This page was last updated:
January 9, 2018

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                Psychology] PSY 101 Introductory Psychology

Instructor: Vincent W. Hevern, S.J., Ph.D.

  • Section 02 MWF 11:00-11:50 am Grewen Hall 207
  • Section 03 MWF 12:00-12:50 pm Grewen Hall 207

Syllabus Spring 2018


Office Hours
Email Address
Telephone Number

My faculty webpage:  http://web.lemoyne.edu/~hevern/

Office: Reilly Hall 222 Tel. # 315-445-4342
Office Hours: Mon 3:45-4:45 pm; Tue 3:00-4:00 pm, and by appointment
Email: hevern @ lemoyne.edu 
(take out the spaces before/after @ sign)

Required Text

                      10th ed coverTextbook:  Weiten, Wayne (2017). Psychology: Themes & variations (10th ed). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • ISBN 13 = 978-1-305-49820-4
  • ISBN 10 = 1305498208

I strongly urge you to purchase a 3-ring D-Binder with sufficient space to hold at least 200-250 pages for class notes.

  • All students are expected to be able to access the course homepage and associated materials on the Internet.
  • A student's Le Moyne e-mail account is considered to be an official mechanism of communication between the school and a student. I will usually communicate to the class or to individual students outside of class time by means of e-mail messages. Hence, you should check your e-mail regularly (at least once a day).
  • I will try to respond to all student email messages within 24 hours. Occasionally, over weekends or during holidays, it may take me up to 48 hours to do so.
  • I will regularly post outlines of my class lectures and more detailed lecture notes online at this link. Students do not have to download copies of these, but many students find that access to these notes helps them study for class and for examinations.
  • I do not use CANVAS in this course.
Catalog Course Description

A one semester broad overview of contemporary psychology--its diverse approaches to the understanding of behavior and the basic principles and research findings associated with each of these approaches. Specific areas of psychological inquiry discussed include physiological, cognitive, and social psychology; learning, sensation and perception; emotion and motivation; personality and psychopathology. This course is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses in our department
Course Rationale
Psychology is a very broad field of study about how human persons act and think. As a science and a field of professional work, psychology offers both a fascinating understanding of human beings and a way of helping people deal with their lives. The purposes of this course (as the objectives below indicate) are several. It is meant to introduce students to the different parts of psychological science and prepare students to understand what they will be studying in upper-division courses if they major in this subject. It will tell you how psychologists actually find out what they know about the mind and the brain. And, it is designed to help even non-majors get a sense of how psychologists think and to evaluate with a critical eye what they may read or see in the media.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course you should be able

1. To understand various theories and content in psychology;
2. To understand in a general fashion the major scientific methods by which psychologists approach research in psychology;
3. To discuss and interpret intelligently general psychological issues, claims, and data presented in the popular media.


 Requirements & Guidelines

Class Attendance and Absence 

You are expected to attend all classes in this course. However, because you may have other obligations arising on a particular day, you are allowed up to a total of 5 absences ("cuts") for this course. I will begin to take attendance on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. I will use attendance records as a partial guide to your participation grade.

For 6 absences or more (without a serious and compelling reason in the eyes of the instructor), 10 points may be deduced for each missing class. Examples of a serious & compelling reason for additional absences would be a documented visit to a physician's office or participation at a funeral. If you are absent from school to attend a funeral, you must file a notice with either the Dean's Office or the Campus Ministry Office and submit to me a letter or email with the name and address of the deceased and that person's relationship to you.

I do not make a distinction between "excused" and "unexcused" absences (see below for student athlete exception).

Student Athletes and Absence Students representing Le Moyne College as members of interscholastic sports teams will not be penalized for missing classes. You should give me a listing of your team's schedule at the beginning of the semester so that I know when you are scheduled to be away.

You are expected to be on time for all classes. Chronic or habitual lateness will result in a deduction of 10 points or more from your final grade calculation.
Observance of Religious Holidays As provided in New York State Education Law Section 224-a, any student who is unable to register for class, attend class, or participate in any examination, study or classwork requirements on a particular day because of his or her religious beliefs is eligible for an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any missed examination, study, or classwork requirements, without penalties or additional fees. Students who require such an opportunity must contact the registrar (for registration) or their instructor (for examination, study or classwork requirements) at least two weeks in advance. A full copy of the College's policy on the observance of religious holidays can be found at either dean's office.
Reading Assignments When you come to class, I expect that you will be prepared. This means that you will have completed the readings assigned for the class. Assignments are due on the first date indicated for each topic on the "Schedule of Classes and Assignments".
Quizzes On some days I will give short, 10-minute quizzes at the beginning of class. I will usually announce the quizzes ahead of time. Particularly in the first half of the semester, quizzes will be regularly given. In total, quizzes will be worth 75 points or 15% of your final grade. If you miss a quiz, you will simply not receive a mark for that quiz (you don't get a "0"). But, for every missed quiz, the importance (weight) of the ones you do take increases (except if a student were to miss all quizzes and would therefore get a grade of 0). Students who take all quizzes in the course can expect that I will drop at least one and perhaps two of the lowest grades among these quizzes. Note, though, that you must take a quiz if you come to class.

There will be three (3) examinations in this course. Each exam will be worth 100 points or 20% of your final grade. The exams are "non-cumulative" and you will not be asked about earlier materials on later exams.

  • Exam #1 (Feb 26, Monday): Psychology in General (Ch. 1), Memory (Ch. 7), Learning (Ch. 6), & Biological Bases of Behavior (Ch. 3)
  • Exam #2 (Apr 13, Friday): Research in Psychology (Ch. 2), Life Span Development (Ch. 10), Motivation & Emotion (Ch. 9), & Personality (Ch. 11)
  • Exam #3 (May 9, Monday or May 11, Friday during Finals Week): Social Behavior (Ch. 12), Consciousness (Ch. 5), Psychological Disorders (Ch. 14), & Treatment of Psychological Disorders (Ch. 15). May 11 @ 12 noon for Sec. 01; May 9 @ 12 noon for Sec. 02
Academic Honesty &

Students are expected to observe at all times the highest ethical standards as members of the academic community.  Any form of dishonesty makes a student liable to severe sanctions, including expulsion from the College.

For details, see the Academic Standards section in the Academic Information area of the College catalog or in the Community Standards area of the Student Handbook

If I have any questions about academic dishonesty or plagiarism, I reserve the right to submit your paper to various online testing agencies or engines such as www.turnitin.com or to employ software testing procedures (such as the Cloze technique) to determine if your paper as a whole or in part is originally written by you.

Students should recall that any deliberate plagiarism in an academic course results in a mandatory Failure (F) grade for the course on the first instance and dismissal from the College on a second instance. Instructors are required to submit the name of any student who cheats or commits plagiarism to the Academic Dean.

 Class Participation

What do I mean by participation? You demonstrate participation in ways such as the following:

  • regular attending class (which, by itself, is only equal to a participation grade of C+)
  • giving attention to me and other students when we are making presentations
  • coming to class prepared (having read the assignment for the day)
  • asking questions of me and/or other students regarding the material of a class
  • making comments, raising objections, or giving observations about topics in the course, particularly those which tie in the classroom material to "real world" problems, link current with past topics, or otherwise try to integrate the content of the course
  • providing examples to support or challenge the issues talked about in class
  • contributing to small discussion groups
  • dealing with other students and/or me in a respectful fashion

In general, a participation grade of A- or A is given to students who make verbal contributions (asking questions, making observations, etc.) in at least half the classes. A participation grade of B or B+ is given to students who make verbal contributions at least once in every 5 to 6 classes. 

Format for Reports, etc.  Except for quizzes and tests completed in the classroom, anything you turn in to me in this class should be typewritten (preferably) on a clean sheet of paper. Please do NOT tear a page out of a spiral notebook. Two or more pages must be stapled together or paper-clipped.


Other Issues 
Recommendations Since PSY 101 is an introductory class, it is usually better to ask another instructor for a letter of recommendation to graduate school. However, if you do choose to ask me, please give me at least three weeks' notice before the letter is due. I have a form I ask all students to fill out before I will write a letter. See me in the office for the form. You should also sign up to see me for an interview after turning in the form before I write anything in order to brief me about your graduate school plans, goals, etc. In these ways, I can fashion a letter which is both personal and focused.
 Disabilities or
Special Needs
If you have a disability and need accommodations, please meet with me within the first two weeks of the semester to review your accommodation sheet. You should meet with someone from the Office of Disability Support Services each semester to review your documentation. The Office is located in the Library (1st floor; 445‑4118; dss@lemoyne.edu).
Tutoring Tutoring @ Le Moyne, located in the back of the library, on the first floor, is open M-Th 9am-9pm, F 9am-4pm, and Sun 5pm-9pm. Peer tutors are available for most subjects. To sign up, visit https://lemoyne.mywconline.com/ to create an account and log in to select the current semester's schedule. If you need tutoring for a subject not listed, please email tutoring@lemoyne.edu. Tutoring is free for all students and is available from the second week of classes through the last day of classes.
Classroom Recording Policy Students must obtain prior written permission from the instructor before making any audio/video recordings of a class. Unless this permission explicitly states otherwise, such recordings may not be shared with, or distributed to others, and must be deleted erased at the end of the semester. The penalties for unauthorized recording, sharing, distribution or retention may range up to expulsion from the college. Any student with a disability who requires class recordings as an accommodation must be approved by the disability support services staff and must notify faculty by presenting his or her instructor notification form to be signed. (Note that this policy is college-wide, that all my own class lectures and presentations are Copyright 2018 by me, and that violation of this policy allows me to penalize an offender with a failing mark in the course.)
Computer Use in Class
Unless you have a plan signed by the Disability Support Services office affirming your need to take notes on a computer as a disability accommodation, you can't use a personal computer, tablet computer, or other electronic device in this classroom for note taking. The temptation to spend your time looking at the Internet rather than listening to and participating in class is too high. Students who are seated behind someone using a computer can be tremendously distracted. Further, the research literature of the last half decade in both psychology and education has clearly demonstrated that students who use computers in class actually score lower grades.


Evaluation and Grading 
Components of Final Grade
(revised weighting)

Your grade in this course will be determined as a weighted average calculated from your performance on the following evaluative components:

  • In-class quizzes = 75 points (15%)
  • Exam 1 = 125 points (25%)
  • Exam 2 = 125 points (25%)
  • Exam 3 = 125 points (25%)
  • Class Participation = 50 points (10%)

  Total points = 500.

Calculating Final Grade

 Your final grade will be based upon the following conversion criteria

A = 450-500 points
A- = 440-449 points
B+ = 415-439 points
B = 400-414 points
B- 390-399 points
C+ = 365-389 points
C = 350-364 points
C- = 340-349 points
D = 315-339 points
F = Below 315 points

  Because the actual work of a course sometimes changes or deviates from an original plan, I reserve the right to change, add, or drop, within reasonable bounds, any weight or grading component listed above. Such a change, addition, or elimination will apply to all members of a class section, not just to an individual. 
Failure on Course
While I believe that the grading system above faithfully and fairly translates and operationalizes the grading standards described in the current Le Moyne College Catalog, one circumstance needs be mentioned and addressed in a particular manner, namely, receipt of a Failing grade (F) on all three hourly exams. In such a case, a student can receive no more than an overall grade of C for the course. This condition insures that the Catalog's description of the difference between C level and higher grades is categorically met.
Extra Credit

In order to encourage attendance in class, the only extra credit in this course will be given for the following three situations:

  • Students who have no absences on record will receive an extra 9 points
  • Students who have 1 absence on record will receive an extra 5 points
  • Students who have 2 absences on record will receive an extra 3 points

I will begin counting absences on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

From time to time, I may offer a limited number of "extra credit" points for participation in research projects or another format. I will inform you when and if such projects or opportunities become available. Any such opportunities will each be worth 5 points (up to a maximum of 10 points in total above the excellent/very good attendance points noted previously).

Early Exams I never give a test before or in anticipation of its scheduled date.  Be sure your travel plans are made accordingly.
Behavioral Expectations

Note that you are expected to behave politely and in a manner which fosters the overall academic atmosphere and quality of the class. Some students don't seem to have a sense of what kinds of behaviors annoy teachers including me. So, let me list the sorts of behaviors you should avoid:

  • Regularly coming late to class -- entering the class after its scheduled beginning. If a student is regularly being delayed by another professor, that student should discuss the matter with me to plan how to stop it.
  • Leaving the class before the end of the class period without mentioning the reason for leaving to me before the start of the class. Note, however, that if a student feels sick or needs to excuse herself or himself for a medical reason, the student should do so without waiting to get my permission. The student should leave quietly.
  • Students are expected to attend to their personal needs involving the rest room before class. Of course, on any particular day, if you need to use the bathroom, do so. But, I may say something to you if you regularly leave to use the bathroom during class, or I may ask you to leave your cell phone on the front desk before you leave. 
  • Using any cordless or cellular telephone during a class except for students who are emergency service workers on call, parents of sick children, or caretakers of sick adults on call. These individuals should mention their need to monitor a call during the class to me before the start of that class. Turn off your cell phone before coming to class. "Texting" and/or receiving any cellular telephone messages are unacceptable in class. You cannot fully concentrate on class if your are texting and texting may also disturb students who are seated near you.
  • Talking to others or making audible remarks during class lectures by me or while another student is talking.
  • Eating food (e.g., bagels, donuts, pastries, sandwiches) during class or drinking beverages during class which are not in containers with a lid or that can be closed by a screw top. Students with a medical condition requiring the consumption on food or beverages should see me. If you come to class with your breakfast or lunch, please eat it outside and not in the classroom.
  • Creating an environmental mess by leaving garbage on the classroom floor rather than by putting debris in an appropriate trash container.

Sick students should be conscious of how their illness may cause other students to become sick or to disrupt the academic atmosphere of a class. If students are sick and are either coughing or sneezing, such students should use a tissue or handkerchief to cover their cough or sneeze. A student whose cough cannot be stilled should leave the class to secure cough drops or take a drink of water to stop the cough.