102 Syllabus (5)

Introduction to Psychology II PSYC 102 (3), D900
Simon Fraser University
Instructor: Joe Thompson
Joe’s Office Hours:
email: [email protected]
SUR 5186
By appointment (appointments run
Wednesdays, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
TA: Unnati Patel
Unnati’s Office Hours: By appointment in RCB
7206 (Mondays, 1-2pm)
Course Description
Calendar description: Acquaints the student with major issues in contemporary psychology and
considers their historical antecedents. Topics in learning, cognition, social psychology and
abnormal psychology are considered.
My description: My introductory psychology courses have two main objectives. First, I hope to
provide students with a survey of what you will find in the discipline of Psychology. That means
we will cover a ton of material at a relatively superficial level. My second objective is to illustrate
the value of psychology to the lives of my students whenever possible. This includes advice on
how to use psychology to improve as a student.
Required Text
Required Readings/Materials: Weiten, W. & McCann, D. (2019) Psychology: Themes and
Variations (5th ed). Nelson Publishing.
Please be aware that I do not know how the fifth edition differs from other versions of the
textbook. I cannot guarantee that you will be able to do well in this class by studying from an old
Booking appointments with Joe
This semester I will book appointments through Canvas’ scheduling tool. You can sign up by
clicking on ‘Calendar’ within canvas, and then clicking on ‘Scheduler’ (see attachment below).
You will then see available times to book Joe.
You are, of course, free to come by Joe’s office hour without an appointment, but there is a
chance he will be with another student or he will be away from his office temporarily.
Use of online tools and websites
I love the idea of using technology to make our lives better. However, it is important to be aware
of the privacy concerns associated with using online technologies. Simon Fraser University
wants to protect your student data and, consequently, we want be careful about using online
tools and websites that might record student information in a database that is not controlled by
Simon Fraser University. Here are some examples of uncontrolled websites and tools that you
might want to use in this course:
polleverywhere.com/ - This is a site that allows for in-class polls. It will allow you to participate in
class anonymously and without raising your hand.
Appear.in/ - this is a Skype-like application that allows us to have meetings with students
Textbook website (https://login.nelsonbrain.com/cb/entitlement.htm?code=MTPP-F6LP-KBDZ) This website contains a number of useful resources such as practice questions for each
chapter. You will need to create an account and use the code provided with your textbook.
*You are not required to use external websites such as these for this course.* None of these
websites are controlled by Simon Fraser University, and so any personal data you put on those
websites could end up under someone else’s control. If you do want to use these tools, my
suggestion is to use fake personal information when possible.
End of semester questions and grade rounding:
Just a reminder, I cannot round final grades. I also cannot regrade assignments that are more
than two weeks after they are due.
Fact-Check Assignment Part I
Fact-Check Assignment Part II
Fact-Check Assignment Part III
Midterm I
Midterm II
Research Participation
Fact-Check Assignment Part I, II, and III (24%)
Psychology is ridiculously difficult. Human beings are highly variable and the resources of
science limited. This means that, when surveying how psychological concepts have been
applied to the study of real world behaviour, we will encounter oversimplifications,
misunderstandings of research, and other errors. This means we need to employ our critical
thinking capacities even when we are learning from experts who know more than us.
For your term project, you will identify a passage from the textbook that strikes you as especially
important, surprising, or unlikely. You will then undergo a research project with the intention of
verifying this claim from textbook. This will involve finding the primary sources cited by the text,
and reviewing it in detail. You will ultimately conclude, based on a deeper appraisal of the
evidence, whether the paper cited by the textbook actually provides evidence for the textbook’s
More details about the term paper will be discussed in class and posted on course website.
You may work on portions of this term project in groups, but only with permission from Joe.
Exams (70% total):
In class exams will be a combination of multiple choice questions and short
answer questions. I may also include fill in the blank questions, or questions involving graphs
and diagrams. Anything discussed in the textbook or class is testable, but
material that I highlight as important is more likely to be examined. Be prepared
to provide written explanations of key concepts that I highlight in class as
especially important. I also reserve the right to ask you questions about your
own research project on the exam.
Research Participation (6%):
For full marks in this course, you also need to get credit for three hours of research participation.
It is best to get it out of the way early on. For details, about research participation and for details
about alternatives to research participation, see https://www.sfu.ca/psychology/ugrad/researchparticipation.html.
To actually sign up for research participation, go to
Last day to Withdraw without extenuating circumstances
October 8
Class Contribution and Attendance
While I will not give course credit for attendance, attendance is required required for a good
grade in this course. The exams will be extremely difficult for students who do not come to
class. Students who actively participate in class are also likely to perform better than those who
do not.
Policy on Late Assignments/Missed Exams:
Assignments are submitted on Canvas at 11:59pm the day of the due date. We are not
responsible for network lag, so be sure to submit your assignment well before 11:59pm in order
to ensure that Canvas registers your assignment as being submitted on time.
There is a 25% late penalty per day for late assignments. I can only reschedule exams due to
exam hardship or extenuating circumstances, and I will require documentation to grant these
Documentation for sick notes: Please use the SFU Health Care Provider form as evidence of
illness: http://students.sfu.ca/forms.html
Note: It Is not the department policy to record lectures
Grade Appeals:
If you feel that your work warrants a better grade, then please ask for a regrade. I will remove
the mark from the online system, wait at least a few days, and then assign you a new grade. Of
course, this process implies that your grade may go up or down after a regrade. However, if you
have faith in your work, then I encourage you to get a second opinion. You can only ask for a
regrade within two weeks of receiving your mark.
Canvas announcements:
I will sometimes make important announcements through Canvas. It is your obligation to check
Canvas regularly to ensure that you do not miss important information!
Code of academic integrity and good conduct:
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are familiar with SFU’s code of conduct:
Further resources for what constitutes academic honesty can be found at:
Student Resources:
The Centre for Students with Disabilities: Students are encouraged to contact the
CSD early in the semester to register and arrange for accommodations during the midterm and
final exams. Accommodations must be submitted to the instructor in writing at least 1 week
before the exam date. http://www.sfu.ca/students/disabilityaccess •
SFU Health and Counseling Services: http://www.sfu.ca/students/health Tentative grade cutoffs: Note that these are tentative. Cut-offs are usually adjusted at the end
of the semester in order to achieve a distribution of letter grades that is in keeping with other
lower-division psychology classes. For example, under usual circumstances the top 20 students
in this class of 150 will receive an A- or better, so I may adjust Cut-offs to make sure that there
are at least 20 students in the A- to A+ category.
The grade cut-offs presented here are, in my experience, on the strict side and are unlikely to
be made more strict. Therefore, if you get 92% in the course you are unlikely to score below an
A-, but you may get an A depending on the performance of your peers (e.g., your more likely to
get an A if you score at the top of the class).
Note that the Cut-offs are not entirely determined by the distribution of grades in other lower
division psychology classes. They also depend on my judgement of the classes overall ability
(e.g., I may give out more A’s than usual if I have concrete evidence that this class is better than
the typical introductory psychology class).
Finally, remember that the Cut-offs will be applied to the entire class. Different students will not
be held to different Cut-offs, so please do not ask me to adjust a Cut-off entirely for your own
sake. A+
97-100% 93-96% 89-92% 85-88% 80-84% 76-79% 72-75% 67-71% 60-66% 50-59% 0-49%
Reading List:
Sep 5
Sep 12
Human Development across the Life Span
Chapter 11
Sep 19
Human Development across the Life Span
Chapter 11
Sep 26
Language and Thought
Chapter 8
Oct 3
Intelligence and Psychological Testing
Fact-Check the Text Part I Due
Chapter 9
Oct 10
Chapter 8, 9,
Oct 17
Personality: Theory, Research, and
Chapter 12
Oct 24
Special Topics
Oct 31
Stress, Coping, and Health
Fact-Check the Text Part II Due
Chapter 14
10 Nov 7
Midterm II
11 Nov 14
Social Behaviour
Chapter 13
12 Nov 21
Psychological Disorders
Chapter 15
13 Nov 28
Treatment of Psychological Disorders
Fact-Check the Text Part III Due
Chapter 16
Final Exam
Chapter 13,
15, 16
Note: Syllabus is subject to change. Its your responsibility to pay attention to lecture
announcements and Canvas announcements. Check with me if you plan on reading more than
two weeks ahead.
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