Introduction to Psychology (PS201)
Professor: Paul M. Fedorchak
Plymouth State College - Fall 2002

The Text: Psychology (in modules), 6th Edition, by David G. Myers (available at Campus Bookstore).

Grading: There will be four exams, each consisting of a combination of multiple-choice and short-answer essay questions.  Each exam will cover only the most recent material (i.e, noncumulative format), and your final grade will be based on an average of the four exam scores. Makeup exams will be given only in the following cases: death in the family or other serious family emergency, serious illness or a college-sponsored activity absence (e.g., sports participation, debate team, etc.). If you plan to be absent because of a college-sponsored activity, please arrange to have the exam taken ahead of time. If you experience either of the other events, please provide some type of documentation (e.g., note from college infirmary, phone call from parents, etc.) and leave a message on my voice mail before the scheduled exam.

I will also have occasional mini-projects (e.g., write a paragraph on some topic) or mini-quizes (1 or 2 short-answer questions) that will serve both as early-bird "questions" whose points will be added on to each upcoming exam, and informal "rewards" for attendance. In the latter case, I will often ask for an answer or comment that will tell me how well you understood my lecture.

Attendance: I don't have a formal attendance policy. If you miss class, I assume you have a good reason.   However, be forewarned: over 80% of the exams questions will be on things mentioned in class at least once. Thus, missing just one class each exam period could make the difference between an A and a C. Also, if you miss class you might just miss out on a chance for an early-bird point.

Office Hours: Office hours will be Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 11 AM to 12 PM, Tuesday from 12:15 PM to 1 PM and other times by appointment.  My office is Hyde 429, my phone number is 535-2580, and my e-mail address is pfedorch@mail (from off campus:   You can also leave a message with the secretary in the Psychology Dept main office (Hyde 401) @ 535-2203.   Note: if you plan to come by during my office hours, please call and let me know you are coming.  If I'm not here, leave a message on my voice mail.  Thanks.


Outline of Topics
(Note:  Chapters and pages may not be accurate due to a "new edition" of the book.
Once I update and/or verify the reading assignments, I will eliminate this note. )

Weeks 1 through 4:  Introduction to the Methods of Psychological Research - Operational Definitions; Correlation vs. Causation/Measuring vs Manipulating; Controls & Confounds; Chance; Polls & Surveys. Scientific Psychology vs. Pop Psychology vs. Quack Psychology. (Reading: Introduction, Chapter 1 and Appendix A (starts on pg 593).


Weeks 5 and 6: Biological Bases of Behavior - neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters and methods of inquiry; Genetics & Behavior. (Chapter 2)

Weeks 7 and 8: Learning and Memory:   Classical (Pavlovian) and Instrumental Conditioning; Schedules of Reinforcement; Applications (e.g., drug tolerance, children's eating behavior.) (Reading; Chapters 8 and 9)


Weeks 9, 10 and 11: Motivation: Hunger, Sex, Achievement. (Reading: Chapter 12)

Week 12: Intelligence (Reading: Chapter 11)


Week 13 and 14: Social Psychology: Attitudes, Conformity, Attraction (Reading: Chapter 18)

Week 15 and 16: Psychological Disorders - Anxiety and Depression, Schizophrenia; causes/treatments. (Reading: Chapters 15 and 16)


Note: Exams will not be cumulative. The last exam will be given during the scheduled final exam session.