Approved by Faculty Senate.
University Studies Course Approval
Course Number: 434
Semester Hours: 3
Frequency Offered: Every semester
Course Title: History & Systems of Psychology
Catalog Description: A historical overview of psychology and its antecedents are considered to provide a richer understanding of contemporary psychology as an evolving, conceptual system. Prerequisite for non-majors: minimum of 12 s.h. in Psychology. Prerequisites for majors: Psy 210, Psy 231, Psy 308, and a minimum of two other courses in Psychology (6 s.h.). Majors are encouraged to complete all other core requirements before registering in Psy 434.
A2C2 Approved course? Yes
Requested Approval: Writing Flag
Contact Person: Peter Miene, email@example.com
Description of the requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to:
a. Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields:
Students will engage in a variety of writing assignments in this class, ranging from fairly brief in-class assignments and essays on exams, to longer papers based on their reading of primary sources.
In-class assignments are designed to give students an opportunity to summarize, react to, or examine the importance of ideas presented in lecture. Some of these assignments will be completed individually, and others will be completed collaboratively by groups of two or three students. Essay questions on the exams will offer similar opportunities to reflect on material presented in class or from the textbook. The primary emphasis for these assignments will be to write concisely on important ideas and contributions in the history of psychology.
Students will also complete four writing assignments based on additional readings. Three of these readings will come from primary source material in history, namely letters and other correspondence from important historical figures. These letters give students greater historical context (in addition to personalizing some of the names they are reading about) and practice in drawing their own inferences from primary sources. The fourth assignment looks at important racial issues in the history of psychology, namely the troubling intertwining of the concept of intelligence and genetics that led to the proposed solution of eugenics. Students will read and write about the ways that scientific data can be used to justify and advance social and political agendas.
A third type of writing assignment will ask students to read and critically evaluate a primary source they are more familiar with, namely journal articles. This assignment will ask students to find, read, and write a critical review of an important research study. The instructor will grade and return students' critical reviews, and students will then be asked to find a secondary source treatment of the study they have reviewed (i.e., find a brief description of their study in an Introductory Psychology textbook). Students will submit a second paper commenting on the secondary source's description of the primary source they have already reviewed. Research articles are the primary sources in the history of a scientific discipline, and this assignment will allow students to compare primary versus secondary treatments of the same information.
b. Understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields:
As with almost all forms of writing, the primary goal of writing in psychology is to achieve clear communication. Psychologists typically try to accurately summarize the work of others in an effort to provide the context for the presentation of their own ideas. The writing assignments in this course are intended to give students an opportunity to practice reading, evaluating, and providing written summaries of the ideas of other psychologists.
The instructor will provide written feedback on completed assignments. To promote the development of students' writing skills, the instructor will meet with individual students on their writing projects and will strongly encourage that students take advantage of the services provided by the Writing Center.
c. Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields:
Achieving the clear communication of ideas requires a clear understanding of the intended audience for one's writing. Primary sources (e.g., research articles) are written to an audience of other experts in the field. Secondary sources (e.g., textbooks) are typically written to interested, non-experts in the field. Scientific writings intended for other experts can be distorted or mischaracterized when summarized for non-experts. The readings and writing assignments employed in this course, especially the final assignment described above, are designed to make students think about this issue. Understanding the historical development of an idea requires precise description of that idea and the evidence providing support for that idea.
d. Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields:
Students will be using computers to search databases (e.g., PsychINFO) and the internet for completing their out-of-class assignments. Full text of many of the classic writings in the history of psychology are freely available on the internet.
e. Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields:
Students are required to use APA style in writing their papers. APA style is taught in Psy 308, Experimental Psychology, which is a prerequisite for History & Systems. Majors are also expected to have completed Psy 350, Psychological Testing and Measurement, prior to registering in History & Systems. Psy 350 is an approved writing flag course also requiring the APA writing style. Writing assignments in this course will therefore reinforce and build upon the standard writing style taught within our curriculum and used within the field of Psychology. The basic features of the style will be reviewed in class, additional help will be provided for students less familiar with APA style (e.g., non-majors who have taken neither Psy 308 nor Psy 350), and all students will be referred to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for additional guidance.
History & Systems of Psychology
Instructor: Dr. Peter Miene
Office: 231 I Phelps
Office Phone: 457-5668
Office Hours: Monday 9:00 - 10:00 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Friday 1:00 - 2:00
Wednesday 9:00 - 10:00 and by appointment
Required Texts: Hergenhan, B. R. (2001). An Introduction to the History of Psychology (4th Ed.).
A few additional readings will also be required, and they will be placed in the Psychology Office for students to check out.
Prerequisites: For Psychology majors: General Psych, Stats, Experimental, and at least two other psychology courses. It is highly recommended that all other core requirements be taken prior to registering for History & Systems. For non-majors: four psychology courses. Prerequisites will be strictly enforced.
This is an approved Writing Flag course in the University Studies Program. As such, it includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to:
a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their
b. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields;
c. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields;
d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields; and
e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields
Psychology is an amazingly diverse discipline. Psychologists examine everything from individual cells in the brain to the behavior of crowds, and they have posited theories for behaviors ranging from rats pressing bars to the supposed repression of negative life events. The psychology curriculum is traditionally based on in-depth examinations of each of the many content areas in psychology, with a few courses (e.g., experimental methods and statistics) designed to cut across the curriculum. This course is the only course you will take that has as its object of study the diverse and exciting discipline of psychology.
The objective of this course is to provide a richer understanding of contemporary psychology by exploring its historical, philosophical, and intellectual antecedents. The sciences are terribly misunderstood in our society. By studying the historical development of scientific thinking generally, and the emergence of psychology specifically, it is hoped that this course will make you an informed, intelligent spokesperson on behalf of the science of psychology.
Class sessions will consist of lectures, discussions, and projects. Exams will cover information presented in class only, in the book only, and material covered both in class and in the book. There will also be in-class assignments, and these assignments may or may not be announced in advance. Only students who are in class the day assignments are completed can receive credit for the assignment (i.e., no make-ups will be allowed for missed assignments). The in-class projects will be based for the most part on the assigned readings, so it is definitely in your best interest to keep up with the scheduled readings. Obviously class attendance and participation are strongly encouraged.
Exams. There will be four unit exams worth a total of 425 points (the first three exams are worth 100 points each, and the final will be worth 125 points). The final exam is not strictly cumulative, but the purpose of this class is to tell the story of psychology, so obviously each unit builds upon previous units. Exams will contain a combination of multiple choice, matching, and essay questions.
Writing Flag objectives for exam essays: a, b, c
Writing assignments. This course has been designated a Writing Flag course by the University Studies Program. As such, writing assignments will constitute a significant proportion of the student's grade in the course. There are three types of writing assignments in this course, in addition to the essay questions on the exams.
1. In-class writing projects. In-class assignments are designed to give students an opportunity to summarize, react to, or examine the importance of ideas presented in lecture or the text. Some of these assignments will be completed individually, and others will be completed collaboratively by groups of two or three students. Students MUST be present in class on the day these assignments are completed to be eligible for these points.
In-class writing projects will contribute 50 points to the course total.
Writing Flag objectives for in-class writing assignments: a, b, c
2. Writings based on additional readings:
A. Benjamin, L. T. (1993). A history of psychology in letters. Wm Brown Communications.
Students will read letters and correspondence written by important figures in the history of psychology and answer specific questions based on these readings. We will read the following correspondence:
1. Charles Darwin ("Why Did Charles Darwin Delay in Publishing His Theory?")
2. Mary Whiton Calkins ("A Woman's Quest for Graduate Education")
3. Sigmund Freud ("Freud and Carl Jung in America")
B. Guthrie. R. V. (1998). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology. Allyn & Bacon.
Students will read three chapters devoted to the issue of psychology and race. The writing assignment will ask students to review and critically evaluate how theory and data were used to advance a particular social policy.
Essays based on the additional readings will contribute 75 points to the course total.
Writing Flag objectives for the additional-readings essays: a, b, c, d
3. Critical analysis of research and review of secondary treatment. Each student will be required to find, read, and critically evaluate one important research article in the history of psychology. The instructor will grade and return students' critical reviews, and students will then be asked to find a secondary source treatment of the study they have reviewed (i.e., find a brief description of their study in an Introductory Psychology textbook). Students will submit a second paper commenting on the secondary source's description of the primary source they have already reviewed. This assignment will contribute 50 points to the course total.
Writing Flag objectives for the critical analysis and review: a, b, c, d, e
More specific information regarding each of these writing assignments will be provided to students at the appropriate time.
All students are encouraged to make use of the Writing Center during the preparation of their papers. The Writing Center, located in Minne 340, offers WSU students free, individualized instruction in writing. You may "drop in," or you may sign up for a scheduled appointment. Call 457-5505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments and information.
Grades will be assigned based on the number of points a student earns on the exams and writing projects. The following grading scale will be used to assign course grades:
A = 540 - 600 points C = 420 - 479 points
B = 480 - 539 points D = 360 - 419 points
History & Systems
Day/Date Topic Reading Day/Date Topic Reading
M 1/7 Course Overview M 3/11 American Psychology Chp. 11
W 1/9 Introduction Chp. 1 W 3/13 Functionalism Chp. 11
F 1/11 Plato, Aristotle Chp. 2 F 3/15 Functionalism Chp. 11
M 1/14 Augustine to Chp. 3 M 3/18 Calkin Letters
W 1/16 Aquinas: EWV Chp. 3 W 3/20 Behaviorism Chp. 12
F 1/18 Modern Science Chp. 4 F 3/22 Behaviorism Chp. 12
M 1/21 MLK DAY - no class M 3/25 Neobehaviorism Chp. 13
W 1/23 Modern Science Chp. 4 W 3/27 Neobehaviorism Chp. 13
F 1/25 Empiricism Chp. 5 F 3/29 Catch up/Review
M 1/28 Empiricism Chp. 5 M 4/1 EXAM 3
W 1/30 Rationalism Chp. 6 W 4/3 Psychoanalysis Chp. 16
F 2/1 EXAM 1 F 4/5 Freud Letters
M 2/4 Physiology & rise of Chp. 8 M 4/8 Gestalt Psychology Chp. 14
W 2/6 Experimental Psych: Chp. 8 W 4/10 Gestalt Chp. 14
F 2/8 Wilhelm Wundt and Chp. 9 F 4/12 Article Summary (1) DUE
M 2/11 Voluntarism Chp. 9 M 4/15 Cognitive Psychology Chp. 18
W 2/13 Structuralism Chp. 9 W 4/17 Cognitive Psychology Chp. 18
F 2/15 Darwin Letters F 4/19 Psychobiology Chp. 19
M 2/18 Evolution Chp. 10 M 4/22 Article Summary (2) DUE
W 2/20 Evolution Chp. 10 W 4/24 Contemporary Psych Chp. 20
F 2/22 Intelligence Testing Guthrie F 4/26 Future of Psych Chp. 20
M 2/25 Eugenics Guthrie R 5/2 FINAL EXAM
W 2/27 Guthrie writing due
F 3/1 EXAM 2