Kenneth L. Tangen, Ph.D. Biological Psychology. Psych A250, CRN 32057.
This course provides an introduction to the interconnectivity of biology and psychology. It explores the relationship between mind, brain and body. The basic structure and function of neurons, synapses, nervous systems, sensory systems and the brain are covered. Topics also include the function and dysfunction of emotions, sensations, sleep, language and memory.
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
There are three major things you’ll be able to do at the end of the course. First, you’ll be able to analyze the biopsychological aspects of behavior. This includes seeing things from a holistic biopsychosocial point of view. This may impact your general world view. Second, in addition to gaining a great deal of knowledge about the body, the brain and the nervous systems, you’ll be able to apply this knowledge to everyday situations. Third, you’ll be able to develop and analyze research programs that are both ethical and effective..
Learning is an interactive process. It is the instructor’s responsibility is to provide an environment within which you can explore this corner of the universe of knowledge. Your responsibility is to use all of the resources available to you to achieve your educational goals. These resources include:
Required Text: Kalat. Biological Psychology (cur ed). An online version of Kalat’s book is called MindTap and is less than half the hardcover edition. The book is also available on Amazon as a hardback and in a Kindle edition.
Class sessions will build upon the information gained from the assigned readings, and will incorporate a variety of presentation media. Before coming to class, download or print the notes at www.biologicalpsych.com. Attendance and participation are required throughout the semester. Failure to attend may negatively impact your grade. If you decide to drop the class, it is your responsibility to officially withdraw. Failing to withdraw risks your receiving a failing grade in this class.
Four tests will be given. There will be no makeup, alternative form, or rescheduled tests. Test dates are listed in the course schedule. The lowest score of the first three tests will be dropped. This allows you the flexibility needed for illness, death in the family, unexpected emergencies or your desire to skip a test. You can elect to skip any test, including the last one. But skipping a test doesn’t eliminate the attendance requirement for class sessions. Standard OCC honesty policies apply.
PAPERS & PROJECTS
Two term paper are required (~10 pages, typed, APA-ish format). First, there is an ethics paper. The goal is to help you analyze and critically evaluate the ethics of animal research. Compare and contrast the arguments for and against the issue. Make it so balanced that your view is not revealed until the last section. The paper should have six sections: the issue, pro arguments, anti arguments, precautions and laws, your personal views and references. Five citations from quality sources are required. Here are three you can use if you wish:
- Appendix B of Kalat’s Biological Psychology
- American Physiological Society’s guidelines (http://www.the-aps.org/mm/Publications/Info-For-Authors/Animal-and-Human-Research(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)
- Deborah Smith’s “Five Principles of Research Ethics” in The Monitor (http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=3(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.).
Second, to help you apply neurological concepts and theories to everyday life, select a drug (prescription or illicit) that is readily available, and describe its nature (natural or synthetic), manufacturer (how created), distribution (pill, shot, smoked), structure (crystals, powder), neuroreceptor targets, prevalence, effect (how makes user feel), potency, dosage, half-life, tolerance, sensitization, abuse (why), usefulness, withdrawal, side effect, and personal reaction (what you’ve learned). Four references from quality sources are required (NIH, Mayo, etc.). No quotes allowed; cite your source and paraphrase the content.
Three review projects also are required. The first should be a collection of at least 50 flash cards with answers in your own words. The second is a mind-map. The third is a graphic representation of the material (cluster). Review projects will be graded on their thoroughness.
Since social science is a team effort, it is highly recommended that you become an active participant of a student study group. In addition to providing opportunities to check answers and compare notes with others, teams will provide an opportunity to practice your cooperative skills. Your success will not be hindered by helping others study.
In addition to your independent study and our in-class work, I am available by email (put Bio Psych in the subject line and send to email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org), and in person (by appointment).
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your performance on the exams is a key indicator of mastery level. The lowest of the 4 exams will be dropped. In general, I use 90% as A, 80% as B, etc. Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
Exams (3 of 4) 100 each 300
Review projects (3) 10 each 30
Paper (Ethics) 20
Paper (Drug) 20
Quizzes. There are 10 quizzes, each worth 2 points each. They are multiple choice, and give you an opportunity to demonstrate how much you’ve learned. 20 points. Submit on Canvas.
Twenty-Day Challenge. Check with you doctor before you begin. Go for 20 days clear and sober. No drugs in your system, except for prescribed meds. No alcohol. No cocaine, marijuana, heroin, or amphetamines. No caffeine (cola, coffee, energy drinks). Tea and chocolate okay. Submit a journal of your experience; one entry per day. Optional challenge is to change something else in your life. 20 points. Submit on Canvas.