Fall 2015:  PSY 200.01: GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY

              CA 129, MWF 1010-1100

              Margaret F. Lynch, Ph.D.




Office: EP 113; Office Hours: MWF 915-945; M1100-1400; W11-12 and other times by appointment


COURSE: This is an introductory, lower-division course that surveys the diverse discipline of psychology.  There is a great deal of material to cover in a very short time; therefore, the pace of this course will be quite brisk.  It is important that you keep up on the assigned readings.  The format of the course will be lecture, augmented by films, demonstrations, and guest lecturers.  You will learn a great deal about your own behavior and the behavior of others throughout the course. Further learning outcomes are articulated below under the heading “Student Learning Outcomes”.


TEXTBOOK: Gazzaniga, M., Heatherton, T., & Halpern, D. (2015). Psychological science, fifth edition. New York: W. W. Norton


EXAMS: There will be four equally weighted exams (50 pts. each) covering separate sections of the material and an optional cumulative final.  You will be responsible for the material presented in the textbook, lectures, and films.  The format of the exams will be 50 multiple-choice questions done online through iLearn.  You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam once you begin. The exam will be available from 0800-1200 on the scheduled day. Questions will appear one at a time on a page and you may not go back to a previous question.…so know your material! Online study guides are provided and you are permitted to use one, single-side, handwritten page of notes during the exams. Handwriting and preparing a study sheet is a valuable part of the learning experience. It also allows you to complete the testing experience in an honest and ethical way with some support at hand when you do your quiz. The exam schedule is as follows:

Exam 1……………..September 21

Exam 2…….……….October 16

Exam 3……………..November 9

Exam 4……………..December 11

Final Exam……….....The optional final exam will be on 12/18. This exam is cumulative, also worth 50 points, and may be taken to replace a missed exam or to potentially improve your score—that is, to replace a score on one of the other four exams. The best four of the possible five exam scores are used for your grade.


RESEARCH EXPERIENTIAL REQUIREMENT: This requirement is designed to acquaint you with the process of psychological research.  You may fulfill this requirement by a variety of activities. This requirement is due no later than Wednesday, November 18 at 4:45 p.m.  The point value for this requirement is 30 points. If you are late or do not complete the entire assignment correctly, you will be given only 5 points for each, if any, activities you do complete correctly—obviously, it is in your best interest to get full credit. Also, you are required to turn in this assignment in order to get a grade of C+ or higher or to get Credit. Failure to do so will significantly lower your grade. See the link for the “Research Experiential Requirement” for complete information; follow the instructions carefully.


GRADING: Your cumulative points will determine your grade as follows: 

Four exams @ 50 points each     = 200 points

               Research component    =   30 points.

                                                     = 230 points maximum.


GRADING CURVE: (Note: The point values are the minimum total needed for that grade)

A =          195 

A-=          190 

B+=         185 

B  =          180 

B- =          175 

C+=         165 

C  =          145 

C- =          135 

D+=         125 

D  =          120

D-=          115 

F  =          114 and less

Credit (CR) = 135 and above; No Credit (NC) = 134 and under 


STUDY SESSIONS/TUTORING: Study sessions are available.  They are led by students and are held in the common area located in EP113.  You may stop by or schedule an appointment.  Individuals or groups can be accommodated.  The schedule of tutoring availability will be announced and posted on the course website.  All students are welcome however students scoring 25 points or below on an exam must attend a study session before the next exam. Your exam score will not count toward your grade if you do not attend a study session if required to do so. Admittance to the study sessions will be limited to reasonable accommodation of the room.  On the days immediately prior to the exam it can get quite crowded; do not wait until the last minute, you may not be able to receive tutoring in time to have your grade posted! If you are required to attend, you must attend for a minimum of 20 minutes to receive credit for attending.




1.  It is expected that you will attend classes and complete all requirements.

2.  Examinations must be taken at the scheduled time. Make-up exams are not given; you may take the final in order to replace a missed exam or lower scoring exam.

3. Mutual respect is expected; for example: unnecessary noise, interrupting or embarrassing other class members is unacceptable.  If you create a disturbance, you will be directed to leave.  We should work together to make the environment supportive for all.  This includes: refraining from sleeping, chatting, reading, and studying for another class or activity, or any other behavior that is rude, disrespectful, and/or disturbing to others.  If you are unavoidably late to class, make your entrance as unobtrusive as possible and sit down quietly. CELL PHONES MUST BE OFF: no rings, no text messaging. NO LAPTOPS or electronics tablets nor are other electronic devices (except voice recorders) are permitted…we’re going old school! Your cooperation is essential and appreciated. Violators will be penalized 5 points.

4. There is ABSOLUTELY NO eating or drinking permitted in the auditorium. If you require water for a medical condition, please inform Dr. Lynch.

5. Please remember you are in college and a level of personal responsibility and maturity is expected and assumed.

6. Plagiarism, cheating and other unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated in this class. Plagiarism in particular is a very serious offense. Plagiarism is defined in the University’s Student Code of Conduct, http://conduct.sfsu.edu/plagiarism, as “literary theft; i.e., the presentation and passing off as one’s own the ideas, words, or writings of another.” Also according to SF State policy, “Students … who display inappropriate conduct, including cheating and plagiarism, may be subject to disciplinary action as provided in Title 5, California Code of Regulations. Any student may be expelled, suspended, placed on probation, or given a lesser sanction for discipline problems.” Plagiarism includes allowing someone take credit for work you have done. If you plagiarize or cheat on an assignment or exam you will receive a grade of 0 and may be referred for academic discipline. Cheating on a test is an automatic grade of 0 and can result in expulsion from the University, http://conduct.sfsu.edu/academic-dishonesty

7. Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor.  The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process.  The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email dprc@sfsu.edu

8. The faculty of San Francisco State University shall accommodate students wishing to observe religious holidays when such observances require students to be absent from class activities. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor, in writing, about such holidays during the first two weeks of the class each semester. If such holidays occur during the first two weeks of the semester, the student must notify the instructor, in writing, at least three days before the date that he/she will be absent. It is the responsibility of the instructor to make every reasonable effort to honor the student request without penalty, and of the student to make up the work missed.



Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Understand how the methods of inquiry and analysis characteristic of psychology are used to produce and contest claims about human behavior.

2. Evaluate information from a variety of sources and use this information to formulate well-reasoned responses to major ideas concerns and debates in the field of psychology.

3. Appreciate diversity in human behavior.

4. Identify potential ethical issues of psychological research and application including effects of those issues on research practices and evaluation, individuals, society, and the environment and the implication for social justice and the well being of local and global communities.

5. Situate human behavior in the local and/or global, cultural, historical, and sociopolitical contexts in which they occur.

6. Articulate the relevance of psychological theories and research to their lives.

7. Read and evaluate resources about the self as an integrated physiological, psychological, social being across the life span.

8. Utilize a plan for acquiring information, including library resources; evaluating information, including distinguishing primary and secondary sources; and properly using and citing the information in assignments.

9. Articulate how they are integrated psychological beings.

10. Identify actions they can take which are conducive to individual well-being and self development.


Important Dates for Students

Fall 2014 Dates and Deadlines


First Day of Instruction

August 24

Drop Deadline

September 3

Auditing Deadline

September 3

Add Deadline

September 21

Application for Graduation Deadline

September 25

Credit/No Credit Option Deadline

October 19

Withdrawal Deadline

November 20

Late Withdrawal Deadline (Serious and Compelling Reasons)

December 11

Last Day of Instruction

December 11

Final Exams

December 12, 14 - 18

Grades Available on SF State Gateway

January 5

Official Transcripts Available with Semester Grades

January 22



Other Important Academic Policy Reminders

Course Repeat Policy:

Students may only enroll in a course a maximum of two times. Courses taken Fall 2008 or after, will count as enrollment, including grades of AU, I, IC, RD, RP, W, and WU, traditional grades (A, B, C, D, and F, and their plus and minus designations), and CR/ NC. The course repeat policy is intended to balance unfettered and equitable access to SF State resources. It will also promote careful planning of academic schedules, facilitate student advising at pivotal academic points, and increase enrollment opportunities for all students. For complete details please go to http://www.sfsu.edu/~senate/documents/policies/S09-248.html.


Withdrawal Policy:

Withdrawal Policy: Beginning Fall 2009, undergraduate students may withdraw from a course a maximum of two times and from no more than 18 semester-units of course work. This does not include total semester withdrawals of all courses or classes taken in CEL (College of Extended Learning). Please refer to the Bulletin for complete information, http://www.sfsu.edu/~bulletin/current/genpol.htm.

        Aug 24- Sep 3 Students may drop course(s) or leave University “without W” on transcript.

        Sept 3: Drop Deadline (WITHOUT “W”) – After Sep. 8, the student must file a withdrawal petition, and if approved, will receive a "W" (Withdrawal) grade on their official transcript. 

        Sept 4- Nov 20: If withdrawal is approved, Student will receive “W” on transcript. (Instructor submits W online via course roster, including reasons/notes for Chair’s approval)

        Nov 21- Dec 11: Withdrawal from course(s) or University for serious and compelling reasons (documentation required; Instructor/ Chair/ COSE Associate Dean approval required)


During the semester, students shall be notified in writing (digitally or in hard copy) of any substantive changes in the course syllabus.