Principles of Psychology:

       Psychology 110-02 Syllabus (Winter 2011)


Neil Lutsky

Olin 111, x4379, e-mail: NLUTSKY@CARLETON.EDU


 “The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”


-Paul Valéry


Organization and Requirements:


Psychology 110-02 is a survey course covering major topics in psychology. The course meets for lecture and discussion on Monday and Wednesday and for presentations, research projects, and discussion on Friday. We meet in LDC 104 from 8:30-9:40 Mondays and Wednesdays, and from 8:30-9:30 on Fridays.


The schedule below lists the topics and readings we will be covering. Readings should be completed prior to the class meeting for which they are listed. I recommend that you then review those readings, your class notes, and course slides after each class session. I will not lecture on every topic in the text nor will the text cover all topics presented in class. However, the reading assignments provide useful and often necessary background for lecture and discussion, and should be completed before scheduled class meetings.  Please note that if you choose to bring a computer or other electronic device to class, please restrict your use of that device to course-related activity during class meeting times.  You will find the slides from my presentations in class available after each course session on Moodle.


Three examinations—two midterms and a final—will be given in this course.  You should also expect to learn about three class research projects (and complete two associated short reports). Grading will be based on the following weights: research reports (20% for each module), two in-term examinations (20% each), and final examination (20%). Each exam during the term must be taken at its scheduled time; each assignment must be completed for class on the date it is due. Any exceptions to either expectation (e.g., due to serious illness or a biking trip to Tahiti) must be arranged with the instructor prior to an exam or paper due date.  The final will be self-scheduled.


The text for this course is Psychology (8th Edition) by Henry Gleitman, Daniel Reisberg, and James Gross. In addition, you ought to purchase the paperbacks Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, Darkness Visible by William Styron, and Divided Minds by Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn Spiro. Additional assigned readings will be distributed or made available through Moodle. Do stop by the Psychology Department office area (Olin 107). Olin 107 has copies of and computer access to materials you might want to explore if you are now or later become interested in psychology. These include sources on the psychology major at Carleton, graduate programs in psychology, and careers in psychology.  My office is also in that area.


Special help sessions for course projects, computer work, and exam preparation will be scheduled during the term by the course assistant, Emily Cogsdill ( I also encourage you to visit my office to discuss psychology and course-related questions and ideas during the open course office hour on Thursday, 1:30-2:30. I am often available in my office at other times; please just stop by or set up a time to visit via e-mail.


Finally, Carleton’s ASC wants you to remember the following: “All assignments, quizzes, and exams must be done on your own. Note that academic dishonesty includes not only cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism, but also includes helping other students commit acts of academic dishonesty by allowing them to obtain copies of your work. You are allowed to use the Web for reference purposes, but you may not copy material from any website or any other source without proper citations. In short, all submitted work must be your own.  Cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt with strictly. Each such case will be referred to the Academic Standing Committee via the Associate Dean of Students or the Associate Dean of the College. A formal finding of responsibility can result in disciplinary sanctions ranging from a censure and a warning to permanent dismissal in the case of repeated and serious offenses.  The academic penalty for a finding of responsibility can range from a grade of zero in the specific assignment to a F in this course."

Schedule Subject to Change

Check Moodle for Updates and Links



Topic and Reading Schedule:



M 1/3  Introduction to Psychological Science.



W 1/5  Personality in the Clinical Tradition.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 605-622.



F 1/7  Personality in the Measurement Tradition; Research Module I: Personality.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 591-605, 28-38.

Follow link in Moodle to Research Module I.

DeNeve, Happy as an extraverted clam? pp. 141-144.




M 1/10  Social Behavior and Immediate Social Influence.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 519-534.



W 1/12  Social Influences on Extended Social Behaviors.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 534-541.



F 1/14  Obedience and the Holocaust.


Sabini & Silver, On destroying the innocent with a clear conscience. Moralities of

    Everyday Life, pp. 55-87.




M 1/17  Basic Models of Learning.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 259-289.



W 1/19 Cognitive Learning.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 289-298, 622-631.



F 1/21  Applied Behaviorism; Research Module I due.


Skinner, Why we are not acting to save the world, pp. 1-14.



M 1/24  Examination: Personality, Social Psychology, and Learning.


W 1/26 Psychopathology; Research Module III begins.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 635-674.


F 1/28 Schizophrenia.


Wagner & Spiro, Divided Minds, pp. 1-316.



M 1/31 Neuropsychology.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 85-105.



W 2/2  Psychotherapy and its Evaluation.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 677-713.



F 2/4   Accounts of Depression.


Styron, Darkness Visible, pp. 1-84.

Menand, Head case: Can psychiatry be a science?  The New Yorker, pp. 1-9.


M 2/7  Midterm Break.



W 2/9 Brain Structure and Functioning.  Presentation by Professor Lawrence Wichlinski


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 105-130.



F 2/11  Brain, Mind, and Self.


Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, pp. 7-21.


M 2/14  Examination: Psychopathology, Biological Psychology, and Psychotherapy.



W 2/16  Thinking and Decision-making.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 341-375.

Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness, Cultivating optimism, pp. 101-111.


F 2/18  Applied Cognitive Psychology; Research Module II: Cognition.


Ariely, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions,

pp. xi-xxii, 1-53, 75-117, 309-322.

Follow link in Moodle to Research Module II.



M 2/21  Memory. Presentation by Professor Seth Greenberg


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 300-337.



W 2/23  Social Cognition.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 506-519.

Norenzayan & Nisbett, Culture and causal cognition, pp. 132-135.



F 2/25  Cognitive Research; Research Modules II and III.


Damisch, Stoberock, & Mussweiler, Keep your fingers crossed! How superstition

     improves performance, pp. 1014-1020.

Neisser, John Dean's memory, pp. 139-159.



M 2/28  Sensation and Perception.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 133-142, 181-191, 196-215.



W 3/2   Intelligence.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 425-458.



F 3/4    Cognitive Testing and Society; Research Module II due.


Kuncel & Hezlett, Fact and fiction in cognitive ability testing for admissions and

hiring decisions, pp. 339-345.

Murray, Down with the four-year college degree, pp. 1-2.



M 3/7   Development and Change.


Gleitman et al., Psychology, pp. 545-588.



W 3/9  Tentative Conclusions about Psychology.



December 20, 2010