Spring, 1999

   ZAP:      42168
   Room:   MP260 
   Time:    4:00 - 5:20 p.m. TR
   Professor:         John W. Nichols, M.A. 
   Office:               MP 216 
   Office Phone:    595-7134
   Liberal Arts Division

   Chair:    Dr.  Marvin Cooke, Ph.D. 
   Office:   MC 505 
   Phone:  595-7118

   Office Hours:
        Monday                  NONE 
        Tuesday          9:30 - 11:00 p.m. 
                            12:30 -   4:00 p.m. 
        Wednesday            NONE 
        Thursday         9:30 -11:00 p.m. 
                            12:30 -  4:00 p.m. 
        Friday                     NONE
Email:  JNichols@Tulsa.Oklahoma.Net
            Home Page:
Lecture Guides:


Required:   Psychology in the New Millennium, by Spencer A. Rathus, 7th Edition.
Virtually Required:   Study Guide to Accompany Psychology in the New Millennium.
Recommended Reference Material (for Majors, Minors and Continuing Students):
     Dictionary of Psychology, J.P. Chaplin, Dell Publishing, $7.99.
    Dictionary of Psychology, Penguin Press, $12.95.
    The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychology, Dushkin Publishing Group, $16.60.
    The Psychology Problem Solver, Research and Education Association, $23.95.
    Psych OnLine 97, Patricia Wallace, Brown and Benchmark, $10.00.
    Any good Dictionary, $23.95 -up.

The textbook is (or soon will be) available on a CD-ROM at a considerable savings over the cost of the paper version.  The prices are approximately $25.00 for the CD-ROM version verses $60.00 for the paper version.  Plus, the CD-ROM includes much more than just the textbook.  You might wish to consider the CD-ROM.

A survey of the major areas of study in psychology such as: motivation, learning, physiology, personality theories, social psychology, psychological disorders and treatment, perception, memory, and cognition/thought.  Lecture 3 hours. No Laboratory.

This course is generally considered to be a fairly heavy reading course.  Students are expected to be capable of handling the type of reading involved at this level of their education.  Students who lack  the necessary reading skills should contact the Reading Lab (Room 536).
Much of what you have heard about psychology has been passed on to you by people who know little (or nothing) about psychology.  Students are expected to maintain an open and accepting mind to the possibility that what they have been told in the past may not accurately reflect the reality of the modern field of psychology.

The purpose of a college education is not to give people all the information they will ever want or need, but to prepare them to continue their education on their own. A college graduate should have learned:
1. Enough background information to read and understand more advanced information.
2. What kinds of information are available and how to find it.
3. How to evaluate information critically — how to separate evidence and judgment from opinion, and differentiate between strong evidence and weak evidence.
4. How to form an independent judgment, and how to state it intelligibly.
5. Above all, a love of learning. A college graduate who never again enters a library, who never again reads a serious magazine, and who makes no attempt to keep up to date on new knowledge will have an obsolete education a few years after graduation.

Toward those ends, I suggest that your study effort be directed toward two goals:
1. Language — To learn the language of psychology. The logic behind this purpose is that the field of psychology is one that is discussed by almost everyone today.  Psychology, like most fields today, has its own jargon. Those students who will be taking more advanced course in psychology must understand the language, and those students who do not plan to study behavior formally will still find it helpful to know the language since it pervades all communication media.
2. Understanding — To gain some understanding of the current major theories and findings of psychology. Any body of knowledge not utilized by those who have access to it is wasted, and psychology has a reputation for being underutilized except by those who would misuse it. If this reputation should continue to hold true, it can only be the fault of the so-called "educated masses" who allow it to happen.  Proper utilization requires understanding. Many theories will be discussed because
no one theory is able to explain all behavior fully. In order to evaluate a theory intelligently, you must first understand that theory in terms of both the kinds of behavior it can, and cannot, explain.

This will be a lecture/discussion course. I will be prepared to present information in a somewhat logical sequence, based at least generally, upon the order of presentation in the text. In some cases, I will be adding totally new material that is not related to anything in the text. In most cases, I will be adding totally new material that is related to something in the text. In a few cases, however, the presentation will closely parallel text material. I expect you to read all the relevant text material before it is covered in class. This is what will justify discussion.

In addition to lecture, I may rely on other methods of presentation. These other methods might include films, classroom demonstrations, guest speakers, etc., as appropriate. Also, I hope that you will feel free to interject your thoughts and questions during the class period. Please do not feel that your role as a student requires that you sit back and passively acquire knowledge as I choose to dispense it. Quite the contrary — you will learn more, learn better and enjoy the class more if you are an active participant (not to be confused with a BS'er).

Grades for this course will be determined by the number of points you earn on a series of classroom assessments and exams.
Exams Three major (100 point) objective exams are scheduled during the semester. The lowest of the three scores will be dropped.
Comprehensive Final Exam This objective exam will be worth 200 points. It cannot be dropped.
Classroom Assessments On occasion, I will call for you to respond to a question. Your response will sometimes involve factual matters and at other times will involve your opinion. In either case, your response will be worth five (5) points. These are required points.
Chapter Notes    As each new chapter is started you are required to turn in a set of notes outlining the chapter.  This outline will be turned in at the beginning of class on the first full class day devoted to that chapter.  It is expected that this outline will consist of three to four pages.  Each set of chapter notes will be worth 20 points.  Points will be halved each class day they are late.  No fewer than five points will be given.
Pop Quizzes At some point during the discussion of each topic a short quiz will be given. Each quiz will be worth 20 points. Pop quizzes cannot be "made up". The "Best 5" will count toward your grade. Questions may come from the presentation up to that point, and/or from any part of the reading assignment for that topic. Tandem testing will not be employed.
Chapter of Choice Discussed in class.






Exam 1  1, Appendix A, 2, & 3    February 11  ________
Exam 2 6, 7, & 9 March 16 ________
Exam 3 12, 13 & 14 April 29 ________
All Above + 1
 May 6 (2:00 - 4:00) 

Extra Credit is available from only one source: Computer Assisted Instruction programs can be completed for extra credit. The procedures involved will be discussed in class. Remember — TO RECEIVE CREDIT, YOU MUST COMPLETE THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAMS BEFORE THE COMPUTER LAB CLOSES THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM OVER THAT MATERIAL. Programs marked with an asterisk (*) deal with topics that will not be covered in class.

COMPLETION OF EACH PROGRAM will be worth three (3) extra credit points.

  PSY A Correlational Analysis
  PSY B Experimental Methods
  PSY C Mean,  Median, &  Mode
Appendix A
  PSY D Basic Concepts of Learning
  PSY E Piaget’s Theory *
  PSY F Prenatal Development *
  PSY G Psychopathology
  PSY H Defense  Mechanisms
  PSY I Human Interactions * 
  PSY J Human Sexuality *
  PSY K Motivation *
  PSY L  Emotion *

Each exam will be graded on a percentage scale according to the following guidelines:
     90 - 100% = A
     80 -   89% = B
     70 -   79% = C
     60 -   69% = D
       0 -   59% = F

Course grades will be based on the same scale.

School policy requires your attendance in class, and use of "common sense" should suggest that it is to your advantage to attend class. I will not, however, directly penalize you for missing class. Veterans should note that they are an exception. Veterans who miss six hours of class will be reported as excessively absent, as required by law.

Late arrival or early departure is preferred to absence, but only if you are as unobtrusive as is humanly possible when arriving late or departing early.

You are responsible for any information you miss because of absence. If you have reason to believe that you have missed something (and you should), contact a reliable fellow student for that information.

Since the exams will begin at the beginning of the period it should be obvious that you must be on time for class on exam days. Students who arrive late on exam days must complete the exam by the time the last person who arrived on time is finished. In addition, you may lose the opportunity to test with your planned partner.

THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR "MAKING UP" MISSED EXAMS. THE DROPPED EXAM SCORE TAKES CARE OF MISSED EXAMS. You should remember, however, that material will be included on the final exam.
Chapter Notes can be turned in late, but doing so will result in a severe penalty.

The last day to withdraw (or to convert to Audit status) is Friday, April 9. If you should decide to discontinue work in the course for any reason (i.e. low grades, lack of time to devote to studying, etc.), it is imperative that you officially withdraw (or change to audit status) through the Counseling Office (MC118) to avoid receiving a failing grade in the course. You must sign a withdrawal form.

Students who withdraw on or before April 9 will automatically receive a grade of "W", regardless of the level of performance at the time the class is dropped. After that date, no student may drop any course.

Students who quit coming to class and do not take all the exams, but do not officially drop this course, will receive a grade based upon the number of points they earned. This usually results in an "F".

Although students generally feel uncomfortable talking to their instructors about dropping a course, it is very much to your advantage to do so. I have found that students often drop a course thinking that they are doing very poorly when in fact, they are doing much better than they think. This is especially true of students who are trying to "protect" a good G.P.A.

Regardless of their actual age, I consider college students to be adults and try to treat them as such. In return, I expect my students to behave as reasonable, thinking, intelligent adults.
1. The academic freedom of all in the classroom will be honored at all times by everyone in the class.
2. I consider cheating on exams or other activities grounds for removal from class.
3. Late arrivals and early departures should be minimized because of the inconvenience and distraction they produce — both for me and for other students.
4. Private "discussions" between students during class time are never appropriate. Any questions should be addressed to me.
5. It is never appropriate to leave the classroom while a test is in progress.

TCC offers a broad selection of psychology courses. I will point out which courses to take for a more in-depth look at the topics in psychology as we cover the topics. There are, of course, several courses offered at TCC that deal with topics that we will not touch upon in the class. You might wish to look over the offerings listed in the college catalog to see which of them might be of interest to you.

I expect you to be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this syllabus. This syllabus constitutes the procedures and rules of the course. By remaining in the course, you are tacitly agreeing to accept these procedures and rules. If any of these procedures and rules are not acceptable to you, it is your responsibility to withdraw from the course.

A good book does not ensure learning.  The book must be used properly. Since I find that many students simply do not know how to use a textbook properly, I am including the following suggestions:
1.   Begin reading immediately — do not procrastinate.
2.   Realize that reading a text is different from reading a newspaper, magazine or novel.  A textbook is designed to instruct, to develop a position, and to support that position, and it demands far more from its reader than do popular sources.  While they are intended to be read only once, THE AUTHOR OF A TEXT EXPECTS THAT SEVERAL READINGS WILL BE REQUIRED TO UNDERSTANDING THE MATERIAL.  Allow enough time to read the material several times.  One strategy is to quickly read the material to grasp the general organization and major points, then to carefully read a second time (highlighting as you go), and then reread at least one more time immediately before the test.  After the second reading, you should be able to concentrate primarily on the highlighted material.
3.   Keep reading — even if you reach a passage or even pages that you don’t understand, do not give up.  Keep working with the material until you have mastered it.  Ask me to explain it, or see if your study partner(s) can help you to understand it.
4.   Make a reading schedule and don’t deviate from it.  Set a date to complete your first, second, and third readings.  Schedule yourself for only a few pages at any one session.
5.   Highlight, underline, and circle words.  Mark in the margins — the bookstore will not penalize you for underlining or marking in the book provided that it is in otherwise good condition.
6.   Get a good dictionary (if you do not already have one), and use it.

Contrary to popular expectation, what goes on in the classroom is not the bulk of your education. It is a minimum level of exposure that all students experience providing only a part of the real education. Most of the real education occurs outside the classroom. Student and professional organizations exist to provide experiences beyond those available in class, exposure to ideas and concepts that are often not covered in classes, and social opportunities that are particularly uncommon at “commuter” schools such as TCC.

If you are a psychology major or minor, or if you are simply interested in the field, you should consider becoming a member of either or both of the two psychology-related student organizations available at TCC. In addition, if you are a psychology major, you should consider becoming a member of the student divisions of the state and national professional psychology organizations at the earliest possible date.

TCC Behavioral Sciences Association (BSA)
The TCC Behavioral Sciences Association (BSA) is open to any interested student. There are no membership requirements beyond application and payment of dues. Dues can be paid by the semester ($3.00), year ($5.00), or a lifetime membership is available for $10.00.

PSI BETA is the national psychology honor society for students at two-year colleges. As an honor society, PSI BETA has established strict membership requirements. Applicants must have completed General Psychology and a minimum of 12 credit hours of college coursework, have at least a 3.0 (B) average in all psychology courses completed, and have at least a 3.0 (B) average in all college courses completed. There is a one-time $25.00 membership fee for the national PSI BETA organization, and dues for the TCC Metro Chapter are $5.00 per semester.

State and National Professional Psychology Organizations
The Oklahoma Psychological Association (OPA) and Oklahoma Psychological Society (OPS) both encourage and welcome student members, as do the American Psychological Association (APA) and American Psychological Society (APS). All four of these professional organizations offer student memberships at greatly reduced rates, and student members receive professional publications and greatly reduced convention registration rates.

In the textbook:    Becomming a Successful Student, xlv - lv
                          Chapter 1
In the Study Guide:    Preface
                                Chapter 1

Use the study guide! It is an invaluable aid to your progress in this course. It contains the following for each lesson: 
 1. Learning Objectives — a list of things you should know or be able to do by the time you have finished the lesson.
 2. Exercise(s) — activities designed to get you thinking about the material. 
 3. Lecture and Textbook Outline — allows you to outline the material in the chapter and take notes as you read the textbook and after class. 
 4. Effective Studying Ideas — helps you learn to be a mere effective learner.
 5. Key Terms and Concepts — the terms, concepts, and names you should know after studying each unit. 
 6. Chapter Review — provides you with the opportunity to test yourself to see if the proper terms come to mind as you try to fill in the blanks.  If you have done your job well, they should.
 7. Chapter Exercises — essay type questions that force you to summarize the material.
 8. Knowing the Language —  may enhance your verbal skills. 
 9. Do You Know the Material — a round of questions to test yourself with after you think you have learned the material.