PSYCHOLOGY Banner
Fall 2012

Matthew Westra 

LA 202-C

(816) 604-2374 (with voice mail)
e-mail is the best way to reach me!

MWF - 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Tues - 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
Wed - 6-7 p.m.

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Link to Home Page 

REQUIRED TEXT:  Visualizing Psychology 2nd Ed. by Siri Carpenter & Karen Huffman 
Link to Textbook's Student Resources website:
Link to Textbook's Website & Videos:     (Use the password:    longview  )
REQUIRED VIDEOS:  Many videos will be required as part of the course. Each set of chapter notes has links to the appropriate video, which is available free and legally through streaming.


Semester grades will be calculated as follows:

  Point Spread
A =
B =
C =
D =
F =

  90% and above
  80 - 89.99%
  70 - 79.99%
  60 - 69.99%
    0 - 59.99%

Due Dates

Extra Credit  
Due by Monday Nov 19 for MW & MWF classes.
Due by Tuesday Nov 20 for TR classes.
NOTE: Late assignments will not be accepted.

Last Day to Withdraw:  Nov. 1, 2012

(According to a new MCC policy, faculty can not withdraw students after the last day upon which students can withdraw themselves)

    The exams will consist of any combination of Multiple Choice, Essay, short Answer, Matching, True-False, and/or other forms of assessment.

My exams are demanding because I look for conceptual and application information. Wording on exams assumes you can read and comprehend at the college level. I want you to demonstrate understanding of the terminology and concepts as well as the ability to use them and generalize to new examples. This makes the exams demanding, so consider yourselves forewarned and be prepared.

    Be advised that ANYTHING in your readings, assignments, videos, and in class can show up on the exams. This includes content, examples, handouts, demonstrations, video, in-class and outside assignments, even material in this syllabus!

    Link: How to prepare for, and increase the odds of passing, my exams.

  At my discretion, I will provide a method of assessment for missed exams. NOTIFY ME BEFORE A MISSED EXAM! I consider myself free to require that you take the same exam as the one missed, create a new exam for you, or require a written project - at my discretion. Further, do not expect that I will give you the same type of make-up exam as I gave another student who missed an exam.
 Only one exam may be made up.

  The Final Exam may not be missed, in accordance with college policy.

    We may, or may not, have written assignments performed inside and/or outside of class.



     At the top of the first page of each paper, please include:
  • your name, 
  • the time and days your class meets, 
  • the name of the assignment, and
  • at your option, any title you want to use. 

    It is expected that all written works produced outside of class will be completed in a fashion which reflects professional competence. This means, specifically, that Semester Written Projects  and Extra Credit Papers will be typed or done on a word processor, double spaced, use 1 inch margins, be presented on white paper with black ink which is dark enough to read easily, use standard capital and small letters, cite sources and quotations in APA (click here for a web source about APA format) or MLA form, use paragraphs properly, demonstrate thoughtful consideration of your topic and sources, be clean and aligned with a single staple (no paper clips) in the upper left corner. Papers will be free from spelling errors and grammatical errors (use spell check, but don't rely on it alone!). Pages are to be numbered, preferably in the bottom center or top right corner. Any typos which escape your watchful eye while typing will be corrected in pencil or pen prior to the assignment being turned in. There may be no more than 3 corrected typos, and no uncorrected typos per page. If you discover typos, re-type the page or fix them on your word processor and re-print.
    A References or Works Cited page, in proper APA or MLA format, must be included with all papers. The handy and inventive Citations Machine can do this for you. Just select the right type of source, input the correct info in the correct locations, and it will generate both Reference Section and Parenthetical citation format for you, in both APA and MLA.
    Quality and Appearance will be counted in the grade. Don't embarrass yourself with shoddy work. Part of professional competence lies in the conveyance of a message, as well as in the message itself.Use the handy check list linked here to be sure you meet the quality guidelines.
    Sources are Important. If you are using outside sources, keep the following in mind. The best type of source in a scientific type of course is the publication of original research in a peer reviewed scholarly journal. Next would be professional sources read by professionals. Third would be materials written by respected authorities, but for the general public. Beyond that, we have popular press materials meant for uncritical consumption by the masses. The grade on your paper will take quality of sources into consideration.
AVOID Wikipedia,, and other encyclopedias. Do your own research rather than relying on these to decide what's relevant and what isn't. Get in the habit of using scholarly resources.

Deviations from requirements will prevent papers from being accepted.

BadWriting   Just to demonstrate why good writing is valuable, consider a visit to the Bad Writing Page, linked here.
    Here is a link to a list of Pet Peeves - things to make sure you either avoid or include when writing.

Students may select to do one of the following for 10 points. Extra Credit papers will be graded as 0, 7, or 10 points.

Visit the Glore Psychiatric History Museum in St. Joseph, MO.
  1. Go to the Glore Psychiatric Museum.
  2. Walk around, check out the exhibits, have reactions.
  3. It costs about $3.50 to go through, with student ID.
  4. Write a paper about:
    1. What you saw that made an impression on you.
    2. What your reactions were to the various forms of treatment.
    3. How the information in class and the text fit / conflict with what you saw at the museum.
  5. Turn in your well written paper; get 10 points of extra credit.

Glore Psychiatric Museum - 3406 Frederick, St. Joseph, MO
phone:  (816) 232-8471 or  (800) 530-8866 

NPR's Talk of the Nation Science Friday & The Infinite Mind

This assignment presents an extra credit option. You may do this option in place of the trip to St. Joseph State Hospital's Glore Psychiatric History Museum. You may only do ONE option for extra credit.

The assignment will be to listen to 2 of the hour long programs (or 2 hours of total programming if you find shorter segments)  which directly address psychological topics.

Then write a paper (about 2 pages) summarizing the topic discussion, telling about the show guests, how the topic and discussion fits or contrasts with class and textbook information.

Be sure to cite the web site source properly!

NPR's Science Friday's Archives  (be sure to listen to Psychology Specific topics)  (Take a look through the listings for Psychology and Brain. Some items in Ethics, Skepticism, or Anthropology may also apply.)

Annenberg CPB Videos

This assignment presents an
extra credit option. You may do this option in place of the trip to St. Joseph State Hospital's Glore Psychiatric History Museum. You may only do ONE option for extra credit.

The assignment will be to watch 2 hours of programs (any mix of hour and half hour programs to total 2 hours of viewing), from their archives, through online streaming "video on demand", directly addressing psychological topics. See links at the bottom of the page for the Archives of  programs. You can watch multiples from one series or mix and match.

Then write a paper (following the Quality of Written Work statement in the syllabus) telling of your reason for selecting the particular videos you chose, summarizing  the topic discussion, telling about the show guests, how the topic and discussion fits or contrasts with class and textbook information, what you learned and whether/how viewing the videos expanded your understanding of psychology. The paper is not about whether you enjoyed the videos, but rather what you learned.
Be sure to cite the web site source properly!

How to use Annenberg CPB's Online via video on demand  (Info is at the bottom of the linked web page)
    Videos from the following program series qualify (Note - you are expected to view approx. 2 hours of video)

    Due to school policy, anyone missing 2 weeks' worth of classes, consecutive or not, (or two weeks worth of non-participation in on-line courses) risks being dropped from the course. This does NOT relieve you of the responsibility for withdrawing yourself because I do not generally drop students - you won't want the F for Failure to withdraw.
    Further, you risk being dropped towards the end of class if your accumulated absences total up to more than 2 weeks' worth, regardless of recent attendance or grade performance at the time.
    You are responsible to attend. Anything you miss, including spontaneous assignments or points, or changes made to this syllabus, is your responsibility. You are responsible to get notes from someone, including any handouts.
    Attendance by proxy is not allowed. No one may attend in your place if you are absent. You may not send a recording device or person in your stead.
    You hate the pressure, I hate the paperwork, but this is school policy, so let's deal with it.

    For each week's work, I will assume that you have prepared yourself by doing whatever reading, watching of video material, participation in activities, etc., that should contribute to your intelligent contributions to the class. 

    Due to the nature of the study of Psychology, we will have occasional frank discussions including the topics of human sexuality and biology in factual, symbolic, and figurative forms. If you are easily offended or made uneasy by such language or concepts, I recommend you consider withdrawing or talking with me about what exactly will be covered and how it will be covered. These discussions often take on a humorous tone, as people's anxiety often erupts in laughter and jokes. Inappropriate (hostile or sexist) joking will not be tolerated, but it should be expected that one natural release of tension is through humor. This includes both oral and written comments.

    Our college strives to be accessible and supportive regarding people with disabilities. If you have a documented need for accommodations for learning, please contact our Special Needs Office and have the paper work filed. We will be glad to assist in what ever ways are necessary to level the playing field of learning. You may contact Jennifer Argo  at (816) 604-2254 or click on her name for e-mail.

Academic Integrity

To starve to death is a small thing, but to lose one’s integrity is a great one.  
Chinese proverb.

    Each student is obligated to operate with utmost academic integrity, on their own honor, and with the realization that the college district has explicit policies which address academic dishonesty and repercussions for participating in such devious and dishonest acts. The guiding principle for all questions of academic integrity is as follows: "Assume the most restrictive set of conditions, unless some exception is explicitly made by the instructor."  Should you have any question about a particular academic strategy or behavior, ASK the instructor of the course - do NOT rely on other instructors, agencies, friends, or members of the academic community, as there is great inconsistency in individual policies.

    Forms of Behavior which Violate Academic Integrity
       Students should assume that the harshest consequences allowed under district policy, as outlined in the Student Handbook, will be provided. Violation of Academic Integrity on any single part of a course will result in the Failing grade for the entire course and may result in further academic consequences, according to the discretion of the instructor. It is incumbent on the part of the student to abide by any and all codes, traditions, rules, and guidelines for Academic Integrity.

       Attendance in the course constitutes agreement and subjection to the policies on Academic Integrity presented above and in the Student Handbook and Policies of this college and district.

    Intellectual Property Restriction - Permissions
       The materials on this course web site represent the author's intellectual property and are for the use of students currently enrolled in this course, and others who have been given specific permission. Usage is to be limited to appropriate use for this course and may not be shared or retained.


Introduction and Research Methods  - Chapter 1
Statistics and Psychology -  Appendix A
Thinking, Language, and Intelligence - Chapter 8

EXAM 1 (Chapters 1, Appendix A, 8)

Motivation & Emotion -  Chapter 11.     
Social Psychology -  Chapter 15     
States of Consciousness-  Chapter 5
Psychological Disorders - Chapter 13 

EXAM 2 (Chapters: 11, 15, 5, 13)

Personality & Therapy
    Chapter 12 - Personality     
    Chapter 14 - Therapy     
Learning - Chapter 6  
Memory - Chapter 7   

EXAM 3  (Chapters 12, 14, 6, 7)

Life Span Development -  Chapters 9 & 10
Sensation and Perception -  Chapter 3       
Neuroscience and Biological Foundations  - Chapter 2
Stress and Health Psychology - Chapter 12
EXAM 4 (Chapters 9, 10, 3, 2, 12)
(Given during Final Exam week)

CUMULATIVE FINAL EXAM (Given along with Exam 4)

Link: Longview Library Data Bases Link: Longview Library Research Tools
Citations Machine

Last updated August 18, 2012