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(Fall 2015, meet Tuesdays 5:00-7:50 in SCIA 564)


Catalog course description: Integrative review of psychology focusing on the history of the field or a broad issue within the discipline. Format emphasizes class discussion, oral presentation, and written reports. A capstone experience. Prereq: Senior Standing. Must be taken during final year of coursework or IA.


Instructor:       David Campbell

Office:             444 BSS

Phone:              826-3721

Office Hours:   Continuous (by e-mail) & by appointment. Note: I am usually in my office Wed mornings for drop-in visits.


Web site:


Required texts: Be sure to purchase the correct edition! The bookstore should have your textbooks in stock. 

   Benjamin, L. T. Jr. (2013). A brief history of modern psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.  (ISBN: 978-1-118-20677-5)

   Benjamin, L. T. Jr. (2006). A history of psychology in letters (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell.  (ISBN: 1-4051-2612-4)


NOTE: You must have your textbooks at the beginning of the semester. Reading assignments and homework typically begin in the first week. 

 Overview & Goals  This course is designed to be the capstone course in the major.  It provides you with an intellectual appreciation of significant issues in contemporary psychology.  We achieve this through study of how psychology has evolved from its scientific precursors in ancient Greece to modern times.  You will learn the stories of the people who shaped this discipline and how they were influenced (and had influence upon) their times.  By the end of the semester, you will have developed an overall perspective of psychology with its various systems of thought. In short, this course provides you with a "look back" at where the discipline has been and a "look forward" at where it appears to be headed.

The work in this course facilitates the attainment of the Psychology Department's goals to: (1) demonstrate knowledge in the social and interpersonal processes area of psychological science, (2) demonstrate effective communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, increased self-understanding, and insight into the behavior of others, (3) apply your knowledge and skills in psychology to improve your own life and the lives of others.

The assignments in this course also help in the attainment of three basic HSU learning objectives: (1) effective communication through written and oral modes, (2) critical and creative thinking skills in acquiring a broad base of knowledge and applying it to complex issues, and (3) competence in a major area of study.

Class Procedure  We use a seminar/discussion format.  Instead of lectures, we will emphasize discussion and debate over ideas presented in your reading. Each student will be required to stimulate discussion with a brief presentation on a person or idea from the reading.


Homework Assignments

Your homework in this class consists primarily of reading notes posted to our Moodle site in which you describe your reactions and thoughts provoked by the reading. The goal here is to encourage active engagement with the material in your reading, thoughtful reflection over the facts and ideas encountered.  Passive reading identifies the weak student; thoughtful and critical reaction to the reading is the mark of a true scholar.


Term paper

Details for this writing assignment are provided on Moodle. It is suggested that you begin preparing this paper early in the semester.



25%     Reading notes based on the reading assignments.  Keeping up with the reading is imperative in this class (otherwise it becomes a mindless chat

experience instead of an educational event). With that in mind, you must prepare comments on your reading each week. 

This assignment works best if you identify and comment on the main points in each of the readings making up that week's assignment. Upload your work to 

our Moodle site before the beginning of class on Tuesday. Doing so will ensure that you remain current with your reading assignments. And this requirement will 

result in us all being "on the same page" with our studies by the time we meet for discussion. This will lead to a higher-level discussion and analysis 

of ideas and reactions stimulated by the reading on our discussion forum over the remaining days of the week.

15%     Weekly quizzes. On most weeks, you will be assigned a chapter from the Brief History textbook. On those weeks you can expect a short multiple-choice quiz over that chapter.

10%     Student presentation. Each student is expected to prepare (and lead the class with) an original presentation on a topic related to this course. Different students will be assigned to different weeks throughout the semester.

25%     Term paper. This assignment is described in detail on our course site.  It will be graded on clarity of thought, organization of ideas, 

and quality of writing. See my general grading criteria at

25%     Final exam.  This will be a conventional test over the content in your textbook: A brief history of modern psychology. This test must be 

taken on when scheduled on Finals Week.


Extra Credit:

            You can earn extra credit in this course by participating in one or two hours of research as a participant (subject).  To sign up for experiments, you need to first create an account in the participation pool system.  Instructions are available at  No specific point values are associated with extra credit work. However, such activities will be considered when course grades are determined and may be useful when students are near the border between two letter grades. Note: research participation appointments are taken seriously. While 2-3 hours of participation credits can improve your grade in borderline situations, failing to show up for scheduled research can lower your grade.


Student Responsibilities:

            You are expected to tackle this course in a constructive and mature manner.  Your instructor expects you to make your work in this course a high priority, keeping up with reading, and completing all assignments on time. Also, be sure to review the HSU policy on academic honesty.  You need to be aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism (e.g., is it OK to turn in essentially the same paper in two classes with similar assignments, or is it OK to make use of quizzes provided by your roommate from the same class last semester?). 



Reading Schedule



Wk #



"B" = Brief History text, "L" = Letters text, "R" = supplementary readings (required)


Aug 25

Online orientation to the course

Get started on reading;  place a personal introduction on our Moodle site. 


Sept 1

Pre-Scientific Psychology -- Phrenology, Physiognomy, Mesmerism, etc.

Reading assignment:

B: Preface and Chapter 1 (Pre-Scientific Psychology)

L: Preface and Chapter 1 (Reading Other People's Mail), then Chapter 2 (John Locke as Child Psychologist)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Sept 8

Physiology & Psychophysics

B: Chap 2 (Neuropsychology, Sensory Physiology, Psychphysics)

L: Chap 4 (John Stuart Mill & Subjection of Women)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Sept 15

Birth of Psychology in Germany

B: Chap  3 (Germany & Birth of a New Science)

L: Chap 5 (An American in Leipzig)


Sept 22

(continue the above topic)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Sept 29

Scientific Psychology Emerges in America

B: Chap 4 (Origins of Scientific Psychology in America)

L: Chap 6 (Struggle for Psyc Labs); Chap 7 (William James & Psychical Research)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Oct 6

Early Schools of Psychology

B: Chap 5 ( Early Schools of Psychology)

L: Chap 9 (A Woman's Struggles for Graduate Education); Chap 10 (Titchener's Experimentalists: No Women Allowed)

  8   Oct 13   (continue the above topic) (Webconference Session)

L: Chap 3 (Darwin;'s Crisis)

R: Reading placed on Moodle


Oct 20

The New Applied Psychology in AmericaThe New Applied Psychology in America

B: Chap 6 (Birth of the New Applied Psychology)

L: Chap 8 (Munsterberg & the Psychology of Law)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Oct 27


B: Chap 7 (Psychoanalysis)

L: Chap 11 (Freud & Jung Come to America)

R: Chap 7 ( Psychoanalysis)


Nov 3


B: Chap 8 (Behaviorism)

L: Chap 12 (Watson); Chap 15 (Skinner's Heir Conditioner)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Nov 10

The New Profession of Psychology

B: Chap 9 (New Profession of Psychology)

L: no assignment

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Nov 17

Psychology of Social Action

B: Chap 10 (Social Action & Social Change)

L: Chap 14 (A Social Agenda); Chap 16 (Kenneth Clark & the Brown v. Board Decision)

R: Readings placed on Moodle

Nov 24 [Vacation]


Dec 1

Cognitive Psychology

B: Chap 11 (Cognitive Psychology)

L: Chap 13 (Nazi Germany & Migration of Gestalt Psychology)

R: Readings placed on Moodle


Dec 8

Preparation of Term Paper

Work on paper, share and discuss progress through journal entries on discussion forum.

Finals Week

Dec 15

Our FINAL EXAM must be taken at the regular class time on Tuesday. TERM PAPER DUE at 11:55 pm on Wednesday. (Late papers will not be graded.)