Instructor: Dr. Jon Mueller

Office: WSC 118
Office Hours: 9:30-10:30am MWF
Phone: 637-5329

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Certainty is comforting; absolute certainty is absolutely comforting.

-- Anne M. Carpenter, former PSY 100 student


Course Outcomes

Scientific Literacy
1. Evaluate scientific claims and the nature of the evidence used to support them
2. Distinguish between descriptive, correlational, and causal claims
3. Distinguish between scientific hypotheses, theories, and conclusions
4. Identify several methods of studying human behavior

Communication Skills
5. Write in a clear and organized manner

Psychological Concepts
6. Identify and describe examples of the relationship between the brain and behavior
7. Use examples to illustrate that it is our perception of reality, and not reality itself, that influences our behavior
8. Identify and describe the influences of nature and nurture on behavior
9. Demonstrate recognition of the four types of learning in everyday behavior
10. Discuss the origins and expression of individual differences in personality
11. Demonstrate a familiarity with several types of psychological disorders
12. Demonstrate a familiarity with at least two types of psychological therapy


Your final grade will be based upon several measures, including exams and short papers, which are intended to assess how well you have met the above goals. Brief descriptions of the measures and their value are given below.

Four exams worth 100 points each will be given on the dates listed on the course schedule. The exams are intended to test your understanding of the assigned readings and the material presented in lecture-discussion.

Three, short (approximately 1.5-3 pages typed, double-spaced) papers worth 30 points each will be assigned during the term. You may also rewrite two of your papers up to two times each. You will receive the highest grade from all the drafts as your grade for that paper. No cover page is necessary.

Except for emergencies, I will reduce late paper grades by 10% per calendar day. Please notify me in advance if you anticipate missing an exam because of an emergency or other legitimate excuse (e.g., course field trip or varsity athletic competition).

Additionally, I will require you to complete 18 very brief assignments in or outside of class. For these assignments, I will simply be looking to see if you put a "good faith effort" into answering the questions. If you did I will put a (+) on your paper; if not, I will give it a (-). If you receive at least 16 plusses on the brief assignments you will receive the full 60 points. If you receive 14 plusses, you will earn 48 points. If you receive 12 plusses you will earn 36 points. If you receive 11 plusses you will earn 24 points. If you receive fewer than 11 plusses on the brief assignments you will earn 0 points. The brief assignments will be due by the beginning of that class period. Assignments must be typed.

NOTE: These brief assignments and the three papers mentioned above must be submitted via Blackboard.

I will also ask you to complete two "contributions" per week for Weeks 2-13. Those contributions will be posted on the course Blackboard discussion board. All of these contributions will be ungraded, but you will lose 5 points each week if you do not complete at least 2 satisfactory contributions. A contribution will be judged to be satisfactory if it appears you put a good faith effort into it. You can skip one week of contributions during the semester.

Finally, some participation in psychology studies is required. Completion of the research requirement will earn you 25 points. (See Research Participation.)

To summarize, you can accumulate 575 points, and you will be graded on the following scale:

A = 93% 534 pts. and above excellent performance
A- = 90% 517 pts. and above
B+ = 87% 500 pts. and above very good performance
B = 83% 477 pts. and above
B- = 80% 460 pts. and above
C+ = 77% 442 pts. and above good performance
C = 73% 419 pts. and above
C- = 70% 402 pts. and above
D = 60% 345 pts. and above adequate performance
F = <60% under 345 pts. less than adequate


Early Alert

North Central College cares about, and is committed to, the safety and success of all members of the College community. If you or someone you know may be struggling academically and/or personally, College resources and assistance are available. As your Faculty, I may seek support for you by passing information on or sharing concern with the Office of Student Affairs, Center for Student Success, and/or Behavioral Intervention Team by submitting an Early Alert referral. You may also submit an Early Alert referral if you or another member of our campus community is in need of assistance. The Early Alert form is found here or  

For more information on the Early Alert process visit 

In the event of an emergency, please call the Department of Campus Safety at 630-637-5911 and/or 911.




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