning of the semester so that reasonable accommodations can be made. It is also recommended that students contact the Disability Support Services Office (M-1042) or call 301-322-0838 (voice) or 301-322-0122 (TTY) for additional assistance with classes and campus activities. Students must provide documentation of disability when requesting academic accommodations and copies of their enrollment confirmation (bill) with paid receipt. If you need accommodations, I must be notified by the start of the second week of class.

1) Asking me for help in understanding concepts is also useful. You may do so by coming to my office during office hours, scheduling an appointment, or by email. (Another good reason to get email!)
2) You should plan on spending a minimum of 6-9 hours per week studying for this course (not including extra time needed for projects or tests). This is outside of the time spent in class. If you are not putting in this amount of time, re-evaluate your study plan.
3) Do NOT wait until the week of the exam to seek help!!!
4) There is free assistance with helping you with your writing skills. Take advantage of the services. You may get help with your writing skills by visiting the Writing Center on the 3rd Floor of Accokeek Hall. To make a half-hour appointment, call (301) 322-0748. The contact person is Abby Bandi at extension 0598.
5) There is free tutoring on campus. Take advantage of the services. You may also get assistance with tutoring by visiting the Tutorial Center on the 3rd Floor of Accokeek Hall. Lee Torento is the Coordinator of the Tutoring Center.
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