Psychology 11a  
Introductory Psychology: Natural Science Perspective 
Fall, 2002 

  • Lectures:  Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 10:30 -11:20 a.m.,  Zener Auditorium, Soc-Psych Bldg (Bldg #9, Room130). 
  • Instructor:  Ted Hall, 213-AB Sociology-Psychology Building, 660-5664, 
  • Office Hours: Mon 11:30-1:00, and by appointment. 
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs):  See class home page.

*** Please see below for information on the "Research Requirement" for this course. It is important because you will not receive a grade for the course unless the Research Requirement is completed.***  

OVERVIEW. Psychology 11a broadly surveys the field of modern psychology from natural science perspectives. The course focuses on the scientific study of behavior, emphasizing biological, evolutionary, cognitive, and developmental perspectives, while nevertheless placing this work in historical, social, and philosophical contexts. The conceptual issues that unify the sub-fields of psychology will be highlighted, along with a consideration of the techniques and methods by which knowledge about brain, mind, and behavior is acquired and refined. The course strives to convey the breadth of psychology as well as the intrigue of the analysis of human nature.  

READINGS. Assignments in the text (Psychology, by Henry Gleitman, fifth edition) and two paperbacks (Influence: Science and Practice, [any edition is OK] by Robert Cialdini and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, [any edition] by Oliver Sacks) are listed in the attached outline. It is very helpful to read the assignments before the topics are covered in class; please do! We will not attempt to review all of the text topics in class, but as described below, many of the Topics for which you are responsible are thoroughly treated in the text. The paperbacks are intended to provide you with a more in-depth and applied perspective into the nature of social behavior and the study of neurology and neuropsychology. They are often fun to read, but remember that you are responsible for the information, too.  

EXAMS AND GRADING. This is a survey course covering material that students with your qualifications can readily appreciate and master. The material is not difficult, but there is a lot of it, and a lot of work is required to cover it all. The four tests are intended to let you and me know that you have read the material and have achieved a reasonable level of familiarity with psychological concepts. The four one-hour multiple-choice tests will each cover one of the four segments of the course. Each test will have 50 questions, drawn from the Topics listed elsewhere in this web site.  There will also be an optional 1-hour cumulative exam, given immediately after Exam 4 in Finals week. That 50-question exam will cover all four segments of the course about equally, and will replace your lowest previous exam score (but will be ignored if you do worse than before). There are no "second chance" exams. If you miss an exam, you will need a dean's excuse.  Or, you can use the optional final to replace the grade on your missed exam. Note that you can not take Exam 4 or the optional Final exam at any time other than that scheduled by the registrar, without permission from your dean and the registrar. Plan your transportation home accordingly. 

LECTURES.  Lecture attendance is not required, but I strongly advise it. Lectures will introduce integrating themes,and will provide material, illustrations, examples, demonstrations and alternate persepctives not found in your readings. At the same time, no attempt will be made to cover all or even most of the text topics in lecture. I hope lectures will also provoke some excitement and some questioning. Lectures are also a time to get some of your questions answered. If you have a question about a topic,odds are good others do too – so ask! It's a large class, but some discussion is still possible.  

WEB PAGE. The Web Site is the official location for all documents related to the course. Only the syllabus is available in hard copy. Except for the textbook and paperbacks, all course materials are available from this site.  Pay particular attention to the Bulletin Page which will be updated frequently. The class Web site is definitely not a cool site; its purpose is information, not entertainment. To get to the Web Page either go directly (, or start at Duke's main web page (, select Academics, then select Class Web Pages (under Classes), then select Psy11. Refer to your software's or OIT's online Help, or OIT  handouts for how to download from the Web Page to your own (or a cluster) computer.  

RESEARCH REQUIREMENT. It is the Psychology departments' policy that all students taking introductory courses (numbers under 100, except 49S) must complete a research requirement. Once you have completed the  requirement for one course, you do not need to do it again if you take another introductory course. A separate handout and web site describe your options. The favorite option is to participate as a subject in a  few hours of psychology experiments conducted by our faculty and students. A research paper is a less-popular alternative. If you do not complete the research requirement you will receive an incomplete (I) grade for this course. If you don't make up the I grade within the first five weeks of spring term, the I will be changed to an F by the Registrar. So be sure to complete the requirement (I will remind you, but the responsibility is yours!). The research requirement is administered by the staff of the psychology departments, not by me or the teaching assistants for this course. We simply can not help you. So, for questions about the research requirement, refer to the research requirement handout or web page, which will list the names and phone numbers of the staff in charge.  

WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY, Ted Hall?   I am a professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and of Neurobiology. I have many roles at Duke: I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in biological psychology and behavioral neuroscience, I serve as major advisor to many psychology and neuroscience students, I serve on university committees, and I conduct research in experimental psychology and behavioral neuroscience. My laboratory investigates the development of appetites and desires from behavioral, biological and neural perspectives.

WHAT IF I NEED HELP WITH CLASSWORK? I am always interested in talking to you about the course and psychology in general. I am usually available briefly after class, during office hours, and via e-mail. Or, see me after class to set up an appointment during other times. Although I am happy to help you with concepts you don't understand, I can not serve as your private tutor. Psychology 11a has two Teaching Assistants who also can help you with your questions about coursework and how to prepare for exams. General information and assistance with study skills, preparing for and taking exams, and time management  can be obtained from the Academic Skills Center (684-5917 and links on class home page). Their personnel are familiar with this class and its examso that. Please don't ask us how to use the Duke computer systems or clusters; the OIT Help Desk folks (684-2200).  

WHAT IF I NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP? Especially early in their college careers, many students find themselves wondering if they need some sort of psychological assistance or counseling. The university maintains a Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office, at 214 Page Building, which provides individual and group counseling as well as referral services. Their phone number is 660-1000. In addition, the Psychology Clinic (660-5770) provides psychological services on a sliding fee basis.  

COMPUTATION OF GRADES for Fall 2001. Your grade  will be based on the total number of points you earn on all four exams combined.  If you take the optional cumulative final, too, your grade will be based on your best four scores. Please don’t beg me to change your grade because you are only 1 point away from the next grade; I won’t do it (unless there was an error in scoring or adding). There are no letter grades for individual exams, except for the computation of mid-term grades for first-year students. But you can easily see about how well you did on an individual exam by dividing the values on the scale by four.  


196-200    A+  
184-195    A  
180-183    A-  
176-179    B+  
164-175    B  
160-163    B-

156-159    C+  
144-155    C  
140-143    C-  
136-139    D+  
124-135    D  
120-123    D-  
less than 120, F 


 * Unless otherwise noted, chapter and page numbers refer to readings in the Gleitman text.

Date                                                   Topic                                                      Assignment                   

Aug. 26                                  Our Course ... your grade                                          Ch. 1

Aug. 28, 30, Sept. 2                Differences in our nature ...                                       Ch. 16, 17
                                                        Personality                                                        Sacks, Ch.1

Sept. 4, 6, 9, 11                        Our common wants, drives, desires ...                       Ch. 3
                                                        Motivation                                                         Sacks, Ch. 11

Sept 13, 16, 18                       The extremes of our nature ...                                    Ch. 18, 19
                                                        Psychopathology and Therapy                          Sacks, Ch. 10

Friday, Sept. 20                                  EXAM 1                                                                                           

Sept. 23, 25, 27                     Our social nature in evolutionary perspective ...        Ch. 10, 13_p532-545
                                                         Evolutionary Psychology                                Cialdini, Ch. 1

Oct. 30, 2, 4, 7, 9                  Development of Social beings in cultural context .. .  Ch. 11, 12, (14opt)
                                                         Social & Developmental Psychology              Cialdini, Ch. 2-8

Friday, Oct. 11                                   EXAM 2                                                                                           

Oct. 16, 18, 21                       The mediation of our experience ...                            Ch. 4
                                                        Learning                                                            Sacks, Ch. 2, 12

Oct. 23, 25, 28, 30                Exploring our underlying biology ...                           Ch. 2,  (14opt)
                                                        Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience       Sacks, Ch. 3, 6

Nov. 1, 4, 6                             Constructing our own realities ...                                Ch. 5, 6
                                                        Sensation and Perception                                   Sacks, Ch. 18

Friday, Nov. 8                                     EXAM 3                                                                                           

Nov. 11, 13, 15                        Reconstructing our past ...                                       Ch. 7
                                                        Memory                                                             Sacks, Ch. 9

Nov. 18, 20, 22, 25                  Those things we think and say ...                              Ch. 13_ p545-572
                                                        Cognition and Language                                  Ch. 8, 9

Nov. 27, Dec. 2, 4                    What makes you think you're so smart ...                Ch. 15
                                                        Intelligence and Testing                                     Sacks, Ch. 23

Test 4 and Final Exam  at Designated Exam Time for Course >>>  12/9/02;  7-10pm                        

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