Introduction to Psychology calendar and daily notes

Week 01

Sept 02 (Wed.)

Discuss course, text; get info.

Sept 04

Discuss questions on sleep and evidence for science.html theories. See notes

Week 02

Labor Day (no class)


Final comments on evaluating "theories" (stories).

Evolution evolve.html primer

Biological bases of behavior (ch.2) : Cells and their functions: neurons, glial cells. Assembly into higher level structures; neural pruning (cell death and apoptosis). The brainís nerves.html basic structure and organization.


Week 03


16- quiz 1 (see the quiz quide (9/13/98)

Essay on "organisms as machines". Multiple choice and short answer on book through chapter 4.

18 discuss essay question in q1

what's Descartes' answer? q1Essay.html

Week 04

21 get assignments to next quiz on Oct 2. assignq2.html Discuss eating questions eating.html

23 overview of "learning"

  1. show learning video; see notes
discuss relearning after neural destruction of proprioceptive sense

Cole, J. (1991/1995). Pride and a daily marathon. Cambridge, MIT Press.

Collect penny memory data

Week 05

28 blindspot assignment due


Oct 02 quiz 2 including chapters 4 through maybe 8.

Week 06

Oct 05



Week 07


14  Here are my notes on memory from today.

16 quiz 3

Week 08

19 See the Language video; read the notes on this too!

21 Discuss quiz 3 and assignments to quiz 4.

23 (Midsemester) Review elements of ch. 8, on "thinking" and its relation to memory and language.  Discuss the priming effect in the "mental set" demo -- most of us saying "yolk" when asked what the white stuff of an egg was called.

Week 09

26 Review Gleitman on language, ch. 9.  including the five properties of human language, the linguistic hierarchy, SAM, the difference between acquiring words and sentences, and some other issues in language development -- rate of acquisition, differences in age of acquisition, etc.

The essay question for Friday's quiz concerns the functions of language. List what you see to be the various functions of human language (at least 3 or 5?).  Which two do you see as the most important and briefly explain why?   (A more complete quide will be distributed Wednesday.)


30 quiz 4

Week 10

Nov 02

04 Show "The social brain" video.  (See notes.)

06 Review quiz 4 results.  "Personality" test demonstration.

Week 11

Nov 09
Handout notes and guide to quiz 5, including essay question.  Discuss briefly chapter 11 in Gleitman.  Comment on "attachment" and Harlow's work and its relationship to humans.   (You also can access my notes on sex, aggression, and parenting from my Psychology of Primates class (512) from here -- though its not required that you do so.)

Veterans Day (no class)

13 quiz 5

Week 12
See Milgram's Obedience video

Nov 16



Week 13

Nov 23
Note how these last topics all depend on "measurement" -- development, intelligence, personality and psychopathology.  A huge testing industry has grown up with the goal of measuring differences and changes for clinical, educational, and guidance purposes -- as well as research on these topics.

See your email for the essay question and study quide to quiz 6 covering chapters 13, 14, 15 and a few topics from social psychology, especially group effects and Milgram's research.  Included in the study guide handout is my outline on development and some brief notes on Piaget and Harlow.

Discuss the nature of "intelligence" tests and the concept of IQ, using the Stanford-Binet as example.  (Be sure to read the email discussion on tests; there were some good questions.).

Thanksgiving break

Week 14

Nov 30

Dec 02   quiz 6

Read ch. 16, 17, 18, 19
Return demo personality measures.
Internet assignments
1) Go to this site:
Read the "game" described there and play  few rounds.  Before you leave, read  about the game and its significance.  Review Gleitman on the Prisoner's dilemma, pp.484-5.
Write a few paragraphs, double spaced, review of this "game."  Indicate whether you see this as a worthwhile presentation of the ideas and say if you think it helped you understand these "game theory" concepts any better. Due Dec. 14.

2) Pick any topic in the realm of abnormal behavior or psychopathology.  Do a web search looking for the best 3 sites in your opinion relevant to that topic.  For the best site, write a paragraph outlining why you chose that one.   Send an email to the 401 list with your topic in the subject, e.g "dyslexia sites"  and in the text, just list the 3 sites in order with your reasons below.  Do this by Dec. 11.

Week 15
Dec 07      video on Abnormal Psychology (overview of intake interviews, diagnostic tests, different professionals, and types of therapy.)
Dec 09

Dec 11 quiz 7  on  ch. 16, 17, 18, 19.
Week 16
Dec 14         last class

18 final exam is scheduled for 1 to 3pm in Spaulding 16 unless otherwise noted.  Be sure you have all your quizzes when you begin to study for the final.