Ammerman Campus


COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Psychology I   Catalog no.: PSY-101(102 & 113)

INSTRUCTOR: Richard H. Morse, MSW (Sect 90163 & 90149-M&F)        Fall ‘16                        


Sect 90163 Meets from  9:30 AM to 10:45 AM in Room 229, Southampton Building on Mon

                                                                   and in Room 232, Southampton Building on Fri


Sect 90149 Meets from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM in Room 113, Southampton Building on BOTH

                                                                   MONDAYS and FRIDAYS


TEXTBOOK:  Hockenbury, Sandra E.; Nolan, Susan A.; Hockenbury, Don H. PSYCHOLOGY (7th Ed.). Worth Publishers, New York (2015)      





Principles of human behavior as determined by scientific method. Includes compressed treatment of basic principles of learning, motivation, sensation and perception, and selected topics in physiological psychology, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, human motivation, emotion, behavior disorders and adjustment. Prerequisite: RDG009 or ESL012 or equivalent.





The course material will be presented primarily in the form of lectures which will cover the textbook, other readings and examples from the instructor's as well as the students' experiences.  Students are encouraged to ask questions, to engage in discussions of pertinent issues and to relate the course material to life experiences.


It should be understood that, though the student is responsible for information presented in the text, the textbook serves as a guide for the course.  Information presented in the lectures may range beyond that presented in the text, or it may be presented from a point of view that differs from that of the text's author.  The instructor may also choose to place a greater or lesser emphasis in certain areas of the course than does the textbook.  The student is responsible for ALL information presented during the course, whether in lectures or in assigned readings.





Students are expected to attend all classes and to attend on time. The first two absences will not endanger the student's standing in class or final grade.  However, the third absence shall cause the student to lose two points for class participation and a fourth absence will cause the loss of an additional three points (a total loss of 5 percentage points in the computation of the final grade - see "FINAL GRADE").  The fifth, or greater, absence may cause the student to receive a FAILING GRADE (“F”) for the course. STUDENTS WHO ARE ABSENT MORE THAN FIVE TIMES MUST CONTACT ME TO DISCUSS A SPECIFIC PLAN THAT WILL ENABLE THE AVOIDANCE OF A FAILING GRADE. NOTE: IF YOU WISH TO WITHDRAW FROM CLASS YOU MUST VISIT THE REGISTRAR TO OBTAIN A WITHDRAWAL SLIP WHICH MUST BE SIGNED BY ME. IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE FOR PROFESSORS TO LIST A STUDENT AS WITHDRAWN (“W”) if they stop attending classes. 


Excessive tardiness may also endanger the student's standing in the class.


Students who sleep in class or indulge in audible side conversations may be asked to leave, and will be counted as absent for that date.  Such behavior may cause the loss of the student’s 5% for class participation, regardless of absences.


IMPORTANT NOTE: DISPUTES CONCERNING ATTENDANCE:  It is emphasized that problems caused by absences are the responsibility of the student to resolve. I will NOT contact you about this problem other than to notify you that your absences are placing your status as a student in good standing at risk. It is your responsibility to keep track of your attendance.  You may ask for your attendance record at any time by e-mailing me at either or  If you dispute my records, or if you feel that an absence should be excused, you must let me know immediately.  I will not change attendance records retroactively.  It is ENTIRELY YOUR responsibility to let me know you arrived late if you arrive after I have taken attendance or passed around the sign-in sheet.



Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:


1.     Demonstrate understanding of the use of experimental and correlational research methods and their appropriate applications in the social sciences.


2.     Identify the major theoretical perspectives in psychology, including behaviorist, cognitive, and psychodynamic.


3.     Recognize the role of biological processes in human behavior.


4.     Identify some of the major subdisciplines in the field of psychology, such as clinical/counseling psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.





How well the above objectives are achieved will be measured by the following:

QUIZZES, to be given in class (see “CLASS SCHEDULE”) a total of three times during the semester.  Each quiz will consist of twenty (20) multiple choice questions which will be based exclusively on the textbook. The eligible questions can be found on my website (  At the conclusion of the course only the two highest grade quizzes will be counted toward the determination of the student’s final grade.  Each of the highest two quizzes will count for ten percent (10%) of the student’s final grade for the course.  No provision will be made for a student to make up a quiz missed due to absence or tardiness. In this event the missed quiz will count as one of the student’s dropped quizzes.  Please note that students who expect to be excused from the final exam MUST PERFORM AT 90% OR BETTER ON ALL THREE QUIZZES, even though one will be dropped when computing the final grade. NOTE: Scantron forms are REQUIRED for all tests given in this course, including quizzes. These are currently provided by SCCC.

A MIDTERM EXAMINATION, to be given in class (see "SCHEDULE" for date).  The exam will commence promptly at the beginning of the class session.  Students will be permitted the entire class session to complete the exam.  The midterm examination will consist of 100 multiple choice questions. All 100 questions will be available for study on the professor’s website (  Once the student has submitted the completed Scantron form it will not be returned to the student until it is graded and the grade is recorded.

A FINAL EXAMINATION, to be given in class on the last day the class meets (see SCHEDULE for date).  This exam will commence promptly at the beginning of the class session, and the student may take up to the entire class period to complete it.  After the student has completed the exam it should be submitted to the instructor and the student should leave the room.  Once the student has submitted the Scantron answer sheet it will not be returned before it is graded and the grade entered in the instructor’s gradebook. There are 100 multiple choice questions on the Final Exam, sixty-four of which can be studied on the professor’s website (noted above). These 64 questions will cover all material in the textbook (whether or not covered in class lectures) and all lecture material; however, 80% of the questions will be based on material presented AFTER the midterm exam. The remaining 36 questions are part of a formal assessment of Introduction to Psychology at SCCC during the Fall, 2016 semester and will cover information ordinarily expected to be learned by anyone who completes an Introduction to Psychology course, irrespective of the textbook or instructor involved. These questions will NOT be available for prior study. The final exam will, therefore, consist of a total of one hundred (100) multiple choice questions.  Each question will be worth one point and the entire exam will count toward thirty percent (30%) of the student's final grade for the course.


All tests in this course, including the midterm and the final, are graded using “Scantron” forms, which will be provided for the student.  The student must supply  number 2 pencils which must be used to fill in the Scantron forms (the machine will not recognize anything else).  Bring a pencil sharpener, as there are few available in the building


NOTE: A comprehensive semester review and final exam preparation is scheduled for December 16, 2016.  However, if lectures covering the entire subject matter of the course are incomplete by this date, completion of the lectures will take priority.

A set of two ESSAYS to be completed at home by the student. The essays will be based on an article that will be presented on Blackboard or the professor’s web site early in the semester. A grading rubric will also be published at that time. This assignment MUST be submitted in typewritten/printed form. This project will determine twenty percent (20%) of your final grade for the course.  It is due approximately four weeks before the last class session (see "SCHEDULE" for exact date). 

More detailed requirements of this project, as well as the grading methods applied to it, are available at my web site ( after the beginning of the semester.  This project will also be discussed in detail in class.




The student's final grade for the course will be determined as follows:

          MIDTERM EXAM (October 28, 2016).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25%

          FINAL EXAM (December 20, 2016).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 30%

          ESSAYS (Due November 21, 2016). .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20%

          QUIZZES (2 BEST OF 3 @ 10% -  9/26; 11/18; 12/16) .  .  .  .   20%



                                                                                    TOTAL.  .  .  .  .100%

NOTE: Those students who:


     1. Attend ALL* classes

     2. Hand in all work on time

     3. Attain a 90% or better on ALL THREE quizzes, the midterm

          exam and the essays


shall be excused from the final exam and awarded an "A" for the course.  All

these requirements must be met without exception.  Eligible students will be

informed during the class before the final exam.


*Excused absences are counted as absences for the purpose of this exemption, but do not affect the student’s grade in any other way.




The following is an attempt to answer the questions most often asked by my students.

THE CURVE.  I generally do not grade tests "on the curve."  When test results arranged on a graph do not resemble a bell or normal curve, or in one which is "too far" in one direction or the other, it usually indicates that the test is not valid or reliable, or that the instructor has strayed too far from the subject during lectures.  Teachers who adjust raw scores are compensating for their shortcomings as well as their students'.  In this course I am especially reluctant to use a “curve” because students are able to see the great majority of all questions that will be used on the quizzes, midterm and final exams ahead of time by signing on to my website.  Practice questions can be found there with the page number of the textbook as a reference for the correct answer. 

RETURN OF MATERIALS.  This should not be a problem for those who hand in assignments on time, since material will be returned to you in class.  If you wish to have your graded final exam answer sheet returned to you, you must supply me with a stamped, self-addressed envelope at the last class. If this is not provided your final exam answer key will be discarded within 60 days. This, of course, does not affect your grade in any way.

MISSED EXAMS.  I do not give make up exams.  In rare cases (for example a documented severe illness or hospitalization) I may count either the midterm or the final twice.  However, the circumstances would have to be exceptional and the student would have to have demonstrated reliability in other areas of the course.  Missed quizzes will count as zeros (remember that the lowest grade on the quizzes is dropped).  If you miss a class, be sure to find out if you also missed a quiz.

ASSISTANCE.  If you are having trouble in this course, please speak to me about it.  You are not imposing on me if you approach me during break or before or after class.  If I do not have time I will gladly make an appointment.  You may also reach me by phone at 779-3201, or by e-mail at If you are considering dropping the course, speak with me first; I will provide you with an honest but friendly assessment of your chances for passing the course, and, if appropriate, I will offer suggestions concerning your study habits.

EXTRA CREDIT. So-called "extra credit" assignments will only be considered when it appears likely that the student will receive a "D+" or less for the course. The extra credit assignment (which can be found on my website) should be submitted on the day of the final exam PRIOR TO the actual exam.  It will only be graded in the event that the student's final grade is "D+" or less, and, if it has been satisfactorily completed, the student's grade will be upgraded to nothing higher than a "C." 

OOPS.  If I make an error in correcting exams, computing averages or awarding curve points, let me know and I will correct the records.  Don't be embarrassed if its only one point - I would insist on your correcting it if our roles were reversed.  However, if you have made an erasure or a cross-out-and-correct on a test I will not adjust for that question unless you have asked me to initial it DURING the test.

SUBMISSION OF FINAL GRADES.  I will submit your grade to the college administration within seventy-two hours of the test.  Any material not submitted by the last date our class meets will not be counted in computing your grade and may result in you receiving a grade of “F” for the course unless you have arranged in advance to take an INCOMPLETE for the course (which may be turned into an "F" on your transcript in the future).  Both the college and I strongly discourage a grade of INCOMPLETE.  Please understand in advance that it is unlikely that I will agree to this unless the circumstances are extraordinary.




DATE           SUBJECT OF LECTURE                                                           CHAPTERS




09/02/16       DEFINITION OF PSYCHOLOGY                                                          1


09/05/16       LABOR DAY – NO CLASS


09/09/16       HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY                                                              1


09/12/16       RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY                                                           1


09/16/16       PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECTS                                                               2


09/19/16       NERVOUS SYSTEM                                                                            2


09/23/16       SENSATION AND PERCEPTION                                                        3


09/26/16       CONSCIOUSNESS                                                                              4

                     FIRST QUIZ  (COVERS CHAPTERS 1 THROUGH 4)*        


09/30/16       CONSCIOUSNESS  AND LEARNING                                              4,5 


10/03/16       ROSH HASHANA  -  NO CLASS                                                 


10/07/16       LEARNING                                                                                          5                           


10/10/16       MEMORY                                                                                            6                                                                                


10/14/16       THINKING AND LANGUAGE                                                              7                                                       


10/17/16       THINKING AND LANGUAGE                                                              7         


10/21/16       MOTIVATION AND EMOTION                                                            8


10/24/16       PREPARE FOR MIDTERM EXAMINATION (print prep questions and bring to class or access professor’s web site by smart phone or laptop)


10/28/16       MIDTERM EXAM (SCCC will supply a Scantron form. Bring a supply of #2 pencils as well as a hand sharpener)


10/31/16       LIFESPAN PSYCHOLOGY                                                                 9

NOTE:  November 2, 2016 is the last day to withdraw from classes without academic penalty.


11/04/16        LIFESPAN PSYCHOLOGY (continued)                                             9


11/07/16        GENDER AND SEXUALITY                                                             10


11/11/16        VETERANS’ DAY – NO CLASSES


11/14/16        PERSONALITY                                                                                 11


11/18/16        PERSONALITY (continued)                                                              11

                      SECOND QUIZ (COVERS CHAP 5 THROUGH 11)*


11/21/16        SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY                                                                   12                                       

                      ESSAYS DUE (5 points off for each class late)




11/28/16        STRESS, HEALTH & COPING  (continued)                                      13


12/02/16        PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS                                                      14                                    


12/05/16        PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS (continued)                                   14                                                                


12/09/16        THERAPIES                                                                                       15


12/12/16        THERAPIES     (continued)                                                                15


12/16/16        THIRD QUIZ   (COVERS CHAP 12 THROUGH 15)* 



12/19/16        Prepare for Final (print prep questions and bring to class)



                      (OPTIONAL: Extra credit essays due THIS DATE)

*Regular Tuesday classes are cancelled and Friday classes are held instead.


NOTE:  Thursday , December 20,  and  Friday, December 21, are scheduled as make-up days in the event that classes are cancelled by the SCCC Administration during the Fall, 2012, semester.  In such event, missing these days, or others designated by the SCCC Administration,  WILL COUNT as an absence.





Multiply By


Quiz # 1 (omit lowest grade of 3)




Quiz # 2 (omit lowest grade of 3)




Quiz # 3 (omit lowest grade of 3)




Midterm Exam








Final Exam




Class participation

    2 or fewer absences, add in 5.0;  3 absences,         add 3.0;  4 or more absences, add 0.0








Divide by 10 – this is your numeric grade





                                             A  =   90 or greater            C  =  70.0 to 74.9

                                            B+ = 85.0 to 89.9                              D+ = 65.0 to 69.9

                                             B  =  80.0 to 84.9                              D  =  60.0 to 64.9

                                             C+ = 75.0 to 79.9               F   =  Below 60







My web site can be reached at  For the sake of convenience you should add this site to your “Favorites” on your web browser.  You should consult this website at least weekly.  General information and announcements can be found by clicking on the bar that is labelled "Introduction To Psychology" on the Welcome page.  Menu bars for various aspects of the course will be found.  Clicking on the menu items will bring you to practice tests, important documents, hints for the scrapbook and links to various websites.  Items can be printed out or “cut and pasted” into a word processor.

 Items can be printed out or “cut and pasted” into a word processor.


The website contains materials that I previously printed and handed out in class, current items in the news that relate to the course, hints and help for the midterm and final exams, details and “do’s and don’ts” for the semester project (“scrapbook” assignment), suggestions for more effective studying and other items that may be relevant during the semester.  The preparation materials for the midterm and the final are particularly important.  These “practice questions” should be printed from MY  web site once per week and used for practice.  On the “Schedule” you will see dates that will be used to prepare for the midterm and the final.  You should bring your accumulated print-outs to class on these dates (the practice exam materials will not be distributed by the instructor). On the dates we prepare for the midterm and final exam it is also permissible to access the professor’s web site with a smart phone, iPad, laptop, etc.


Usually I will announce in class any important changes that have been made to the website.