Introductory Psychology – Fall, 2011
Tentative Syllabus and Reading Assignments
I. Background in Psychology
(1) August 25. Lecture: Psychology: What makes us tick?
1. Perspectives in psychology (up to Research Methods section)
(2) August 30. Lecture: Philosophy and correlations
1. Perspectives in psychology (Research Methods to the end)
(3) September 1. Lecture: Experimental and causal thinking
II. Neuroscience Perspective
(4) September 6. Lecture: The brain: Don’t leave home without it
1. The brain and nervous system (from Chudler and colleagues at the University of Washington)
3. Functional MRI (fMRI) – read all 5 pages
*Optional reading: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/introb.html -- for those who want to learn more, this website provides a nice broad overview of issues in neuroscience
(5) September 8. Online class discussion: Perspectives on September 11
(6) September 13. Lecture: Neurons, neurotransmitters, and scurrilous liars
***(7) September 15. Lecture: Sensation and perception
(8) September 20. Lecture: Stress, illness, and emotional disclosure
2. Psychoneuroimmunology -- If you would like more information, watch the 1-hour video lecture by Professor Margaret Kemeny on that same page
III. Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives
(9) September 22. Lecture: Sex. Need we say more?
1. Human sexuality (first 13 units through contraception)
2. Sex and Love: Watch the video
(10) September 27. Lecture: Developmental approaches
(11) September 29. Lecture: Evolutionary approaches
(12) October 4. Lecture: Sleeping, dreaming, and consciousness
* What the bleep do we know?: Optional video, quite thought provoking.
IV. Language and Thought
(13) October 6. Lecture: Let’s talk: How the words we use reflect how we are
2. Do animals have language abilities? Optional: A humorous and irrelevant video
***(14) October 11. Lecture: Learning and problem solving
* Ape Genius: Optional video
(15) October 13. Lecture: Memory-- Drafts and treats
1. Memory: You do NOT have to read the section from “Classification by Information Type” through “Disorders”… Everything before and after is required
(16). October 18. Lecture: Freud and personality: Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll
(17) October 20. Lecture: Who do you think you are?
Levels of personality: What do you need to know to know someone?
(18) October 25. Lecture: Snoop, dog… Traits in humans and other animals
1. The Big Five (Just the first two questions, up to [NOT including] “Where can I learn more about the Big Five”)
2. Application: Predicting job performance
(19) October 27. Lecture: Emotion
(20) November 1. Lecture: Coping with upheavals – the power of writing
Jon Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis, Chapter 1. A bit long but quite good.
Women and men: Fight or flight versus tend and befriend
(21) November 3. Guest Lecture: Professor Keith Maddox (Tufts University) – The psychology of race and ethnicity
Prejudice and discrimination, by Scott Plous, a classic article – and yes, you should read all 27 pages
The problem of white privilege, by Peggy McIntosh
(22) November 8. Lecture: DSM and anxiety-based problems
(23) November 10. Lecture: Major mood and thought disorders
(24) November 15. Lecture: Psychotherapy
Optional reading: The brain of a psychopath
VII. Social Psychology
(25) November 17. Lecture: Social physics
Does environment suit your personality – Read the article and watch the video
(26) November 22. Lecture: Attitudes and behavior
Brainwashing – read all 6 pages
(27) November 29. Lecture: The psychology of altruism, attraction, and apathy
1. Deindividuation, from David McRaney’s book You are Not so Smart
2. Altruism -- When do people help others?
3. Another look at the bystander effect
(28) December 1. Lecture: Conformity and obedience
The psychology of evil – TED talk by Philip Zimbardo
War crimes and conformity – by John Horgan
FINAL EXAM INFORMATION
There is no formal final exam. However, there IS a Remote Benchmark Final Exam for anyone who has taken 6 or more benchmarks from a remote location. For those people, the final exam will be a cumulative essay/short answer test. Your grade on the final exam will replace your 6+ remote benchmark grades. So, if you took 7 benchmarks remotely, your final exam grade will replace benchmarks 6 and 7.
Times for Remote Benchmark Final exams:
For the 2-3:15 class, December 12, 9:00 AM
For the 3:30-4:45 class, December 8, 9:00 AM
Bring your laptop.
***All writing assignments must be completed and submitted by 11:59 PM on the assigned day.
*A single asterisk denotes an assignment that is recommended but not required. It will not be part of the benchmark assessment