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PSYCH 307 (Writing within Psychology), PSYCH 309 (Psychological Testing), PSYCH 310 (Psychological Research Design and Analysis), or equivalent skills. NEURO 205 (Neurobiology) will substitute for PSYCH 310.

Course Learning Outcomes

Course Materials

You will need this textbook:

You will also be required to read two scholarly articles (one from each of the lists provided with the assignments) and write a brief summary of the article. The articles are available through the Harold B. Lee Library.  You have access to electronic copies of these readings through the Library's website (lib.byu.edu). Click Login on that page and enter your NetID and password to find your articles.

Note: I recommend you use Mozilla Firefox for this course

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Course Organization

In this course, you will complete the readings and assignments for 15 lessons, as well as two exams and two research report and review papers. 


Each lesson consists of a reading assignment, a lecture video, a set of thought questions, and a lesson assignment.  The lecture video covers material related to the information in the assigned chapter, although it does not cover everything, so do the reading and view the lecture before attempting the thought questions and the lesson assignment.  The order in which you read the chapter and view the lecture is up to you.  Some people find it easier to understand the reading assignment after hearing the lecture.  Some people find the reverse to be true.  You may also want to go back and review the lecture after having read the chapter..


After each lesson, you will be required to complete a lesson assignment consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions.  There will be a total of 15 lesson assignments worth 2% each (30% of your total grade). The lesson assignments are designed to prepare you for the exams; the lesson questions will be similar in content and design to the exam questions.

Each lesson also has Thought Questions, which are short-answer/essay questions that you can try as many times as you’d like. They do not count towards your grade, but I strongly encourage you to do them. They will help guide your study for the exams and lesson assignments as well as provide an excellent opportunity for you to practice articulating what you’ve learned.

Research Report and Review Papers

You will be required to read two scholarly research articles and write a brief summary of each of them.  The articles are primary research articles relating to the topics covered in the course.  You will pick one article from each of two lists; the first list includes topics covered in the first half of the course and the second list includes topics from the latter half of the course. The lists are provided in the instructions of each assignment. Your assignment is to write a brief (2 to 3 page; double-spaced; 1-inch margins; 12-point font) summary and review of the article.  Your paper must address the following topics:

  1. Introduction: Why did the author(s) do this research? Why is the research important?
  2. Method: What did the author(s) do?  What was the experimental method?
  3. Results: What did the author(s) find?
  4. Discussion: Why are the results important?
  5. Analysis: What questions remain unanswered? Is there anything that would make it a better experiment?

Research report and review papers are worth 15% each (30% of your total grade). Research Report and Review Paper 1 is due before the first exam; Research Report and Review Paper 2 is due before the final exam.

To find an article for your Report and Review Paper, you may go directly to the Harold B. Lee Library website, log in with your BYU net ID and password, and search for the article. If you need help finding an article, please contact the helpful Librarians through the chat, email, or phone links on the Library's website.

Note: At the beginning of the course and after the first exam, I recommend that you go to the instructions for the upcoming paper and look over the topics of the articles. By doing so, as you proceed through the course, you can be thinking about which topics you would like to write on.

Paper Format

You will submit your completed papers electronically before each exam. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as a Word .DOC or .DOCX file.

Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “PSYCH381_DonaldHebb_RRandRPaper1.docx.”

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There are two exams, each worth 20% of your total grade. The exam format will be multiple-choice questions. The final exam is not comprehensive.

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Grading and Assessment

Assessment Weight (%)
Lesson 1: Introduction Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 2: Neuroanatomy Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 3: Neurons, Synapses and Neurotransmitters Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 4: Methods in Biopsychological Research Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 5: Sensation and Perception Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 6: Somatosensation and Motor Control Lesson Assignment 2
Research Report and Review Paper 1 15
Lesson 7: Development and Plasticity Lesson Assignment 2
Midcourse Exam 20
Lesson 8: Brain Damage and Recovery Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 9: Learning and Memory Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 10: Eating Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 11: Sleep Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 12: Drugs and Addiction Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 13: Language and Lateralization Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 14: Emotion Lesson Assignment 2
Lesson 15: Psychiatric Disorders Lesson Assignment 2
Research Report and Review Paper 2 15
Final Exam 20
Lesson Assignments Total 30%
Research Reports 30%
Exams 40%

Grading Policy

Your grade will be calculated based on the score you earn from examinations, lesson assignments, and papers according to the assessment and grade-scale breakdowns. A 'C' is an acceptable grade and a 'B' a good grade, while an 'A' represents an outstanding level of accomplishment even in comparison with peers who are often excellent students. I will award grades of C- or below only after individual consideration concerning whether the student’s performance in the course merits such a grade.

Grading Scale
A 93.0%–100% C 73.0–77.9%
A− 90.0–92.9% C− 70.0–72.9%
B+ 88.0–89.9% D+ 68.0–69.9%
B 83.0–87.9% D


B− 80.0–82.9% D− 60.0–62.9%
C+ 78.0–79.9% E (fail) below 60%

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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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