Department of Psychology
PSYC 1000: Introductory Psychology
Spring, 2014, Section 001
Instructor: Dr. Karl L. Wuensch
Office (Rawl 137) Hours
Meeting Time: 1100-1214 Tuesdays in Rawl 130 and online
This page, like any syllabus, is a living document. You should
expect it to change across time.
Required Text---- Gray, P. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth. ISBN-13: 9781429246729. Wholesale Price to Bookstores: $73. Retail price from ECU Bookstore, $187.35. Buy it directly from the publisher for $91 . The cloth text is bundled with access to Psych Portal. Psych Portal includes the text in online format. If you are comfortable with having the text in online format only, you can buy a year's access to Psych Portal <use the Psych Portal link above> and not need to buy the cloth text. If you elect not to purchase access to Psych Portal, you may not be able to complete some of the activities which are an integral part of the course.
Psych Portal---- In addition to being able to access the text online, the Psych Portal has a number of other features that you can use to help prepare yourself for the quizzes and examinations. Among the resources you can find in the Psych Portal are:
Registering With Psych Portal
Syllabus ------Click the hot link to see a formal list of the topics we shall cover this semester.
Academic Etiquette: Please read this document. Pay special attention to the section on how properly to address a professor and note my preferences.
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.
Design of the Course
This course is a "hybrid" course. It is officially designated as Code 9 -- "Hybrid, Primarily Web." The majority of the instruction will be online. You will be expected to view online slideshows, read my online lecture documents, and engage in a variety of online activities. We shall meet face-to-face once a week. During these meetings I shall invite you to ask me questions. If there is any part of the week's online lecture you would like me to review, I shall be glad to do so. Our examinations will also be held during our face-to-face meetings.
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 failure to fulfill course requirements. Take this survey to see whether or not online instruction is right for you.
How Was I to Know This Would be an Online Class?
ECU has not done a very good job at educating its students how to tell, during registration, whether a class is face-to-face, online, or hybrid. Once you know how to check on that, it is very easy. The CRN for the course is actually a hot link. If you click on it you get a window like this. Notice that this window also contains a link to the course syllabus.
I have divided the course into quarters, as reflected in the calendar below. The topics to be covered in detail during the fourth quarter are to be determine by a topic poll of the students. For more details, see PSYC 1000 divided into four quarters.
Exams and Other Events
Exam or Other Event
Chapters in Gray
|Start of Semester Survey Becomes Available||13. January, Monday|
|Introduction to Course||14. January, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Last Add, Last Free Drop||17. January, Friday|
|Martin Luther King Day, No Classes||20. January, Monday|
|Research Participation Becomes Available||21. January, Tuesday|
|Review of Chapters 1 & 2||21. January, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Review of Chapter 3||28. January, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Last Day to Complete Start of Semester Survey||3. February, Monday|
4. February, Tuesday, 11:00
1 - 3: History & Scope of Psychology; Methods; Genetics & Evolutionary Psychology
Review of First Examination and Chapter 4 (Conditioning)
11. February, Tuesday 11:00
|Continued Review of Chapter 4||18. February, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Review of Chapter 5||25. February, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Second Examination||4. March, Tuesday, 11:00||4 & 5: Learning & Neuropsychology|
|Deadline to Complete the Topic Poll||6. March, Thursday, 5:00 PM|
|Last Day to Drop||6. March, Thursday|
|Spring Break||10. March through 15. March|
|Advising for Summer and Fall Starts||17. March, Monday|
|Review of Second Examination and Memory & Intelligence||18. March, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Registration for Summer and Fall Starts||21. March, Friday|
|Review of Chapter 6||25. March, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Third Examination||1. April, Tuesday, 11:00||6 (Motivation & Emotion) & Memory & Intelligence (Brief)|
|Deadline to Register for Makeup Exam||8. April, Tuesday|
|TBA||8. April, Tuesday, 11:00|
|TBA||15. April, Tuesday, 11:00|
|TBA||22. April, Tuesday, 11:00|
|Good Friday, No Classes||18. April, Friday|
|End of Semester Survey Becomes Available||28. April, Monday|
|Meet Friday Classes This Day||29. April|
|Last Day for Research Participation||29. April|
|Last Day to Complete End of Semester Survey||4. May, Sunday|
|Research Credits Earned Available to Professor Karl||5. May, Monday|
|Fourth Examination||8. May, Thursday, 11:00 - 13:30||TBA|
The Fourth Quarter
Later this semester you will have an opportunity to participate in a Topic Poll. The results of this survey will determine which topics are covered in detail during the last quarter of the course.
Each of the first three examinations will be administered in the classroom. All exams are multiple-choice format and will be computer graded. Please remember to bring with you an Opscan scoring sheet (8.5 x 11 inches) and a number 2 pencil with a good eraser. I recommend that you check out my Tips for Students Taking Multiple Choice Tests before taking multiple choice examinations. Please be sure properly to code your name on the optical scanning answer sheet. If you fail to code your name properly, I may not be able to determine which score is yours, and if I can, I will deduct five points from it before recording it.
Each exam will be scored on a 100 point basis, with scores adjusted so that the student(s) with the top score get(s) a 100. The adjustment will involve adding a constant to each raw score.
Following instructions. On each exam administered in the classroom, you can earn you two points for following these instructions: Put your name on the question sheet and both sides of the answer sheet -- last name first, first name last. On the back side of the answer sheet bubble in the circles corresponding to the characters in your name. Answer item 50 with the letter provided on the question sheet.
On Exams 2, 3, and 4 the focus will be on material covered since the preceding exam, but I typically include a few review items on each of these exams. I shall provide remedial instruction on the material which was apparently not mastered by many of the students and then retest that material on the next exam.
Makeup examinations. Each student is permitted to take one makeup examination without needing to provide a valid university-approved excuse. The student desiring a makeup examination needs to email Professor Karl and request the makeup examination. This request should include specification of which exam is to be made up, and specification of a 12 hour period during which the student is available to take the makeup examination online. Makeup examinations will be administered online, with the questions randomly drawn from a large bank of test items. Each student is permitted only one excuse-free makeup exam during the semester, be it for an exam that was missed or an exam that is retaken.
If you have not missed any of the examinations, but wish you had missed one of them, because your performance was below what you know you are capable of, you can elect to take an online make-up examination, the score on which will replace the score earlier earned on the examination administered in the classroom. It is recommended that this option not be elected until after the third examination has been administered in the classroom, at which point the student should have a good idea of which exam score, if any, would be the best candidate for replacement. Do note that the score on the makeup exam will replace the original score regardless of which score is higher. It is possible to lower your score by replacing an original score with the score from a makeup exam.
Exam 4 is given during final exam week, but it is not cumulative (other than for a few review questions, as on the second and third exams) and it is not weighted differently than the other three exams. The Office of the Registrar has been unable to provide our class with a room in which to take the fourth examination. Our room has been scheduled for examination purposes for another class, one with a much smaller enrollment than our class. Accordingly, Exam 4 will be administered online. It will be available on the 8th of May, Thursday, 11:00 - 13:30.
Be sure to check your email the day before each exam. I may send out hints and tips designed to help you with last-minute studying. For example, I may send out copies of a few of the items which will be on the examination.
Examination Regulations. To preserve academic integrity, I have, with a heavy heart, prescribed the following regulations for student behavior during examinations in this class:
University Policy On Final Examinations: Read this statement.
A total of 75 multiple-choice and/or true-false questions will be divided into approximately ten quizzes given throughout the semester. These quizzes will be administered online, via BlackBoard. Each question is worth one course point, so you could earn a total of 75 course points by taking the quizzes. I shall announce the availability of each quiz in a BlackBoard announcement, and/or by email. Many of the questions on each quiz will be randomly selected from the publisher's test bank. You are encouraged to practice taking quizzes on the content of this course -- you can do so within the Psych Portal and also within BlackBoard.
You are strongly encouraged to read the documents "Test Taking Tips" and "BB Exam Tips," which can be found in BlackBoard, under Quizzes. Reading these documents should prepare you to take online quizzes without making the sort of mistake that results in your getting kicked out of the system before completing the quiz.
Makeup quizzes. If you miss a quiz, you will provided the opportunity, only once during the semester, to make it up, without providing a valid university-approved excuse. To take advantage of this benefit, you should email a request to Professor Karl within 48 hours of the time the quiz became unavailable. If you are confident that you would do better on a quiz were you to retake it, you may request to retake the quiz, with the score earned the second time replacing the score earned originally. Each student is permitted only one excuse-free makeup quiz during the semester, be it for a quiz that was missed or a quiz that is retaken.
Weekly assignments (readings and other activities) will be announced through the BlackBoard announcements. Each such announcement will also be distributed by email. You can review what assignments have been made in the past and see what assignment are coming up in the future through the online Agenda, which lists all announcements for the entire semester, past, present, and future.
All students enrolled in PSYC 1000 are required to participate in research as part of their educational experience in PSYC 1000. Five percent of the final grade will result from earning 5 research participation credits. There are four ways that you can earn these credits:
For each research/survey credit earned, 5 points will be added to your total course points, up to a maximum of 25 points (5% of the total points possible). Start by going to the Psychology Research Participation Web Page.
As noted in the table above, there are three periods for earning research participation points. From the 13th of January to the 3rd of February, the start of semester survey is available. From the 21st of January until the 29th of April you may earn credits through research participation or reading and passing a quiz on research articles. From the 28th of April until the 4th of May the end of semester survey is available.
You can check on how many research/survey/article participation credits you have earned via the Sona site. See my tutorial. Please note that I shall not be posting to BlackBoard points earned by research participation until near the end of the semester, when the Sona team has sent me a final report of number of credits earned.
If you are having problems with the Research Participation Web Sites, do not email Professor Karl about that.Do email email@example.com . Also, you may meet with my graduate assistant for help.
You may earn extra credit by accumulating more than the required 5 research/survey credits. For each extra credit, five points will be added to your total course points. The maximum number of credits that may be converted into course points is 10, the 5 required and 5 extra. No course points will be earned by accumulating more than 10 research/survey credits. Extra credit activities must be completed prior to the stated deadline. Activities submitted after the deadline will earn no extra credit. In no case can extra credit be earned after the last day of classes. Quizzes may also include extra credit items. The first five quizzes this semester included 12 extra credit opportunities. This has allowed some students to achieve a grade standing of better than a perfect 100%.
The top score on each exam will be a 100. Each survey credit and research credit earns you an additional 5 points added to your total points earned. At the end of the semester I total your three examination scores, your quiz scores, and your research participation points. Each of the four examinations is weighted 20% of your final grade, the quizzes, collectively, are weighted 15%, and research/survey participation is weighted 5%. Here is how to translate end-of-semester total points to a letter grade:
|Points Earned||Letter Grade|
These grade cutoffs are absolute -- for example, a 399 is a C+, not a B-. When transforming total scores to letter grades, "close" does not count. To view your grades, enter BlackBoard, PSYC 1000, Student Tools, Check Grade.
To determine your current standing in the class, follow the instructions in my document What is My Current Grade in PSYC 1000?
Your grade in this class will be determined solely by your performance on the examinations, research activities, and any extra credit that you have earned prior to the last day of classes. 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 "Achievement adequately meets basic course expectations." What is an expectation? Here is a quantitative definition of the expected value. In short, it is the average (mean) value.
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.
If you are having problems with your computer, 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.
I intend to post copies of my lecture notes, announcements, and your grades in the BlackBoard system. To enter our course, start by clicking on the door icon near the top of this web page. That will take you to the web portal. Click Login and then enter your username and your password. Your username is your ECU email username (for example, WuenschK73) and your password is the same as that you use with your ECU mail. After you login to BlackBoard, you will be given a list of the BlackBoard courses in which you are registered. Select PSYC 1000 and you are in. Use Course Documents to locate copies of my lecture notes and other instructional materials I may post. Use Student Tools to check your grades.
Sending E-Mail to Dr. Wuensch
Before sending email asking about course procedures and policies, check the syllabus -- your question may well be answered there.
You can send me email through Blackboard, but it may not put your name on the e-mail. Accordingly, you must remember to type your name in the email or I will not easily know from whom it came. For help using ECU E-mail, see ECU E-Mail.
Regardless of which mailer you use to email me, 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: Instrumental Conditioning and Free Will?" Failure to provide such a subject line could result in your email being discarded without being opened. My Inbox assistant inspects the subject line of every piece of incoming mail. If it contains the string "PSYC 1000," it is sorted into a folder that gets my attention. If it does not, it is sent to a general junk folder which I infrequently check. You don't want your email to go into the junk folder, and it is you who control whether or not it goes to junk.
Responses to Class-Related Emails
I respond promptly to class-related emails that are properly formatted. When I believe that the entire class would benefit from seeing my answer to a query emailed to me, I will copy my response to the entire class. Frequently this is an attempt on my part to avoid answering the same question many times in individual replies to individual students. When I think the student who posed the question might be embarrassed by being personally identified, I will change the name of the student to something anonymous, like "Ima Student." Distressingly, some students whose name is not "Ima Student" will misconceive these emails as having been directed to them personally.
Honors By Contract
I do allow honors by contract for students in the honors program. Typically these students will complete, in addition to the standard requirements of the course, a term paper on a topic in psychology that has been approved by me. Usually such a term paper is ten to twenty pages in length. The student needs to meet with me to gain approval of a proposed topic. I am willing to consider projects other than term papers.
Goals of This CourseAfter completing this course, you should:
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.
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.
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.
Please read this document: Academic Etiquette
Cheating is penalized by a grade of 'F' for the course and may lead to further disciplinary action. Plagiarism is considered cheating. See
For every credit hour, three hours of preparation are expected. Plan on spending 15 hours a week on this class.
Class attendance is your responsibility. I neither reward mere attendance nor punish absences.
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).
Tutors in Psychology - Need help with this course? Find a tutor here.
Expect this Course to be Easy? -- think again
Publisher's Web Site for Our Textbook -- lots of useful resources here
ECU E-Mail - Help and resources for students.
ECU Counseling Center - Get help for text anxiety and assorted other personal problems.
Wuensch Teaching -- Watch him teaching stats back in the days of chalk and board.
University Calendar for Spring, 2014 -- includes exam schedule
The Dog Ate My Disk -- amusing article from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Wait-Listing -- when a class you want is full, you can get on a waiting list for it, if the instructor has enabled that feature.
Retention Standards -- These have been changed, effective Autumn, 2011. Read about it here.
Contact Information for the Webmaster,
Dr. Karl L. Wuensch
This page most recently revised on the 1st of March, 2014.