Spring 2012


INSTRUCTORS:                     Sarah Meerts (email: smeerts); Julie Neiworth (email: jneiwort)


                                    SM phone: x5936; JN phone: x4372


OFFICE HOURS:                  for Sarah: MW 11- 12 and by appt. For Julie:



Class meets:              M, W: 9:50 - 11:00 am, Fridays, 9:40 - 10:40 am, Olin 141.


Daily Assignments? Click here.  

Paper Assignment? Click here

Study Guide for Exam 1? Click here.

Neuroscience: Neurotransmitter YouTube clip.

Neuroscience: Anatomy of an action potential YouTube clip.

Perception Interactive Demonstrations: Handout

motion after-effect link   

Cornsweet Center-Surround effect    

Muller Lyer Illusion adjustments  

Face Processing Illusion  

Memory Interactive Demonstrations:

Visual Inattention: Original Clip

Visual Inattention: Carleton Alum YouTube Clip 

Psychotherapy Interactive Demonstration:

Link to Computer Therapist, Mystery Client



            Psychology 110  attempts to review and integrate theories, research and applications of major topics of psychology. This information can be provided in a variety of formats; in this course there are three themes that pervade each topic: 1)  that psychology often makes use of comparisons with other theories/ideas/sciences to construct a basis for externalizing internal mechanisms, 2) that psychology is a science, or a set of procedures for systematically observing facts about behavior and organizing these facts into generalizations about why humans and other animals act as they do, and 3) that psychology is a means of promoting human welfare, and as such is a body of information that can be applied to help solve a variety of human problems.

            Our discussions will always start with (1), in that each topic will be introduced in a historical context and any metaphors or ideas borrowed from other fields will be reviewed. Next, the mechanics of studying the topic will be identified (2), and finally, its usefulness in promoting human welfare will be discussed (3). It is our hope that this sort of review will firmly ground your study of psychology in a bigger context. In addition, it should direct you towards understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each study within psychology.



The course meets three times each week: Mon and Wed from 9:50 – 11:00am and Friday, from 9:40 – 10:40 am. Most meetings are traditional lecture style meetings, with demonstrations and some interactive components. Moreover, one day per week is typically reserved for discussions, projects, and demonstrations for which I will try to break you up into smaller groups. We will meet first in Olin 141 on all class days, but will then break up into groups after an initial introduction and assignment and sometimes disperse to other rooms or outside for discussions.



Most assigned reading will come from the textbook, Henry Gleitman’s Psychology (8th edition).  Additional readings will be made available on Moodle prior to the assigned reading date.  Please consult the schedule for the required readings for each class meeting.  We strongly encourage you to read the assignment before class because lectures will build from the assigned readings, but will not provide a detailed review: most often we will go well beyond the basics of the readings in class. 



                      Our deadline/exam policy is this: You must take exams and hand in assignments on the prescribed days. Any exceptions to this (i.e., due to sudden illness or unforeseen circumstances) must be arranged with the instructor at least one class meeting prior to the due date. It is unacceptable to show up/call on the exam day or on the day that an assignment is due and attempt to make arrangements for an alternate time.


Arrangements for special needs
If you are a student who typically takes exams through the student support services office because of special needs (i.e., time and a half, separate room, etc), please discuss with us any accommodation you may need by the end of second week of term (April 6th).  You will be required to take the exam on the same day that it is scheduled for everyone else, but the exam itself must be printed out early and sent to the Office of Disability Services at least 2 class sessions before you take it. Contacting either of us within 1 class period of your request will not allow you to take it through student support services.
Taking the exam in the classroom under extended time circumstances will not be possible because a class is scheduled in the room immediately after our class. Thus, if you need and want to take the exams under extended time circumstances, such arrangements must be made through student support services, and we must be informed 1 week before each exam of your needs.


Religious observances
If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in this course, let us know by the end of the second week of term (April 6th) to discuss appropriate accommodations.



Your grade will consist of your performance on three exams and a paper. 

Exam 1: 25%
Exam 2: 25%
Exam 3: 25%
Paper: 25%


Important Dates:
April 18 – Exam 1
April 25 – Experiment Proposal due (submitted via Moodle by 5pm)
May 9 – Exam 2
May 20 (a Sunday) – Draft of paper due (submitted via Moodle by 5pm)
May 30 – Exam 3 (or June 2 8:30am)
May 30 – Paper due in hardcopy to Psych office by 4:30pm