Introduction to Psychology I: Basic Processes

Welcome to Introductory Psychology! This course is designed to provide you with general knowledge about major areas in the field of psychology, including psychological research, memory, biopsychology, evolutionary psychology, learning, thinking & intelligence, sensation & perception, and states of consciousness. By the end of this course you will not only be familiar with important issues, concepts, and theories from these areas, but will also be able to apply these ideas to your own life and the world around you. Seriously, this is a great course. Not easy, but a whole lot of fun. I enjoyed it so much that I switched my major to Psychology. Perhaps that will be your story as well.

Meetings: Tuesdays from 7-10pm in Surrey Main 2810

Office hours: Both face-to-face and virtual. Why? Because its 2016. Click here to book a meeting

How best to contact me: Email or Twitter

Course website: Moodle

Required textbook: You’re kidding, right? It’s 2016! While I cannot control your tuition fees or costs of living, I can control how much you spend on required course materials. Textbooks are needlessly overpriced and I won’t support a system that preys on students. Instead of a commercial textbook we will use chapters from two open textbooks (click on the topics below to access these).

Course format: This course includes weekly interactive lectures (including demonstrations, exercises, and small and large group discussions) in addition to readings, online chapter quizzes, hands-on labs, one assignment, and three exams. The lectures cannot cover all of the material in the readings; rather, the goal of the lectures is to 1) highlight the more significant aspects of the readings, 2) discuss topics not well-covered by the readings in more detail, 3) focus on real-world applications, and 4) have a whole lot of fun as we engage in active learning.

Course Schedule

September 6: The Most Important Class of the Semester

September 13: Psychological Research

September 20: Memory

September 27: Biopsychology

October 4: Brain Lab (7pm in Fir 220)

October 11: Exam 1 + Learning

October 18: Learning and Memory Lab (7pm in Surrey Main 2810)

October 25: Thinking and Intelligence

November 1: Evolutionary Psychology

November 8: Exam 2 + Sensation and Perception

November 15: Sensation and Perception Lab (7pm in Fir 214)

November 22: States of Consciousness

November 29: History of Psychology

December 13: Exam 3

Assessments

Chapter quizzes x 9 (5% each): 45%

You will have nine chapter quizzes over the semester, one for each of the course topics. These quizzes assess your ability to apply course concepts to a variety of real-world contexts. The quizzes will be administered online, on the course website. Each quiz will include 20 multiple-choice questions. You will have a single attempt and 20 minutes to complete each quiz.

Exams x 3 (15% each): 45%

You will write three exams over the semester. Each exam will assess your understanding of concepts and theories and your ability to apply these to a variety of real-world contexts. The exams will include both multiple-choice and short-answer questions. The exams are partially cumulative in that they focus only on concepts covered after the previous exam.

Behavioural modification assignment: 10%

Click here for details

Research participation

One of the best methods of learning about and understanding psychological and methodological principles is to participate in actual research. You will be given the opportunity to earn bonus marks for your participation in research being conducted by professors and students at Kwantlen. You can earn 0.5% for each 1/2 hour of your participation in a research study, up to a maximum of 3% bonus marks for this course. You may sign up for research projects by clicking this link. Alternative options are available for students who would like to obtain bonus credit but who prefer not to participate in research (e.g., a journal summary, withholding data, or a “run-through”).

Course Policies

Attendance

The good news? You are an adult. So if “life happens” or you are juggling too many things and need to miss a class, so be it. You don’t need my permission or even to inform me. The bad news? I will treat you as an adult, so you are responsible for all material covered in class, whether or not you were present. If you do miss a class I recommend you try and obtain notes from at least two classmates. And for goodness’ sake don’t ask me if you missed anything “important.”

Punctuality

I don’t mind you being a little late to class, but I do mind you being very late because it is disruptive to the learning environment. So if you realize that you will be more than 10 minutes late to class, please wait until the mid-class break to come in. If you arrive late or must leave early please sit towards the rear of the classroom in order to minimize the disruption to the rest of the class.

Missed quizzes or exams

I don’t reschedule quizzes or exams in the absence of supporting medical documentation. If you are ill and have to miss an exam, you or a caregiver must (1) notify me before the exam start time and then (2) provide valid medical documentation within one week. Unless both conditions are met, you will receive a zero. Note that if you are granted a make-up quiz or exam, it may be of a different format than the regularly scheduled quiz/exam.

Late assignment

Assignments that are submitted late will be subjected to a penalty of 10% per day; however, no assignments will be accepted more than 3 days past the due date.

Email communication

I usually reply to emails pretty quickly. Please type your course and section number in the subject line of any email you send to me (it helps me to identify you more quickly). I would appreciate your emails to me beginning with something closer to “Dear Dr. Jhangiani” than “Hey Prof.” Note that questions appropriate for email are those that can be answered with 1-2 sentence replies. Anything longer than this (e.g., an explanation of a concept) probably requires a face-to-face or virtual meeting.

University email

From time to time I may send emails to your university email address. If you do not intend to check this email address, please make sure that you forward your email to an address that you check regularly (otherwise you might miss an important announcement!).

YouTube playlist

Whenever possible, I post the video clips that I show in class to the YouTube playlist that I have set up for this course.

Student rights and responsibilities

You are responsible for being aware of your rights and responsibilities, including those specified in the policy on student conduct (C.21). These are posted online at http://www.kpu.ca/sja/rights- and-responsibilities. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Any instances will result in penalties ranging from a grade of zero on the assignment to a failing grade in the course to expulsion from the university. You are responsible for understanding the university policies on cheating and plagiarism, available online at: http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Policies/c08.pdf.

Wow, you read to the end. I am impressed.