Psychology 1002A 001 SU24

Psychology as a Natural Science

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



LONDON               CANADA

Department of Psychology

Summer Online 2024


Psychology 1002a    Section 001

Psychology as a Natural Science





An introductory survey of the methods and findings within modern scientific psychology. This course focuses on the biological aspects of human behavior. The following topics will be covered: history and methodology, biological psychology, sensation and perception, learning and motivation, and verbal and cognitive processes.




Antirequisite(s): Psychology 1000, Psychology 1000W/X, Psychology 1010A/B, Psychology 1100E.

Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. 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.

Prerequisites: n/a

2 lecture hours; 1 tutorial hour, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.





Instructor: Dr. Laura Fazakas-deHoog                                       

Office and Phone Number: 519-317-7025             

Office Hours: Mondays 8 p.m. by zoom                

Email: or                                


Teaching Assistant: N/A

Office: N/A                                                         

Office Hours: N/A                                               

Email: N/A                                                         


       Time and Location of Classes:  Lectures will be Online and Asynchronous.  Lecture material will be posted weekly on the course Brightspace site. 


       Delivery Method:  Tutorials will be Online and Synchronous through Zoom. Zoom links will be posted on Brightspace.


For courses that include an online component, students must have


2.1 Online Learning Notice: Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information.




Required Text:       

Passer, M.W., Smith, R.E., Atkinson, M.L., & Mitchell, J.B., (2020). Psychology: Frontiers and ApplicationsSeventh Canadian Edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson.

Note: For this course you do not require a copy of the ask Dr. Mike” book. Also, you do not require a passkey for the CONNECT website unless you want to use CONNECT for studying.

Also, it is important to purchase the 7th edition—it has content that is not available in earlier editions.

Recommended Text: Ellis, Toft, & Dawson (2012). Becoming a Master Student. Nelson




This course is an introductory level survey of the methods and findings related to the biological and methodological elements of modern scientific psychology. The goal is to provide students with an overview of various topic domains within this 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. By the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:

Learning Outcome

Learning Activity


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

Identify major concepts, theories, and topics in Psychology

Reading &

watching lectures, & tutorials

Multiple choice exams & participation

Knowledge of Methodologies

Identify major methodologies and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the methodologies

Reading & watching lectures, & tutorials

Multiple choice exams & participation

Application of Knowledge

Apply concepts and theories from Psychology to everyday problems

Reading & watching lectures, & tutorial

Multiple choice exams, participation

Communication Skills

Ask questions about topics in Psychology and answer questions about Psychology

Tutorial discussions

Quality of answered questions

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

Identify strengths and limitations of theories and information

Reading & watching lectures, & tutorials

Multiple choice exams, participation

Autonomy and Professional Capacity

Identify ethical dilemmas and principles

Reading & watching lectures, & tutorials

Multiple choice exams, participation





The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives.


There will two exams during the term plus tutorial participation. Each exam is worth 40%.

    The first exam covers chapters 1 – 4, plus the Appendix and will consist of multiple-choice questions from both the text and lecture material. The second exam will cover chapters 5-8 and will consist of multiple-choice questions from both the text and lecture material.

Exams will be written in the following manner: During the exam periods, you will be directed to log into Brightspace. Once you are in Brightspace, you will receive a link to log onto the exam.

Questions will be answered in a strict linear fashion. Once you move from question 1 to question 2, you cannot go back to question 1. So, you should answer each question as it appears. Remote proctoring will be used for exams.

Weekly tutorials count for 20% of your grade (2% per tutorial for 10 tutorials). For each tutorial, you will be asked to discuss topics and answer questions related to the chapters we are currently covering in the text. The grading scheme will be posted on Brightspace. Tutorials missed with a valid excuse will be graded by submitting answers by email within 48-hours of scheduled tutorial. Tutorials will be scheduled on Monday and Wednesday nights.



If you miss the exam for a legitimate reason (legitimate reasons are those approved by academic counselling in your home faculty), you will be allowed to write a makeup. NOTE:  in order to receive credit for this course, you must write the exam. Make-Up exams will be available for the midterm and for final exams. 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages:


70%      1000-level to 2099-level courses

72%      2100-2999-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


In the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components.


Policy on Grade Rounding:


Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered.




Saturday May 25, 2024                    2 – 4 p.m.                   EXAM 1 on Brightspace        40%

Friday June 14, 2024                       7 - 9 p.m.                       FINAL EXAM on Brightspace   40%


7.0     CLASS SCHEDULE (week of)


Monday May 06, 2024                    Chapter 1              Introduction/History of Psychology


Monday May 13, 2024                    Chapter 2/Appendix     Methodology/Descriptive statistics

                                            Chapter 4                  Evolution, Genetics & Behavior


Tuesday May 21, 2024                   Chapter 3A                   Neurophysiology

                                                       Chapter 3B                    Brain Structure & Function


Saturday May 25, 2024                  2 – 4 p.m.                    EXAM 1 on Brightspace        


Monday May 27, 2024                    Chapter 5A                Sensation

                                                Chapter 5B                   Perception


Monday June 03, 2024                  Chapter 6                      Consciousness

                                                         Chapter 7                     Learning


Monday June 10, 2024                   Chapter 8A                   Memory                              

                                                         Chapter 8B                   Memory & Forgetting


Friday June 14, 2024                      7 - 9 p.m.                      FINAL EXAM on Brightspace



* For tutorials each chapter entry (e.g. 3A) is worth 2%. Chapter 1 will not be graded. For tutorials students are expected to answer a question from both chapter sections.


  1. Academic Integrity

Scholastic offences are taken seriously, and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:

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

Statement on Use of Electronic Devices

Computers are permitted during tutorials, but cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted during tutorials or exams.

Multiple Choice Exams

Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.

Exam Proctoring Software

Tests and examinations for online courses may be conducted using a remote proctoring service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at:

  1. Academic Accommodations and Accessible Education

View Western’s policy on academic accommodations for student with disabilities at this link.

Accessible Education provides supports and services to students with disabilities at Western.

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, visit Accessible Education for more information. Email: Phone: 519 661-2147

  1. Absence & Academic Consideration

View Western’s policy on academic consideration for medical illnesses this link

Find your academic counsellor here:

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain academic considerations. Students must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence.

Medical Absences

Submit a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health

practitioner to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for Academic Consideration.

Nonmedical Absences

Submit appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate.

Religious Consideration

Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term.

11 Other Information

Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness@Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.

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.

If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology (

Copyright Statement

Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent.

  1. Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton. Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewarts of the land and vital contributors of our society.