East Carolina University
Department of Psychology

PSYC 1000: Introductory Psychology
Spring, 2014, Section 001

Instructor: Dr. Karl L. Wuensch
Correct Pronunciation

Office (Rawl 137) Hours

Meeting Time: 1100-1214 Tuesdays in Rawl 130 and online

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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

  1. You may register with Psych Portal starting the first of January, 2014.  You cannot register after the first of March, 2014.  Once registered, you will have access until the fifteenth of May, 2014.
  2. Go to http://courses.bfwpub.com/gray6e.php  (Mac users need to use Firefox).
  3. Click on the link "REGISTER AN ACTIVATION CODE."
  4. 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.
  5. You then enter the activation code that you purchased. You will be asked to enter your email address, and choose a password.
  6. 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.

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.

Four Quarters

    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

Date, Time

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  

First Examination

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)
Review of Third Examination; Personality, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapy (Brief) 8. April, Tuesday, 11:00 13 (Social Perception & Attitudes)
Review of Chapter 13 15. April, Tuesday, 11:00 14 (Social Influences on Behavior)
Review of Chapter 14 22. April, Tuesday, 11:00  
End of Semester Survey Becomes Available 28. April, Monday  
Meet Thursday 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 13 & 14. Personality, Psychopathology, & Psychotherapy (Brief)

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.

Mobile Devices


   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 examinationsEach 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.  You must complete the exam within 75 minutes.

    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:

  • The use of electronic communication equipment during exams is strictly forbidden.  This includes cell phones, text messengers, pagers, audio playback equipment, and similar devices.  Such devices should not be brought to class on examination day.  If you must bring such devices to class, they must be turned off and stowed in a closed container (such as a book bag) during the examination.  Students who are observed with such an electronic communication device in class and not properly stowed on an examination day will be considered to have violated the stated regulation, will be dismissed from the examination and considered to have missed the examination, and the incident will be reported to the chair of the Department of Psychology with a recommendation for disciplinary action.
  • Have you ever noticed that everybody wears their baseball caps with the brim to the back almost all of the time, but on exam day they show up with the brims to the front.  Students in my classes will be asked to remove such caps or rotate them so the brims are to the back.
  • Students must put their names on both the question sheet and the answer sheet, and code it on the answer sheet by darkening the appropriate circles for each character in their names (last name first).  After having completed the examination, students must bring both question sheet and answer sheet to the proctor and present them with side 1 up, answer sheet on top of the question sheet.  Students should have with them at this time all materials they brought into the classroom.  After turning in the exam they should immediately exit through the north door of the room (the door near the front of the classroom).
  • Students must bring to class on examination days their ECU photo identification cards and must, if requested by the proctor, present that card for inspection.
  • Each student is permitted to bring to class, on exam day, and to use during the exam, a two-sheet executive summary of the material being tested (some call this a "cheat sheet," but since it is permitted, it not cheating).  The two sheets must each be 8.5 x 11 inches and may contain only hand-written text.  Word-processed material is not permitted.  You are permitted to write on both sides of each sheet.

    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.

Research/Survey Requirement

    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:

  • Completion of the Start of Semester Survey, online, earns one-half credit.  This survey is available for a limited time at the start of the semester.
  • Participation in approved research earns one credit for each hour of participation.
  • Reading an approved research article and passing a quiz on its content earns one-half of a credit.
  • Completion of the End of Semester Survey, online, earns one-half credit.  This survey is available for a limited time at the end of the semester.

     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 experimentrak@ecu.edu .  Also, you may meet with my graduate assistant for help.

Extra Credit

    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 six quizzes this semester included 15 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
470-525 A
450-469 A-
435-449 B+
415-434 B
400-414 B-
385-399 C+
365-384 C
350-364 C-
335-349 D+
315-334 D
300-314 D-
Below 300 F

    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.

Computer Assistance

    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 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.

Assorted Notes

snake on a stick



spider in web
Contact Information for the Webmaster,
Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

This page most recently revised on the 30st of March, 2014.