General Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 1103
Section Number
PSYC 1103
Fall 2010
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Tuesday       9:30-10:50 am

Thursday      9:30-10:50 am

Dr. David Carlston (view Profile)

Course Objectives

  1. Help students to gain an overview of the fundamental principles of psychology.
  2. Increase student ability to glean and retain pertinent information vis-à-vis independent study.
  3. Gain a perspective of the relevance of psychological research in today’s world.

Course Expectations


In order to encourage students to keep current with their reading and to help students prepare for exams, twelve quizzes will be given during the semester.  These quizzes will help students identify important concepts emphasized in the exams.  Quizzes may be multiple choice or short answer in format and will be worth 10 points each.  Each student may drop his or her two lowest quiz scores.  Although quiz scores will not be calculated into the final grade, students may use their quiz scores to replace their lowest exam score.


Exams will be worth 100 points each.  Each exam will be comprised of 40 multiple choice questions worth two points each and one essay question worth 20 points.  Material on the exam will include both information presented in class lecture as well as information contained in the text.  In other words, all lecture material as well as all material in the text is apt to appear on the exams.  It will not be sufficient to simply attend lecture to be successful in this course. 

Essay questions for each exam will be chosen from a list of provided potential essay questions.  These potential essay questions cover the most important content areas for each portion of the course.  Therefore, while only studying the essay questions would be a poor preparation strategy, students who do well on the essay questions are more successful than students who do poorly on the essay portion of the exam.

Final Examination

The final examination will be a comprehensive exam worth 200 points.  The exam will be comprised of 80 multiple choice questions worth two points and two essay questions worth 20 points each.  The final exam will be administered only at the scheduled time. 

Research Requirement:


Given the importance of research and research ethics in the field of psychology, all students are required to participate in one of the two following research related exercises:

  1. Participate in the General Psychology Screening.  Participants will provide anonymous responses to several psychological questionnaires soliciting general demographic information (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, class rank) as well as information regarding attitudes, behaviors, and emotional experience.  You will be provided information regarding the logistics of the screening prior to the Thanksgiving break.  It is anticipated that participation will require approximately one hour.


  1. Complete a research ethics essay.  Participating students will read academic writings addressing research ethics.  Following their reading, students will complete a three-page typed review of the information contained in the readings.  Essays will be submitted electronically to the email address provided above.  Completion of this activity should require approximately one hour.

No credit will be given for participation, but students must complete one of the two options.  Failure to do so will result in a letter grade reduction for the course.

Final Exam

12/07/2010 8:00 am

Submission Format Policy

Note Packets:

Students may earn extra points on each exam.  In order to earn the extra points, students must complete a note packet for each of the chapters covered on the exam.  Note packets are structured to summarize the information presented in the textbook.  Submission of lecture notes only will result in no additional points.

Note packets will be turned in to the professor on the day of the exam and should be collected by students upon completion of the exam.  Note packets must be handwritten in blue ink.  Additionally, all note packets must be stapled or they will not be accepted.

Note packets will include at least summary statements for section, definitions of key terms, and a description or summary of the content presented in graphs, charts, and supplemental sections.  Additional evidence of SQ3R implementation and incorporation of lecture notes into the note packet may result in additional points.

Note packets will be scored 0 – 1.0 on the day of the exam.  The score earned on the note packet will then be multiplied by the total amount of the adjustment for the exam.  Points will be added to the students score for that exam.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Students will not be allowed to make up quizzes missed due to absence.  Up to two missed quizzes will be dropped from the students quiz total.  There will be no make up exams for this course, unless a student is required to miss an exam for a mandatory university event.  Students missing an exam will have that score automatically replaced by their quiz total.  Exams may not be taken early.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance is required for the course.  Each student will be allowed three absences without penalty.  Each additional absence will result in a 5% reduction of the student’s final grade.  Students arriving following the taking of attendance will be considered absent.  Students will be responsible for the information presented during the class periods for which they were absent.  This information includes but is not limited to course content, syllabus changes, and information regarding the research requirement.

Other Policies

Cheating Policy:

Although cheating is relatively rare on campus due to the severity of honor code violations, any evidence of cheating (e.g., looking on another’s paper, allowing someone to look on your own paper, using an unauthorized memory aide) will result in automatic dismissal from the course with a letter grade of “F” and a referral to the Dean of Students.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at