General Psychology (133)

Syllabus for Spring 2007 (TR 11:00 - 12:15)

Instructor: Dr. Scharff
Office: EDU 215f, Lab: EDU 117c TEC: Library 202H
Hours: M 10 -11:30, T 9:30 - 10:30, W 1:30 - 3:00, R 9:30 - 10:30, and by appointment
Phone: 468-1415

TA: Kathy Yeager
Office: ED 256 Email: Hours: tba

Check out the Assignments and a Note about the assignments.

*** How do I check my grades? ***

Instructions for forwarding your titan email to another email account.

Instructions for Online Sign-up for Experiment Participation


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Psychology, 5th edition *
by Stephen F. Davis & Joseph J. Palladino
* should come bundled with Time Magazine Supplement

Some class announcements and assignments will be sent to you viaemail. I will use your titan account that you are assigned throughSFASU. It will be your responsibility to check your email regularly.It is possible to forward your titan account email to another accountif you prefer (e.g. a hotmail account). I will also send Psychologynews updates; these are optional readings unless otherwise noted.

The objectives of this course are to provide you with a generalbackground of the many areas comprising the scientific field ofpsychology and to promote critical thinking about our lives ashumans. As much as possible we will relate the course material tocurrent events and events in your lives. Because I believe that Iwill be better able to assess your understanding of the materialthrough the use of more than one assessment method, this course willrequire you not only to take content exams, but also to read ahead inthe chapters to answer questions, perform experiments, attend class,and complete some assignments that will involve writing. During thesemester we will cover 10 of the chapters from your text.

Exams: There will be five exams plus a comprehensive final.Questions on the exams will be drawn from the assigned chapters inthe text, AS WELL AS FROM THE LECTURES. All of the exams will consistof 50 multiple-choice questions, and they will be computer graded.Each exam will be worth 100 points, and the final (75 questions) willbe worth 100 points. The final exam is required, and it can replace aregular exam grade if it is higher (i.e. in such a case it would becounted twice, once for the regular exam grade and once for the finalexam grade).

Chapter exams are scheduled to last 55 minutes at the beginning ofclass (full class time each day is 75 minutes). After each exam wewill have an in-class New Topic Activity. The highly probable chapterexam schedule is as follows:

Exam 1 February 6 (Tuesday) Chs 1 & 14 (Intro to Psychology& Health)
Exam 2 February 27 (Tuesday) Chs 2 & 3 (Biopsychology &Perception)
Exam 3 March 27 (Tuesday) Chs 4 & 5 (Consciousness &Learning)
Exam 4 April 17 (Tuesday) Chs 7 & 9 (Memory &Developmental)
Exam 5 May 3 (Thursday) Chs 11 & 15 (Personality &Social)
Final May 8 (Tuesday) Comprehensive

**You must provide your own scan-tron sheets for the exams (you'llneed six of them). Be sure to buy the NCS 30423 sheets. (They are 8 x11 inches in size and use blue ink.) They are available at thebookstore.

NO make-ups will be given except for a DOCUMENTED emergency. (Inother words, weddings, vacations, oversleeping etc. will not qualifyas a legitimate excuse.) Make-up exams will be short answer informat. In order to qualify for a make-up, you must contact me assoon as your emergency allows, and you must take the make-up withinone week of returning to class. If you know ahead of time that youhave a university-related conflict, give me documentation prior tomissing the exam.

If you require special arrangements for taking exams, and you areregistered with Disability Services, please see me as soon aspossible to discuss this before the first exam.

Assignments:There will be 6 assignments that will consist of both contentquestions over the material as well as reflection questions that willinvolve the relation of chapter material to your personal life (nointimate details required!). The assignments and due dates will begiven during class. You will be given at least one week to completeeach assignment. These assignments should be 1.5 - 2 pages in lengthwhen typed using 12 pt. Times New Roman font and double-spaced lines.(Do not turn in single-spaced papers.) Un-typed papers will receive adeduction. Be sure not to plagiarize. (The source of the informationshould be cited. Changing no, one, or a small number of words in asentence and otherwise using it verbatim will count asplagiarism.)

Each assignment will be worth 25 points. You must have writtendocumentation to turn in a late assignment without penalty. I willaccept late assignments without documentation, but there will be a2-point-per-day (including weekend days) penalty for late papers.Late papers on the due date (i.e. turned in later than the beginningof class) will be given a 1-point penalty.

Evaluation of All Assignments: The evaluation of your assignmentswill be based primarily on how fully and effectively you complete theassignment. However, I will expect all writing to use the conventionsof standard written English, which includes usage, punctuation, andmechanics (especially spelling). Assignments should be turned intyped (use spell check or else!), using 12 pt. Times New Roman fontand double spacing. See the syllabus attachment for an explanation ofpoint deductions.

Experiments: Psychology is a science, and thus, is basedupon experimentation. Therefore, in freshman level courses, thePsychology Department requires that students to participate inexperiments conducted by either faculty members or students in thedepartment. In order for you to better appreciate this importantaspect of Psychology, you will be required to participate in 3department experiments. Each experiment will be worth 15 points.

We have moved to an online experiment management system. Here ishow you use it.

1) TODAY, go to<>http://sfasu.sona-systems.comand register as a user. In the lower left-hand corner, you will seethe question: New User? Click on: Request an account here.Immediately upon completing the brief registration page, an emailwill be sent to the address you provide. You will be assigned arandom password which you may change when you return to the loginscreen.

2) As experiments are posted on the system, you may scan what isavailable. Find studies being conducted at times convenient for youand simply sign up. You can cancel your sign-up anytime up to 1 hourprior to the experiment being run.

The experimenter will take attendance during the experiment andreport that to the instructors. If you sign up for an experiment, butyou forget to go, you will be penalized in that you will be requiredto perform an additional experiment before receiving credit for yourrequired ones. If for some reason you cannot participate in thedepartment experiments, you may instead complete 2 computerexperiment simulations with a short write-upsummary (see me for moredetails). If you are replacing a department experiment with acomputer simulation and write-up, they must be completed andsubmitted to me by May 1st.

New Topic Activities: Following each of the first fourexams, we will have 20 minutes of class time during which we will doan in-class activity. The purpose of the activity will be tointroduce the content material that will be covered for the nextexam. As part of each activity you will turn in some reflection orother proof of participation (e.g. a chart or answers to somequestions). Some of the activities will be group activities whileothers may be more individual activities. Each New Topic Activitywill be worth 5 points. Superficial work will not receive fullcredit.

Attendance/Lateness: Although attendance will not berecorded, you are strongly urged to attend class everyday.Approximately 25% of the material on each test will ONLY be coveredin lectures (i.e. it will not be in the textbook). Further, manyassignments will be distributed in class. Therefore, it will be toyour advantage to attend the lectures.

Although I realize that occasional tardiness cannot be avoided,late arrivals disrupt the lecture, which is not fair to thosestudents who do arrive on time. If you do arrive late, please SIT ASCLOSE TO THE DOOR AS POSSIBLE, so you will disturb as few of yourpeers as possible. We will reserve a few desks close to the door toaccommodate late arrivals or individuals who must leave early (e.g.for a doctor's apt). Please let me know ahead of time if you mustleave class early.

Extra Credit: There will be several ways to earn extracredit (max possible 2% of course grade, or 16 points). Opportunitiesmay include: activities in class, a web assignment, attending thedepartment poster session and turning in a short survey sheet, etc.There will be no make-ups for the extra credit opportunities(overall, more than 16 points will be available).

WebCT: All your grades will be posted on WebCT. To accessWebCT, you will use your mySFA ID and password. There are furtherinstructions on the class web page. Additionally, we will return allpaper assignments to you in class so that you may benefit from thecomments on them.

Course Grade: Points from the five exams (500), the final(100), the assignments (150), the experiments (45), and the NewTopics Activities (20) will be summed (total possible points 815),and course grades will be determined by the following cut-offs:

A 90 - 100% B 80 - 89% C 70 - 79% D 60 - 69%


It will be to your benefit to keep up with the chapter readings asthey are covered in lecture. If you desire additional material orhelp in preparation for the exams, there are study charts, reviewsummaries, and practice quizzes within the text chapters. These arehighly recommended. Always at least 1 question per chapter on theexams will come directly from these practice quizzes.

If you have any questions over the course material, please comediscuss them with me or with the teaching assistant. (It helps to dothis before the tests rather than after...) You may also email me atany time.

Academic Dishonesty: THE NEW POLICY STATES: "After adetermination of dishonesty, the faculty member shall notify theOffice of the Dean of the student's major by submitting a Report ofAcademic Dishonesty form, along with supporting documentation asnoted on the form. This report shall be made part of the student'srecord and shall remain on file with the Dean's office for at leastfour years. The Dean shall refer second or subsequent offenses to theUniversity Committee on Academic Integrity established under thispolicy. The faculty member shall also inform the student of theappeals process available to all SFA students (Policy A-2)."


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