Psychology 101
John Carroll University
Summer, 2013

Elizabeth Swenson, Ph.D., J.D. Dolan E 375
(216) 397-4434

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of the learners.” John Holt

Office hours are from 10:00 to noon (EDT) each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday online. (Although I have listed 6 office hours a week I am available other times. Just email me if you have questions or concerns.) I will be in the office by appointment only.

Required Text: David G. Myers: Psychology. 10th edition, Worth Publishers, 2013. I recommend the electronic version. It is less expensive than the hard copy and is annotated with interesting links and activities. However, the paper book will work and you may be able to find a used copy.

Purpose: The purpose of PS 101 is to introduce the beginning psychology student to the scientific study of behavior. The major areas of psychology are sampled in this general survey course. This course seeks to lay a foundation for the more advanced study of behavior for those students who wish to pursue a major in the field of psychology, as well as to provide a comprehensive overview for those whose study of psychology will end with the first course

Student Learning Outcomes: The successful completion of this class will enable you to accomplish the following outcomes:
• to acquire the fundamental vocabulary of psychology by recognizing and recalling the basic definitions of psychological concepts, theories, and methods (e.g., recalling that psychology is defined as “the scientific study of behavior and mental processes”)
• to comprehend psychological concepts, theories, and methods by developing an understanding of these complex components (e.g., not only being able to recall the definition of psychology, but also being able to explain why psychology is a science)
• to connect psychological concepts, theories, methods, and pioneers with one another by identifying their similarities (e.g., understanding why Watson’s, Skinner’s, and Bandura’s theories are all examples of behaviorism)
• to compare the concepts, theories, and methods of psychology by identifying their differences (e.g., understanding that Watson’s, Skinner’s, and Bandura’s theories are all examples of behaviorism, but that Bandura differed from Watson and Skinner because he emphasized how learning can be influenced by mental events and the observation of others)
• to apply psychological concepts, theories, and methods by using them to overcome problems or challenges involving behaviors or mental processes (e.g., learning how to manage stress by identifying the stressors in your life and developing ways of reducing them, if they can be reduced or coping with them, if they cannot be reduced)
• to analyze complex psychological concepts, theories, methods by separating them into their component parts and investigating their organizational relationships (e.g., exploring Freud’s theory by breaking it down into its component parts {id, ego, and superego} and learning how these parts interact to produce human personality)
• to synthesize psychological information by combining separate pieces of information into new and creative wholes (e.g., using the results of many psychological studies to come to conclusions about the relationship between children’s level of aggressive behavior and the amount of televised violence they watch)
• to evaluate psychological information by using valid criteria and methods to judge its value for a particular purpose (e.g., using the concepts of reliability, validity, and standardization to determine the usefulness of a particular psychological test in the measurement of a specific aspect of personality)

Course Structure: We will cover 14 topical chapters in the textbook, plus the prologue. Three of the chapters will be covered each week. In addition to the reading there will be video clips to watch that illuminate the material. Just click on the title of the clip on Canvas and it will take you to the location on the internet. There are also activities to participate in listed under the week and chapter.

Online Discussions: Each week there will be a topic assigned for the online discussion in which you will interact with your classmates and with the instructor. Although one topic is assigned, you may begin other topics in different threads, if you have questions or comments for the class.


Participation: For each chapter, there will be one Thinking Critically exercise and one PsychSim Tutorial on Canvas under the chapter heading. (Note that there is no Thinking Critically exercise for the Prologue and for Chapter 2). Send your Thinking Critically response directly to me ( It should be at least a psragraph in length and may be longer. Your PsychSim Tutorial responses must be written on the appropriate PsychSim worksheet, found separately under Course Documents -> Student Resources, on Canvas. Send this also directly to me. Open up the appropriate worksheet while taking the online tutorial. Save the worksheet and send it as an attachment to me. Do not press “Submit;” I will not receive it. If you have difficulty saving the worksheet and then writing on it, sending me the answers only will suffice. For each thoughtful submission there are two possible participation points.
Each week you will need to contribute a substantive response to a different critical thinking exercise involving concept applications on the course discussion board. This will count as part of your participation grade, which is 1/3 of your final grade. These also need to be completed by noon EDT of the Saturday at the end of the week. For each thoughtful contribution there are two possible participation points.
What is a substantive contribution? A substantive
contribution is one which is approximately one full screen in length, is on a topic either written about in the text or raised in class, and illustrates critical thinking. Contributions might provide examples of concepts raised in the course, explain disagreement or agreement with a conclusion offered in the class or text, compare different approaches to a psychological issue, raise or respond to questions about psychological topics, or otherwise demonstrate your thoughtful engagement with the course material. Your contributions should suggest examples not yet raised by others in the class. If you miss a week, your class participation grade will be reduced. You may include in your class discussions substantive comments about web links you have visited.
There are a total of 66 possible participation points that contribute 1/3 of your final grade: 2 for each Thinking Critically exercise, PsychSim tutorial and discussion board entry.

Papers: A written paper of 700-1000 words is also required each week. Each paper is worth a maximum of 12 points. The papers will count for approximately 1/3 of your final grade.

All assignments are due by noon, Eastern daylight time, of the Saturday following each week. This includes papers, discussion entries, Thinking Critically exercises and PsychSim Tutorials. You must keep up with the work. No late papers or exercises will be accepted.

Final exam: There will be one final cumulative exam at the end of the course. This will consist of 120 multiple choice questions. The final exam covers all reading, videos, Thinking Critically exercises, and PsychSim Tutorials. The final exam will contribute approximately 1/3 to your final grade. The final exam will be open for two days prior to the end of the term. You will have 4 hours to complete it once you have started it. You may start and stop taking the exam but it will close after 4 hours. You will not be able to go back to previous questions or go ahead to future questions. Once the 4 hours has run, the exam time is over. This amount of time will be unnecessary for most students, but allows you time to reconnect if you have technical problems during the exam. Obviously you may consult your textbook during the exam.
If you need to or wish to take the exam in person, it will probably be given the last Friday of the term at 3:00 pm in the Psychology Department on the 3rd floor of Dolan East. You must to let me know that you plan to take the exam in person by 2 weeks prior to this time. This will be an open-book exam.
The grading scale for the final exam in percentages is: 93 and up A, 90-92 A-, 87-89 B+, 83-86 B, 80-82 B-, 77-79 C+, 73-76 C, 70-72 C-, 67-69 D+, 60-66 D, 59 and under F. In the unlikely event that the class as a whole does poorly on the final exam, the scores may be curved upward.

Final grade:
Thinking Critically, PsychSim Tutorials, and discussion board = 66 points
Weekly Papers = 60 points
Final Exam = 60 points

Grading Scale:
173-186 A, 167-172 A-, 162-166 B+, 154-161 B, 148-153 B-, 143-147 C+, 135-142 C, 129-134 C-, 124-128 D+, 116-123 D, 110-115 D-, less than 110 F

Additional items on Canvas: Flashcards and any online quizes are for your use in studying the material. Web Links, Psychonline activities, demonstrations, and simulations are optional but do enlighten the material.


Week One
The Science of Psychology

1. Read
Prologue: The Story of Psychology
Chapter 1: Thinking Critically with Psychological Science
Chapter 2: The Biology of the Mind
2. In preparation for this week’s paper, view the following video clips:
a. Experimental Design
b. Brain Transplants in Parkinson’s Patients
c. Brain Structures
d. Understanding Research
e. The Behaving Brain
f. The Responsive Brain
3. Foundations of Psychology paper (due at the end of week one) Prepare a 700-1000-word paper in which you examine the foundations of psychology. In your paper address the following components:
a. Identify the major schools of thought in psychology and examine their major underlying assumptions.
b. Describe the biological foundations of psychology.
4. Your task this week is to participate in an online research study as a participant. These are actual studies so please approach this task in a serious manner and answer as truthfully/carefully as you can. Once you have completed your participation in the study, answer the questions below. This will count as your discussion board participation this week.
This link has a number of studies to choose from various areas of psychology. Go to the site and choose a study to participate in:
(If a particular study doesn’t open or has expired, choose another one.)
Turn in the answers to these questions by Monday of Week Two:
a. What is the name of the study?
b. Provide a brief description of the study (What did they ask you to do? What kind of questions or information was asked from you? Were there any ‘tricks,’ deception, or information withheld about the study?)
c. What area of psychology was represented by the study? (Another way to answer this: What chapter from the text would this study appear in?
d. Describe the steps taken to protect your rights as a research participant. Did you feel that your rights were protected and that you were treated with proper respect? Why/why not (what did they do – or should have done?)
e. What type of study was it (experimental, correlational)? How do you know?
f. What is your impression of the study? (This can include what you see as strengths/weaknesses; whether the way the study was done (online v. in-person) affected how you acted or answered; what impressed you most about the experience…)
g. Why did you select this particular study?
5. Three PsychSim 5 tutorials
6. One Thinking Critically exercise

Week Two
Heredity, Consciousness, and Perception

1. Read
Chapter 4: Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity
Chapter 6: Sensation and Perception
Chapter 3: Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind
2. In preparation for this week’s discussion, view the following video clips:
a. Behavioral Genetics and Twin Studies
b. Depth Cues
c. Muller Lyer Illusion
d. Circadian Rhythms
e. The Mind Awake and Asleep
f. Sex and Gender
g. Sensation and Perception
3. Psychological Research paper (due at the end of week two). Prepare a 700-1000-word paper in which you design an experiment on a question from one of the following hypotheses:
a. People in noisy environments are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness.
b. If people are told that an infant is “John,” they are more likely to see “him” as bigger and stronger than if the same infant is called “Joan.”
c. Witnesses of simulated crime scenes remember less information if the “robber” has a gun than if he does not.
d. People in a bar will be more likely to leave the bartender tips if the tip jar already has some money in it.
f. Single, elderly individuals are happier if they have a dog or a cat as a pet.
g. Most people who suffer psychological problems become better with therapy.
h. People are less likely to offer help to a stranger if other bystanders are present.
i. Sleep-deprived students are more likely to get lower grades on tests.
In your paper be sure to specify the following components of your research: Hypothesis, independent variable(s), dependent variable(s).
4. Respond substantively to the following problem on the class discussion board:
Each person has a threshold for auditory stimuli. What experiences have you had with dichotic listening or the “cocktail party” effect? How does dividing attention facilitate or impede your learning and/or behavior? Give examples.
5. Three PsychSim 5 tutorials
6. Three Thinking Critically exercises

Week Three
Learning, Memory, and Intelligence

1. Read
Chapter 7: Learning
Chapter 8: Memory
Chapter 10: Intelligence
2. In preparation for this week’s discussion, view the following video clips:
a. Clive Wearing: Living without Memory
b. Memory in Everyday Life
c. Pros and Cons of Intelligence Tests
d. Learning
e. Remembering and Forgetting
f. Testing and Intelligence
3. Reasoning paper (due at the end of week three). Prepare a 700-1000-word paper in which you examine a challenging experience you have had that involved significant reasoning to find a solution. In your paper address the following:
a. Analyze the role of memory in the processes involved.
b. Analyze the role of learning in the processes involved.
c. Refer to material in the assigned chapters.
4. Respond substantively to the following problem on the class discussion board.
How do long term and short term memory operate in your life? Discuss examples of classical and operant conditioning and observational learning that you have experienced.
5. Three PsychSim 5 tutorials
6. Three Thinking Critically exercises

Week Four
Development, Social Psychology and Personality

1. Read
Chapter 5: Developing Through the Life Span
Chapter 13: Personality
Chapter 14: Social Psychology
2. In preparation for this week’s discussion, view the following video clips:
a. Piaget’s Conservation-of-Liquid Test
b. Identity Status: Teenage Boy
c. Developing Self-Awareness
d. Adolescent Self-Esteem in Different Contexts
e. Personality Traits
f. Attitudes and Prejudicial Behavior
g. The Developing Child
h. The Self
i. The Power of the Situation
3. Development paper (due at the end of week four). Prepare a 700-1000-word paper in which you select an adult you know (but not yourself or a family member) or a prominent adult in the news today and assess the following issues:
a. What family issues or support systems may have influenced this person’s personality?
b. Select two theories of personality and apply them to the person. How does each one explain their person’s behavior, ideas, and/or achievements? Why?
4. Respond substantively to the following problem on the class discussion board: What role do defense mechanisms play in everyday life? Think of your own use of defense mechanisms. Do you give preference to one over the others? Give an example. Is it easier to identify defense mechanisms in other people than in yourself?
5. Three PsychSim 5 tutorials
6. Three Thinking Critically exercises

Week Five
Stress, Psychological Disorders and Therapy

1. Read
Chapter 12: Emotions, Stress, and Health
Chapter 15: Psychological Disorders
Chapter 16: Therapy
2. In preparation for this week’s discussion, view the following video clips:
a. What is Stress?
b. Three Anxiety Disorders
c. Schizophrenia: Symptoms
d. Problems in Living
e. Early Treatment for Psychological Disorders
f. Health, Mind, and Behavior
g. Psychopathology
h. Psychotherapy
3. Psychotherapy paper (due at the end of week five). Prepare a 900-1200-word paper in which you examine the similarities and differences in psychotherapies. Include:
a. In your paper, select four different therapies to consider.
b. Discuss what particular disorders you feel they would be effective for.
4. Respond substantively to the following problem on the class discussion board: Could a person such as Osama bin Laden, who ordered that the World Trade towers be brought down on September 11, 2001, be a psychologically healthy person? Is he mentally ill or is he bad, or both?
5. Three PsychSim 5 tutorials
6. Three Thinking Critically exercises

Explanatory note:
Since this is an online course, students are expected to have a DSL line and a computer capable of connecting and receiving information disseminated through the JCU
Canvas system. If you require help with a connection
before or during the course call the JCU help desk at 216.397.3004/3005. The help desk is open for business Monday thru Thursday 8 am until 9 pm and Fridays 8 am until 5 pm in the summer.

JCU Policy on Students with Disabilities:

John Carroll University recognizes its responsibility for creating an institutional climate in which students with disabilities can succeed. In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability, you may be eligible to receive accommodations from the office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations and should have equal access to learning. Please contact the SSD coordinator at (216) 397-4967 or come to the office located in room 7A, in the Garden Level of the Administration Building. After your eligibility for accommodations is determined, you will be given a letter which, when presented to instructors, will help them know best how to assist you. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive so it is best to register at your earliest convenience.

Psychology Department Statement on Academic Honesty:
The John Carroll University Policy Statement on Academic Honesty states: “Academic honesty is essential to the process of education and to upholding high ethical standards. Cheating or any other kind of unethical behavior may subject the student to severe academic penalties, including expulsion.”
“All work submitted for evaluation in a course, including tests, term papers, and computer programs, must represent only the work of the student unless indicated otherwise.”
The purpose of this statement is to assure that students clearly understand what is and what is not academically honest behavior.
Examples of unacceptable behavior:
1. Cheating on a test by copying from another student.
2. Cheating on a test by using notes during a test.
3. Turning in a paper you have written for another class.
4. Turning in a paper written by someone else.
5. Plagiarizing in oral or written work by
a. Using the exact words of another person without indicating that you are quoting, or
b. Paraphrasing the ideas of another person without citing the source.

Just citing the source (Author, date) is not enough if the exact words from that source are used. If you quote you must indicate that you are quoting. There are two ways to do this. If the quote is brief (less than 50 words), use quotation marks and include the page number in the citation. Follow the quotation with the author’s name and date of the work and the page number for the quoted material, for example: “….which support this conclusion?” (Sheehy, 2006, p.38). If the quote is longer than 50 words, indent the entire quoted passage five spaces and put the page number and source (Anderson, 2005, p. 256) at the end of the quote.

The University Policy Statement on Academic Honesty indicates that, “Penalties, appropriate to the severity of the infraction, may include a grade of zero for the assignment, possible failure in the course, suspension, or even expulsion from the university.”