Syllabus for PSY-101



Introduction to Psychology surveys basic theories, principles and current research within the field of psychology. This course serves as a foundation for all behavioral science courses and provides an understanding of how psychologists view the world and its phenomena. Critical thinking is encouraged in examining course topics, which include research methods, biology, consciousness, learning and memory functions, human development, stress, motivation, emotion, and personality. Students are also encouraged to apply psychological concepts to their lives and work.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Use the terminology of psychology correctly and appropriately.
  2. Identify the elements of the scientific method, and discuss research methods used by psychologists to study human behavior.
  3. Explain key concepts in major areas of psychology, such as biological foundations, consciousness, learning and memory functions, motivation, emotion, and stress and health.
  4. Describe sociocultural influences on mental processes, behaviors, and interactions.
  5. Discuss psychological phenomena by applying concepts from the major theoretical paradigms in the field.
  6. Differentiate among the major theoretical perspectives and their concepts.
  7. Apply psychological principles and concepts to situations in everyday life.
  8. Explain how you can use psychological strategies to improve your success as a student and gain insight into your own behavior.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0-07-786188-9 


Introduction to Psychology is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules, along with an introductory and a reflection module. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take quizzes, take both a proctored midterm and a proctored final examination, and complete a reflection paper. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

You will find Evaluation Rubrics for the discussion forums, written assignments, and reflection assignment in the Evaluation Rubrics area of the course site.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in five (5) graded online class discussions.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. For specific details consult the individual course modules.

Responses to written assignment questions are expected to be well developed and reasonably detailed. They should clearly demonstrate your understanding of the course materials. An adequate response may require a review of the relevant course materials.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


You are required to take five (5) quizzes, one per module. These quizzes will assess your mastery of basic psychological terminology and concepts. All quiz items are multiple-choice. You may use any materials that you like in taking the quizzes, and there is no time limit for taking each quiz.

Most students find that quiz-taking is an excellent way to prepare for examinations. Therefore, you will be able to take each quiz an unlimited number of times, and the gradebook will record your most recent score. This arrangement will allow you to go back and reread portions of the text that you need to review and then take the quiz again for further practice.


You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. You may take each exam only once, and you must finish the exam once you have started it. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed book, proctored online exam. It is 2 hours long and covers all reading and assignments from modules 1 and 2.  

Final Examination

The final is a closed book, proctored online exam. It is 2 hours long and covers all reading and assignments from modules 3 through 5.  

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Reflection Paper

You will be required to submit a final reflection paper (between 1200 and 1800 words in length) that will allow you to synthesize the material you learned over the duration of this course, applying it to personal, social, organizational, and societal areas of your life.

See the Reflection Paper area of the course site for a full description of this assignment.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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