Psychology 101 Introduction to Behavioral Science
Carson-Newman College - Spring 2005

"I have no doubt whatever that most people live, whether physically, intellectually,
or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being.  They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness....We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream." 
  --William James


* Guy L. (Larry) Osborne, Ph.D.

* Phone: 865-471-3470 

* Office: Chambliss Building Room 20 (basement)

* Website:

* E-mail:


Please make an appointment in advance by signing up on my office door or by speaking with me in person.  Other times available as needed.






4:30 - 6:00

10:30 - 12:00

4:30 - 5:30

8:00 - 9:30; 10:30-12:00

11:00 - 12:00;     1:00 - 3:00


* Psychology: Themes and Variations (6th ed.) by Wayne Weiten (Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2004).


Psych 101 is an introduction to the field of psychology as a behavioral science. We will not examine all of psychology but rather will focus our survey to cover selected topical areas: historical background, research methodologies, biopsychology, sensation & perception, states of consciousness, learning and memory, cognition and language,  motivation and emotion. We will also examine career options relevant for students possibly interested in psychology as a major or minor.

Throughout much of the course, we will rely on what psychologists call the scientific or empirical approach to understanding human experience and behavior.  In empiricism, we get our ideas about behavior scientifically from systematic, objective observation and experimentation.  Psychologists are reluctant to accept truth claims based on popular or majority opinion, authority, or "common sense," recognizing that particular representations of truth instead may be incomplete, just someone's opinion or prejudice, or the current dominant social paradigm.  In empiricism, we try to get beyond these limitations and see the world as unbiased as possible.  

Having said this about the value of empiricism, in Psych 101 we will touch on alternative methods for discerning truth that recognize and value the varieties of human ways of knowing.  The emphasis is on listening to different voices reflective of our differences in culture, gender, race and ethnicity, social class, and so on.  Qualitative research interviews, community action research, and participatory research are good examples of such alternative methodologies.

Finally, Psych 101 is about you and me and the times in which we live.  In some small way at least, I hope this course helps each of us to understand ourselves better and empowers us to change in appropriate ways.  This is really the first great aim of a liberal arts education - knowing yourself and becoming a better person. 

Psych 101 also is about preparing for a communal life beyond ourselves and the campus.  As educated persons of privilege, we are needed as salt and light in a hurting world; to go beyond individualistic concerns and careerism to care for others, work for peace, stand up for justice and human rights, protect the Earth, and do the work of good citizens committed the common good.  This is the second great aim of college - to equip us to shape a better society and world; to be engaged, effective citizens.


1.       Attendance: To earn a passing grade in this class,  you must not miss more than 8 classes.  It is the policy of this department that students in psychology classes are dropped with a grade of F when they miss three or more weeks of classes without appropriate documentation.  If you accumulate more than 8 absences, please drop the class before the drop-date deadline so you can avoid an F and get out with a W.  

2.       Research Pool Participation—56 pts (10%):  Earn four (4) research credits by participating in student and faculty psychological research projects posted on the downstairs bulletin board in the faculty office and computer lab hallway.  Each credit counts 14 points and corresponds to up to 30 minutes of volunteering time (outside class).  Do this earlier in the semester rather than later since there may be fewer slots available in mid to late April.  NOTE: You may choose an alternative activity if you do not wish to volunteer to be a research participant by reading four research articles on reserve in the library.  All research credits must be documented with a participation receipt showing what activity you did and completed no later than Friday April 29.  See the basement hall bulletin board for more information and instructions.  

3.        Exams--400  pts (72%).  There will be four exams covering assigned text readings and classroom material.  Each exam covers one unit (2-3 chapters) of text, lecture, and other in-class material. There is no comprehensive final exam.  Each unit exam counts 100 points and consists of objective and essay questions that assess your familiarity with textbook information (terms, ideas, studies, important persons, and theories) as well as questions covering material from class--lectures, films, class activities, and discussions.  NOTE:  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR READING TEXT ASSIGNMENTS AND FOR ALL INFORMATION IN THOSE ASSIGNMENTS WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT IN CLASS.   You are also responsible for all the information I convey in my lecture, the films I show, and the class activities you do.  Your lecture notes and the textbook assignments are your study guide as to what will be on the exams, so take good notes.  Another good study resource is the textbook website that offers helpful practice tests and exercises.   

4.        Group Research Project --100 pts (18%).  This last requirement is a research project on some aspect of positive psychology that interests you that is appropriate for an introductory course and the values of the field and our college.  For more information on positive psychology, see pages 406 and 537 in your text.  Basically, positive psychology emphasizes strengths and desirable qualities rather than deficiencies and problems.  Here are some guidelines for the project.  We will devote class time to each of these steps so you will have plenty of instructor help. 

       a.  For specific topic possibilities, look through the textbook chapters we will be studying this term, consider the issues we talk about in class, and explore psychology journals in our library.  Another great resource for ideas is the web-based search engine PsycINFO available through the C-N library's homepage.   

        b.  IMPORTANT:  PRIOR WRITTEN INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL IS REQUIRED BEFORE YOU START ANY PROCEDURE USING RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS.  ALSO, ONCE APPROVED ALL STANDARDS TO THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS MUST BE ADHERED TO.  Failure to follow these ethical guidelines will result in points deducted and possibly failure for the project.  For more details on the ethics of research, see page 64 of your text. 

        c. You will be asked to work in teams and serve as the experimenters, collect and analyze data, organize and interpret the results, and as a team present your findings orally to the class and as a poster presentation at the C-N Psychology Conference.  The conference lands on a Thursday afternoon, so please plan ahead  (see schedule).  For helpful tips on poster presentations, see

        d. Each individual member of the group also will hand in a separate, 2-3 page typewritten summary of his or her part of the overall project, an evaluation of your team members' contributions, and what you personally learned from doing the project and attending the conference.  For guidelines on writing reports in Psychology, consult you C-N Writing Guide.   

5.        Extra Credit--up to 12 pts.  Occasionally during the semester there will be campus or community events that are relevant to this course, such as Martin Luther King Day, Appalachian Outreach, Special Olympics, Amnesty International, multicultural lectures or concerts, Outdoor Club service projects, etc.  You can earn extra credit if you attend the approved event and write up a short (1/4-1/2 page) summary/reaction paper on what you did and what you got out or thought of it.  Normally each hour of make-up/extra-credit activity counts 3 points.


A =  

 501 - 556 (90-100%)

B = 

 445 - 500 (80-89%)

C =

 390 - 444 (70-79%)

D =

 337 - 389 (60-69%)


* Late work - Make-up any late work as soon as possible.  To be fair to those persons who got the job done on time, late work is penalized 10% per day, except when you are having a documented  illness, personal emergency, or other official excuse.  Whatever the circumstances, for it to count you will need to have all late work made-up or turned in to me no later than Reading & Study Day (before final exams).  After that, it will not be counted in your grade.  

* Final exam period - Attendance for the full final exam period as given in the college schedule of classes is required. 

*Schedule and assignments - To be announced in class.  You are responsible for getting this information including any changes that are made whether or not you are present.  

* Learning disabilities and other needs - If you have a disability or special circumstance that may affect your class performance, please let me know early in the semester rather than later.  I will try to accommodate in accord with practices suggested by the campus coordinator for students with disabilities (Dr. Laura Wadlington, office: Chambliss 206, phone: 471-3270). Documentation of learning disabilities is required.  See the Dr. Wadlington for further information, assistance, and referral.   Information is also available on the Carson-Newman website ( ) under Administration and Disability Services.  

* Attendance - You must attend at least 36 of the 43 classes to be eligible to receive academic credit; maximum number of unexcused cuts = 8.  At nine unexcused cuts you receive an automatic F.  You are responsible for all material and announcements made in each class, even when you are absent.  Being late or leaving early counts as a partial absence.  

* Honor code - Psychology has a code of ethics that applies to professionals and students alike.  Plagiarism, cheating, and other types of academic dishonesty are serious violations of the Honor Code for this course.  Consequences can range from failing the exam, report, or project, failing the entire course, being denied letters of recommendation from psychology faculty for jobs or graduate admission, to suspension from the college.  The Honor Code is that all work you submit is your own and that you neither give nor receive inappropriate help in preparing for or taking the exams.   

* Civility and respect for differences - Psychology is a values-based discipline promoting respect for human tights and the dignity of all persons, and tolerance for others different from ourselves.  Tolerance is extended to others regardless of race, ethnicity, handicap, age, religious or political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, or social class.  Note that tolerance does not require approval or acceptance of ideas with which you disagree or that you stifle vigorous analysis and debate; only that you extend the caring and respect to others that you wish for yourself.  We can be tough on ideas but gentle with each other. 

* Academic freedom - Academic freedom is extended to faculty and students alike.  Each one of us is free to hold and express our own convictions and to question any idea under discussion without limitation or recrimination.  As the teacher, I will ask you to consider a wide range of ideas and viewpoints relevant to our studies, some of which may be different or even offensive in comparison to what you are used to hearing.  While we may not always agree or feel comfortable with such discussions, this freedom is essential to our identity as a liberal arts college.  As the teacher I am free to teach in a manner consistent with my chosen field and my personal conscience.  As a student you are free to agree or challenge the ideas under consideration without penalty of any kind or negative impact on your grade.     

* Student-instructor meetings - I encourage you to talk with me outside class about personal matters, class-related issues, suggestions or criticisms of my teaching, career questions, questions about majoring in psychology, or other matters in which I might be helpful.  Definitely come and see me if you are having grade problems in class, the sooner the better.  

* Student responsibility for changes in the syllabus - The syllabus is a tentative plan for the term.  I reserve the right to modify it if needed to accomplish course objectives, and will announce that in class.  Be aware that you are responsible for knowing about any such changes whether or not you are present in class that day.