Psychology 100
Introduction to Psychology

Spring 2001

Time and Location 

A1LC, 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
90750 call # Class Web Site:



R. Chris Fraley, Ph.D.
1050 "A" BSB Deptartment of Psychology
Office Hours: Tues, Thurs 2:00 p.m.-3:00, or by appointment

Teaching Assistants

Lorenzo Azzi:
Rishi Bhalla:
Brian Chamberlin:
Denise Elizondo:
Sarah Landsberger:
Liz Mullen:

8AM - Brian Chamberlin, 0115 BSB
9AM - Liz Mullen, 0381 BSB
10AM - Denise Elizondo, 0161 BSB
11AM - Denise Elizondo, 0137 BSB
12PM - Denise Elizondo, 0138 BSB

8AM - Lorenzo Azzi, 0115 BSB
9AM - Lorenzo Azzi, 0133 BSB
10AM - Sarah Landsberger, 0219 BSB
11AM - Lorenzo Azzi, 2019 BSB
12PM - Lorenzo Azzi, 0161 BSB

8AM - Rishi Bhalla, 0115 BSB
9AM - Rishi Bhalla, 0215 BSB
10AM - Rishi Bhalla, 0311 BSB
11AM - Liz Mullen, 1076 BSB
12PM - Liz Mullen, 0133 BSB


There will be no textbook for the course. There will be assigned readings, however. These will be made available either (a) on the class webpage or (b) in class. Readings assignments will be announced in lecture as they come up.

For students who are planning to major in psychology, I strongly recommend that you purchase a book and study the chapters that correspond to the lecture materials. If you are planning to take the GRE for psychology one day, as you might need to do if you plan to go to graduate school, then you'll need to know more than what we will cover in here. I strongly recommend the following text:

Psychology by Alan J. Fridlund, Daniel Reisberg, Henry Gleitman
WW Norton & Co
ISBN: 0393973646

This text can be ordered from for $86.

Structure and Overview of the Course

The objective of this class is to introduce you to the science of psychology. We will cover a broad range of classic topics in philosophy and psychology, including the relationship between mind and matter; the contributions of nature and nurture to development; stability and change in personality organization; free will and issues concerning human freedom, choice, and unconscious cognition; and social behavior.

The class will be primarily lecture and demonstration. The lab sections will consist largely of discussions of the readings, as well as some supplementary exercises. Students are expected to read the papers corresponding to each set of lectures (see above) prior to lab section. Exams will be based primarily upon topics covered in class, but will also cover specifics from the readings.


There will be five multiple-choice/essay exams during the course. One of these will be a cumulative final during finals week. There will be NO make-up exams, unless there is an emergency. I retain the right to judge the legitimacy of the emergency, and it is unlikely that I will grant a make-up exam unless I have been notified of the "emergency" prior to the actual exam time.

Psychology Experience Credit (PEC). As part of this course, you are expected to earn 8 Psychology Experience Credits (PECs). Like any other course requirement, these credits will be factored into your final course grade. You may earn your 8 PECs by any of three methods: (1) participating as a subject in IRB-approved research studies conducted under the supervision of Psychology Department faculty, (2) writing summaries of published empirical research using the resources of UIC's Daley Library, and/or (3) participating as a simulated client in one or more professional training sessions conducted by, and for the purpose of training, advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology. You have the option of earning all 8 PECs by any one of these methods, or you may earn some PECs by each method. The requirement is simply that you earn a total of 8 PECs. A separate document that explains each of these methods in greater detail will be distributed in class, and is also available online at Each PEC you earn, up to a maximum of 8, will count for 1 percent of your course grade, with an extra two percent awarded if you complete all 8 PECs. Thus, for example, if you earn 6 PECs they will count for 6% of your grade, whereas if you earn 8 PECs, they will count 8 + 2 = 10% of your course grade.

The average of your exams will count toward 82% of your final grade; the labs (attendance, participation, assignments) will count toward 10% of your final grade; PECs will count toward 8% of your final grade. (If you do all 8, then the PECs will count toward 10% of your grade and the extra 2% is added on for free, so to speak.)

Tentative Lecture Schedule

This schedule is tentative. It reflects the order in which we will precede, but not the exact dates. The exam dates, however, are set and will not be changed.

Lectures on will be organized into 5 topical areas that reflect some of the common philosophical themes underlying classic and modern psychological inquiry:

Mind and matter. In this section we will discuss the relations between psychological events (e.g., experience, sensation, emotion, thought) and physical events (e.g., neuronal activity, endocrine regulation). We will review some of the basic principals of physiological organization, and how these principals might help us understand learning, memory, emotion, and perception.

Nature and nurture. In this section we will discuss the ways in which evolution by natural selection may have shaped our psychology. We will also focus on recent findings and theories concerning the influence of genetic factors in psychological functioning, as well as debates on how these factors may interact with experience to shape the person and his or her competencies.

Free will and determinism. In this section we will discuss the extent to which people's behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are governed by their own conscious choices. We will discuss theories and data concerning learning and cognition; the role of social status and organization in shaping our actions and emotions; and the degree to which we can or cannot control certain aspects of our experience (e.g., ESP, biofeedback).

Persons and situations. In this section we will discuss the role of others in shaping and constraining our behavior. We will discuss the dynamics of persuasion and influence, the role of social status in governing behavior, and the ways in which certain situations may affect individuals differently. We will also discuss modern theories of personality and individual differences.

Stability and change. In this section we will discuss the development of psychological characteristics, as well as factors that promote and inhibit the stability of persons. We will also highlight psychological disorders and the degree to which they can or cannot be treated.


Some students have reported difficulties printing lecture overheads from the web. The overhead files consume a lot of memory, so if your computer has an older processor, it might not be capable of holding the files. Regardless, if you're having difficulty, here is a list of places on campus from which students have been able to print successfully:

CCC Computer lab
H-room, 2nd floor of food court
L270 ECSW.

If you're having difficulties with the readings not printing on a full page, you may need to adjust your browser defaults. Please try modifying the margins, or printing in "landscape" orientation. If you're using Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to "File," "Page Setup," and alter the "Orientation" and/or "Margins."

As noted in lecture, the exam will be a combination of about 25 multiple choice questions and 2 short essays. The multiple-choice questions will primarily test you on your knowledge of various concepts, terms, and experimental findings. The short essay questions (there will be two of them) will ask you a broad question, and you will be asked to write a coherent, well-thought answer to the question, drawing on things you have learned in class or from your readings. For example, a possible question is, "Why is it that we don't experience a hole in our visual field, despite the fact that there is a hole in our retinas--a place where no photoreceptors exist?" A good answer would discuss some of the research findings on the blind spot that have helped us understand this phenomenon.

What will you be responsible for on the exam? I expect you to have an understanding of everything that has been covered in lecture, as well as in the readings for your sections. I will not ask detailed questions about the readings, but you should have a good understanding of the major themes of those papers, what some of the important questions are, and what the author or authors think the best answers to those questions are.

In lecture on March 22 the class voted to hold the third exam on March 29. The exam will cover the material from the lectures on March 22 and March 27, as well as the readings associated with those two weeks ("Fly in the DNA" and "Do Parents Matter?"). The exam will be a bit shorter than usual, but will count the same as any other exam, as per class vote. Please bring a # 2 pencil.


Date Topic
Week 1
Jan 9 - 11
Introduction to psychology: The Humanities Meet the Natural Sciences
______________ ______________________________________
Week 2
Jan 16 - 18
PEC/subject pool discussion;
The Scientific Method in Psychology & Research Design

Mind and matter. Neurons: The building blocks of the nervous system
______________ ______________________________________
Week 3
Jan 23 - 25

Mind and matter. Sensation and perception 1: The interplay between the world, physiology, and subjective experience

Mind and matter. Sensation and perception 2: The interplay between the world, physiology, and subjective experience

[lab sections begin]
Reading assignment for Week 3 lab: Dennett: "Where am I?"

______________ ______________________________________
Week 4
Jan 30 - Feb 1
Mind and matter. Hormones and behavior: Testosterone, rouges, heroes, and lovers

Guest lecture by
Denise Elizondo: Psychology and health

Reading assignment for Week 4 lab: Ramachandran: Filling in gaps in perception: Part II. Scotomas and phantom limbs
______________ ______________________________________
Week 5
Feb 6 - 8
Mind and matter. Mind & Memory: The Structure of Memory Systems

Mind and matter. Mind & Memory: How Memory Phenomena May Arise from Neural Processes

Reading assignment for Week 5 lab: LeDoux: Emotion, Memory, and the Brain
______________ ______________________________________
Week 6
Feb 13 - 15
Exam 1 Feb 13 [key]

Mind and matter. Mind & Memory: How Memory Phenomena May Arise from Neural Processes (Note: These are the same overheads from Feb 8. We will continue where we left off)

Reading assignment for Week 6 lab: Can Machines Think?
______________ ______________________________________
Week 7
Feb 20 - 22
Nature and nurture. Evolution and Psychology: How "Human" is Human Nature?

Nature and nurture. Adaptations: In What Ways May Have Natural Selection Shaped Our Psychology?

Reading assignment for Week 7 lab: Darwin on his mind
______________ ______________________________________
Week 8
Feb 27 - Mar 1
Nature and nurture. Adaptations: In What Ways May Have Natural Selection Shaped Our Psychology? (Note: These are the same overheads from Feb 22. We will continue where we left off)

Nature and nurture. Parenting and development: Does corporal punishment play a role in shaping a child's development?

Week 8 lab assignment
______________ ______________________________________
Week 9
Mar 6 - 8
Exam 2 Mar 6 [bring a #2 pencil] [key]

*** Thursday Mar 8: Class is canceled ***

Reading assignment for Week 9 lab: Fly in the DNA
______________ ______________________________________
Week 10
Mar 13 - 15
Spring Break - No Classes or labs
______________ ______________________________________
Week 11
Mar 20 - 22

Mar 20: Power Outage in Classroom!! Class canceled.

Nature and nurture. How much do parents matter in personality development?

Reading assignment for Week 11 lab: Do parents Matter?

______________ ______________________________________
Week 12
Mar 27 - 29
Nature and nurture. How much do parents matter in personality development? Harris' Group Socialization Theory

Exam 3 Mar 29

Sections: Spend time reviewing for the exam, catching up on readings, discussing issues
______________ ______________________________________
Week 13
Apr 3 - 5
Free will and determinism. An Introduction to Freudian Thought

Free will and determinism. Freudian Ideas in Modern Psychology: Unconscious Processes

Reading assignment for Week 13 lab: Freud Under Analysis by Colin McGinn, New York Review of Books
______________ ______________________________________
Week 14
Apr 10 - 12
Persons and situations. The Power of the Situation: The Milgram Study on Obedience

Persons and situations: The Power of the Situation: The Stanford Prison Study (film) [A web-based slide show on this study is available at]

Section assignment for Week 14: Dream Assignment
______________ ______________________________________
Week 15
Apr 17 - 19
Stability and change. Psychological Disorders: Theoretical Perspectives and Classification

Stability and change. Psychological Disorders: Theoretical Perspectives and Treatment

Section assignment for Week 15: Film Discussion
[last week of sections]
______________ ______________________________________
Week 16
Apr 24 - 26
Guest lecture by Lorenzo Azzi on Panic Attacks, Mood Disorders, and Schizophrenia

Exam 4 April 26 [key]
______________ ______________________________________
May 4 Final Exam
Fri Room A1, building LC
10:30 - 12:30


Psychology Internet Resources

Finding careers: University of Sterling's useful webpage on career opportunities.

Marky Lloyd's Careers in Psychology Page: A useful page on psychology-related careers and opportunities.

American Psychological Association's Student Page: Great page for students. Includes links to information on career options, discounted journal rates, and guides to graduate school.

Harvard Brain Atlas: Nice Java-based scripts for exploring the brain. Site allows you to study "virtual" slices of the human brain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dreams: Nice question and answer site about dreams: What are the neurochemical bases of dreaming? What do dreams mean?

Psychology Resources Page: Wonderful page that includes links to a number of psychology-related resources.