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For those who previously have selected the psychology major at BYU, the prerequisite courses are Psych 101, Psych 111, Psych 210, Psych 301, Psych 302, Psych 303, and Psych 304. Concurrent enrollment in one or more courses required to complete this sequence is allowable.

Otherwise, there are no prerequisite courses, though it likely will be advantageous to have completed the introductory course in psychology (at BYU it is Psych 111).

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  1. Expose you to a wide range of topics, issues, theories, and research findings within the psychology of motivation.
  2. Enable you to make sense of diverse theories and findings so as to categorize and apply them systematically and insightfully.
  3. Engage you in thoughtful analysis of the connections between what you read and study and what you have encountered in your own life experiences.
  4. Encourage a further quality of thinking and understanding (through reading, conversing, and writing that will point you in productive directions for the remainder of your undergraduate career and for life after college.

BYU Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast a wide range of theories and research findings within the subdiscipline of the psychology of motivation.Measurement: In-class quizzes, both individual- and team-based, on assigned textbook and other reading.
  2. Categorize and apply theories and concepts to specific fictional characters and settings in film.Measurement: Out-of-class application activities that focus on four films that require application of specific concepts to the characters, plots, and themes of the films.
  3. Analyze connections between the subject matter and one's own experience of motivation.Measurement: Individual essays and essay exams that focus on the personal application of concepts to one's experience.

Course Materials

The required textbook is:

Deckers, L. (2013). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

In addition, the target articles in the following publications are assigned as supplementary readings:

The articles are available online in the Proquest Research Library database. You can use this course’s Library Services Portal to find them, and to take advantage of a variety of helpful library services. You can also go to the database directly from the Harold B. Lee Library’s home page by following these steps:

  1. In the Databases/Journals box in the lower-left corner of the library home page, type Research Library (Proquest) or Proquest Research Library.
  2. When the database opens, type in the title of the article you are looking for.
  3. When the full reference for the article appears, click the PDF Full Text option to read the article (it may take a minute or two to load). You may also print a copy if you like.

Four films are also assigned for viewing (you may buy, rent, or borrow these from a library as you prefer):

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Course Organization

There are 4 lessons in this course, with a midcourse essay assignment after lesson 2 and a final essay after lesson 4. There is also a short, multiple-choice final examination at the end of the lessons.

The lessons are organized in triplets. For each set of three lessons, you will:


Formatting Your Written Work

To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as Word .DOC or .DOCX files.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, PSYCH365_JaneSmith_ApplicationActivity1.docx.

Submitting Your Written Assignments

Here’s how to submit your completed Application Activity assignments:

  1. Click the Application Activity link in your course (it may be called "Application Activity 1", "Application Activity 2", etc. Choose the one for the Application Activity you're submitting).
  2. Click Open.
  3. Attach the relevant assignments by clicking the Choose File button, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. When you have attached your assignment file, click Submit.
  5. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  6. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

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You will take one final exam for this course.

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The total number of possible points in the course is 550. The point values for each assignment, essay, and the final exam are:

Lesson Assignment Points
Lesson 1 Quiz 1 50
Application Activity 1 50
Lesson 2 Quiz 2 50
Application Activity 2 50
Midcourse Essay 40
Lesson 3 Quiz 3 50
Application Activity 3 50
Lesson 4 Quiz 4 50
Application Activity 4 50
Final Essay 80
Final Exam 30

The percentages of the total points assigned to each component of the course requirements are approximately:

Course Requirements Percentage of Grade
4 Quizzes 36%
4 Application Activities 36%
Midcourse Essay 8%
Final Essay 15%
Final Exam 5%

Your course grade will be determined by these percentages:

Grading Scale
A 93%–100%
A− 90%–92%
B+ 87%–89%
B 83%–86%
B− 80%–82%
C+ 77%–79%
C 73%–76%
C− 70%–72%
D+ 67%–69%
D 63%–66%
D− 60%–62%
E (fail) 59%–0%

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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