PSY111K: Basic Principles of Psychology
Instructor: John H. Krantz

General Information

Meeting Times: 9:00-9:50 AM MTWF Texts: Psychology: A Concise Introduction, 3th ed. by R. A. Griggs
Psychology and the Real World, M. A. Gernsbacher, R. W. Pew, L. M. Hough, J. R. Pomerants, Eds. (Abbreviated PRW in the syllabus below)
Office: SCC151 Phone: X7316

Office Hours:
MT 2:00 PM
WRF 10:00 AM
Others by appointment


January 8, 2013
Use this link to run the experiment. Write down results and email it to me by 7:30 pm tonight.

January 7, 2013
Look here for other announcements throughout the semester.


Welcome to Basic Principles of Psychology.  I hope that you will find this course enjoyable and beneficial.  So let me try to spell out what I hope you will gain from this course. 

There are several of you who will follow this route.  This course needs to serve as a foundation for your deeper explorations of the field of psychology as you proceed through the major.  Thus, the choice of content covered reflect many of the fundamental topics of the field.  We will also try to grapple with many of the significant and unanswered questions of psychology.  Thus, we will scatter broadly around the field to give some dimension to your appreciation of what psychology is inquiring about. 

For many of you this course will be a requirement for your other interests such as education or perhaps you are taking the course out of personal curiosity or lack of other course for your schedule. So many of you will take at most one other psychology course so what should this course be about for you?  How can I make this time bearable, even useful for you?  Well, I think a basic knowledge of psychology and some of its principles is of value to any life.  You interact with people and knowing some of the ways we have tried to figure out what make ourselves and others tick is useful.  However, there is no way in 13 weeks that I can get you to understand in any deep manner the findings that psychology has uncovered.  Most situations that you come across will fall quickly outside of what we will cover in this course.  Thus, to enhance your time here I have some additional goals and I draw them from the purposes statement for Hanover College.  I am going to quote one paragraph (also one sentence):  "We seek to provide our students with training and experience that will enhance their skills in communications, in creative self-expression, in critical-reflection, in research, and in leadership."  It is my belief that every course should work towards as many of these goals as possible.  To understand how this course can contribute to these overall goals of your educations, remember that psychology is not a finished product.  It is an active field of inquiry.  What we think we know today is thought wrong tomorrow.  Science as reported in the press can often seem like we waver back and forth on issues.  That is because there is no such thing as a final statement of truth in science.  Just deeper levels of knowledge.  We seek truth, we do not have it.  Thus, I will work hard in this course to give you exercises and class experiences to help you see how we do inquiry in psychology.  To do inquiry requires research, communication, critical reflection, and even creative self-expression in a way.


Read material before coming to class.  Remember there will be a quiz at the beginning of each chapter.

Attend Class.

No Electronic Devices in Class: That means no phones, no handheld devices, no laptops, not tablets, etc. are to be used at all during class.

Turn assignments in on time.  A letter grade is lost for each late day and nothing will be accepted more than three days late.  Late is defined as one minute after the start time of class.

Participation in Class.  As much of this class will be an investigation into the meaning of the findings we discuss we need all of you to ask questions, suggest ideas and critique other people's ideas, including mine.

Seek help as you need it.  Unfortunately my training in  psychology has not made me a mind reader.  If you are having troubles seek help from me and/or fellow students before the latter part of the term.  Seek the help as soon as the trouble begins.  That requires you thinking about the material and not just memorizing so that you know if you really understand it.



Week Chapter and Other Assignments (Links are active)
1 Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology/Mean and Media
PRW: Krantz
2 Chapter 2: Neuroscience
PRW: Posner & Rothbart

No Regular Classes

  • Meet Monday 1/21 to hear about internships
  • Meet Tuesday 1/22 to hear about study abroad
4 Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception
PRW: Hoffman
5 Chapter 4: Learning
PRW: Roediger, McDermott & McDaniel
Friday, Feb 08 Midterm examination
6 Chapter 5: Memory
PRW: Criak; Loftus
7 Chapter 6: Thinking and Intelligence
PRW: Sternberg
8 Chapter 7: Developmental Psychology 1/Theories of Child Development
PRW: Rovee-Collier
9 Chapter 7: Developmental Psychology2
Friday, Mar 15 Midterm examination
10 Chapter 8: Personality Theories and Assessment
PRW: Snyder
11 Chapter 9: Social Psychology
PRW: Aronson
12 Chapter 10: Abnormal Psychology
PRW: Nolen-Hoeksema
13 Chapter 11: Abnormal Psychology
PRW: Barlow

Final Exam will be during the final exam week.



Chapter Quizzes:

On thethe tuesday of the week that every chapter will be covered, a short 10 item quiz will be given covering the material in the text. On that Monday at the beginning of class, there will be 10 minutes for questions about the chapter before the quiz..  The quizzes are given at the beginning of the first class covering that material.  These quizzes will count for 20% of your final grade.  The grading scale will be adjusted. At present I plan to add the equivalent of one question to each grade. I will drop the lowest quiz.  Missed quizzes will not be made up. They become part of the lowest grade to be dropped.


There will be two midterm and a final examination.  The examinations will be primarily multiple choice with the addition of an essay component.  The final will be cumulative.  The 2 midterm examinations will be 15% of your final grade and the final will be 20% of your final grade. All exams will focus more on that material that overlaps between what is coverd in the class and text.

Reaction Papers:

There will be two reaction papers due throughout the term.  In these short reaction papers you are to find an article from the popular media (e.g., newspapers, Time Magazine, blog) that deals with a psychological topics.  In your paper you are to identify the point of the article, i.e., what are they trying to get you to believe, and evaluate the evidence provided in support of this point.  I would like you to compare your blog to one of the short papers in Psychology and the Real World (PRW) to compare how they use evidence so try to find a topic on your media that is related, but not necessarily identical, to the PRW chapter. The first paper will be 5% of your grade and the next one will be 10% of your final grade.  The papers are due: 

Paper 1 Feb 18
Paper 2 March 29

Late Policy on the Papers:

The papers are late if they are not handed in at the beginning of class on the due date.  After that time they lose a letter grade.  They will lose a letter grade for each succeeding day that they are late.  Notice that these papers will be due on quiz days.  I will give the quiz at the beginning of class, right on time.  So if you are late, you will miss the quiz and lose a letter grade on the paper.


If you add up the percentages in the assignment section you will realize that they do not add up to 100%.  They only at up to 85%.  The other 15% comes from class participation.  I hope to do as much discussion in the class as possible, but discussion requires that more than I talk.   Thus, first you need to be in class.  Second, you need to add to the class discussions, talk without being called on, and actively use your intelligence to contribute to the class.

Extra Credit:

Throughout the semester, you may have opportunities to participate in research projects conducted by students and/or professors. In addition to getting extra credit for this participation, you can learn first-hand how research is done, and make a contribution to psychology’s body of knowledge – someday a study you were in may end up in an Intro Psych textbook and/or may end up guiding educational, parental or legal decisions! For each half-hour of participation, you can earn one-half of a percentage point added directly to your final grade. The maximum amount of extra credit a student can receive is 3 percentage points (or 6 half-hour sessions).



Grades will be convereted to percentages and assigned as follows:

Grade Percent Range
A 100%-93.4%
A- 93.3%-90%
B+ 89.9%-86.7%
B 86.6%-83.4%
B- 83.3%-80%
C+ 79.9%-76.7%
C 76.6%-73.4%
C- 73.3%-70%
D+ 69.9%-66.7%
D 66.6%-60%
F < 60%