General Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 1103
Section Number
PSYC 1103
Fall 2011
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 9:00 - 9:50 AM

Dr. Don Knox (view Profile)

Course Attachments


The Science of Psychology

Course Objectives


1.      learn about what psychology is, and how it is applicable to the world around us.

2.      understand how we learn, think and remember.

3.      gain a basic knowledge of human developmental processes

4.      learn about human characteristics such as intelligence and personality

5.      investigate problems in human functioning (psychopathology) and how such problems are treated.


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 forthe exams. Quiz scores will be totaled at the end of the semester and constitute 15% of your final grade.  The quizzes are multiple-choice.  I will lock the doors at 9:00 AM on quiz days.  If you are late you will miss the quiz.  There are NO makeup quizzes for any reason.

Examinations: There are three major exam.  Each of the exams will cover three chapters except the first which covers four.  They are multiple choice and contain 50 questions.  Each of these exams are worth 20% of your grade. 


Final Exam: The final is comprehensive and contains 50 multiple choice questions.


Theme Assignments: Fifteen percent of your grade (15%) will be determined based on your completion of three Theme papers.  These papers will be no less than 600 words each.  The Papers will consist of your application of concepts discussed in the chat room or covered in your text to 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.  These ARE NOT research or term papers- they should be first person. Please understand that I will not tolerate cheating - if you copy and paste otherwise plagiarize - I will fail you for the course. The topic for your theme paper must be from the chapters being studied for the same exam number. Theme 1 test 1 = chapter 1, 2,  4 or 5.  You must respond to the theme posting of each of your classmates as well as a part of your grade.

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.


Grading Standards

Grading: Each regular exam will represent 18% of your final grade. Fifteen percent of your grade will come from your submission of the Theme Assignments and your responses to your classmates postings. The remaining 10% of your grade will come from your participation in online discussions (my postings labeled as discussion topics)!


Breakdown of Grades


  10 @ 15 points each = 150 points


Regular Exams

3 @ 200 points each = 600


Theme Papers

3 @ 50 points each =150


Final Exam





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

12/05/2011 8:00 AM

Submission Format Policy


All assignments will be turned in on the course webpage in 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

Late work is penalized at 10% per day.

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

Miss 4 classes and I may fail you for this course.  Miss 6 classes and you will get a failing grade.  I will not fill out a drop slip for you.

Other Policies

Academic Dishonesty: Please do not cheat or plagiarize. The MSU policy on cheating and plagiarism is in 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!!!


Dropping the course.:  This course is laid out so that a good portion of the grading will be completed prior to the drop date. I will have a section in the my grades that will indicate your progress to date to help you in your decision-making process.  Points total slowly at first so you may be alarmed that you have a low grade.  By the end of the semester it will all work out.

Americans with Disabilities Act: Midwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's disability and complies with Section 504 and Public Law 101-336 (Americans with Disabilities Act) in its admissions, accessibility, treatment and employment of individuals in its programs and activities. A copy of the ADA Compliance Document is available online at It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any disabling condition that will require

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