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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2008

S S 301 • Honors Social Science: Psychology - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43685 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
NOA 1.124

Course Description

Psychology is a discipline that is broadly concerned with the ways in which people perceive, understand and interact with the world. As such, it addresses questions that range from the micro level of perception within the eye to the macro level of social interactions among people. The SS 301 in psychology is designed to introduce students to a representative range of the topics subsumed within this discipline. We will be taking a levels-of-explanation approach, in which we will simultaneously explore the biological, environmental, and cultural aspects of each of the selected problems. We will also specifically consider the ways in which psychology investigates these problems, in terms of both methodology and epistemology. The hope is that students will leave the SS 301 with an understanding not only of what psychology studies, but also of how and why.

Grading Policy

This class contains a substantial writing component and will involve both papers and exams. Students will write a series of four short (3-5 pages) reaction papers. For each paper, students will choose one of about five alternative questions, related to what is currently happening in class, to address. These papers are intended to involve analysis and opinion, not factual recitation. There will also be a midterm and a final exam. Both of these exams will have a short answer/short essay format, and will be take-home exams.

Final grades will be computed on the following basis:
Exams: 50% (25% each)
Papers: 40% (10% each)
Participation: 10%


M. Gazzaniga, & T. Heatherton, The Psychological Science: the Mind, the Brain and Behavior
R. Hock, Forty Studies that Changed Psychology
W. Price & H. Richley, Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Introductory Psychology


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