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Sample Syllabus for Psychology: Fundamental Issues Course Materials: TBA Course Description The course explores the fundamental principles and issues of contemporary scientific psychology, which are approached as a method of inquiry as well as a body of knowledge. It provides an overview and integration of the many and diverse approaches to the study of behavior and mental processes, which is the definition of the science of psychology. Students are provided with an opportunity to obtain a basis for more advanced study in the disciplines of psychology. Students examine the origins and methods of psychology, biological foundations, consciousness, cognition and language, and learning and memory. Course Outcomes Students will have the opportunity to acquire a broad understanding of the field of psychology as well as develop knowledge in specific areas including the following: • The history of psychology and major theorists who have contributed to the study of psychology. • The methods used in the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. • The basic functions of the brain and nervous system and how they direct human behavior. • The processes involved in learning including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. • The varied theories of intelligence and the methods used to assess intelligence. • The major theories of personality including the differences between the psychoanalytic and humanistic conceptualizations of personality. • The major classifications of psychological disorders and the factors that contribute to presence of the disorders. • The factors that influence the behavior of an individual in social situations and his or her interactions with others. Course Methodology Students are expected to: 1. Attend classes 2. Complete all assigned readings prior to class 3. Engage in class and on-line discussions 4. Participate in class activities 5. Complete and submit assignments by the due dates Grading • Daily Activity Points (Online Discussions) = 30% • Assignment 1 = 15% • Assignment 2 = 15% • Final Exam = 40% Students will not be allowed to make up quizzes or examinations if they are not present on the day of administration. Grading Scale Percentage Letter Grade Grade Points 96-100 A 4.000 90-95 A- 3.667 87-89 B+ 3.333 84-86 B 3.000 80-83 B- 2.667 77-79 C+ 2.333 74-76 C 2.000 70-73 C- 1.667 67-69 D+ 1.333 64-66 D 1.000 60-63 D- .667 ≤ 59 F .000 Daily Activity Points (Online Discussions) During each class period, students will complete an activity based on the material covered in the present or previous days’ lectures or readings. The daily activities may include individual and small-group exercises, short essays, or quizzes. The purposes of the activities are to reinforce the students’ understanding of the course content and formatively assess the students’ learning. The first week of class, students will be asked to comment on readings by responding to a discussion thread via blackboard. Assignment 1: Psychological Research Critique (Due: week 1) Students will be asked to review an article from a current newspaper or magazine that summarizes a research study in the field of psychology. The students will write a critique of the study based on the concepts of research methodology discussed in the course. A separate rubric will be provided. Assignment 2: Psychological Disorder Summary (Due: week 2) Students will select a psychological disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and provide an overview of the disorder and its symptoms, etiology, and treatment. The students will also be asked to conceptualize the disorder using one of the theoretical models (i.e. psychodynamic, behavioral, etc.) discussed in the course. A separate rubric will be provided. Schedule and Topic Outline Week 1 2 3 Date Topic Readings and Assignments Introduction Careers in Psychology Prologue Survey/Online Discussion History of Psychology, Contemporary Issues, and Scientific Investigation Chapter 1 Online Discussion Consciousness Chapter 3 Online Discussion Nature vs. Nurture (Environmental Factors Influencing Behavior) Chapter 4 Assignment 1 Due Developmental Psychology Chapter 5 Biological Bases of Behavior – Part I Chapter 2 Biological Bases of Behavior – Part II Chapter 2 Sensation and Perception Chapter 6 Learning Chapter 7 Memory Intelligence Chapter 8 Chapter 10 Abnormal Psychology and Psychological Disorders Chapter 15 Assignment 2 Due Abnormal Psychology / Psychological Disorders Supplemental Readings 4 Cognition and Language Chapter 9 Personality Chapter 13 Social Psychology Chapter 14 Review and Final Examination Academic Honesty and Integrity Statement The University views academic dishonesty as one of the most serious offenses that a student can commit while in college and imposes appropriate punitive sanctions on violators. Here are some examples of academic dishonesty. While this is not an all-inclusive list, we hope this will help you to understand some of the things instructors look for. The following is excerpted from the University’s policy on academic honesty and integrity; the complete policy is available at http://www.cps.neu.edu/about-cps/policies-and-procedures. • • • • • • Cheating – intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in an academic exercise. This may include use of unauthorized aids (notes, texts) or copying from another student’s exam, paper, computer disk, etc. Fabrication – intentional and unauthorized falsification, misrepresentation, or invention of any data, or citation in an academic exercise. Examples may include making up data for a research paper, altering the results of a lab experiment or survey, listing a citation for a source not used, or stating an opinion as a scientifically proven fact. Plagiarism – intentionally representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise without providing proper documentation by source by way of a footnote, endnote or intertextual note. Unauthorized collaboration – Students, each claiming sole authorship, submit separate reports, which are substantially similar to one another. While several students may have the same source material, the analysis, interpretation and reporting of the data must be each individual’s. Participation in academically dishonest activities – Examples include stealing an exam, using a pre-written paper through mail order or other services, selling, loaning or otherwise distributing materials for the purpose of cheating, plagiarism, or other academically dishonest acts; alternation, theft, forgery, or destruction of the academic work of others. Facilitating academic dishonesty – Examples may include inaccurately listing someone as co- author of paper who did not contribute, sharing a take home exam, taking an exam or writing a paper for another student.