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COURSE NAME: "General Psychology "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Paola Castelli
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 PM
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

Introduces the study of psychology, the study of the human mind, in some of its many facets: epistemological issues, the brain, perception, learning, language, intelligence, motivation, development, personality, emotion, social influences, pathology and therapy, and prevention. These will be seen from the scientific and scholarly point of view, but with emphasis on their relevance to everyday life. An important focus of the course will be the significance of theories and how they influence the gathering of data, as well as the difficulty of objectivity when the object of study is also its primary tool: the human mind. One of the goals of the course will also be to prepare the student to read psychological literature with a critical eye, keeping in mind the difficulties involved in attempting to study human subjectivity in an objective way.
Lectures and discussions will address the basic concepts, principles, theories, methods, and empirical research findings in the main domains of psychological inquiry. The focus will also be on the applications of psychological research to everyday issues.
- Describe key concepts and use basic psychological terminology, concepts and theories to explain behavior and mental processes
-Identify key characteristics of major domains in psychology, as well as the principal methods used and questions addressed in such domains
-Describe common fallacies in thinking (e'g', confirmation bias, limited data problem, etc.) and use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
-Identify ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice (e.g., APA ethics code, role of IRBs)
- Demonstrate information literacy in psychology by accurately summarizing and presenting information from psychological sources
-Express ideas in writing that reflect basic psychological concepts and principles
- Interpret quantitative data (e.g., simple graphs and statistical findings)
-Use standard English, and write using APA style
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Exploring Psychology (10th edition)David G. Myers, DeWall, N. C.MacMillan978-1-4641-5407-2  

ExamsThere will be 3 midterms administered at approximately equal intervals across the semester and a final. The exams will cover the assigned textbook readings, lectures, and the films occasionally shown in class. Each midterm will be non-cumulative and will cover approximately 1/3 of the course material. The final will be cumulative. You grade for the category will be based on your best 3 tests, and the lowest test score will be dropped. If you miss any of the midterms, that will be your dropped score. Thus, NO MAKE UP will be allowed for any reasons.60%
Individual Writing AssignmentsStudents will be required to read and summarize some research papers or explain some real life event or personal experience using psychological concepts and theories. The two lowest scores on the summaries will be dropped20%
Pop QuizzesReview quizzes will be administered in class approximately every two weeks. Each quiz will consist of 10 multiple-choice questions that review the material/concepts covered in the preceding classes. There will be a total of 6 pop-quizzes. Your lowest grade on the quizzes will be dropped. There will be no make-up quizzes. If you miss class on a day when a pop-quiz is administered, that will be your dropped score. Pop quizzes will be administered at the beginning of the class period. It is your responsibility to arrive in class ON TIME.20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cours
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Attendance and participation, although not mandatory, are essential to earn a good grade for this course. Thus, you should do your absolute best to attend every class meeting, and to come to class prepared. Given the amount of material addressed in introductory psychology, it is unlikely that you will do well in this course if you don’t keep up with the readings.

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.