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History & Systems of Psychology  

Developed to help with the mini-lectures assignment and theorist paper
Last Updated: Aug 1, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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History of Psychology

From Encyclopedia Britannica comes this definition of the history of pscyhology: "The history of psychology is the history of thought about human consciousness and conduct. Psychological theory has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy and has been fed from streams such as epistemology (the philosophy of knowing), metaphysics, religion, and Oriental philosophy."


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Psychology in the News

PsycPORT: Psychology in the News, sponsored by the American Psychological Association

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This research guide is designed to highlight major print and online resources available through Chadwick Library.  It also provides links to important web resources offering a wide array of freely available psychology information.


Assignment Overview

Classics Presentation: Throughout history, there have been a number of research articles that have changed the way psychology is viewed. Each student will be responsible for reading and presenting one of these articles to the class (see attached list). These presentations must be 15-20 minutes and follow the format of Socratic dialogue. We will discuss how to participate in Socratic discussions.  You will also need to lead a discussion on the impact that this article has had on the field of psychology.  All students are expected to have read the article being presented each Friday, with discussion contributing to participation points described above.


Presentation about a psychologist:  For your theorist presentation in this course, you will choose a major figure in psychology history and give a biographical sketch of that person.  Your sketch will describe the theorist’s personal life, training, employment, theories & research.  Include the person’s individual, family, and cultural background and how that impacts his or her theories and work.  Then you will focus considerable attention in your presentation on the application of this person’s ideas and theory to a contemporary issue. 


Your presentation should include at least 6 references.  Only 2 references may be a scholarly website, the others should be scholarly journal articles or books.  At least one reference must be an original article or book/chapter written by the person you are writing about.  There are deadlines for you to submit your topic, annotated bibliography, and rough draft of your powerpoint slides to me prior to the presentation, and you will receive points for doing each of these steps on time.  See end of syllabus.  Failure to follow these steps will lower your presentation grade.  Annotated bibliography must be typed and include an APA style reference page.  In addition, for each reference, provide a 3 – 4 sentence summary of the main information from that source as used in your presentation deadlines for you to submit your topic, annotated bibliography, rough draft to me and rough draft to the ARC prior to the completion of the paper, and you will receive points for doing each of these steps on time.  (See end of syllabusFailure to follow these steps will lower your presentation grade. 

 Annotated bibliography must be typed and include an APA style reference page (see Lib Guide for this class).  In addition, for each reference, provide a 3 – 4 sentence summary and describe how you plan to use it in your paper.


Grading and Assignments



25%   Presentation based on psychologist, theory, and application to current topic

20%   Classic article presentation

50%   5 Exams over textbook and lectures

5%     Quizzes over classic articles

Participation grade is based on respectful behaviors, including attending class, arriving on time, being prepared for class (by reading assignments), paying attention and responding to discussion in class, and refraining from disruptive behaviors.


Due Dates:  All written assignments must be typed, and I prefer assignments be turned in during class on the day they are due.  However, written assignments are due by midnight on the date indicated in the syllabus or assignment description.  If you are absent from class on the day an assignment is due, I will expect you to send your assignment to class with another student, slide it under my office door, or email it to me by midnight. If you email an assignment to me, be sure to put the word History in the Subject line. This will allow the email to go directly to an assignment folder in my email, and hopefully minimize the likelihood of your email getting lost.  I will not accept email problems as an excuse for late work.  If you have any doubt about your email’s reliability, print off the assignment and hand it to me.

You can turn in an assignment up to two days late.  Again, you can use email, and have until midnight 2 days after the original due date.  If you turn it in late, your grade will be reduced by one full letter grade for each day it is late.  You cannot turn in an assignment more than two days late, I will not accept it.  There are NO exceptions to this policy.  If you leave town, come back a week later, and ask me when you can turn in your late assignments, I will say you can't.  Keep in mind that if you procrastinate and let an assignment go, figuring you'll just turn it in late, and THEN an emergency arises to prevent you from turning it in within the 2 day grace period, I can't help you.  Plan ahead for emergencies.




Extra Credit Opportunities: Students can earn 1-3 extra credit points. Extra credit points will lead to ½ a percentage point added to your final grade. For example, one extra credit will result in increasing a 80 to a 80.5. Students may complete a maximum of 3 extra credit points for each type of assignment below, for a total of 6 points. The last day to turn in extra credit will be December 10.


 Interpreting psychology history and theories in books and movies - 1 extra credit per assignment, maximum 3 allowed. 

Describe a character in a book or movie and highlight aspects that relate to course material.

Submit a one page description of the psychological aspects of a character, scene, or plot from a television show, book, or movie.  Be sure to refer to theory or research from class material in your discussion of this case. You only will receive credit if your description clearly shows that you understand and incorporate course material in your paper.

Psychology history and theories in the news - 1 extra credit per assignment, maximum 3 allowed

Comment on how a news story relates to issues discussed in class.

If you come across a story in the news, in a newspaper, or in a magazine that relates to issues discussed in class, submit a one page summary of the story and how it relates to course material. You will receive credit if your description indicates an understanding of course material.



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Grading System

Grading System:                   

The following scale will be used to calculate final grades:

93% +    = A          73-76%  = C

90-92%  = A-        70-72%  = C-

87-89%  = B+        67-69%  = D+

83-86%  = B          63-66%  = D

80-82%  = B-        60-62%  = D-

77-79%  = C+       0 - 59%  = F



Project Due Dates


Topic due:  September 5

Detailed bibliography due:  September 28

Powerpoint slides due:  at least 3 days prior to your presentation

Last day to turn in extra credit: December 10


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