Introduction to Psychology


  2. A. Course Title: Introduction to Psychology
    B. Course Number: PS 113 - 10378
    C. Semester: Spring 2017
    D. Days/Time: M W F 8:00:00 AM - 8:50:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Journigan, Walter
    G. Office: Pannell Library (PL) 226
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2656
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 11:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 11:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Virtual Monday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Virtual Tuesday: 10:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: BUC240

    This is an introduction to the science of human behavior and surveys topics including learning, motivation, physiological, personality, and abnormal psychology. This is basic to all succeeding courses in psychology. This is a three credit hour course.


    This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of Psychology and is a foundation for all succeeding Psychology courses. This course has transferability to other colleges, but it is always advisable to check with the receiving four-year school.



    Wood, S.E., Wood, and Boyd
    Mastering the World of Psychology
    5th. Edition (Allyn and Bacon)
    ISBN: 978-0-205-96808-4


    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Evaluation breakdown:
    You will be “offered” 1000 points -
    400 points = Tests
    200 points = Quizzes
    200 points = Writing assignments
    200 points = Final Exam

    The total number of points you “earn” will determine your final course grade:

    900+ = A
    800-899 = B
    700-799 = C
    600-699 = D
    <600 = F

    You will be given a test consisting of 50 multiple choice questions covering the reading, video lectures, homework, and class activities at the completion of each "module" in the course. Each test is worth 100 points and all four tests will be taken in class at a scheduled date and time. This will result in a maximum of 400 points applied towards your final course grade.

    You will be given a quiz consisting of 4 or 5 multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer questions covering the current reading, video lectures, homework, and class activities many times over the semester. Each quiz is worth 20 points and all 10 quizzes will be taken in class at a scheduled date and time. This will result in a maximum of 200 points applied towards your final course grade.

    Writing Assignments
    You will be given a short writing assignment covering the current reading, video lectures, homework and class activities many times over the semester. Each writing assignment is worth 20 points and all 10 writing assignments will be taken in class at a scheduled date and time. This will result in a maximum of 200 points applied towards your final course grade.

    Final Exam
    You will be given a final exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions covering the reading, video lectures, homework, and class activities over the entire semester. The final exam is worth 200 points. The final exam will be taken in class at a scheduled date and time. This will result in a maximum of 200 points applied towards your final course grade.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's Social/Behavioral Sciences Department endorses the core competencies as established by the State of New Mexico. Within our respective fields, as appropriate, students should

    A. identify, describe, and explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of complex and diverse communities.

    B. articulate how beliefs, assumptions, and values are influenced by factors such as politics, geography, economics, culture, biology, history, and social institutions.

    C. describe ongoing reciprocal interactions among self, society, and the environment.

    D. apply the knowledge base of the social and behavioral sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments.

    Selected specific competencies will be used to demonstrate mastery of the above.


    Upon completion of the course a student should be able to:

    1. List major developments in the history of psychology, including common modern perspectives of the field.

    2. Explain common research methods used in psychology.

    3. Explain the differences between physical, psychological, and social development across the lifespan.

    4. Name and describe biological bases of behavior and mental processes.

    5. Compare and contrast the explanations of the processes of sensation and perception.

    6. Predict how altered states of consciousness in the areas of sleep, hypnosis, and drugs will affect a person’s behavior.

    7. Explain common types of learning and how to apply them in real-world situations.

    8. Identify the structure and processes of memory.

    9. Predict what factors can improve or worsen memory.

    10. Explain the differences between heuristics and algorithms in problem-solving.

    11. Describe the elements of language.

    12. Define intelligence and describe current controversies about the nature of intelligence.

    13. Classify and describe common theories of motivation.

    14. Explain common theories of emotion.

    15. Recognize common sources of stress and how to apply coping strategies to maintain health and wellness.

    16. Appraise major theories of personality.

    17. Differentiate common psychological disorders from one another in real-life situations.

    18. Categorize common psychological therapies from one another in real-life situations.

    19. Describe and evaluate how social factors can affect behavior.


    The most important job I have as your professor is to maintain a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Behaviors that are off-task, distractive, or disruptive may result in dismissal from class, counseling, loss of class seat or point deductions on an upcoming quiz, writing assignment, or test.

    You should demonstrate a high standard of personal responsibility and self-expression of thoughts and feelings related to the subject manner.

    You should demonstrate an attitude of tolerance for different points of view that may be expressed by other members in the class.

    You should bring your book, pen or pencil, and writing paper to class each day. Cell phones or other portable electronic communication devices should be turned off and stowed away out of sight in class unless allowed in advance by the professor for a quiz, writing assignment, or class activity.

    The use of a personal computer or other technology is not allowed in this class for note-taking unless medical necessity can be documented.

    You should have good computer and word processing skills and have access to a reliable computer outside class.

    If you must step out of class for any reason, you may not return to class that day. This becomes a distraction and disruption to others. You should bring kleenex, cough drops, water bottle, etc. as needed.

    If the class is "light" in attendance on any particular day, be prepared to "fill in the ranks" from the rear and sides and move towards the front.

    There are no makeups for a missed quiz or writing assignment. If the absence is "excused" you will not lose any quiz or writing points for that day. Your grade will remain blank for that assignment and this neither hurts nor helps your overall course grade. Examples of an excused absence include: a student-athlete playing a ballgame, going on a class field-trip to Carlsbad Caverns, medical documentation of hospital stay at Lea Regional Hospital or doctor visit, legal documentation of a Magistrate Court appearance or incarceration, or otherwise represent NMJC in an official capacity in the community.

    If the absence is "unexcused" you will receive a zero for any quiz or writing that day. Examples of an unexcused absence include: a student who is feeling "sick", a student who has transportation difficulties, leaves town for a death in the family.

    If you are going to be absent on the day of a scheduled test, whether the absence is "excused" or "unexcused", you should make arrangements with me to take the test early in the Test Center in order to avoid a late penalty. If you miss a test, whether the absence is "excused" or "unexcused", and whether or not you have talked with me in advance, you should go straight to the Test Center to take a makeup, and then contact me afterwards. The penalty schedule is loss of 1 letter-grade if you take the test later that same day, and loss of an additional letter grade for each day afterwards. The test will be available for 1 week as a makeup opportunity after it was originally scheduled in class and then that "window" closes. If you miss a test, you may not return to class until you have taken a makeup test.

    When you present to the Test Center to take a test say, "Journigan PS113 paper and pencil test". You must also present a photo ID, surrender your cell phone or other portable electronic devices. books, notes, or other study aides to the staff.

    The Final Exam must be taken during Final Exam Week and cannot be taken before then. Failure to take the Final Exam results in a 0 on the exam.

    It is your responsibility to stay informed, attend class, participate in discussions and other spontaneously announced events, take tests and quizzes, and turn in your work at scheduled times.

    If you are experiencing difficulty, please consult me in enough time so that we can try to solve the problem.

    There is no extra credit in this class.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Subject to change at the discretion of the Professor


    Module 1 January 17 - February 6

    Chapter 01 “Introduction to Psychology”

    Chapter 02 “Biology and Behavior”

    Chapter 03 "Sensation and Perception

    Quizzes January 23 and January 30

    Writing January 25 and February 1

    Test1 February 6



    Module 2 February 8 - February 27

    Chapter 04 “States of Consciousness”

    Chapter 05 “Learning”

    Chapter 06 “Memory”

    Quizzes February13 and February 20

    Writing February 15 and February 22

    Test2 February 27



    Module 3 March 1- March 20

    Chapter 07 “Cognition, Language, and Intelligence”

    Chapter 08 “Human Development”

    Chapter 09 “Motivation and Emotion”

    Chapter 10 “Health and Stress”

    Quizzes March 6 and March 13

    Writing March 8 and March 15

    Test3 March 20



    Module 4 March 22 - April 24

    Chapter 11 “Personality Theory and Assessment”

    Chapter 12 “Psychological Disorders”

    Chapter 13 “Therapies”

    Quizzes April 3, April 10, and April 17

    Writing April 5, April 12, and April 19

    Test4 April 24



    Module 5 April 26 - May 10

    Final Exam preparations

    Quizzes May 1

    Writing May 3

    May 10 Final Exam Wednesday at 8AM - 945AM