Human Behavior

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 2203
Section Number
PSYC 2203
Fall 2011
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 10:00 - 10:50

Dr. Don Knox (view Profile)

Course Attachments


The Science of Psychology

Course Objectives

  • learn about what psychology is, and how it is applicable to the world around us.
  • understand how we learn, think and remember.
  • gain a basic knowledge of human behavior
  • learn about human characteristics such as perception, sensation, motivation and thinking
  • investigate other areas of psychology (social and industrial/organizational).


Above and beyond this, we will approach the field of psychology critically as "a way of approaching and analyzing the world (Wade & Tavris, 1990, p. xvii)." This means that we will explore how to think critically about psychological phenomena and be skeptical about what we read.


As such, class discussions and projects will be designed to encourage your own exploration of psychology.  Through the study of this field, you are likely to find that much of what we know in psychology directly relates to, and has the capacity to enrich, our experience of everyday life.

Course Expectations



Quizzes:  The quizzes will help us to stay on track in the course and provide you with a study guide for the exams.  Quiz scores will be totaled at the end of the semester and constitute 12% of your grade.  The quizzes are multiple-choice.


Examinations: There are three major exams.  Each of the exams will cover 3 chapters.  Each of these exams is worth 18% of your grade.  They are multiple-choice and each will consist of 60 questions.  The final exam is comprehensive and will contain 50 multiple-choice questions.


Theme Papers:Fifteen percent of your grade (15%) will be determined based on your completion of three Theme Papers.  These papers will be no less than 500 words each and will need to be submitted electronically via WebCT.  The total number of points you can earn from these papers is 150, or 50 points per paper.  The papers will consist of your application of concepts discussed in class, covered in your text, current events, or personal experiences.  For example, you might decide to do one of your Papers on the impact of the Internet on how students learn, or the impact of teenage violence on psychological health later in life, or the impact of memory deficits on academic achievement, or the use of principles of learning to help at-risk youth acquire positive social skills.


Journal Reviews.  Nine percent of your grade (9%) will be determined on a three journal reviews (each is 3% of your total grade).  I will post the journal articles on our class Blackboard site.


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


  1. Participate in the General Psychology Screening.  Participating students will provide anonymous responses to several psychological questionnaires soliciting general demographic information (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity) as well as information regarding attitudes, behaviors, and emotional experience. Your General Psychology instructor will provide information about when the Screening will occur, locations, and other details. Students unable to participate at these announced may contact Barbara Waddell, OD 122, to arrange an alternate time.  It is anticipated that participation will require approximately one hour. 
  2. Complete the research ethics essay. Participating students will read academic writings addressing ethics in research. Following their reading, students will complete a 3-page typed review of the information contained in the readings. Essays will be submitted electronically to the General Psychology instructor. Completion of this essay activity should require approximately one hour.


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


Grading: Each regular exam will represent 18% of your final grade and the final 10%. The quizzes constitute 12% of your grade, journal articles 9% and 15% percent of your grade will come from your submission of the Theme Assignments. 


Grading Standards

Breakdown of Grades


6 @ 20 points each = 120 points


Regular Exams

3 @ 180 points each = 540


Theme Papers

3 @ 50 points each =150


Journals reviews

  3 @ 30 points each = 90


Final Exam

100 points




Then use the following scale (there is no rounding or extra credit):



Grading Scale


900 1000




800 890




700 790




600 690




Below 600



Final Exam

12/07/2010 10:30

Submission Format Policy

  All assignments will be turned in via WebCT/BlackBoard.

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

Quizzes cannot be made up for any reason.  A missed quiz counts as a zero.

Late submission of theme papers.   Any postings posted on WebCT after the due date will be assessed a 10% penalty per day for up to three days.  If an assignment is turned in more than three business days after the due date it will not receive any points.  You may submit theme papers prior to the due date.  The discussion board is for your use.


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

I take attendance every day.  Excused absences come from the Dean of Students.  After 6 absences, you need to consider dropping the course.  If I drop you from the course, your grade will either be a WF or F.

Other Policies

Academic Dishonesty:  Please do not cheat or plagiarize.  The MSU policy on cheating and plagiarism is on page 71 of the MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar (Code of Student Conduct, Item 11) and I encourage you to review it. Additional information regarding the Academic Dishonesty policy is available from the Dean of Students office, in Clark Student Center. Cheating or engaging in plagiarism will result in a grade of zero (0) and/or a letter grade of F for the course!!!!!!! If you find yourself even thinking about cheating on an exam or copying someone elses work, please talk to me instead of doing it!!! 

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