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Developmental Psychology

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 3233
Section Number
PSYC 3233
Fall 2010
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 1:00 - 2:20

Dr. Don Knox (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Essentials of Life-span Development
Clashing Views in Life-span Development
Study guide
Course Objectives

This course will be an introductory look at the psychological development of human beings across the life span.  Focus of this course is on the major domains of development, including the (1) Physical, (2) Cognitive, and (3) Psychological/Emotional domains.  The emphasis will be upon the latter two domains, with less attention given to the physical aspects of development, maturity, and aging.  The course will also give more weight to the “outcomes” of development, being less concerned with the detailed steps of the developmental process.  Course material will essentially follow the outline of your textbook, but additional material may be presented from time to time.  Thus, keeping up with the readings (about one chapter per week, sometimes more) AND class attendance will be important for success.  Study material is available on WebCT.

Course Expectations

Grades will be based primarily upon four tests, given at about four week intervals, with the last test being considered the “final exam.”  Material to be covered will be clearly stated, and the type of test will also be made known in advance, though most likely multiple choice, short answer, objective questions will make up the bulk of test items.  Some essay questions may be given, depending upon the nature of the class.  If such questions are used, that will be announced in advance of the test.  Each exam is worth 130 points.


A fourth grade, 100 points, will be awarded based upon completion of a paper.  The paper will be 5-7 typewritten, double-spaced pages addressing a major topic or issue in developmental psychology, as it applies to you, or someone you know.  The paper will be due November 6th.  Because the Department of Psychology at MSU emphasizes the importance of written work, these papers will be read critically.  Please allow yourself enough time to review and perhaps re-draft the paper before turning it in.  In addition to content, the “clarity” of your communication with the instructor will be a major factor in assigning a grade.  That is, you must write well to do well.  To minimize unpleasant surprises, a proposal, identifying the topic or issue to be addressed, and the student’s approach, MUST be signed off in advance by the instructor prior to the first test.  (The interested student will, of course, complete their proposals early.)  A “Proposal Guide” to aid students in preparing for their papers may be found on page 3 of this syllabus.  Title page, abstract and bibliography do not count in the page total.  (12 point Times New Roman font – 1” margins).  This paper will be submitted through WebCT.


A fifth grade of 100 points will be awarded based upon completion of a group project.  The instructor will assign the groups and the topics after the 2nd week of the semester.  Due dates will be announced when the groups are assigned.  Each group will present a poster of the assigned topic and each group member will submit a 3 to 4 page paper about the assigned topic.  Again, because the Department of Psychology at MSU emphasizes the importance of written work, these papers will be read critically. 



Issue Studies In the “Clashing Views” text – you can pick one from each unit except unit 1. You will need to completely answer the challenge questions associated with the pair of arguments. Each Issue is worth 40 points and will be submitted through WebCT.

Grading Standards

900 - 1000 A

800 - 899 B

700 - 799 C

600 - 699 D

< 600 F

Final Exam 12/09/2010 1:00 PM
Submission Format Policy

The issues papers, development paper and project paper will be turned in electronically using WebCT

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

Issue assignments will lose 5 points each day they are late.  Since these are submitted electronically, all days count not just class dates.

Papers lose 10% each day they are late and since you will only submit using WebCT all days count.

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

Class Attendance Requirements:

Class attendance is expected!  Schedule problems can usually be worked out, but must be discussed IN ADVANCE.  Bona fide emergencies do sometimes occur, but must be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible after the emergency absence.




An absence may be excused ONLY if the student complies with, or provides one of the following:

a.         Negotiates approval for the absence with the instructor IN ADVANCE, or in the case of a legitimate emergency, as soon as is reasonable.  Please run your excuses through the Dean of Students.

b.         Presents a written excuse from a physician or the MSU Infirmary.

c.         Presents written evidence of participation in a mandatory University function (Band, Choir, Sports, etc.)

d.         Presents written evidence of attendance at a recognized professional meeting or professional educational program.

e.         Presents a written excuse from a physician for a dependent child’s illness.

Other Policies

Graduating Seniors:  Graduating seniors who meet the following three criteria may be excused from taking the final exam:

(1) You have an earned “A” average based upon the previous three tests and the papers/project.

(2) Your unexcused absences have not exceeded four (4) during the semester.

(3) Your name appears on the official list of graduating seniors provided by the Registrar’s Office.


Note: Unless you have approval from the instructor exempting you from the final, you will be expected to take it.


Given the nature, scope, and intensity of this course, it is essential that each student keep up.  It is the responsibility of each student to seek assistance when needed.


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 else’s 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