Skip Navigation

Psychology 110: Principles of Psychology

Fall, 2008
Kathleen M. Galotti

Instructor’s office and phone: Olin 137, x4376 or email kgalotti
Home phone: 645-4039 (please don’t call before 7:30 am or after 9:30 pm)
Office hours Monday 2-3, Tuesday 9-10, Wednesday 2-3

Course Prefector: Laura Myers (email myersl)
Prefecting sessions to be announced

Class meets:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30-1:40 ; Fridays 1:10-2:10, Olin 102/104
Organization and Requirements:

This course surveys major topics in psychology. We consider the different approaches different psychologists take to describe and explain human and animal behavior and experience. We will consider a very broad range of topics, including how animals learn to perform different behaviors; how people’s personalities might be formed and affected; how the nervous system is structured, and what impact that structure might have on conditions such as schizophrenia; how people acquire, remember, and process information; descriptions, causes, and treatments of various forms of psychopathology; how infants and children develop; how people behave in groups and think about their social environment. As you can see, we’ll be covering a lot of ground!

The course meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The format of the course includes both lectures and discussions/demonstrations. The texts for the course are Psychology, 7th ed.) by Henry Gleitman, Daniel Reisberg, and James Gross, as well as Jonides and Rozin’s Study Guide for Gleitman’s Psychology (7th ed.). Additional assigned readings have been placed on reserve on the libe’s web page. Those readings have been marked [ER] (for “electronic reserve”) on the following pages.

This year, Psychology 110 is part of a three-course triad, so all of you are taking the same three classes. As part of the Triad program, we will have four “common time” meetings with all faculty (Professors Singer, Elveton, and me) and students for discussion of common themes across courses. Some of these will be combined 3a-4a meetings, and assignments for those will replace the normal assignments for Philo 110 and Psych 110.

The attached tentative schedule lists the topics we will cover along with assignments. The “buzz” on the course is that it is a fairly reading-intensive one. It is strongly suggested that you complete reading assignments before the class meets, and then review the material after lecture. Previous Psych 110 students have suggested I pass along the following advice: Don’t fall behind!

All written assignments must be submitted by the due date; a penalty will be incurred for late assignments unless they are accompanied by a dean’s or medical excuse. Make-up exams will only be given if I receive a dean’s or medical excuse. You are expected to mark your calendars now for course deadlines, and to plan your work accordingly throughout the semester. You are also expected to adhere to standards of academic honesty in all of your work, and especially to familiarize yourselves with the website,,
which provides information about avoiding plagiarism and using proper citations.

There will be two midterms, a final exam, and two papers (one short, one medium-length). Grading will be based on the following approximate weights: short paper, 5%; first midterm, 20%; medium-length paper, 20%; second midterm, 20%; final exam, 35%. In addition, at unscheduled times I will give unannounced quizzes. Performance on these quizzes can earn up to 2 extra credit points, to be credited to the next exam. It is also possible that psych majors and/or professors will come to class asking for volunteers to participate in psychology experiments. If you volunteer, you can earn up to 2 extra credit points, to be credited to the final exam, subject to a maximum number of extra-credit points (to be announced).

Office hours will be announced shortly. They are scheduled times when I am available to talk about questions on the course, or any other topic you’d like. Please come by! (Office hours can get lonely!) If office hours conflict with your other classes, we can schedule an appointment at another mutually convenient time. Our course prefector, Laura Myers, will also hold office hours and help sessions at times and places to be announced.

Psychology 110 is a demanding and, I think, fast-moving course. Many of the topics to be covered may already be familiar to you; others might at first seem beyond the domain of this field. I urge you to approach this course with an open mind, and to develop an appreciation for all of the topics we’ll cover, and how they relate to one another. By the course’s end, I hope you’ll have a better understanding of the multifaceted nature of psychology, knowledge of the many different methodologies employed, an appreciation for the implications and limitations of empirical investigation, and a desire to pursue one or more topics in greater depth.

Psychology 110: Principles of Psychology
Fall, 2008
Kathleen M. Galotti

Tentative* list of topics and assignments
(*tentative means that we won’t follow this slavishly; we may find ourselves spending more time on some topics due to student interest or the need to clarify material)

M 9/15 Introduction and Overview

W 9/17 Classical & Instrumental Conditioning
Read: Gleitman, Reisberg, & Gross (henceforth GRG):
ch.1 (skim), ch.6
Short Paper assigned

F 9/19 Instrumental Conditioning/Behavior Modification
Read: Pryor [ER] pp. 23-82

M 9/22 Wrap-Up: Learning Theory finish earlier assignments

W 9/24 Ethological and Sociobiological Approaches to Behavior
Read: GRG, ch. 2; Buss [ER]

F 9/26 Catch up day
No new reading

M 9/29 Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
Read: GRG, ch. 15 (p. 566-585 only) ; S. Freud, ch. 5-7, 12 [ER]
Long Paper assigned

W 10/1 Biological Underpinnings of Action
Demonstrations: Our friend the neuron; Synaptic transmission
Read: GRG, ch. 3 (first half)

F 10/3 Brain and Behavior
Finish GRG ch. 3 (second half)

M 10/6 Psychopathology
Read: GRG, ch. 16


F 10/10 Film: ‘The Mind of a Murderer’ [Kathie out of town]

M 10/13 Psychotherapy

Read: GRG, ch17; Burns [ER]

W 10/15 Sensory Processes
Read: GRG, ch. 4

F 10/17 Catch up day
No new reading

Read: Something fun
Assignment: Play, or take a nap, for at least a one-hour period

W 10/22 Language
Read: GRG, ch. 9

Th 10/23 Evening talk by Dr. Eve Clark on Language Acquisition
Title, Time and Place tba

F 10/24 Common Time: A Visit with Eve Clark (2a)—replaces class

M 10/27 Perception
Read: GRG, ch. 5

W 10/29 Attention and Working Memory
Read GRG, ch. 7 (first half)

F 10/31 Long-Term Memory
Read: GRG, ch. 7 (second half)

M 11/3 Eyewitness Testimony and False Memory Syndrome
Read: Loftus & Palmer [ER]; Loftus [ER]

W 11/5 Intelligence
Read: GRG, ch. 14; Neisser, [ER]


M 11/10 Personality Assessment
Read: GRG, ch. 15 (focus on the parts you did not read on 9/24)

W 11/12 Cognitive Development
Read: GRG, ch. 10

F 11/14 Social Development (Kathie out of town at conference)
Film: Genie
Read: GRG ch. 11

M 11/17 Social Interaction
Read: GRG ch. 13; Rubinstein & Slife [ER] Issue 1
Film: Obedience

W 11/19 Common Time (Triad only)
Discussion: Discussion: The Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics
Read: Halpern et al. [ER]

Exam : all self-scheduled
Dates: Sat 11/22 thru Mon 11/24, at times and places to be announced

Reading List

The following books should be purchased from the bookstore:

Gleitman, H., Reisberg, D. & Gross, J. (2007). Psychology 7th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Jonides, J. & Rozin, P. (2007). Study Guide for Psychology (7th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.

The following readings are on closed electonic reserve at the library:

Burns, D.D. (1989). The feeling good handbook. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd. (read ch. 1, 2, pp. 3-37)

Buss, D. (1994). The strategies of human mating. American Scientist, 82, 238-249.

Freud, S. (1972/1948). A general introduction to psychoanalysis. New York: Pocket Books.

Halpern, D. F., Benbow, C. P., Geary, D. C., Gur, R. C., Hyde, J. S., & Gernsbacher, M. A. (2007). The science of sex differences in science and mathematics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 1-51.

Loftus, E.F. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American Psychologist, 48, 518-537.

Loftus, E.F. & Palmer, J.C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589.

Neisser, U. (1997). Rising scores on intelligence tests. American Scientist, 85, 440-447.

Pryor, K. (1984). Don’t shoot the dog. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Rubinstein, J. & Slife, B. (1988). Taking sides (5th ed.). Guilford, CT: Dushkin.
[Note: You can also use the 6th ed. or the 7th ed. (where the authors switched order, so it’s Slife & Rubinstein). Whatever the edition, it’s the first reading “Can deception in research be justified?” that you want to read.]