Psychology 1000-004

Introduction to Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


An introductory survey of the methods and findings of modern scientific psychology. The following topics will be covered: history and methodology, biological psychology, sensation and perception, learning and motivation, verbal and cognitive processes, developmental psychology, social psychology, individual differences (intelligence and personality), and clinical psychology.


Antirequisites: Psychology 1100E, the former Psychology 1200


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


3 lecture hours, 1.0 course


       Instructor:   Dr. John Campbell                               

       Office and Phone Number:  SSC 7440          

       Office Hours:    TBD, by appointment           


       Course Coordinator:  Dr. Mike Atkinson        


       Teaching Assistant: TBD – Will be announced first day of lecture     


       Office Hours:                                              



            Time and Location of Classes:  Tuesdays & Thursdays  12:30 – 2:30pm, Room AHB-1R40

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Required Text: Passer, M.W., Smith, R.E., Atkinson, M.L., Mitchell, J.B., &  Muir, D.W. (2014). Psychology: Frontiers and Applications. Fifth Canadian Edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson.



This course is an introductory level survey of the methods and findings of modern scientific psychology. The goal is to provide students with an overview of various topic domains within the realm of psychology. As such, students will be exposed to diverse theoretical viewpoints and various methods and procedures for the scientific investigation of psychological issues. Note: Modern psychology is scientific in nature. Consequently, we will spend a lot of time discussing science-related topics such as research design, neural functioning, sensory mechanisms, brain structure, etc.


Each chapter in the text covers a major interest area in psychology. Following each chapter, students will be able to identify the major concepts and terminology for that topic area. In addition, when presented with a hypothetical problem or case, students will be able to assess and evaluate the problem and choose the best solution.


o Identify the major concepts, theories and topics in Psychology

o Distinguish between and identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of various theories in     Psychology

o Apply concepts and theories from Psychology to everyday problems

o Interpret statistical information presented in tables or graphs

o Ask questions about topics in Psychology

o Apply DSM criteria to provide the most plausible diagnosis for a set of psychological problems

o Identify common research designs used in Psychology



Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows Western's grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


There will four tests during the year. All tests are common to all sections of Psych 1000. Term test 1 (Fall term test) is scheduled for Sat. Oct. 24, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Term test 1 will consist of 75 multiple choice questions (chapters 1 – 4 plus Appendix ) and is worth 20%. Questions will be based on both the text and lecture material. The Christmas test will be scheduled sometime during the Christmas exam period (Dec. 11 - 22, 2015). This test will consist of 75 multiple choice questions covering both text and lecture material and is worth 20%. The Christmas test covers chapters 5 – 8.


Term test 2 is scheduled for Sat. March 5, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be worth 20%. This test is similar to Term test 1 and the Christmas test (i.e., 75 multiple choice questions from the text and lecture material). Term test 2 will cover chapters 9 – 13. The final exam will be scheduled during the final exam period (April 9 – 30, 2016) and is worth 30%. The final exam covers chapters 14 – 17 and will consist of 100 questions from both the text and lecture material.


Assignments (10%)


In addition to the exams, you must participate in a series of 5 on-line discussions. Details about the format a grading scheme will be posted on Owl. The discussions are worth 10%.


Finally, there is a research participation requirement (see details on the Owl site). Please note that this is a Department of Psychology requirement and does not add marks to your grade. Failure to meet the research requirement will result in a loss of up to 10 points on your final grade.


Evaluation Summary:


Term test 1:           20%

Mid year test:        20%

Term test 2:           20%

Final exam:           30%

Online Discussion:          10%

Total                     100%


Learning Outcomes, Activities and Assessment 

 Learning Outcome

Learning Activity


Identify major concepts, theories, and topics in Psychology

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams

Distinguish between and identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of various theories in Psychology

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams 

Apply concepts and theories from Psychology to everyday problems

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams

Ask questions about topics in Psychology

 Online discussions

Quality of posted questions 

 Interpret statistical information presented in tables or graphs

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams

Apply DSM criteria to provide the most plausible diagnosis for a set of psychological symptoms

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams

Identify common research designs used in Psychology

Reading & attendance at lectures

Multiple choice exams


Topics will be covered in the following order during the year. Approximate lecture dates are given so that you can keep up with the readings. Ideally, you should do the required readings before the topic is covered in class. Lectures are intended to highlight certain areas of each topic -- there is not enough time available to us to cover all the material. However, you are responsible for all the material in the text. Please note that there is a fairly heavy reading load in this course -- we cover approximately one chapter every week and half. Thus, it is important for you to keep up with the readings.


               First Term


Topic                                              Chapter                                          Lecture date


Introduction                                      1 & 2                                       Sept. 7, 12, 14, 19

& Methodology


Biological Foundations                         3                                                     Sept.  21, 26, 28

                                                                                                        Oct. 5


Fall Reading Week          Oct. 9th – 13th


Genes & Behaviour                              4                                          Oct. 17, 19



Statistics/Review                                                                              Oct. 24, 26



Term test 1 (20%)                     1 – 4, plus Appendix                          Oct. 28, 9AM


Sensation & Perception                     5                                             Oct. 31, Nov 2, 7


Consciousness                                  6                                            Nov. 9, 14


Learning                                            7                                            Nov. 16, 21, 23, 28


Memory                                             8                                            Nov. 30, Dec. 5, 7



Mid-year TEST (20%)                      5 - 8                                          TBA (December 10 – 21)



Second Term—Classes resume on Jan. 8th





Topic                                      Chapter                                     Lecture date


Language & Thought                           9                                  Jan. 9, 11


Intelligence                                        10                                           Jan. 16, 18


Motivation & Emotion                         11                                 Jan. 23, 25, 30


Development                                     12                                 Feb. 1, 6, 8


Social Psychology                                      13                                 Feb. 13, 16, 27, Mar 1, 6


                   Conference Week                    Feb. 19 - 23


Review                                                                                            March 8


Term test 2 (20%)                        9 - 13                                            March 10, 3PM



Stress                                              15                                           March 13


Personality                                      14                                           March  15, 20, 22


Disorders                                          16                                             March 27, 29; Apr 3


Treatment                                          17                                             April 5, 10



Final Exam (30%)                            14 - 17                                             TBA (April 14-30)





 You will be expected to know the assigned chapters VERY WELL!


Many of the multiple-choice questions in this course are based on material from the chapters that is not explicitly covered in lecture. To be able to answer these questions correctly you will need to know and understand each of the concepts and processes described in the assigned chapters. This a major learning task and many students run into difficulties because they do not know how to handle this learning task efficiently.


 Just reading the assigned chapters is NOT enough!


For most people the process of reading something, or even re-reading it, does not mean that they remember it. This is especially true for "heavy" course content such as that found in the psychology text. If you wish to learn the material from the text efficiently, you will need to approach it in a different manner.


 Learn the text chapters using ACTIVE reading/learning strategies.


 Strategies recommended for efficient learning of text material can be divided into three types: pre-reading, reading for comprehension, and post-reading.


  1. Pre-reading. Learn the headings and subheadings.


Instead of diving immediately into reading the chapter, spend a few minutes learning the headings and subheadings. The headings and subheadings tell you the important ideas that will be covered in the chapter. In the text they are laid out for you on the first few pages of the book in the table of contents. Look at these headings and subheadings, think how they have been ordered, try reciting them from memory, and then write them out on a separate sheet of paper.



  1. Reading for comprehension. Read a few pages and THEN summarize.


Don't try to read most of the chapter in one sitting. It is much easier to learn the material in small chunks. Read a few pages carefully and THEN make a summary of the important points. Continue doing this until you have summarized about 10 pages - then take a break. You can summarize by highlighting sparingly AND making marginal notes, or by making separate written notes.


Note that much of the information in psychology comes in the form of arguments. Here are some the important kinds of information that are crucial to knowing and understanding an argument: i) definitions of new terms, ii) essential explanations of the specific argument, iii) examples, iv) results of studies.


If you make separate summary notes, try using point form and keywords. This has 2 advantages: the notes are made more quickly and they are easier to read. As you record key terms and definitions ALWAYS relate them to the arguments of which they are a part.



  1. Post-reading. Test yourself.


After actively reading 10 or more pages in the manner described above, try reciting (i.e., recalling from memory) all the important points under each heading and subheading that you have studied. This will reinforce the ideas you know and identify those that you need to review. Doing the study guide questions and relevant old exam questions after you have finished the entire chapter can also be very helpful.


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.