Psychology as a Social Science (Psy 204)

Section 001; CRN = 12730

Meeting Time & Location:                                           Tuesday & Thursday

10:00 – 11:50am; CIN 90

 Instructor:                                                                 Joni Jannsen

Office Hours:                                                  Th: 12 – 1:30, by appointment only

Office Location:                                              Cramer Hall (3rd floor), Room 367

Telephone:                                                    (503) 725-3913


Graduate Teaching Assistant:                              Dave Hall

Office Hours:                                                  Tu: 12:30 – 1:30, and by appointment

Office Location:                                              367 Cramer Hall

Telephone:                                                    (503) 725-3963 (Dr. Sinclair’s research lab)



Text (required):

Nairne, J.S. (2003).  Psychology: The Adaptive Mind (3rd edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomason Learning.

Text Web Site:  Follow the links to student resources, then select the Nairne text link for practice quizzes, exercises, informational links, and more!


Course Web Site: is our website for this course, created by Dave Hall, our TA. There are links to the syllabus, course outline, class schedule, assignment #1, assignment #2, and the extra credit assignment.



(a) Two Assignments/Papers: additional information will be provided.

(b) 10 Weekly quizzes on assigned readings (3 will not be counted in your grade).

(c) Two extra credit opportunities: Participation in research opportunities on campus (to be announced) and one extra credit paper worth up to 10 points: topic provided (see below).



One midterm, one non-comprehensive final; multiple choice questions (50 to 75 questions): Use Scantron Form No. 882-ES

Grade Components:

Component                                                                                                                                          Weight

10 Weekly Quizzes (3 dropped)                                              10%

2 Assignments/Papers                                                           30%

Exam 1                                                                             30%

Exam 2 (Final)                                                                     30%

Total                                                                                                   100%


Policy Notes:

(1)             Office Hours: Both Dave and I will have office hours. You may schedule with me by appointment only. I will provide a sign up sheet at the front of the auditorium each day. If there is no one signed up by the end of class on Thursdays, I will likely not be in my office during my scheduled office hours. You may also schedule with me by calling my office phone and leaving a message. Messages to see me on any given Thursday must be made before the start of class on that Thursday so that I will have opportunity to receive the message before my office hours begin in order to schedule time with you.

(2)             Schedule Changes: I reserve the right to change the schedule on the syllabus as necessary, including any assignment due dates and exam dates. You are responsible for keeping track of all schedule changes and turning in all assignments on time.

(3)             Points: I am very open to discussing points given on exams, quizzes, and assignments/papers during my office hours, but not during class time. Those issues do not pertain to all the students and I want to reserve class time for lectures and whatever else is on the agenda. Schedule time with me or Dave if you have questions about your points. I will not be informing students of failing grades. You are responsible to inquire about your grades. I will provide an update on the grades at least once during the term (usually after the midterm). An announcement will be made in class when the update will be available.

(4)             Readings: Not all readings assigned will be covered during the class lectures. You are responsible for the material in the book as well as in-class lecture topics. Exams will include both.

(5)             Assignments/Papers: You should maintain an electronic copy of each of your assignments/papers in case we happen to misplace your assignment. You are responsible for replacing lost or otherwise missing assignments. As a general rule, I do not accept e-mailed versions of assignments.

(6)             Late Paper Policies: I do not accept late assignments/papers. A score of zero (0) will be recorded for any assignments not turned in on the assigned due dates, including changed due dates that differ from those stated in the syllabus.

(7)             Quizzes: Quizzes on the reading will generally be announced one class period prior to the quiz. However, there will be an occasional unannounced quiz. You are responsible for any reading material assigned prior to the quiz, whether the quiz is announced or not. Quizzes cannot be made up. If you miss a quiz due to being late for class it is considered a missed quiz if the quizzes have already been turned in. If students are still taking the quiz, you may get one from Dave and go ahead and take it.

(8)             Exams: There will be two exams: one midterm covering the first part of the course and a final covering the second part of the course. The final is not comprehensive. It will only include post-midterm material.

(9)             Make up Exams: I permit make up exams when arrangements have been made with me prior to the exam date and/or if you provide verifiable evidence from a doctor/psychologist of an illness or other legitimate excuse. Lack of preparation is not a legitimate or acceptable excuse. The make up exam will be similar in structure to the in-class exams, but specific questions may differ.

(10)        Pass-fail Options: Students taking this course with the pass-fail option must maintain a C- average (70%) to receive a passing grade.

(11)        Disability Resource Center: If you have any form of disability that might affect your academic performance, you should immediately contact the Disability Resource Center ( in 425 Smith Memorial Center (725-4150; TTY 725-6504) in order to facilitate your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For you to be able to take either of the exams in the disability resource center, you must have pre-arranged that prior to the dates of the exams. Once you arrange for it, your exams will be given to the center and you will go there on exam days instead of the classroom.

(12)        Extra Credit: There are potentially two ways you may earn extra credit in this course.

(a) Research Participation: You may have the opportunity to gain extra credit points by participating as a participant in psychological research studies. Participation in research is NOT required. Unless otherwise noted, each hour of extra credit participation is worth 2 points. If the opportunities exist during the term, you may earn up to 6 points as long as you do not repeat your participation in any one research study (some studies continue over time and are offered in multiple classrooms). Research projects will be available through this class; if you arrange any participation outside this class it will not be counted as extra credit. If the project involves filling out a survey in class, that survey will be worth two extra credit points. No credit will be awarded for partially completed projects. If the class is invited to participate in a research project that you are uncomfortable or unwilling to participate in, I will attempt to arrange for an alternative project for the same amount of extra credit points. The alternative project will involve a comparable, although not necessarily identical amount and type of work as the research opportunity.


(b) Optional Extra Credit Assignment: You may also earn extra credit by completing a third assignment/paper option. The amount of extra credit awarded will range from 0 to 10 points, depending on the quality of work. This optional assignment will be provided in detail in class and will be posted on the web page.


(13)        Academic Honesty: I expected you to maintain high personal ethical standards in this course. Any evidence of cheating or plagiarism on written assignments or exams will lead to serious academic consequences, including possible failure of the course and/or dismissal from school. Plagiarism also is a violation of the PSU Student Conduct Code. For more information see:


(14)        Conduct: I expect conduct in the classroom to be respectful of other students and the lecturer (me or others). I also expect that no one student monopolize the discussion or use the classroom as a forum for pushing his or her own personal views/agenda. Stating them is acceptable when applicable to the discussion; pushing them onto others is not. Questions are welcome. In addition, please show consideration of others by coming to class groomed enough not to disturb or distract those around you.

Tentative class schedule (dates are subject to change)










Tues 10/1

Introduction to the course

Chapter 1 An Introduction to Psychology

Scientific Method


pp. 1-8


Thurs 10/3

Chapter 1 (continued)

Types of Psychologists

Historical origins of psychology

pp. 8-20






Tues 10/8

Chapter 1 (continued)

Historical origins of psychology

Defining the modern field of psychology

pp. 20-29


Thurs 10/10

Chapter 2 The Tactics of Psychological Research

Observing, Predicting & Explaining Behavior

pp. 30-55







Tues 10/15

Chapter 2 (continued)

The Ethics of Research

 Chapter 12 Personality

Conceptualizing & Measuring Personality

The Psychodynamic Approach of Freud

pp. 55-61


pp. 410-425

Thurs 10/17

 Chapter 12 (continued)

Humanistic Approaches

Social-Cognitive Approaches

pp. 426-433





Tues 10/22

Chapter 12 (continued)

Person-Situation Debate

Genetic Factors

pp. 433-441


Thurs 10/24

Chapter 10 Intelligence

Conceptualizing Intelligence

Measuring individual differences

Tests: Reliability, Validity, Standardization


pp. 338-358




Tues 10/29

Chapter 10 (continued)

Nature vs Nurture


pp. 358-369

Thurs 10/31

***Exam 1 Midterm Covering Chapters 1,2, 10, and 12.






Tues 11/5

Chapter 11 Motivation and Emotion

Activating Behaviors

Meeting Biological Needs

pp. 372-393



Thurs 11/7

Chapter 11 (continued)

Expressing and Experiencing Emotion

pp. 393-407





Tues 11/12

Chapter 13 Social Psychology

Social Cognition

pp. 444-474


Thurs 11/14

Chapter 13 (continued)

Social Influence

Establishing Relations with Others

pp. 474-485




Tues 11/19               

Chapter 14 Psychological Disorders



pp. 488-511

Thurs 11/21

Chapter 14 (continued)


pp. 511-521




Tues 11/26

Chapter 15 Therapy

Treating the Body, Mind & Environment

Evaluating and Choosing Psychotherapy

pp. 524-555

Thurs 11/28

***NO CLASS – Thanksgiving Holiday

pp. 558-574




Tues 12/3

Chapter 16 Stress and Health

Experiencing Stress

Reacting to Prolonged Stress


Thurs 12/5

Chapter 16 (continued)

Reducing and Coping with Stress

Living a Healthy Lifestyle


pp. 575-589


Tues 12/10


***EXAM 2 FINAL Covering Chapters 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16.

location: CIN 90