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Welcome to PSYCH 111! People sometimes believe that psychology is about learning to “understand themselves,” but that simply is not accurate. Psychology is the study of behavior broadly construed. Psychology includes the study of how others think, feel, and behave.  As you read through this document, please pay attention to course policies, objectives, and design.

Course Objectives

This is typically student’s first formal course in psychology and as such provides introductory level coverage of topics such as neuroscience, personality, development, cognition, language, as well as psychological disorders and their treatment. Given the “survey” nature of this course we will devote a limited amount of time to each of these topical areas where the Psychology Department offers upper division courses that are more topically focused. It is also important to emphasize that psychology is a scientific discipline meaning that a premium is placed on research; as such students will also be introduced to some of the elementary issues in psychological research and statistics. Given the above backdrop, the course will be more theoretical in nature rather than providing practical applications.

BS in Psychology Program Objectives

Graduates will be able to

  1. Demonstrate more extensive knowledge and deeper understanding of the major core content areas of psychology at a depth that clearly exceeds the undergraduate level.
  2. Demonstrate technical sophistication related to their self-selected area of scholarly specialty by using laboratory apparatus, software applications, survey instruments, etc.
  3. Design, produce, analyze, and report original research that contributes to their self-selected area of scholarly specialty.
  4. Weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as an academic and professional discipline. In particular, they should be able to critically reflect on these values in light of their knowledge of and commitment to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and to sustain personal values that are true to the gospel while maintaining their scholarly study of psychology.

Course Materials

Schacter, D., Gilbert, D., Wegner, D., and Nock, M. (2014) Psychology, 3rd Ed. New York: Worth.

You can purchase one of two versions:

Additional Resource: LaunchPad, the online resources associated with your e-text version. It includes additional resources that are helpful but not required for completing the course.

Note: You do not need to enter an additional URL code. That would associate you with my day school sections, which would limit you to 9 weeks of access. Once you register—without adding the code—you will be able to access the e-text.

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General Course Design

There are four basic instructional activities: (a) course lectures, (b) assigned readings, (c) self-check quizzes to help you test your knowledge, and (d) supplemental activities associated with LaunchPad.

The lectures and readings are designed to convey the conceptual and logical foundations associated with developing an understanding of psychology.

The self-check quizzes do not count toward your grade, but they do help you prepare for the type of question that you will see on the exams. If you can easily answer the self-check questions without referring to your textbook, you’re studying at the right level of depth and detail.

The purpose of the LaunchPad is to (1) provide you with various simulations and demonstrations, (2) guide you in your studying, and (3) give you personalized reviews for material that you find particularly difficult. LaunchPad includes a research and writing component where you can learn how to locate and download various research articles, as well as assistance in writing for the social sciences. LaunchPad also contains a copy of the book in its entirety, so that you can read the text from any computer with an Internet connection.

Note: Remember, LaunchPad is helpful but not required for the course.


Papers—ugh! You may ask, or others may ask you, what can you do with a BS in psychology? Good question. Here’s one answer. If you can write well—you can find a job. Prospective employers are always looking for people with solid writing skills. So, like many things in life, practice makes perfect—or at least improves whatever you are working at. You will read two articles and write a 2–3 page reaction paper based on each article. One thing I will want you to do toward the end of the paper—about the last fourth of the paper—is to connect a spiritual perspective into the paper.

Note: Be sure to submit your papers in Word .DOC or .DOCX format.

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There will be four major course examinations.

The first three major exams are not comprehensive; however, they do build upon those concepts previously covered. You must take all three midcourse exams, but I will drop your lowest midcourse exam score.

The final exam is comprehensive, and covers all the concepts in the course. You must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.

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Grades will be based on each student’s cumulative score on the quizzes, papers, and major examinations. Grade assignments will be based on the following basis:

Midcourse Exam 1 100 points
Midcourse Exam 2 100 points
Midcourse Exam 3 100 points
Comprehensive Final Exam 100 points
Paper 1 40 points
Paper 2 60 points
Total Points 500 points

Grade Scale

Your letter grade is based on these percentages:

A 93%
A– 90%
B+ 87%
B 83%
B– 80%
C+ 77%
C 73%
C– 70%
D+ 67%
D 63%
D– 60%
E 59% and below

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BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct. Students are responsible not only to adhere to the Honor Code requirement to be honest but also to assist other students in fulfilling their commitment to be honest. (For details, see the complete version of the Academic Honesty Policy.)

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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