General Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2012
O'Donohoe Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Class Time: TR 11:00-12:20

Dr. Michael A. Vandehey (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives



1. Engage in weekly discussions about historical and current topics as related to the chapters.

            1. Write 5 reaction papers taking a stand on the issue.

            2. Apply psychological knowledge to the topic.

            3. Engage in public discourse about a variety of topics.


2. To increase multiple-choice test-taking skills and improve study skills/time management. This will be accomplished by:

            1. Taking 5 tests.

            2. Instruction on study and test-taking skills.

            3. Having questions over sections of the chapter that are not discussed in class.

            4. Having to decipher ambiguously written questions.

            5. Having to choose between the “best” and “almost best” answer. 


Be introduced to the exciting field of psychology.

            1. Each chapter is a survey of a major area of study within the field.

            2. In-class group exercises.

Course Expectations

Course Requirements: Grades will be based on five reaction papers, performance on 3 out of 4 exams, and a final.


(50 points-10 points each) Reaction papers are to be two double-spaced pages and include two peer-reviewed references (Wikipedia nor .com webpages do not count as a reference). Papers are to take a side and argue for it. Personal opinion is appropriate as long as there is support for it in the literature. Feedback will be provided over the semester to aid with academic growth. Some students may be asked to read their papers to the group. Topics are negotiable. If something occurs during the semester, we may replace a listed topic with an emerging one (e.g., the election of 2012). In addition, students may suggest topics, and if time permits, additional topics will be added. *reaction papers are to be turned in throughout the semester. I will only accept 2 reaction papers the last week of class.     


(10 points-5 points each) Research participation:  You will also have at least 3 opportunities to participate in the psychology department’s research projects. You can earn 5 points for each project in which you participate. You are required to participate in at least 2 projects – you may participate in a 3rd for 5 points extra credit.


(200 points-50 points each) Each exam will be worth 50 points and the lowest score will be dropped. This means a student who has earned an “A” average on the first 4 exams does not have to attend the final (those students will be notified after the 4th exam). Students with a “B+” or lower must attend the final.

Grading Standards

Tests will be multiple choice and answers will be marked on Scantrons. I reserve the right to add essay questions at any point during the semester. 260 points are possible and grade ranges are as follows:


A = 234-260

B = 208-233

C = 182-207

D = 156-181

F = 155 or lower

Final Exam

12/11/2012 1:00 pm

Submission Format Policy


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


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

Make-up Policy: Make-up exams will be essay in nature and can be scheduled with me. I need one week to prepare the exam; thus, the earliest a make-up exam can be taken is one week after the initial exam. See the 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 70-71).

Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes. Early finals will only be offered to graduating seniors with honors.

Other Policies

Note: Students with disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. Individuals requiring special accommodation may contact me after class or during office hours.


Electronic Contact: I require 5 working days to be able to read and respond to all email. Please note that my spam filter does keep some emails from getting to me (most recently my wife). In addition, I do not check email after 5 pm nor on weekends/holidays. My cell phone is to be used only be students who have been given it by me (e.g., honor society officers, graduate students). Please do not text me on my cell unless I have personally given you my cell number.


Graduating Seniors: Only graduating seniors who are graduating with honors (Cum Laude or better) and are on the honors list from the registrar are excused from taking the final.

Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.


Cheating Policy: Any evidence of cheating on exams or quizzes will result in dismissal from this class with a grade of “F”. To avoid questions of cheating, mark Scantrons clearly, use a No. 2 pencil, and erase completely. Errors due to a poorly marked Scantron will not result in a grade change.

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