General Psychology - PSY-150

Welcome to the General Psychology Website!

General Psychology - PSY-150
3 Lecture / 0 Lab / 3 Credit Hours

Instructor Steve Withrow
Office Location Room 211
Davis Hall (inside 209)
Office Hours by appointment
Office Address Guilford Tech. Community College
Jamestown Campus
PO BOX 309
Jamestown, NC 27282
Office Phone (336) 334-4822 ext.50575
Office E-mail (put psy150 and your section number in the subject line) Ambiguous subject identifications will be deleted as Spam.
Department Secretary Phyllis Townsend (336)334-4822 ext50535


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course offers an in depth study of concepts and methods of Psychology as a behavioral science with special attention to personal application. Topics include research methodology, biological bases of behavior, perception, motivation and emotion, learning and memory, personality, child development, psychological influences on health, abnormal behavior, and therapeutic interventions.


Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the reading placement test 


REQUIRED READING: Feldman, Essentials of Understanding Psychology

And: Pryor, K., (1999). Don't Shoot the Dog (for sell in the college bookstore)

And: Smothermon, R., (1997). Winning Through Enlightenment (Difficult to buy: On reserve in the Jamestown Campus LRC)

You may purchase your textbook at the bookstore on campus or you may go to

Addition Materials:

Computer; Internet Access; E-mail;

You may need the following software which can be found at the attached link:

Firefox Web Browser

Behavior on the web:  After logging into the course on Moodle, please read the Netiquette Policy in the left hand column of the webpage.

Communication:  Outside of class, you may contact me by telephone (336 334-4822 ext50575), email (, or by making an appointment and coming to my office (Davis Hall 211, inside Davis Hall 209).

Email Turnaround Policy: If you email me, I will make every effort to get back to you within 48hour.


1. Students will be expected to develop an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of psychology.  To reach this goal, students are encouraged to define concepts in their own words rather than merely rote memorization of textbook definitions.  Also the course will emphasize the "How?" and "Why?".

 2. Students should be able to communicate their understanding  to others clearly and accurately both orally and in writing.  This applies not only to communicating what they understand inside of class, but it also applies to communicating their knowledge to others outside of class.

  3. As much as possible, students will be asked to understand how these concepts and principles relate to their everyday life and the lives of  those around them.  Topics covered will emphasize the similarities and variations related to age, gender, religion, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and other human groupings.  In relation to this goal, it helps if students repeatedly ask themselves, "How can I use this information?" or "What  can I do differently in my life?".

 4. Since some of you may be psychology majors, students are expected to be aware of how these concepts were developed and some of the prominent persons responsible for this development.  The course will  promote a questioning, scientific attitude toward the information presented rather than uncritical acceptance of textbook and lecture material.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course the student should be able to:

1. Assess the basic methods used for collecting data in the field of psychology, with some of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and critically scrutinize elementary research as presented by the public media.

2. Distinguish between the occupational opportunities in psychology and associated fields.

3. Apply your understanding of issues of critical thinking and deficiencies inherent in normal human reasoning.

4. Examine research on basic nervous system anatomy with particular emphasis on the causes and implications of brain damage.

5. Analyze different states of consciousness with attention to disturbances in normal achievement of those states.

6. Examine perceptual distortions inherent to humans and grasp their influence on judgment and decision making.

7. Utilize the concepts of memory to personally improve retention and retrieval of information.       

8. Assess the qualities needed to construct good tests, the intent of intelligence testing, and factors that may influence intelligence, particularly from a developmental perspective.

9. Examine the basic effects of heredity, maturation, and environmental factors on individuals throughout their lifespan, with discussion of some of the common developmental problems and some possible remedies for these problems.

10. Apply methods of learning to intentionally influence behavior, of yourself, and others.

11. Analyze some of the basic problems occurring with mental disorders, including those at a neurotic level, psychoses, and personality disorders, whether organic and/or psychogenic in origin.

12. Examine the basic principles of individual and group social interaction, with some of the problems in this interaction, including topic of nonverbal communication, attitude formation, conformity, social influence, and prejudice.

Methodology:  Reading, video, research, internet searches, and e-mail.

Student Learning Outcomes are visible in Moodle (upper right side of Moodle Psy150 course webpage) and are linked to the average of all chapter quizzes.

Classroom Assessment of Learning: Attend class regularly and on time, prepared to participate (makeup work may be required if you miss class time, or have more than 3 tardies, no matter what the reason).   Attending class  is critical to your success in this course. 

  • Chapter Quizzes:  For each chapter, a quiz will be posted in Moodle.  The quiz will consist of 10 questions randomly drawn from a test question pool.  You will have 10 minutes to complete the test.  You may retake the test as many times as you like to get the highest grade you desire.  But, each time you retake the test, a new set of questions will be randomly drawn from the question pool.   If you retake the test repeatedly, you will eventually be exposed to all of the questions in the pool.  The last score you receive is the score that will be recorded.   (33 1/3% of your grade)

  • You must complete the 1st chapter quiz during the census period, usually during the first week of class.
  • Smothermon and Pryor Reading Notes: Read the assigned chapters by the assigned dates, producing 2 page of notes total for each assigned reading.  When taking notes you should not copy from the book or summary.  Paraphrase!  Put it into your own words.  Outline form with use of key words is the best method.

    Periodic Assignments: Twelve times during the semester, you will be asked to do an assignment, such as; go to a particular website and complete an exercise or process, attend an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting, or research a particular problem.  Each assignment will be posted on an Internet assignment web page for this course. Assignment submitted late may be reduced by one letter grade for every week or partial week you are late.  You may submit these assignment as typed or hand written (if legible).  Do not email any assignments!(33 1/3% of your grade)

    Complete a 3 page research paper (plus reference page).   Your research paper must be 3 pages minimum, plus reference page, typed, double-spaced (approx. 250 words per page) on a psychological topic of interest to you, that must be approved by your instructor.  A 3 page paper is small, so the topic needs to be very narrowly focused.  A minimum of 5 references (published within the last 10 years), all coming from professional journals (authored and referenced sources), must be used and properly cited APA style in the paper and on the reference page.  All newspapers, encyclopedias, books, and magazines (except professional journals) are unacceptable as sources.  See this website for information on APA style:  A link on the assignment page contains addition information about this assignment. (33 1/3% of your grade)

    Time Expectation for study in this course: According to a study published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 48% of faculty members expect students to do six or more hours of homework every week.   Studying 6 or more hours per week is an appropriate amount of time you should devote to study of this course when it is offered in a 16 week, normal semester format.   In the summer, 5 week format, that works out to 19 plus hours per week.


    Assignment Due Dates and Late Work Policy: Assignment due dates are located at the assignment link off of the Angelfire web index.   Work submitted more than 1 week past the assigned date on the assignment page will be subject to a letter grade reduction for each week it is late.

    Acceptable Formates for Assignments: All assignments may be typed or hand written, with the exception of the research paper, which must be typed.  Since this class meets face to face, only a physical copy of the work is acceptable.  Do not email your assignments.


    Any written homework must be submitted in class, or at my office in Davis Hall, room 211(inside room 209).  Be sure to put your course number and section number on all homework.  Do not submit homework by email!

    Every effort will be made to grade papers within one week of submission in class.

    Grading Rubric:  A detail grading rubric by which you homework submissions will be judged in on the Angelfire index page for this course.


    College Grading Scale: 90 - 100 A

                                                80 - 89 B

                                                70 - 79 C

                                                60 - 69 D

                                                59/Below F

    Quality of Instruction Statement: The GTCC faculty members are committed to providing quality instruction. If there is a concern about the instruction provided, treatment of an individual or a group of students, or professional conduct of instructors, FIRST see your instructor, THEN the department chair, THEN the division chair, or read the description of Students' Rights and Responsibilities which can be found in the Student Handbook / Calendar.

    TUTORING CENTER: The Tutoring Center provides free tutoring to currently enrolled GTCC students who seek assistance with their coursework.  Tutors are usually currently enrolled students with an "A" or "B" in the course they wish to tutor, and have received a recommendation of an instructor.  Any student wishing to receive tutoring or become a tutor should contact the Tutoring Center staff in room 100-102 of the Health Careers Building.

    WITHDRAWAL/DROP POLICY: At anytime prior to the deadline dates established, the instructor may withdraw a student from class because of inappropriate academic behavior such as but not limited to cheating or plagiarism. However, one should not assume that they will automatically be dropped from the course if they stop communicating. If a student can no longer participate, or for any reason must drop the course, it is his/her responsibility to officially withdraw. Failure to withdraw without completing the required paperwork will result in an "F".

    Disability Services: If you have a disability that may affect your academic performance and are seeking accommodations, it is your responsibility to inform the disAbility  Access Services   Counselor as soon as possible.    It is important to request accommodations early enough to give disAbility Access Services adequate time to consider your request and recommend reasonable accommodations.  Instructors will provide necessary accommodations based on the recommendations of disAbility Access Services.  disAbility Access Services are available at the following locations:

    Davis Hall, Counseling Center, Room 107

    (336) 454-1126, ext. 50157 from High Point

    (336) 334-4822, ext. 50157  from Greensboro

    (336) 841-2158 TTY


    Jamestown Campus
    Angela Leak, Director
    Davis Hall, room 107
    ext. 50323

    Kent Cowan, AT Specialist/Advisor
    Davis Hall, room 107
    ext. 50113

    Melissa A. Cox, DAS Access Services Specialist/Advisor
    Medlin Campus Center, room 201b

    Alice Jordan, Counselor
    Davis Hall, room 107
    ext. 50292

    Greensboro Campus
    Felecia Neal, Advisor/disAbilities
    Continuing Education Center, room 128
    ext. 53021

    High Point Campus
    Currently being filled
    ext. 55059

    To, certain individuals, some materials on this site maybe inaccessible, to those using assisted technology.  In the event that you encounter anything that is inaccessible, contact me at: 336 334-4822 ext.50575, or, I will work with DisAbility Services to make sure you have an appropriate accommodation or a meaningful alternative.

    Last Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012