PSY 101 General
Dr. Diane Finley
Contacting the Instructor:
Office Hours: TBA - Check classroom for an announcement
Office: M2049 Phone: 301-322-0869
pgcconline.blackboard.com (this is the preferred login address for
Blackboard. If you go through the Distance Learning homepage, you will not be
able to connect if the server is down.
Be sure to put PSY101PGCC in the subject line so that your mail won't be
accidentally deleted. If you put something else in the subject line such as
question or test, I may delete your message if I don't read all of my mail.
Psychology and Life, Gerrig and Zimbardo, Custom Edition for PGCC. You
MUST purchase the package which includes the Grade-Aid Study Guide and the
MyPsychLab. The Workbook is required and the MyPsycLab is your extra credit
General Psychology introduces the field and scientific methods of psychology
and examines the dynamic factors that influence human behavior, including
personality, intelligence, perceptual processes and learning. In addition,
applications of theory are discussed.
The objective of General Psychology is to provide a broad survey of the
basic content of psychology and its methodology as an end in itself or as
preparation for more advanced courses in psychology. Lectures, discussion,
demonstrations and audio-visual presentations may be utilized. For online
sections, weekly Discussion Boards, Group Discussion Boards and interactive
activities will be utilized.
By the end of the semester, the student who has fully participated should be
1.Describe the social science of psychology noting the common qualities and the
differences in the major perspectives that describe behavior including
psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioral, cognitive, sociocultural and
2. Identify the major theorists and their theories.
3. Understand scientific methodology, including that of the experimental method
4. Discuss various methods of data collection in psychology and other social
5. Examine, evaluate and utilize scientific research in explaining applications
6. State the ethics and limitations that pertain to experimental methods.
7. Differentiate among the major specialty areas of the science of psychology,
their history and methodologies.
8. List the biological factors underlying behavior, including the major
structures of the brain and their functions and the major parts of the endocrine
9. Describe how one senses and perceives the environment, including the major
senses, the major parts of each sense and the Gestalt principles of perception.
10. Understand current theories of learning and identify the components of the
classical conditioning model as well as elements of operant conditioning.
11. Explain the information processing model of memory, including study skills
based on psychological principles.
12. Describe human development through the lifespan, including theories of
cognitive and moral development.
13. Explain the nature/nurture debate and give current views on this debate.
14. Discuss theories of personality and methods of assessment.
15. List the criteria for labeling abnormal behavior and describe how the DSM is
used for diagnosis.
16. Identify the major disorders, including symptoms, etiology and treatment.
17. Explain what is meant by the “power of the situation.”
18. Discuss the importance of understanding different cultural perspectives.
19. Use technology to access psychological information and evaluate such
Departmental Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, a student will be able to:
1- Demonstrate knowledge of major contributions to the field of psychology in
terms of research and theories.
2. Identify, explain, and apply the major psychological principles in the
following areas of psychology: biopsychological, developmental,
learning/cognitive, personality/abnormal and social.
3. Discuss how the major perspectives of psychology explain behavior.
4. Describe the scientific method and tools used by psychologists to understand
and explain behavior; and describe the ethical principles inherent in research,
teaching, and practice in the field of psychology.
5. Apply basic quantitative reasoning to understand, interpret and manipulate
data from psychological sources.
6. Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical
inquiry, and, when appropriate, the scientific approach to solve problems
related to behavior and mental processes.
7. Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal,
social, and organizational issues.
8. Demonstrate information literacy and apply technological proficiency to
access data and evaluate psychological research in order to prepare written and
9. Examine the role of culture as it influences perception, thinking and
behavior in order to facilitate good citizenship and effective participation in
the global community.
Participation-World Wide Web Protocols
By registering for a Web-based course, you have made a commitment to
participate in your course Discussion Boards as well as other online activities.
To contact your instructor, use the conferencing software or e-mail links
provided, which allow you to communicate with the instructor and your classmates
in a virtual classroom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Note that your instructor
is NOT available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Please plan to participate
regularly. You will note in the grading policy that your online Discussion Board
participation counts towards your final grade.
You are expected to adhere to the general rules of online etiquette. To prepare
to use the online conference, you should read the notes on Online Participation
and Online Etiquette in Course Information. Keep those notes handy; you may need
to refer to them frequently during the semester.
1. You are expected to read the assigned text material so that you can bring up
any questions you may have and participate in class discussion.
2. In order to promote a positive learning environment for all students, you are
expected to conform to the College Code of Conduct as stated in the College
Catalog. In the online environment, there are also behaviors that are not
acceptable. Any behavior that detracts from the learning of other students is
unacceptable. Using profanity is not permitted. Using the class email roster to
send a group email without permission of the instructor is not permitted. We are
confident you will continue to make every effort to ensure positive learning
opportunities for all.
3. Academic honesty is expected in all work. Cheating on examinations will lead
to strict disciplinary action. In any written work, cite all references for
ideas which are not your own or considered common knowledge.
Grading and assignments are designed to tap into a variety of strengths and
skills. This means that there are many ways to succeed in this course. See the
Class Schedule for a particular semester for grading particulars. Online
sections will typically include discussion boards for each chapter, online
quizzes, written assignments and a proctored final exam in the Campus Assessment
Center. Face-to-face sections will include participation activities, tests and
quizzes (possibly online as well), a final exam and written assignments.
below 60% F
In keeping with the College policy and with sound academic practice, a
cumulative final exam will be given during Finals Week. The exam will come
entirely from the Study Guide for the Final but it is cumulative and consists of
concepts, definitions and theories you should remember when you have finished
this course. If you miss the Final Exam, you will not be allowed to make it up
without permission from the Dean.
A grade of I (Incomplete) can only be given for verifiable medical reasons (I
will ask for details - a note saying you are sick will not be sufficient) or for
documented circumstances beyond your control (this does NOT mean a dead car
battery but some severe incident). Documents must be in writing and will be
verified. Additionally, it is my choice to give or not give the "I." The Dean
must also approve all Incompletes. He seldom does so. DO NOT ASSUME you will be
There are two ways to earn extra points (while enhancing learning) in this
1) Complete the activities in the Introductory Learning Unit
2) Complete the study plans in MyPsychLab. When you input your code into MPL,
you will see the section for these. You must take the pretest, read the chapter,
take the post-test (these are short). You then can print a personalized study
plan. You must bring these (or mail them to me at PGCC, 301 Largo Road, Marlboro
2054, Largo MD 20774) to campus and put them in my box in M2054 by the end of
week 7 and then week 13. Be sure to staple these and to put your name on them.
A written assignment is included as a part of your course requirement not
only to enhance your learning opportunities in psychology but also to utilize
and improve your writing skills. The ability to communicate in written form at a
college level will serve you not only in your future academic work, but increase
your marketability in your chosen career and hopefully enhance your chances of
survival in an increasingly complex society. It is hoped that by reading short
articles, chapters in books and/or attending lectures, you will broaden your
exposure to, arouse your interest in and increase your knowledge of psychology.
In order to successfully complete these assignments, you will need to use the
library. Knowing where to find information or how to research information is
almost as valuable a tool as having the facts in your head. The library staff is
available and most willing to work with you to help you learn how to access
information and material via the card catalog, microfilm or computer.
Written assignments are designed to enhance your learning of course
materials. ALL projects must be typed or done on a word processor. You must
double-space your work. Your paper must have a cover sheet with your name and
section number on it. Pay attention to your writing skills as these figure into
the final grade. Reference pages must follow the American Psychological
Association Style Manual. The Manual is available in the library. There is also
information on how to cite and reference APA Style on my homepage. (http://academic.pgcc.edu/~dfinley.
Go to the Title 3 Supersite). There will also be information about this in the
Library Discussion Board.
Here are some websites that may help you with writing APA Style.
All college policies regarding student conduct, academic integrity and
disability referrals apply. It is the student s responsibility to be aware of
such policies. For copies check the Student Handbook or contact the Office of
Academic Advising. Students are also responsible for knowing and following all
College policies regarding registration, withdrawal, etc.
Students are expected to observe the College code of conduct found in the PGCC
Student Handbook. Smoking and eating are not permitted in the classroom.
Disruptive students will not be tolerated and are subject to dismissal
procedures as outlined in the Handbook. Cheating is obviously unacceptable
behavior and is grounds for failing the class. If you cheat on any test or
assignment, you will receive a 0 for that assignment/test. You will not be
allowed to make-up any such item. In addition, your behavior will be reported to
Students with Disabilities
Any student with a documented disability, including learning disabilities, that
the student feels may affect classroom performance should discuss the matter
privately with their instructor at the beginning of the semester. You must also
contact Disability Services so that reasonable accommodations can be made. I
must have the form from DSS. Contact the Disability Support Services Office
(M-1042) or call 301-322-0838 (voice) or 301-322-0122 (TTY) for additional
assistance with classes and campus activities. Students must provide
documentation of disability when requesting academic accommodations and copies
of their enrollment confirmation (bill) with paid receipt. If you need
accommodations, I must be notified by the start of the second week of class.
HELP! I'M IN TROUBLE!!
1) Asking me for help in understanding concepts is also useful. You may do so
during office hours or by email. (Note that during the summer all appointments
on campus must be made ahead of time. I am not available in the evenings.
2) You should plan on spending a minimum of 9-12 hours per week studying for
this course (not including extra time needed for projects or tests.) This is
outside of the time spent in class. If you are not putting in this amount of
time, re-evaluate your study plan. For summer, you should increase that time
to a minimum of 15 hours per week. We cover 15 weeks of work in 10 weeks during
summer school. Thus you must adjust your time accordingly. If you are
working full-time, please think long and hard about taking more than one course
during the summer.
3) Reading equivalent chapters in a second psychology text can also help
4) There is free tutoring on campus. Take advantage of the services.
5) Do NOT wait until the week of the exam to seek help!!!!!
If you think I am grossly unfair about something (not that you just don't
like the way I teach or my tests), you should first talk with me. If we can't
solve the problem, you can put your grievance in writing to the department