FAS230 Syllabus

University General Requirement Unit
Humanities, Arts or Social Sciences Requirement

Course Title: FAS 230 – Introduction to Psychology (PDF version)
Lecture Hours: 3 hours per week, fall and spring semesters
Lab Hours: 0
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None


Name: Prof. Gregory Mavrides
Office: Library 304
Phone: 050-901-7670/02-407-0574
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office Hours: By appointment.

Course Description

FAS 230, Introduction to Psychology, is a survey course that familiarizes students with a few of the major fields (divisions) of psychology: developmental; experimental; evaluation, measurement, and statistics; personality and social psychology; educational, and; clinical psychology.

Course Objectives

  1. Provide students with an understanding of the major divisions of psychology towards achieving an appreciation of human motivation and behavior, both at home and in the workplace.
  2. Familiarize students with the major psychotherapeutic schools of thought (psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral) in regard to personality development.
  3. Provide students with an understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology.
  4. To help and encourage students to think conceptually and critically.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Have a better appreciation for and understanding of the motivation and behavior of themselves and those around them.
  • Distinguish between what are "normal" variations in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from diagnosable psychological disorders.
  • Appreciate that there is no shame or stigma in using the services of trained mental health professionals when there is a need.

Course Evaluation

Your final course grade will be based on the following measurements:

  • Two Quizzes (one before midterm, one after midterm): Self-Assessment
  • Midterm Exam (50 multiple-choice questions): 45%
  • Final Exam (cumulative: 80% new material; 20% midterm material; 50 multiple-choice questions): 55%

The midterm exam will cover the five chapters of our textbook. The final exam will emphasize (80%) the material covered during the second half of class (an additional five chapters) but, per University policy, will also include some material (20%) from the mid-semester material.

Please Note: Exams are based entirely on material from class lectures. The midterm and final exam will be given during the midterm and final exam periods respectively.

Course Textbook

Nolen-Hooksema, S., Fredrickson, G.R., Wagenaar, L. & W.A. (2009). Atkinson & Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology, 15th Edition. New York: Wadsworth Press.

Other Reference

To be announced in class.

Class Policies

  1. Class starts on time, i.e., 12:00 or 1:30 pm and the lecture typically runs for 65 to 70 minutes with time remaining for questions and answers.
  2. Attendance will be taken at the end of class. Three (3) students must be present within 15 minutes after the start of class or the class will end early due to insufficient attendance. Students who arrive after a class has ended early will not receive credit for attending that class. Students are responsible for the course material that would have been covered during that class if there had been sufficient attendance.
  3. Students are expected to bring a pen and notebook to every class. Students may digitally record the lectures.
  4. Students are expected to download and read the PowerPoint slides before each class.
  5. One chapter will be covered each week (two lectures per chapter). Exam questions are drawn from the lecture material. Each lecture constitutes your exam “revision.”
  6. There are no formal or traditional "revisions" before the exams: you will not be told what to “focus on” or which slides to “concentrate on.”
  7. There is simply no way to do well in my courses unless you have spent time reading the material, have studied it, and have attended the lectures and taken notes.
  8. Cell phone use is strictly forbidden during lectures. I will stop lecturing if I see a cell phone in use.
  9. There are two graded exams and two practice quizzes (self-assessment). There are also a variety of practice questions on my website (mavrides.net). Quiz and practice questions will NEVER be reused on midterm and final exams. Do NOT waste your time memorizing quiz and practice questions.
  10. Midterm exam is worth 45% and final exam is worth 55% of your course grade. Both exams are composed of 50 multiple choice questions.
  11. There are no “copy and paste” presentations and projects, no bonus questions or points, and no extra points for “classroom participation.” Your final course grade is based entirely on your performance on 100 multiple choice questions.
  12. You must earn a raw score of 32 out of 100 questions (32 percent) to pass the class (16 out of 50 questions for each exam). Exam scores will be curved by a maximum of 18 points or up to an average class score of 50 (for both sections), whichever number is lower.
  13. The midterm exam scores will be posted on my website (mavrides.net) before the next class. Midterm exams will be returned to you on the first class following midterm exam week. All questions and answers will be reviewed in detail. You will not be able to keep the exam and doing so won’t help you because midterm questions are not reused.
  14. The final exam is 20 percent cumulative: 10 questions on the final exam will cover midterm material.
  15. You are entirely responsible for your own GPA: I assume no responsibility for your grades and will not and cannot make concessions for “special circumstances,” e.g., students who have to work full time, students who are full time homemakers with children, students who had to care for sick relatives, etc.
  16. Students who do not earn a minimum raw score of 32 percent (32 out of 100 questions) will fail the class.

Course Calendar

Essentially, we are going to cover one chapter in our textbook per week. We will have six weeks of classes followed by "midterm week," followed by another six weeks of classes, and, then, two remaining weeks in the semester for final exams.


Textbook Chapter and Summary

  1. Nature of Psychology
    • Scope of Psychology
    • Historical Origins of Psychology
    • Contemporary Psychological Perspectives
    • How Psychological Research is Done
  1. Biological Foundations of the Brain
    • Biological Bases of Psychology
    • Organization of the Brain
    • Autonomic Nervous System
    • Endocrine System
    • Evolution, Genes, and Behavior
  1. Psychological Development
    • Heredity and Environment
    • Capacities of the Newborn
    • Childhood Cognitive Development
    • Personality and Social Development
    • Adolescent Development
  1. Consciousness
    • Aspects of Consciousness
    • Sleep and Dreams
    • Meditation
    • Hypnosis
    • Psychoactive Drugs
    • PSI Phenomena
  1. Learning and Conditioning
    • Perspectives on Learning
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Instrumental Conditioning
    • Learning and Cognition
    • Learning and the Brain
    • Learning and Motivation
  • Midterm Exam: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6, & 7 as covered and discussed in class lectures
  1. Intelligence
    • Assessment of Intelligence
    • Contemporary Theories of Intelligence
    • Genetics and Intelligence
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Imaginal Thought
    • General Learning Disability
  1. Personality
    • Assessment of Personality
    • Psychoanalytic Approach
    • Behavioral Approach
    • Cognitive Approach
    • Humanistic Approach
    • Evolutionary Approach
    • Genetics of Personality
  1. Stress, Health, and Coping
    • Characteristics of Stressful Events
    • Psychological Reactions to Stress
    • Physiological Reactions to Stress
    • Psychological Factors and Stress Responses
    • Coping Skills
    • Managing Stress
  1. Psychological Disorders
    • Defining Abnormality
    • Mood Disorders
    • Schizophrenia
    • Personality Disorders
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  1. Treatment of Mental Health Problems
    • Historical Background
    • Psychotherapy
    • Biological Therapies
    • Enhancing Mental Health
  • Review
  • Final Exam: Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15, & 16 (80%), 1, 2, 3, 6, & 7 (20%) as covered and discussed in class lectures.
Category: FAS230 Intro to Psychology