PSYC 102: Readings in Psychology

Course Syllabus

Spring 2006

 

I. Basic Information

 

Instructor: Sarah Everett

Phone: 713-348-3411

Email: petersos@rice.edu

Office: Sewall Hall 211A

Office Hours: W 1:00 – 1:50 and by appointment

Class: M 7:00 – 8:30

Classroom: Sewall Hall 462

Class webpage: http://chil.rice.edu/petersos/psyc102.html

 

II. Course Overview

 

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a broad introduction to many major issues that characterize psychology. We will cover important studies that are considered significant contributions to the field of psychology.  We will read about controversial topics in several areas of psychology, including developmental, clinical, social, and cognitive psychology. Using the two books required for the class and additional readings, we will consider multiple perspectives of complex psychological issues.

 

III. Course Goals

 

My primary goal for this class is to provide students with an opportunity to discuss psychological issues and critical experiments. I also hope this class motivates you to pursue the field of psychology and encourages you to consider it as a major and career.

 

IV. Assigned Readings and Materials Needed for the Course

 

Two required textbook have been assigned for this course and should be available in the bookstore:

 

Hock, R. R. (2005). Forty studies that changed psychology: Explorations into the history of psychological research (5th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

ISBN: 0131147293

 

Slife, B. (2005). Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial psychological issues (14th edition). Guilford, CT: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin.

ISBN: 0073545589

 

Additional readings will be assigned and can be obtained in full text from the reserve desk in the library or online.

 

V. Honor Code Statement

 

All aspects of this course are bound by the honor principle. All work should be your own, independent work. Any student who engages in scholastic dishonesty, inadvertently or not, will be reported directly to the honor council. The Rice University Honor Code prevents any exceptions to this rule.

 

VI. Learning Disabilities

 

I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities like chronic diseases, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss with me an appropriate accommodation that might be helpful to you. This should be done at beginning of the course, either after class or during my office hours. All discussions will remain confidential. Additionally, these students might consider contacting the Disabled Student Services in the Ley Student Center.

 

VII. Grading Policy

 

Final grades in this course will be calculated based on the following components:

 

25% Weekly Questions/Answers

25% Class Participation

50% Final Project

 

Final letter grades will be distributed as follows:

 


100% - 97% = A+

96% - 94% = A

93% - 90% = A-

89% - 87% = B+

86% - 84% = B

83% - 80% = B-

79% - 77% = C+

76% - 74% = C

73% - 70% = C-

69% - 67% = D+

66% - 64% = D

63% - 60% = D-

59% - 0% = F


 

VIII. Attendance Policy

 

As you read in the grading policy section, 25% of your final grade will depend on your attendance and participation in class. Because class discussion and class attendance are essential for acquiring the content of this course, they will be used in determination of final grades. If you cannot attend class, I would highly recommend dropping the course.

 

IX. Class Make-Ups

 

Although class attendance is critical in this course, I understand that there may be important reasons you may have to miss a class. If such a situation occurs, please notify me in advance. To make up for the missed class, you will choose another class period and present that day’s reading material. Your challenge questions for both days will still be due. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, only one missed class may be made up.

 

X. Assignments

 

You will have reading and writing assignments for each class. When the reading assignment is from the “Taking Sides” book, you will be asked to respond to one challenge question per chapter. You can choose which question you would like to answer, and these responses need not be more than a few sentences or a short paragraph. When the reading assignment is from the “Forty Studies” book or is an article not from either book, you will need to generate a "challenge question" that demonstrates your understanding of the material and critical thinking about the material. These assignments are intended to support your comprehension and application of the assigned readings. The responses and questions will be due at the beginning of each class.

 

XI. Final Project

 

For the final project, you will write a paper (approximately 5 pages) and give a brief presentation on an issue of interest to you. This should be a complex psychological issue of current interest or historical significance. The issue you choose should be one that we do not cover in class. If you choose a topic from the “Taking Sides” book, you will need additional references (the ones in the book do not count toward the reference requirement).

 

Each person in the class will have a unique issue. These topics must be approved by me before you begin your project. I will approve topics on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if there is one issue you really would like to study, discuss it with me early! You can meet with me during my office hours or send me an email describing the issue and why you want to study it. At the latest, project topic ideas are due by March 6th.

 

In the paper, first you should explain the issue and describe both sides. Make sure you use at least 2 references to support each side. Then present a potential research project that could be carried out to further explore which side is more accurate. The paper will be due on April 24th, the last day of class.

 

On one of the last 2 days of class, you will present the issue you studied and lead class discussion on the topic. For your presentation, you should state why you chose the issue and explain the main points of each side. Then describe your potential research idea. Together, your presentation and the discussion should take around 15-20 minutes. 

 


XII. Course Outline

***Note: This outline will be updated occasionally (with extra readings, etc). Please refer to the class webpage for updated assignments.

 

DATE

TOPIC

ASSIGNMENT

January 18

Introduction

Read:

 

Studies p. 18- 33

January 23

Ethics

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

 

Read:

Issue 3

1 challenge question

 

Studies p. 308 – 316

1 challenge question

 

Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo (1973)

January 30

Social Psychology

Read:

Write:

Studies p. 295 – 308

2 challenge questions

February 6

Violence

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issues 4 & 16

2 challenge questions

 

Studies p. 84 –92 & 249 – 257

2 challenge question

February 13

Learning & Animal Research

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issue 2

1 challenge question

 

Studies p. 64 – 77 & 242-249

2 challenge question

February 20

Human

Development

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issue 6, 7, & 8

3 challenge questions

 

Studies p. 126 – 134

1 challenge question

February 27

Cognitive Issues

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issue 9 & 10

2 challenge questions

 

Studies p. 100 – 109

1 challenge question

March 6

Memory & Hypnosis

Read:

Write:

 

Read:

 

 

Write:

Studies p. 55 – 63

1 challenge question

 

Articles: Roediger & McDermott (2000)

               Loftus (1997)

               Arrigo & Pezdek (1997)

2 challenge questions

 

Project Topics Due!!

March 13

Spring Break

None

 

 

DATE

TOPIC

ASSIGNMENT

March 20

Mental Health

Read:

Answer:

Issues 5 & 11

2 challenge questions

March 27

Prescriptions & Drug Abuse

Read:

Answer:

Issues 12, 13, & 14

3 challenge questions

April 3

Treatment and Tests

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issues 1

1 challenge question

 

Studies p. 258-264 & 272-286

2 challenge questions

April 10

Internet Use & Self-Help Books

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Answer:

 

Read:

Write:

Issue 17

1 challenge question

 

Is Bibliotherapy Helpful?

1 critical thinking challenge question

 

Self-Help: Shattering the Myths

1 challenge question

April 17

Project Presentations

Work on Final Projects

April 24

Project Presentations & Course Wrap-Up

 

Final Projects Due!