General Psychology 1, Psychology101, Clark College

Class Days: M, W

Instructor: Laurie McCabe


Phone Number: (503) 997-6219

Office Hours: After class or by appointment

Class Web Page:


This syllabus contains very important information; please read it and keep in handy for future reference through the course. It explains the course requirements and indicates what you need to do to complete this course successfully. This syllabus includes exam dates and informs you which text chapters will be covered on each exam. Copies of this syllabus are available on the course web page incase it should ever become misplaced.

Teaching Philosophy

My personal teaching philosophy may be different than what you as a student might expect, or have experienced. I think that what occurs in the classroom should be a learning experience that is based upon the foundation of what you learn within the text. For that reason I may choose to only cover part of a chapter as presented within the Weinten text, and augment your learning experience with in class activities or other lecture items.

In addition, I feel that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. Modern technology allows us to explore this aspect of learning with greater depth. This is why I heavily emphasize the World Wide Web as a mean for exploring topics, and as a means of communication with the instructor (myself) as well as your fellow students.

Thus my philosophy can be summarized in the following sentences.

1. The classroom is more than a venue for lectures.

2. Learning does not end when one is out of the classroom.

Course Material

Required Textbook: Psychology: Themes and Variations, 5th edition, by Wayne Weinten (1998).

Required Materials: A #2 Pencil for taking exams

Optional: Study Guide for Weinten’s Psychology: Themes and Variations, 5th edition, Stalling & Wadsen (1998)

Course Description

Welcome to Psychology 101 (General Psychology1), a five-credit introductory class. Although this course has no prerequisites, you will be expected to read a college-level

textbook, and write a college-level. This course concerns the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. It will introduce you to a variety of psychological terms, concepts,

and principles using lectures, discussions, reading assignments, writing assignments, and in-class demonstrations.

College-wide Abilities

Clark College faculty have identified and elaborated six ability areas that we believe are crucial for students’ success beyond their formal education. These ability areas include

communication, critical thinking/problem solving, information technology, lifelong learning, effective citizenship, and global/multicultural awareness. This course will emphasize the critical thinking/problem solving and communication abilities.

Student Learning Objectives

1. Define, recognize, and apply basic terms, concepts, and principles in the areas of research methods, biological bases of behavior and mental processes, sensation and perception, variations in consciousness, learning through conditioning, human memory, thought and language, intelligence and psychological testing, and emotion and motivation. (Contextual Learning)

2. Define and distinguish between correlational and cause/effect relationships and their implication; apply these concepts to specific examples. Understand the relationship between how data are collected and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. Identify the various stages in problem solving, blocks to effective problem solving, and strategies for overcoming these blocks. (Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Ability).

3. Describe, summarize, and demonstrate critical thinking in writing on activities presented in class. Use accurate, precise, descriptive language, create clear sentence and paragraph structure; use standard conventions for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (Communication Ability).

4. Be able to identify cultural and gender based biases in research, from past to present. Understand how the complexities of culture and gender relate to the topics covered in the


A more specific, chapter-by-chapter breakdown of learning objectives 1 and 2 will be distributed in class; this can serve as a guide to preparing for exams. Detailed instructions for objective 3 will be explained further in class and in a class handout.

Course Policies, Assignments and Assessments

Class participation through relevant comments and questions is encouraged and will enhance your learning in this course. Students are expected to read the assigned text chapters according to the time table described at the end of this syllabus.


Mastery of the contextual learning and critical thinking/problem solving objectives (student learning objectives 1 and 2 above) will be assess through the use of

multiple-choice exams. You will need to bring a #2 or HB pencil and a good soft eraser to class for each exam. Hats may not be worn during exams.

Late Exams

If you cannot be here for a scheduled exam you should notify me as soon as possible, in person, by phone or by email. You must notify me before the scored exams have been

returned if you wish to take the exam at a later date. Opportunities for make-up exams are limited; no one will be allowed more than one late exam except under verifiable

emergency circumstances or physician-documented illness. You have one week from exam date to take a missed exam. In addition, late exams will be given in essay form rather than multiple choice format.

Class Activities/Assignments

As critical thought and problem solving is an important part of this class, there will be a weekly in class activity. In many cases group work will be encouraged, but each individual is to do their own write up. Each activity write up will be made up of one or two questions, and will be worth a total of five points. As these assignments are handwritten, legible penmanship is important. If I cannot read what is written, your assignment may be marked down. In addition, as the focus of these

assignments is on critical thought, your write up must demonstrate this. As adequate time will be given in class for these assignments, they will be do at the end of class. If for

some reason there is inadequate time for completing the write up portion, it will be due at the beginning of the next class.

Missed in class activities can be made up through extra credit, but extra credit options are limited. It is important to complete these activities as questions on the exam may reflect

in class discussions.

Extra Credit There are several ways to obtain extra credit in this course, but you may only obtain a maximum of 15 points worth. I provide information regarding these in class. Often it involves exploring application of the material in class to daily life.

Score Break Down

Exam 1 50 points

Exam 2 50 points

Exam 3 50 points

Exam 4 50 points

Final Exam 50 points

In Class Activities 50 points

Total points 300


I follow a standard 90/80/70 curve. For example 90% and above would be given a grade of an A (270 points). Occasionally though, I do choose to throw out questions from exams. I do not, as a rule, give out incompletes for courses. If you are taking this course pass/no pass, you must score at least a 70% (210 points).

Attendance Policy

I understand that everyone in this class has a personal life. Occasionally this life interferes with your life as a student. However, given that this class only meets twice per week it is imperative that you attend every class meeting. While I will not grade you down for missing class (there are no ‘attendance points’), you will be missing in class activities as well as extra credit opportunities. As a rule I do not give "handouts" for extra credit. If you miss the explanation in class, then you need to ask those around you for clarification.

In addition, I would encourage everyone to be on time for class. People coming in to class late is very disturbing to the other students listening to lecture or engaging in an activity. As I do not except late activities, it is also important for you to be on time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When will you return our tests/assignments/papers back to us?

Given the size of the class it will take a week to correct all of them.

2. Can I do anything to make up lost points on exams or activities?

Extra credit provides the means for making up missed points.

3. I don’t know how to use the World Wide Web, or I don’t have a computer... What should I do?

There are several computers labs on campus with friendly staff. In addition, most public libraries have WWW access. If you need assistance in understanding how to access a web

page, please ask the individual overseeing the computer lab. If you are still having difficulty come see me during my office hours.

4. What if I run into a problem accessing the web page?

Simply said, call me. The web page has been known to suffer from glitches. It is there to help you, not to be a crutch.

5. Can I email you my assignments/papers?

NO. I do not accept assignments via email.

6. Can I fax you my assignments/papers?

NO. I do not accept assignments via fax.

7. Can I turn my assignments/papers into your box?

YES, but they may not get to me on time. If you do get them in on time, I may not grade them with the others.

8. Why won’t you accept them via these methods?

When one allows so many alternatives for turning in assignments, It can create general havoc with even the most well organized individual. Also, these methods also increase the probability that some how, some way, something will keep the assignment from getting into my hands. For example, the email file may be corrupted or the fax may print out in jibberish. The only way to make sure that the assignment is in my hands on time is to place it concretely in my hands during the time I collect them in class.

9. Oh yes, will I accept assignments via the Web Board other than the web participation extra credit assignments?

NO, I do not accept assignments via the Web Board for aforementioned reasons.

10. Is there any other available extra credit other than what you mention?

Sometimes I add assignments if I see something important in the media or for some other reason. However, I place a cap on how many points you can earn (see available points).

11. What if I am having difficulty in this class?

Please, please come see me. I am more than willing to give you some extra help or advice on studying techniques.
























Spring Term 2003 Course Schedule:







Week 1

Chapter 2: Research Enterprise in Psychology

March 31


Activity 1


Week 2

Chapter 2: (Continued)

Chapter 3: Biological Basis for Behavior

April 7


Exam 1

Activity 2


Week 3

Chapter 4: Sensation and Perception

April 14


Activity 3


Week 4

Chapter 4: Sensation and Perception (continued)

April 21


Activity 4


Week 5

Chapter 4: (Continued)

Chapter 5: Variations in Consciousness

April 28

Exam 2: Chapters 3 and 4


Activity 5


Week 6

Chapter 5: (Continued)

Chapter 6: Learning Through Conditioning

May 5


Activity 6


Week 7

Begin Chapter 7: Memory

May 12

Exam 3: Chapters 5 and 6

Activity 7

Week 8

Chapter 7: (Continued)

May 12


Activity 8


Week 9

Chapter 14: Psychological Disorders

May 19


Exam 4: Chapter 7

Activity 9


Week 10

Chapter 15: Psychotherapy

May 26

Memorial Day, No Class


Week 11

June 2


Activity 10


Week 12 (Finals Week)

June 9, Last day of Class


10:30 am

Exam 5: Chapter 14 and 15