NOTE: This is not the correct syllabus for the current semester for this course.

Professor: Robin Lea West, Ph.D. TeachAssts:
Office: 15c Psychology Building
Phone: 392-0601 ext. 240

Office Hours:

REQUIRED TEXT: Psychology: Themes & Variations, by Wayne Weiten (latest edition); Strongly recommended: PSYK.TREK: A Multimedia Introduction to Psychology, by Wayne Weiten and/or Study Guide for Weiten’s Psychology (latest edition). All items published by Wadsworth.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: This class is a prerequisite to more advanced psychology courses. The course is designed as a broad overview of the research methods, basic concepts, and issues in the field of psychology. When you complete the class, you. should be 1) be able to understand and define key concepts in psychology, 2) know many of the issues and theories that drive psychological research, 3) know the basic features of psychological research methods, and 4) know how to evaluate basic psychological research.


1) The teaching assistant and the professor are WILLING TO HELP individual students with study skills. Please ask us. Normal email correspondence for the course should be sent via the course website at If you have a question for a specific person, send your email to that person. Lecture reviews will be given each week.

2) In order to BE FAIR, all grading will be done according to announced course policies. No one will be given the opportunity to do special, individualized assignments to improve their grade. Don’t ask.

3) Be in your seat and have your notebook and pen/pencil ready at the scheduled TIME FOR CLASS to begin. Class ends only when the speaker indicates that class is dismissed, not before. Do not arrive late or leave early, because it disrupts the class.

4) Give your FULL ATTENTION to the speaker and audiovisual materials. Do not read outside materials, sleep, talk to others, use a cell phone, do homework, pack up your books early, or listen to music. Such inattention to the lecture is rude and distracting to classmates who want to learn.

5) CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION in the form of comments, questions, or discussion is highly desirable. For this to be effective, you must protect the rights of fellow students. Make sure that you are recognized before speaking, restrict your remarks to topics of direct relevance to the class, and give your peers your full attention when they are speaking, just as you do the instructor. In this way, we can all learn from each other.

6) All students are expected to WORK ALONE ON ALL EXAMS. You are not permitted to ask another student to answer any exam questions for you. You may not look or attempt to look at another student’s answers during an exam. Looking at notes or Exam Guides during an exam is not permitted.

7) No classes on September 3 (Labor Day), November 2 (Homecoming), November 12 (Veteran’s Day), November 21 and 23 (Thanksgiving).

Psychology Department Chair: Neil Rowland
Undergraduate Coordinator: Keith Berg


Complete all reading assignments

Complete 5 exams, 40 points each




Introduction Chapter 1 Mon. 8/27

Psychology as a Science Chapter 2 Wed. 8/29

Memory and Study Skills Chapter 7 Wed. 9/5


The Brain Chapter 3 Mon. 9/17

Nature-Nurture Issues Chapter 3, Chapter 9, pp 300-309 Fri. 9/21


Learning Chapter 6 Wed. 10/3

Sensation and Perception Chapter 4 (skip color & 149-160) Wed. 10/10

Motivation Chapter 10 Mon. 10/15


Personality Chapter 12 Wed. 10/24

Psychological disorders Chapters 13 and 14 Fri. 10/26

Psychotherapy and Treatment Chapter 15 Wed. 10/31

Development and Socialization Chapter 11 Wed. 11/14

Social Influences Chapter 16 Mon. 11/26


[[ NOTE: The final is optional for most students. It
is required for any student who missed an hourly exam.]]

FINAL EXAM ROOM: McCarty 100 Auditorium (regular classroom)

Dr. West’s classroom lectures and multimedia materials are original material, written and/or designed by her (except where specific other copyrights are mentioned). No one is allowed to copy and sell her lectures, or sell any part of any classroom presentation without express permission in writing from Dr. West (or, where appropriate, the company holding the copyright). Dr. West’s lecture outlines are also original material written by her and may not be copied or sold without her express permission.


There will be 6 exams. You are required to complete at least 5 of these exams.

All exams will be held in McCarty Auditorium (Room 100), including the final.

Bring a #2 pencil and your Gator 1 ID card to each exam.

This course has frequent exams, to aid your learning, to help you to focus your attention on the important concepts, and to reduce the amount of material that you must master for each exam. The exams will cover the lectures (including demonstrations and video) and the text. There will be a heavier emphasis on material presented in both places, but you will also be tested on material that is presented only in lectures or only in your text. Each exam will be 40 points of multiple-choice and matching questions. There will be 5 non-cumulative “periodic” exams and one cumulative final. You are required to complete 5 of these (one exam grade can be dropped). You may take all of the exams and then drop your lowest grade, or skip the final if you are happy with your grade at the end of the term. If you miss an exam for any reason, your 0 score on that exam will be the score you must drop, and then you will be required to take the cumulative final. There will be no regular make-up exams. If you can document a serious illness on the day of an exam, and you have already missed an exam, Dr. West may give you permission to take a makeup exam during finals week. Because it is not required for most students, the final exam will be administered only at the scheduled time, not earlier and not later.

On each exam day, you must print your name clearly on the front of the test question sheet and on a “bubble” answer sheet. After finishing the exam, you must hand in the test questions and the “bubble” answer sheet. BOTH must be returned on the day of the exam for you to receive a non-0 score for that exam. You should get to class early on exam days. We will begin the exam 5 minutes before class normally begins, and all exams must be finished and handed in 10 minutes before the end of the class period. At that time, Dr. West will go over the exam and provide the answers to all test questions. If you wish to challenge the answer to a test question, you must write out a clear statement no later than 2 weeks after the exam, and hand it in to Dr. West (include your name and UF ID #). If you challenge an answer, you must justify your alternative answer using lecture notes or textbook material to support your argument. A teaching assistant will maintain a record of your points, and all grades will be posted on the class website at If you wish to review an exam, you need to do this before the next exam occurs. Exam papers will be kept for no more than a month and then they will be shredded.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to request any special accommodation they may need, and this should be done no later than Sept. 5 if you require special accommodation on the first exam. Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student, who must give this documentation to Dr. West when requesting accommodation.

Your grade will be determined by adding up points for 5 exams. Grades will be computed as follows:

A = 90% – 100% 180-200 points
B+ = 85% – 89% 170-179 points
B = 80% – 84% 160-169 points
C+ = 75% – 79% 150-159 points
C = 70% – 74% 140-149 points
D+ = 65% – 69% 130-139 points
D = 60% – 64% 120-129 points
E(F) = less than 60% below 120 points


Students must complete the research requirements of the course by the last day of class in order to receive a grade. To complete the research requirement you must EITHER earn 14 credits (1 credit = 1/2 hour) by participating in approved research OR write 4 papers about completed experiments published in academic psychology journals. Detailed instructions concerning both options can be obtained at Click on Undergraduate Program, then PSY2012 Research Participation. Students who want to complete the research requirement by doing the paper option must submit a request in writing, no later than the second week in class. Students who want to complete the research requirement by participating in research should sign up for research participation by Friday at 5:00 of the second week of classes at If you do not complete the research requirement, you will receive an “I” in the course. The “I” will not be changed to a standard letter grade until you complete the research requirement. If you do not complete the research requirement this semester, you can start over doing the research credits (sign up again for “Resolve an Incomplete”) or write the papers by the due date for the spring semester. After the due date has passed next semester, you will not be able to complete the research requirement. The University will turn your I grade into an E.


This class covers a large amount of material and it is crucial for students to keep up with the reading and study regularly. The MOST IMPORTANT study habits are 1) read the material when it is assigned, 2) read and study the text after hearing the lectures on those topics, and 3) study and test yourself in-depth on the days before each exam.

It is very important to read the assigned text by the due date on the syllabus. This reading will provide you with some basic knowledge for each topic, to help you to understand the material more fully when you hear the lectures. A day or two after each lecture, read back over your notes to make sure that you understand everything you have written. Be certain, for example, that you can find a definition in your notes for each new term that was presented in class. Class attendance is not required. However, if you are having difficulty with the material, or if you are not performing as well as you want on exams, you should do the following: attend class EVERY TIME, pay close attention to the lecture, review the “terms and names to know” in order to focus your reading, and use good note-taking skills.

Your text is clearly organized and written in a very personable style. Important terms are presented in bold lettering or in italics. Always read these helpful sections: Preview Questions, Concept Check, Review of Key Points, Reflecting on the Chapter’s Themes, Personal Application, Critical Thinking Application, Recap, and Practice Test. Use the text headers to help you identify main ideas, and take note of any definitions in bold print. These special features for each chapter help you to understand the most important concepts you are learning as you read.

You can improve your knowledge and your test scores by completing all exercises in the Student Study Guide, and by using the Student Study Guide to test yourself. In addition, Dr. West has Terms and Names to Know to help you to study. The Terms and Names to Know lists all concepts that you need to understand for the exam. If a term is not listed there, you do not need to know its meaning for the exam. If a term is listed there, you should be prepared to answer any question about that concept from class or the book. The Terms and Names to Know list is available on the course WEB-CT VISTA website at In addition, Dr. West will periodically post a copy of her lecture slides on the website.

Everyone has a different preferred way of studying. Some students find that outlining the text or rewriting class notes is a good way to study. Others find that flash cards are a good study aid — they put an important term on one side of the card and put its definition on the other side, maybe with an example (make up your own example if you can). You may benefit from rewriting ideas in your own words, or it may help you to study aloud, defining terms, and explaining theories to a “study buddy.”

It doesn’t matter which method works best for you — the important thing is to study and be involved in studying over a period of time. Don’t try to cram it all in your brain at the last minute. There will be no worksheets or homework assignments to ensure that you start reading the material early. You will have to take the initiative yourself to get started right away.

REMEMBER!!!!!!!!! The most important study habits are 1) read the material when it is assigned; 2) read and study the text after hearing the lectures on those topics, and 3) study and test yourself in-depth on the days before each exam, using the Terms and Names to Know.