Syllabus   Spring Semester 2005    Psychology 111.  Foundations of Psychology  

Section 007  Mon. and Wed. 1:30-2:45 pm   FH-0207  Instructor:  Dr. Eva Ferguson 


Office:  III-0135  Phone for Psych office:   ext.2202 to leave a message   FAX 618-650-5087

Office hours:  M 2:45-3:45, T 2:15-3:15, W 12:15-1:15 and other times by appointment.


Required from Textbook Rental:

   Textbook Santrock, J. (2003). Psychology essentials, 2nd Ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.


Strongly Recommended from University Book Store:

   Student Study Guide   Rodriguez, I. (2003). Student study guide to accompany psychology essentials, J. W.

  Santrock, 2nd Ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.


Strongly Recommended that students use the CD-ROM packaged with the textbook.  Also, students should use the website   This has many helpful resources.


Course Objectives: This course helps students to gain an overview of the field of psychology, its social and biological foundations as well as its scientific and applied aspects. Students will learn about research in psychology and about human and animal behavior as well as learning and motivation. Lecture and in-class activities will illustrate content areas of psychology. Students who spend the needed time for in-depth reading of the text and use of support materials will benefit in learning and critical thinking in this course.


Course Requirements: Students are expected to contribute to class discussions and to conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner. Four exams, two homework assignments, attendance, and research involvement are all required (research involvement means active study participation and/or research reporting from library sources – see the section on Participation in Research or Research Summaries).



Each exam is worth 32 points, each homework assignment is worth 18 points, attendance is worth 12 points, research of 6 hours involvement is worth 20 points, and class participation is worth 4 points for a total of 200 points. Up to 4 absences are permitted for attendance credit; no attendance credit is given for absences of 5 or more times. To obtain credit for attendance, the student is required to be in class on time and to remain in class the total class time. If an emergency requires the student to leave class early or to arrive late, the student needs to speak to the instructor about this prior to the start of class.

   The grades are assigned for points as follows: A is 180-200, B is 160-179, C is 140-159, D is 128-139.

   Below 128 is Failing.


Important Information

   Exams are based on lectures, text assignments, and in-class activities. Reports are due on time and exams must be taken as scheduled.  If an emergency arises so the student cannot take the exam or hand in the report as scheduled, the student must speak to the instructor ahead of the scheduled time. Only in unusual circumstances may special arrangements be made for a makeup or late paper (conversation with instructor is necessary – it is not sufficient to leave a message). Unexcused make-ups and late papers without special permission are not possible and receive a failing grade. Cheating and plagiarism are not permitted.


    Writing assignments in homework will be described in separate instructions. Papers are to be handed in at the beginning of class. All papers must be word-processed or typed in black letters, double spaced with font size12, and they need to be grammatically correct and spelled correctly. Points will be taken off if writing does not keep plural and singular consistent.  Many students have problems with this, so take extra care with this. Incorrect grammar and spelling also lose points. In case of an emergency, a homework paper may be faxed, with a cover page clearly stating the instructor’s name. In no cases will a paper be accepted via email.


     Research involvement evidence (card with studies and/or library papers) must be handed in to the instructor April 18th.    


Study and Learning Recommendations

  1. Students will find they understand the material by reading the relevant text and supporting materials before each lecture and then again after each class session.
  2. Students will find it very beneficial to take careful and full notes during lecture.
  3. Students who need help with learning the content of one or more specific topics in the course will find it helpful to meet with the instructor in her office to clarify the material.
  4. Students will find it much easier to learn in class by everyone observing courteous and professional behavior. Time during class is not for talking with friends; private conversations disturb everyone. It is every student’s responsibility to have the room quiet during lectures and when materials are being distributed to the class.

Student comments that are shared with the whole class and that help in the course learning are welcome; comments are to be made in a respectful manner to the whole class. Private conversations are not permitted.


Extra Help is Available

    Students will find some chapters easier to understand than other chapters. Students should seek extra help when exam and homework grades are less than a C level and when specific topics are not clear. Students should see the instructor either during regular office hours or at specially arranged appointment times. The sequence of Chapter text assignments differs from that of the textbook. The syllabus will be the class guide but may be modified if circumstances make that necessary.




1                    1             Jan. 10       M       Chapter 1. Why do we consider psychology to be a science?


1                   2              Jan. 12       W       Chapter 1 continued. What do we mean by an experiment,

                                                                  independent and dependent variables, correlation? Why do we say

                                                                  ‘correlation does not mean causation’?                       


                                     Jan. 17      Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No class.  University is closed.


2                   3              Jan. 19      W       Chapter 8. What do we mean by thinking, language, and

                                                                  intelligence? How is intelligence measured?


3                   4               Jan.  24     M        Continue reading Chapter 8. Information is given on                   

                                                                   Students’ Research Involvement.


3                   5               Jan.  26     W        Chapter 8 continued. Start Chapter 13: Health and Stress. Discuss

                                                                   1st Homework.


4                   6               Jan. 31      M        Chapter 13. What affects our health and well-being?


4                  7                Feb. 2       W         Students bring Review questions to class.  Review Chs. 1, 8, 13 to be on 1st Exam.


5                   8               Feb. 7       M         Hand in 1st Homework.  First Exam. Students bring pencils with  

                                                                   erasers to class.


5                   9               Feb. 9      W         Start Chapter 2. Do all parts of the brain have a similar function?

                                                                   What is important about neurons?


6                  10              Feb. 14     M        Chapter 2 continued. How does the brain relate to behavior?


6                  11              Feb. 16     W        Chapter 3. Does development occur in stages?


7                  12              Feb. 21     M         Chapter 3 continued. What developmental changes occur from

                                                                    childhood onward? How do ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ contribute to

                                                                    changes through to adulthood and aging?


7                  13               Feb. 23    W        Chapter 4. How do we perceive objects & hear sounds?


8                  14               Feb. 28    M        Chapter 4 continued. How do brain and receptors work together?


8                  15               Mar. 2     W         Students bring Review questions to class.  Review Chs. 2, 3, 4 to be on 2nd Exam.


Spring Break – No classes March 7 & 9


9                  16              Mar. 14    M         Second Exam.  Students bring pencils with erasers to class.


9                  17              Mar. 16    W        Chapter 6. How do we learn? Are there different kinds of



10                18               Mar. 21   M         Chapter 6 continued. Why should we know what is the

                                                                    difference between classical and operant conditioning or what is

                                                                    meant by ‘generalization’ and ‘extinction’?


10                19               Mar. 23   W        Chapter 7. Is there a relationship between learning and memory?


11                20               Mar. 28   M         Chapter 7 continued. Why is it important to know the difference between encoding and retrieval?


11                21               Mar. 30   W        Chapter 9. How does motivation affect animal and human

                                                                   behavior? Why should we study animal motivation?


12               22                Apr.  4     M        Students bring Review questions to class.  Chapter 9 continued. Is there a relationship between emotion and motivation? Review Chs. 6, 7, 9 to be on 2nd Exam.


12               23                Apr. 6      W         Third Exam.  Students bring pencils with erasers to class.


13               24                Apr. 11    M         Discuss 2nd Homework. Chapter 10. What is meant by

                                                                    “personality” and how is it measured?


13              25              Apr. 13      W         Chapter 10 continued. How do different theorists view personality? Start Chapter 11 pp. 392 – 408. How do different theorists view ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’?



14               26             Apr. 18      M          Hand in Research Involvement evidence (card with studies

                                                                    and/or library papers; if a student has both a card plus library

                                                                    papers, these must be paper-clipped together!).  Continue Chapter 11 and start Chapter 12.


14              27             Apr. 20       W          Hand in 2nd homework. Chapter 12 pp.434 – 436, 439 - 463. Are there different kinds of therapy?  Start Chapter 14.  Do social processes affect our behavior and beliefs?


15               28             Apr. 25      M          Continue Chapter 14. How does social psychology help us?


15               29            Apr. 27       W          Students bring Review questions to class.  Review chapter assignments for Chs. 10, 11, 12, & 14 for Final.


                          Final Examination:  Wed. May 4 at 12:00-1:40 pm.

                                                         Note:  Exam is NOT at the usual class time. 



See the following pages for Research and Library information!






It is a student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from a course through the Enrollment Office by the dates set by the university if the student is not intending to complete the course.  Students who do not withdraw but have not completed the course will receive an E.  Only under special circumstances a faculty member may agree to give a student an INC grade in order to allow the student to complete the remaining work for the course no later than the end of the following semester.  An INC is never automatic but must be approved by the instructor.  If an instructor agrees to give a student an INC grade, the instructor and student will fill out a form (Memorandum of Incomplete Grade) indicating why an INC is being given.  This form will be on file in the instructor’s office and if the work is not completed by the specified time, the grade will be changed from an INC to E.





Plagiarism includes either presenting someone else’s words without quotation marks (even if you cite the source) or presenting someone else’s ideas without citing that source.  If you plagiarize, your instructor cannot evaluate your understanding of the topic.  When paraphrasing from another source, at the very least the student should change the wording, sentence syntax, and order of ideas presented in the paper.  Ideally, the student will integrate ideas from multiple sources while providing critical commentary on the topic in a way that clearly identifies whether words and ideas are those of the student or are from another source.  University policy states that “Normally a student who plagiarizes shall receive a grade of F in the course in which the act occurs.  The offense shall also be reported to the Provost.” (  The University policy discusses additional academic sanctions including suspension and expulsion from the University.  To insure that you understand how to avoid plagiarism, we encourage you to review the information on plagiarism provided on the Department of Psychology web page at


Participation in Research or Research Summaries


The department of Psychology has a Research Involvement requirement. You are to participate in 6 hours of research.


You are required to participate in on-going research in the Department of Psychology OR write summaries of published research, OR a combination of both. You are required by the Department of Psychology to participate in 6 hours of research. You will receive more information regarding participating in Psychology Department research during the second week of class. At that time, you will be given Subject Pool Cards, which you will use to keep track of and tally the number of hours you have completed. These are the cards that must be turned in to me at the end of the semester. DO NOT LOSE THESE CARDS, as they are your only record/receipt of your involvement in research studies.


Those students who do not wish to be a participant in a research study may substitute written assignments for research participation. The written assignments will give you exposure to psychological research and acquaint you with some of the rich sources of materials in which psychological studies are reported. The written assignment includes these requirements:


1. Submit brief summaries of research articles published in current psychological journals (published in the past five years).  A list of acceptable journals is given below. Research summaries must be typed, double-spaced, and should not exceed two pages. Attach a photocopy of the entire article to your summary.  Each summary counts for 1 HOUR of research time.


2. Research summaries are due as described on the syllabus schedule. No credit will be given for late summaries.


3. Each summary should be written in your own words. 


A good summary attempts to summarize briefly who investigated what problem, by what method, and with what results. Use the following organization:


1. Author’s name, year, title of article, journal, volume number, page numbers.

2. Purpose of the study (general problem, hypotheses, etc.)

3. Method or procedures used (omit technical details)

4. Results (what was found, what does it seem to mean?)

5. Personal comments (what, in your opinion, was the importance or significance of the      

    study? Did you think the study was worthwhile?)



List of Acceptable Psychology Journals


If there are other journals you wish to use, check w/ the instructor first. Only ‘scientific’ journals, not ‘popular’ journals (e.g., Discover, Psychology Today, etc.) will be accepted.

These journals are located on the second floor of the library in the Education section. Some journals are on microfiche.


Child Development                                             Journal of Educational Psychology

Developmental Psychology                                 Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology                 Journal of Experimental Psychology

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis                    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Journal of Applied Behavior Science                     Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Journal of Applied Psychology                             Journal of Psychology

Journal of Applied Social Psychology                   Journal of School Psychology

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders    Journal of Child Language

Journal of Social Psychology                              Journals of Gerontology

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry         Psychological Bulletin

Journal of Clinical Psychology                             Psychological Reports

Journal of Community Psychology                       Psychology in the Schools

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology      Psychology of Women Quarterly

Journal of Counseling Psychology                       Sex Roles



Department of Psychology Policy on Research Participation for Psychology 111


The Department of Psychology requires a minimum of 6 hours of research. This may be completed by active participation in a department-approved study, by report of instructor-approved library reading, or a combination of these two completed in accord with guidelines set by the instructor. Failure to complete the minimum research requirement results in a one-letter grade drop, so if a student, for example, had a 'B' average at the end of the semester, the grade the student receives is a 'C'. 


Research is the basis of knowledge in psychology and provides the content in all areas of the discipline. So that students can learn in depth the nature and content of research, and to become familiar with research in ways that are available only outside the classroom, the Department of Psychology requires students to have a minimum of 6 hours of research experience. This may be obtained by active participation in department-approved studies, by reading research articles and reporting the content in a library report, or by a combination of these two. Each accepted library research report receives one hour of research credit, and active participation in ongoing studies receives credit according to the length of time spent in the study, which can vary from half an hour up to two hours. Details of the research participation and the library assignment will be provided in the 2nd or 3rd week of class. 


Students who sign up for research participation, and the investigators conducting the study, make a commitment to be at the designated place and time. If an emergency arises to prevent the participants from being able to be at the appointed time and place, they must notify the investigator no later than one hour prior to the study time. If students fail to come to the study or fail to cancel with sufficient notice, they will be penalized for the time of that study, which means that if students fail to show up or to cancel in time for a one hour study, they must make up one hour as penalty. Thus, a student who completed 5 research hours and fails to show up at the appointed time and place for the 6th hour of a study is required to complete 1 research hour as penalty and then still make up the 6th hour for completing the minimum research requirement. Failure to meet the 6 hour requirement at the end of the semester will lead to a reduction in grade of one letter grade.