PSYC 101.001 Introduction to Psychology

Fall 2006

People Information


David Schneider

SH 482

Office Hours: T 11-12 TH 11-1


Teaching Assistants

Jennifer Boyer

SH 358B

Office Hours W 10:30-11:30


Andy Su

SH 211A

Office Hours M 12:45-1:45, TH 2:30-3:30

Recitation and Review Leader

Mary Portillo

PSYC 102

Frank Tamborello

Course Overview

This section of Introductory Psychology will have a different focus and format from other sections of the course at Rice (and indeed from most Introductory Psychology courses at most universities). Rather than the traditional overview of the entire field as dictated by standard texts, the treatment in this section will be more focused. In particular rather than focusing entirely on the mastery of concepts, facts, and terms, we will be concentrating on the ways psychologists ask and answer questions.

Psychology is, of course, a field of study B roughly the study of thought and behavior B but more importantly it is a means of (mostly) scientific inquiry. Psychologists do empirical research, and therefore they organize their knowledge around answers to questions that can be answered in this way. That is what we will be covering.

This course will place fairly strong demands on students. Much of the intellectual glue for the course will come from lectures and class discussion, so that attending class will be necessary for your full understanding of the material. There will also be questions posted on the web site for the course which you will need to consider before class. Usually we will devote some class time to discussing these questions. It is imperative that you have done the reading before each class, and you should beware that the reading is not evenly divided across class sessions.

Some classes will be largely lecture, and others will involve some discussion.

Links to Other Important Course Information


Click above for books to buy and articles on reserve.

Syllabus and Assignments

For reading assignments, examination dates, and other important dates click above.

For many classes lecture notes will be posted by 9 p.m. the night before class. Click on the lecture topic to get these notes in either Power Point or Word format. While I do not always follow the posted outline compulsively, you may want to print off the notes to bring to class. I prefer that you spend as much class time as possible actively listening rather than scrambling to write notes on the lecture. Keep in mind that the posted lecture notes are merely an outline and do not necessarily contain all the important details. Some of you may be tempted to download the notes as a substitute for attending class. This would be a mistake as the exam questions on lectures are likely to ask for more detail than the notes provide.

Daily Questions

For some class meetings I will post one or more questions for you to think about before class. Ordinarily these will be questions designed to highlight certain aspects of the reading, but sometimes they will raise issues that use the reading as a takeoff for further analysis. We will discuss these questions in class, and you will be expected to be familiar with them before class. The questions will be posted by 9 p.m. the evening before class. Thinking about these questions is also not a bad way to prepare for exams.

Exams and Grades

Grades will be based on three exams (2 midterms each worth 25% and a final which counts 50%). The exams will be a combination of multiple choice, short answers, and essay. Click above for more.

Research Requirement

As a part of this course you are required to get some "hands-on" experience with psychological research. The usual way to meet this requirement is to take part in five (5) hours of experiments as a subject. You may also satisfy this requirement by reading several research papers and writing a brief paper describing each or by working as an experimental assistant in an on-going research project. The requirement and various options are described in the link above. In addition you may get extra credit by participating in additional hours of experiments. One point will be added to your final grade for each two (2) hours of extra participation up to 4 extra hours or 2 additional points.

Recitation and Review Sections

There will be weekly small group review sessions in which you can ask questions and clarify any points of confusion. Click above for more information

PSYC 102

PSYC 102 is a 1 credit discussion seminar which meets on Monday evenings. The focus is on discussion of controversial issues in modern psychology. Click on the link above for further information.

Disability Issues

If you have a disability that may affect your work in this course please click on the link above.