East Carolina University
Department of Psychology

PSYC 1000: Introductory Psychology
Second Summer Session, Section 601

Instructor: Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

Correct Pronunciation
How to Address a Professor -- Don't Call Me 'Mister.'

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Enter the Course: For full access, you must be enrolled and know your userid and password -- otherwise you can preview the course materials by Guest Access.

Academic Etiquette:  Please read this document.  Pay special attention to the section on how properly to address a professor and note my preferences.  Also note that this page, like any syllabus, is a living document.  You should expect it to change across time.

Enrolling in This Course:  Wait-listing is enabled for this course.  Accordingly, no special adds are possible.  If the course has closed but you still hope to enroll, you should add yourself to the wait-list.

Office Hours:  If you need to speak with me, send me an email with your telephone number and times it would be good for me to call you.  Most of the time you will be able to communicate with me most effectively through BlackBoard and email.  I am never far from my computer, and I check email several times a day.

Design of the Course -- This course will be taught using online methods, primarily BlackBoard, Psych Portal, and my web site.  You have elected to take an online class. By registering for an online class, you have indicated that you are computer literate and that you have good access to a well-functioning computer with Internet access.  Accordingly, lack of competence or access will not constitute acceptable excuses for missing assignments or examinations, excepting emergencies that can be documented.  You are expected to check your ECU email every day and to log in to BlackBoard every day.  Take this survey to see whether or not online instruction is right for you.

Required Text ----- Gray, P. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.  The product you should purchase has ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-7950-5 -- this is a package containing the textbook, access to the Psych Portal, a study guide, and the Scientific American reader.  Among the resources you can find in the Psych Portal are:

Registering With Psych Portal

  1. Go to http://courses.bfwpub.com/gray6e.php  (Mac users need to use Firefox).
  2. Click on the link "REGISTER AN ACTIVATION CODE."
  3. You will be prompted to follow the on-screen instructions to find your course. You start by selecting the school's state, the school name, then the instructor, course, and/or section.  When setting up access for the course, Professor Karl indicated on what date the course starts and ends.  If the course start date has not yet arrived, you will not be able to find his course in Psych Portal.  You will need to wait until the course start date to register your activation code.
  4. You then enter the activation code that you purchased. You will be asked to enter their your email address, and choose a password.
  5. If you have not already purchased access, you can purchase access at this website by clicking on the “PURCHASE” link.

Syllabus ------ Click the hot link to see a formal list of the topics we shall cover this semester.

Exams and Other Events

Exam or Other Event

Date, Time

Chapters in Gray

Discussion Forum 1 (Introductions), Original Post Due (BlackBoard Discussion Board) 23. June, Sunday, 11:59 PM N/A

Discussion Forum 1, Responses Due

26. June, Wednesday, 11:59 PM N/A
First Examination 27. June, Thursday, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM 1 - 3:  History & Scope of Psychology; Methods; Genetics & Evolutionary Psychology

Discussion Forum 2, Original Post Due

2. July, Tuesday, 11:59 PM


Independence Day

4. July, Thursday

No Classes This Day

Discussion Forum 2, Responses Due 5. July, Friday, 11:59 PM 2
Second Examination 9. July, Tuesday, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM 4 & 5:  Learning & Neuropsychology
Last Day to Drop a Class 9. July, Tuesday  
Discussion Forum 3, Original Post Due 11. July, Thursday, 11:59 PM 4
Discussion Forum 3, Responses Due 15. July, Monday, 11:59 PM 4
Topic Survey Closes 16. July, Tuesday, noon N/A
Third Examination 17. July, Wednesday, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM 6 (Motivation & Emotion) &  Memory & Intelligence (Brief)
Discussion Forum 4, Original Post Due 19. July, Friday, 11:59 PM 6
Discussion Forum 4, Responses Due 23. July, Tuesday, 11:59 PM 6
Fourth Examination 26.  July, Friday, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM TBA


    Each examination will consist of 35 multiple-choice questions.  Some of these questions will be randomly selected from the publisher's test bank and others will be questions that I have written.  The content tested includes both the assigned chapters in the text book and my corresponding lecture notes and PowerPoint slides.  The questions you receive will not be identical to the questions received by any other student in the class.  Examinations will be administered in BlackBoard.  I recommend that you check out my Instructions for Taking Examinations in BlackBoard and my Tips for Students Taking Multiple Choice Tests .

    Each exam will be scored on a 35 point basis (one point for each correct answer).  There will be a one hour time limit for completing each examination.  If you go over the time limit, I shall have to grade your exam manually.  In this case I shall deduct one point from your score for each two minutes you went overtime.

    When taking examinations you are permitted to use any resource other than another person.  Do not, however, expect to be able to complete the examination on time if you have not studied the material -- in that case it would just take you too long to look up the answers to all the questions.  I recommend that you prepare a document in which you have summarized, in your own words, all of the important points made in the book, my lecture notes, and my PowerPoint slides.  Making such a document will help you learn the material and having it available during the examination should reduce your anxiety about the examination.

Discussion Questions

    Each week there will be one discussion question that you are required to answer.  Each week's  discussion question is worth a maximum of 15 points.  You will be posting your discussion assignments in the discussion forum in BlackBoard.  When requested you will also post your contribution in SafeAssign in BlackBoard.  SafeAssign is a plagiarism checker -- it searches the Internet and a database with other students' papers to see if there are suspicious similarities between your post and the work of others.

   Please read the document Contributing Successfully to Online Discussions in PSYC 1000 prior to joining in on a discussion.  It is probably a good idea to re-read this document once a week.

    Please write your answers to the discussion questions in a professional style, not a casual style.  While I am most interested in the content of your answers, poor spelling and grammar does detract from one's contribution, so please make every effort to use proper spelling and grammar.  Before you start answering any of the discussion questions, please consult my page on professional writing.  Be sure to watch the short video as well.


    At the end of the semester I shall have for each student 1.) cumulative points earned on four examinations (maximum = 140), 2.) cumulative points earned on four sets of discussion questions (maximum = 60), and 3.) any extra credit points (some questions on the exams may be extra credit questions).  I add these three sets of points to determine your total score.  I shall then modify your total score this way:  I find the difference between 200 and the top score and then add this to every student's score.  This changes the top score to a perfect 200 and changes every other score by the same amount.  The correspondence between total scores and final letter grades is shown in the table below.

Points Earned

Letter Grade

188-200 A
180-187 A-
174-179 B+
166-173 B
160-165 B-
154-159 C+
146-153 C
140-145 C-
134-139 D+
126-133 D
120-125 D-
Below 120 F

    These grade cutoffs are absolute -- for example, a 159 is a C+, not a B-. When transforming total scores to letter grades, "close" does not count.

    Your grade in this class will be determined solely by your performance on the examinations and discussion assignments. How much effort you think you put into the course is not a factor in the assignment of grades. For example: 1.) If you manage to achieve an 'A' average without putting much effort into the course, I am not going to lower your grade to a 'B' just because it was easy for you, and 2.) If you are only able to earn a 'D' with what you think is great effort, I am not going to raise your grade to a 'C' because of effort.

    Please see the University Catalog for definitions of letter grades.  Do note that the grade of 'C' is defined as "adequately meets basic course expectations," in other words, "average."    Please do not embarrass yourself and me by begging for extra credit after final grades have been awarded. Final grades are, well, final. Also, please remember that I grade your performance, not your personal worth.  I shall not respond to begging emails, and may block email coming from repeat beggars.

Computer Assistance

    If you are having problems with your computer, and live close to ECU, you can take it to the ACE computer support center in Rawl 108.  They will help you set it up properly and resolve any problems you are having with it.

Questions About Course Content and Policies

    Such questions should be posted to the Discussion Board in BlackBoard, not emailed to Dr. Wuensch.  In this way, the response can be seen by all, and others may also contribute to answering the questions.  Questions of a personal nature (for example, about your grade) should be emailed to Dr. Wuensch rather than posted in the discussion board.  If you send email, please be sure to provide a subject line that starts out with "PSYC 1000:" followed by a phrase which describes the nature of the communication. For example, "Subject: PSYC 1000: My dog ate my computer." Failure to provide such a subject line could result in your email being discarded without being opened.

Email to Professor Karl:

    Professor Karl has programmed Outlook to sort incoming mail into different folders.  You should include in the subject line of your email the phrase "PSYC 1000:" -- if you do, it will be properly sorted and your instructors will find it.  If you do not, your email will end up here:  , where it is unlikely to get much attention.

Goals of This Course   After completing this course, you should:

  1. Be familiar with what psychologists and others have learned about behavior and the mind.  This will include a broad overview as well as more detailed study for a few of the sub-disciplines of psychology.

  2. Understand the methods employed by psychologists to conduct research.  This includes the role of theory in research, generating questions that can be empirically addressed, gathering data relevant to the questions posed, the analysis of the data, drawing conclusions from the analysis, relating the results to theory and practice, and disseminating the results.

  3. Be able to relate the findings of psychological research to a variety of everyday problems.  Just about every problem you will ever encounter is, at least in part, a behavioral or mental problem.  Since we are a highly social species, these problems very often involve our relationships with others.

    Please read this document about goals that are appropriate for courses that earn foundation credit.


Planning for Disaster

    Your Computer:  Bad things happen to good computers.  If your computer fails or your internet service goes out, you should available an alternate way to connect to the course -- a friend with an adequate computer, a library computer, etc.  You should download all your coursework to the hard drive of your PC and also to an independent storage device, such as an external hard drive, a flash drive, or a backup service in the cloud.  You would be very distressed were your hard drive to crash and you had not backed up your work.

    BlackBoard:  The Psych Portal is both a supplement to our other course materials and a backup system for BlackBoard.  Were BlackBoard to go down for an extended period of time, we should be able to continue class through the Psych Portal.  Additionally, I have all of my lessons on the university core server, and could make them available to you directly from that server.

    Contact Information:  If things go bad, it can help to get into contact with other persons in the class, both professor, teaching assistants, and other students.  Contact information for these people is available in BlackBoard.  I recommend that you download that information and keep it on your PC and backup medium.

    Everything Breaks:  Everything crashes and you cannot contact anybody about it.  This would probably be the end of the world.  Perhaps Adolph can convince you not to worry.

Assorted Notes

  • Cheating is penalized by a grade of 'F' for the course and may lead to further disciplinary action. Plagiarism is considered cheating.  See

  • East Carolina University seeks to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Department for Disability Support Services located in Slay 138 (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY).  

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Contact Information for the Webmaster,
Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

This page most recently revised on the 28th of June, 2013.