Course Information Sheet 
 Psyc102-02 (M/W): Fall 2017

Instructor: Dr. Matt Rossano 
Office: 219 Mims Hall 
Office Hrs:
MW 12:30-1:45 TTh 8:45-10:45, 1:15-3
Phone: 985-351-3663 
Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding by Lilienfeld et al.
email: (note: all email communication should be done using your university assigned address). Email is the best way to get in touch with me. I habitually check my emails every day. Email provides a written record of our interaction, which protects us both in case there are misunderstandings or accusations later.

To those of you who missed the first day of class: I went through and explained this syllabus on the first day of class.  It is your responsibility to read this and understand it.  If you have any questions concerning this syllabus please see me or email me about it.

Course overview and objectives: The class is designed as the second part of a general survey of the major divisions of psychology.  In 101 such topics as the history and methods of psychology, principles of learning, human development, and abnormal psychology were covered.  In 102 we concentrate on the biological basis of behavior, perception, memory, emotion, consciousness, and intelligence. The objective of the class is to give the student an introduction into some of these areas of psychology, as well as an appreciation of the methods used for conducting research in these areas.

Grades: Course grades are based on four things: (1) Tests, (2) Quizzes, and (3) a cumulative final, and (4) a syllabus validation assignment.  (Each of these items will be explained in detail later). On each of these items you will receive points.  At the end of the semester I will total up the points that each student has received across all three of these items.  The student with the most points, wins! (i.e. is assured of an A).  I then take 93% of that top score, and all students with at least 93% of the top score also get A's.  I then take 85% of that top score and all students with at least 85% of the top score get B's; and so on using 78% for C's and 70% for D's.  The bottom line is that you must get at least 70% of the top score in order to pass.  Notice that this is a relative scale, it is based on student performance, not on an arbitrary standard set by the instructor.  However, because of this, I cannot tell you how many points you need to pass, or to get an A or whatever.  I don't know what the breakdown of grades will be until after the final.  Therefore, it is up to you to keep track of your relative standing in the class, here is how you do it: 
        After each test and quiz I will post the scores on Moodle and in the Announcements section I will indicate the high score. Write down your score and the high score.  Keep a running track of these scores throughout the semester.  At any time you can take your point total and divide it by the top point total.  This will yield a proportion.  Compare that proportion to the grade scale cited earlier.  This is your grade so far in the class. Here's an example (I also did this example in class the first day). Suppose you get 25pts, 44pts, and 23pts on quiz 1, test 1, and quiz 2 respectively. Suppose the high scores for those are: quiz 1 = 25, test 1 = 52, quiz 2= 25. Then your total is: 25+44+23 = 92, and the high total is: 25+52+25 = 102, so to this point in the semester your grade would be = 92/102=.90 or B. All the information necessary to keep track of your standing throughout the semester will be provided to you. It is your responsibility to keep track of your grade. If your grade every comes as a surprise to you, it's you're own fault!
        A final note about grades (especially for graduating seniors).  I give exactly the grade you deserve based on the numbers.  I don't round anything.  I don't give "breaks."  I don't add points.  I'm a machine when it comes to giving grades (literally, it's a computer program!). I really do fail people, even graduating seniors.  (As cruel as it may seem this is the only way that I can be fair to everyone.)  So please, keep track of your grade - don't let your final grade come as a shock, it shouldn't be.

Tests & Final: During the semester I will give three multiple choice tests. They will each have 50-60 questions on them. The tests are not cumulative and are worth as many points are there are questions on it. The final, however, is cumulative and will have around 100 questions.  So there are approximately 265 points to be earned on tests/final.  About 45% of the questions on the final will cover "new stuff.," and about 55%  will cover "old stuff."  What are my tests like?  Well, you will find (if you make it a habit to come to class regularly) that quite a bit of what I lecture on is also covered in the text or in other assigned readings (see course outline).  This "overlap" is the material that is almost certain to be on a test.  So if I talk about it, and you read about it in the text, you better know it and know it well.  I will lecture on some stuff that is not in the book; and the book (or other readings) will cover some stuff that I will not talk about.  This material could also be on the test.  However, the majority of the test (I'd say roughly 70% of the test) will be "overlapping" stuff.  Hopefully this will help you adjust your study habits for optimal efficiency. 
        For each test (and quiz for that matter) you will need to bring a #2 pencil and a scantron answer sheet (the one with 50 questions per side). If you bring the wrong scantron I will take off at least 3 points!

Quizzes: I will also give 4 "sorta" pop quizzes.  I say "sorta" because if you attend class you'll get a pretty good idea of when a quiz is coming.  The quizzes will each have 25 questions, thus another 100pts. can be earned on quizzes.  Quizzes are open book, open notes, however, you will have only 30 minutes to complete them. So having good, well organized notes, and knowing where material is in the book can be very beneficial. I will go over quizzes right in class after we take them.

Syllabus validation assignment: All students are required to verify that they have read and understood the syllabus. This is a required assignment that counts for 5 points toward your final grade. Instructions for completing the assignment can be found at the end of the syllabus.

Make-up tests: See the departmental policies sheet for details (, but here are the basics.  If you miss a test (or quiz) you must either see me beforehand or promptly afterwards.  By "promptly" I mean by the next class meeting.  So, for example, if we have a test (or quiz) on a Monday, then you will have until class time on Wednesday to contact me (class time means when the class starts!). If I do not hear from you by the next class meeting immediately following the missed test or quiz, I will not allow you to take a make-up.  You may see me personally, or you may call (leave message with the main office), fax (549-3892) or email (email is best).   I must hear from you, I do not "automatically" leave make-up tests for students. 
        If I approve, you will be allowed to take a make-up.  Make-ups are given by the department in
White Hall, Room 208, on Thursdays from 3:30-4:45. You must make arraignments to be there at that time to take the make-up, you cannot re-schedule or make-up a make-up.  My make-ups are all essay.  There are usually 5 or 6 essay questions for tests, and 3 for quizzes.  You must bring your own paper to write on. If you write on my test paper I'll take off anywhere from 2-5 pts! Look - you don't want to show up on a Thursday to take an essay test and I don't want to grade the stupid thing, so do us both a favor and take the tests when you are supposed to!

Course Outline






   Intro to class



   Behavioral Neuroscience



   more BN/ Quiz 1 on the brain this week

9/6,* 9/11



*Off 9/4 (Monday) for Labor Day
Test 1 will be Monday Sept. 18 (Moved from Weds. Sept 13 because of missed class on 9/6).
Material covered: chps3-4, notes (syllabus verification assignment due at this time also) 







 9/25,27  5,7
    Memory/Quiz 2 this week




    Memory/Quiz 3

Test 2 will be Weds Oct. 11
Material covered: Chapters 5,7, notes






   Problem solving and Reasoning



   Language/Quiz 4 this week

10/30, 11/1

11 pps. 430-451



11 pp. 430-451 plus "What makes us human?" pps. SELU72-81


Test 3 will be Weds Nov. 8
Material covered: chapter 8, assigned parts of chapter 11, plus socio bio tidbit, notes





11 pp. 404-430


 11 pp. 404-430    Emotion

*Off 11/22-24 for Thanksgiving
Final Exam: Thursday, December 7, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Finals are held in the regular classroom.

Important Dates:

Friday, September 15

         Graduation Audit for Fall 2017 graduation candidates begins.  No graduation applications will be accepted for Fall 2017 after this date. 

         Last day to apply for Spring 2018 graduation without late fee.

Friday, September 22

         Term I Classes: Last day to withdraw from classes. Deadline at 12:30 p.m.

Friday, November 3

         Regular Classes: Last day to withdraw or resign from the University. Deadline at 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 15

         Term II Classes: Last day to withdraw from classes.  Deadline at 5:00 p.m.


Now that you have finished reading the syllabus you need to do the following to get the required 5 points for the syllabus validation assignment: 
(1) Login to the Moodle site for this class 
(2) Click on syllabus verification link
(3) Read syllabus and click on "I have read syllabus" selection
(4) Save it

Note: As of Spring 2017 all the policy information below is being posted by the University on all course Moodle sites. So After Spring 2017 the information below will not be updated. Go to the Moodle site for this course and click on Policy Statements for the latest on all this information and for Important Dates.

Disabled students:
If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services, Student Union, Room 1304. No accommodations will be granted without documentation from the Office of Disability Services. The deadline for registering or making accommodation changes is two weeks prior to the start of the Final Exam period. Any requests received after the deadline will generally be considered for the following semester.

Children in the classroom: By university policy children are not permitted in the classroom. Students are not to bring family members for day care or babysitting.

Attendance: Attending class is a good idea. I encourage it. I do take attendance as is required by University policy.  However, do not count on me to drop you for non-attendance.  It is the responsibility of the student to drop this class if it is his/her desire to do so.

Academic integrity: 
Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Behavior that violates these standards is not acceptable. Examples are the use of unauthorized material, communication with fellow students during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student and similar behavior that defeats the intent of an examination or other class work. Cheating on examinations, plagiarism, improper acknowledgment of sources in essays and the use of a single essay or paper in more than one course without permission are considered very serious offenses and shall be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in the current General Catalogue.

Students agree by taking this course that all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity to VeriCite for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the VeriCite reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the VeriCite service is subject to the Terms of Use posted on the VeriCite website.

In class behavior: any behavior that inhibits the ability of the instructor to teach or fellow students to benefit from that instruction will not be tolerated.  Therefore no uncivil or disruptive behavior will be permitted in class.  Furthermore, no beepers, cell phones, or other noise-making electronic devices may be brought to class unless prior approval has been given by the instructor.

Sexual misconduct statement: If you are the victim of a sexually oriented crime, please be aware that the University Policy regarding Victims of Sexual Misconduct is located online at as well as at page 68 in the University Student Handbook at  The policy includes definitions of the various sexually oriented offenses prohibited by Southeastern as well as the reporting options for victims and the process of investigation and disciplinary proceedings of the university. For more information log onto