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P101D Life Span Developmental Psychology Spring 2015

General Information
Instructor
Kara Thorsen, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Thursday, 5:55-6:45pm (or by
appt. before or after class)
Office Location: SBSG 4538
Email: kthorsen@uci.edu

Teaching Assistants
Anna Shan Chun Hsu

Kelli Dickerson

Office Hours: Monday, 11:00-11:50am


Office Location: SBSG 4547
Email: ashsu@uci.edu

Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:00-1:50pm


Office Location:
SE1 372
Email: kdickers@uci.edu

Course Meetings
Mondays, 7:00-9:50pm EH 1200

Course Description
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the study of
developmental psychology across the lifespan. The course will focus on biological,
cognitive, and socio-emotional development from before birth to death, with a particular
emphasis on interactions among these domains.
The course has four primary objectives: 1) to introduce students to the field of lifespan
development; 2) to provide students with foundational knowledge about basic principles,
controversies, and theories regarding developmental psychology and lifespan
development; 3) to teach students how to apply basic principles in lifespan development
to particular domains of development, and 4) to teach students how to think critically
about issues regarding human development.

Required Text
Santrock, J.W. (2014). A Topical Approach to Lifespan Development, 7th edition. McGrawHill.

Expectations
Lecture
Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings by the date on which
they are to be discussed in lecture. Lectures will include information from the assigned
readings and additional information from other sources. Students are responsible for all of
the information presented in the assigned readings and in lecture. Although there is some
overlap between the lecture and readings, there will be some information that is presented
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only in lecture, or only in the readings. Any material from the lectures or assigned
readings may be included in the exam.
Fill-in-the-blank lecture handouts will be posted on the course website around noon on
the day of the lecture. Printed handouts will not be available in class. If you will not have
access to a computer/printer between noon and 7pm, and will not have a laptop to access
handouts in class, it is recommended that you make arrangements for another student to
print them for you, so you may have the handouts during lecture. The lecture handouts
will contain blanks on which students should fill in missing key words, definitions,
concepts, and other important information. Please be advised that taking additional notes
on the information presented during lecture (beyond what is listed on the handouts!) is a
sensible course of action.
Completed notes will not be provided to students unless documentation of an illness or
death in the family is provided. In such a case, you may visit office hours to obtain
completed notes. It is also recommended that you exchange email addresses with another
student so you may help each other out if a class is missed.

Office Hours, Discussion Sections, and Review Sessions


The instructor and TAs will hold office hours at the times listed above beginning week
2. You are always welcome to visit office hours to discuss course material, the paper
assignment, or the exams. You may visit whichever office hour time works for you, and
you do not need to ask permission to visit during office hours. If you cannot make office
hours and would like to schedule an appointment to meet, please send an email request
with your availability (e.g., Tuesday before noon, Monday after class).
Two weekly discussion sections will be held beginning week 2; attendance is optional.
Two Midterm and two Final Exam review sessions will be held; attendance is optional.
During review sessions, the TA will answer any questions students may have about the
information presented in the course. Please come prepared with questions, as formal
study guides will not be provided. Please see the class website for times of office hours,
discussion sections, and review sessions.

Communication and Email


It is important that students regularly check email and the course website for updated
information. Brief notes or important messages may be sent via email, so please read all
emails and attachments. If you cannot locate an email you received, you may find the
archive for class emails on eee.uci.edu.
We will do our best to answer emails promptly, but we cannot guarantee email
responses after 8pm the night before an exam or paper deadline. Please allow 24 hours
during the week and 48 hours on the weekends for responses to your emails.
Because of convenience, email communications may be more common between
instructors and students than face-to-face communication. Thus, it is important to
recognize the importance of email etiquette. Email messages should include a greeting,
text with proper grammar and capitalization, a respectful tone, and the students name at
the end. If you have several questions, or require a detailed answer, it may be difficult to
respond in an email, so please visit office hours or ask to meet before or after class. As
stated above, if you cannot make office hours and would like to schedule an appointment
to meet, please send an email request with your availability (e.g., Monday before noon,
Friday after 2pm).

Classroom guidelines
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To allow everyone to experience an optimal learning environment, students should not
come to class late or leave early. In addition, please also be sure to turn off or silence your
cell phones, pagers, or other electronic devices before entering the classroom, as these
materials have the ability to be distracting to both the students and the instructor. Finally,
please do not start packing up your belongings before the class has fully ended.

Special needs
Students with special needs should make arrangements with Disability Services by the
end of the second full week of class. Exams must be picked up by a member of Disability
Services. Other requests require written documentation.

Exams and Assignments


Exams
One midterm and one final exam are scheduled at the beginning of class on the
scheduled test dates. If you arrive late, you may not have extra time to complete the
exam. The final exam is NOT cumulative; however, there may be overarching
developmental theories or principles that are applied to the different domains we will
study for each exam. Therefore, it may be helpful to review the broader concepts from the
first half of the course for the final exam. Test questions will be created from any of the
information presented in the assigned readings and lectures. Each exam will be comprised
of 50 multiple choice questions and will contribute 50 points toward the final grade. You
must bring a Scantron Form F-158 (red and white, 5x11 inch) to each exam. As discussed
above, grades on the exams will not be curved in the traditional sense, but they may be
adjusted so that the class mean will be approximately a C+. All grades will be adjusted
equally. If the class mean falls at or above a C+, no adjustments will be made.
Students will be allowed to make up a missed exam only if they have a medical excuse
that is verified by a medical professional and documented on medical stationery, or
significant extenuating circumstances. Missed exams must be made up within one week
of the scheduled assessment date. It is the responsibility of the student who misses an
exam to contact the instructor and TA to schedule a make-up test. If a student does not
show up during the scheduled make-up exam time, then the student will receive a score of
0. Students who are unable to provide evidence of illness or who miss an exam without
providing a serious reason for doing so will receive a score of 0.

Course Paper
A paper on the topics covered in this class will be required. This paper will require you
to interview an older adult about a life experience, and have you apply a psychological
theory and current research to their experience. The paper must be between 6 8 pages
not including references. A more thorough description is located at the end of the syllabus.

Submitting Your Paper

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A printed, hard copy of your paper must be submitted at the beginning of class on the
due date. Please staple copies of only the abstracts of the articles you used, not the whole
articles.
You must also submit your paper to www.Turnitin.com by midnight on the day it is due.
You will not receive credit for your paper unless it is verified by turnitin.com. This website
measures your papers similarity with other sources and papers. If your paper is very
similar to other sources, then you will receive a 0 for the paper. Therefore, it is critical that
you use your own words; do not cut-and-paste or use more than one quote (one sentence
long). Do not include the article abstracts in the file you upload to the website.

Late Paper Policy


Printed papers turned in after lecture has begun on the day it is due will be considered
one day late. Papers not submitted to www.Turnitin.com by midnight on the day it is due
will be considered one day late. Three points will be deducted for every day the paper
copy is late (5 points per day (10% of the grade); Saturday and Sunday counted as
two individual days). Work that is received more than one full calendar week late
(including weekend days) will not be accepted and will receive a score 0. Late printed
papers must be submitted between 9am and 5pm on weekdays to a TAs mailbox in the
PSB mailroom on the fourth floor of SBSG. For evidence that it was submitted when you
did, please kindly ask for a timestamp and signature from an administrator or work study
student. No papers will be accepted via email. Submitting to turnitin.com is not a
substitute for a printed paper.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty


Please consult the General Catalogue for University policies on plagiarism and
academic dishonesty. Be aware that any proven attempts at plagiarism or academic
dishonesty (including, but not limited to, cheating or dishonest conduct) will result in a
score of 0 for the assignment or exam in question. Under serious circumstances, a student
may fail the course and be subject to University policies for handling scholastic
misconduct.

Extra Credit
Students may earn a maximum of 3 points of extra credit during the course of the
quarter. Extra credit is not required, but may prove helpful in providing a small boost to
your grade in this class. Extra credit can be earned through research participation or
through the paper option, not through a combination of the two.

Research participation to earn extra credit


Research participation for extra credit is voluntary. Students may choose to participate
in psychology experiments to earn extra credit, and each 1 hour of participation earns 1
point of extra credit (30 minutes = .5 points, 2 hours = 2 points, etc.). Three hours of
participation earns the maximum amount of extra credit (3 points). Students
should register to participate in experiments using Sona Systems
(http://hsl.ss.uci.edu/hsl_student-info). Create an account and sign up for experiments in which
you are qualified to participate. When signing up to participate in research as a way to
earn extra course credit, please be aware of the Lab's policy. Failure to observe these
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policies may result in prohibiting your use of the Human Subjects lab to earn extra course
credit.
1. Be sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the research study before signing up.
2. Arrive on time or a little before, because many studies begin exactly at the scheduled
time.
3. If you need to cancel your appointment, do so no later than 24 hours before your
scheduled appointment by either clicking on the cancel button next to your name in
Sona Systems or by calling the researcher for the study or the lab manager (949-8241023).
Students who fail to show up for a scheduled appointment without canceling within the
appropriate timeframe, or who show up but clearly do not meet the eligibility requirements
will not earn the extra credit points. Moreover, students who fail to follow the above policy
twice during a quarter will not be permitted to use the Human Subjects lab as a means to
earn extra course credit for the remainder of that quarter. Students may still earn extra
course credit by completing the alternative extra credit paper option as described in the
course syllabus below.
Be sure to visit the Sona Systems website before finals week to assign your extra credit
to your courses. Be aware that early participation is the safest way to ensure the receipt of
extra credit. Some experimenters may complete their studies before the end of the
quarter, thereby reducing the number of opportunities available for interested students
near the end of the term.
Students who do not wish to participate in psychology experiments may choose to
write an additional 3-page (double-spaced) research paper on the topic of their choice
related to Life Span Development, using empirical research studies from peer-reviewed
journals. The topic must be approved by the instructor or a TA and is worth up to 3 points.
Please note that turning in a paper does not automatically guarantee the maximum
amount of extra credit. Extra credit will be awarded based on the quality of the paper,
such that papers that would have received a formal grade of A will receive 3 points of
extra credit, papers that would have received a formal grade of B will receive 2.5 points of
extra credit, and so on. Extra credit papers will not be accepted after the due date.

Grades
As discussed above, grades on the exams will not be curved in the traditional sense,
but they may be adjusted so that the class mean will be approximately a C+. All grades
will be adjusted equally. If the class mean falls at or above a C+, no adjustments will be
made. Grades on the paper and the final grades will not be adjusted. Because
adjustments will likely be made in your favor for the exams, the final grades are nonnegotiable.
The midterm, final exam, and paper are worth 50 points each, for a total of 150 points.
Final grades will be assigned according to the following criteria. Note that if a student
receives a perfect score in the class and completes all of the possible extra credit, the final
score will exceed 150 points.
A+ 144.75 A 140.25 A- 135
B+ 129.75 B 125.25 B- 120
C+ 114.75 C 110.25 C- 105
D+ 99.75
D 95.25 D- 90
F = Below 90

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Adds, Drops, Waitlist and change grading option
DROP: The deadline to drop courses in the School of Social Ecology is Friday of Week 2
by 5:00pm. Drops can be made using WebReg. Drops after week 2 are NOT permitted by
the School or University.
ADD: The deadline to add courses in the School of Social Ecology is Friday of Week 3
by 5:00pm. Adds can be made using WebReg.

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Course Schedule
Week 1 March 30th
Discuss Syllabus and course requirements
Introduction (Ch. 1)

Week 2 April 6th


Biological Beginnings (Ch. 2)
Physical Development and Biological Aging (Ch. 3)

Week 3 April 13th


Health (Ch. 4)
Motor, Sensory, and Perceptual Development (Ch. 5)

Week 4 April 20th


Cognitive Development (Ch. 6)
Information Processing (Ch. 7)

Week 5 April 27h


Intelligence (Ch. 8)
Language Development (Ch. 9)

Week 6 May 4th


MIDTERM EXAM, 7-9pm

Week 7 May 11th


Emotional Development (Ch. 10)
The Self, Identity, and Personality (Ch. 11)
Gender and Sexuality (Ch. 12)

Week 8 May 18th


Moral Development, Values, and Religion (Ch. 13)
Families, Lifestyles, and Parenting (Ch. 14)
COURSE PAPER DUE

Week 9 May 25th


NO CLASS MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY

Week 10 June 1st


Peers and the Sociocultural World (Ch. 15)
Schools, Achievement, and Work (Ch. 16)
Death, Dying, and Grieving (Ch. 17)
EXTRA CREDIT PAPER DUE

Final Exam - Monday, June 8th, 7-9pm

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Paper Guidelines
USE these specific headings to separate each section of your paper:
1. The Experience: (1-2 pages, 5 possible points): Interview an adult over the age of 40
(e.g. parent, grandparent, family friend), and have them describe to you a life experience
that made an impact on their life (e.g. becoming a parent, abusive relationship, traumatic
event, immigration, work-family, etc). Beyond identifying the event, have them
elaborate on how they felt, and at least two short-term and two long-term effects that the
event had on their life. The event could have occurred anytime during their life, but be
sure to have them describe how they felt it may have influenced their life course. Describe
their experience and feelings in detail written in your own words using third person
narrative. DO NOT USE QUOTES.
2. Textbook Interpretation: (2-2 pages, 15 possible points): Look through the index in
the class textbook to identify a theory or topical research relevant to their experience, and
read those sections carefully. Then, succinctly summarize a few key concepts. If you are
using a theory, briefly describe the central tenants of the theory and identify the major
theorist(s). Compare these concepts/theories to specific aspects of the interviewees
experience (e.g., compare and contrast, show how their experience and the effects of this
experience can be described/explained by the concept/theory). Write succinct but clear
comparisons. The comparisons are most important in this section. You must use APA
formatted, in-text citations when you discuss information from the book, including
studies/theories within the textbook. DO NOT USE QUOTES.
3. Current Research Comparison: (2 - 3 pages, 20 possible points): Use the library or
an online scholarly database, such as PsycInfo, to find at least TWO peer-reviewed,
empirical research articles (i.e., contains introduction, methods, results, and discussion;
NOT newspaper, theoretical, or review) that have been conducted on the topic of the
described experience (e.g., sibling or parent-child relations, friendships, peer groups,
parenting styles, cultural contexts of childhood, cognitive development, motor skills and
practice, self esteem, gender differences, etc). Summarize the findings of this research
that provide a greater understanding of the experience/topic. If you discover that you can't
find anything that closely matches or describes the experience, review research that is as
closely related to it as possible. Compare and contrast the research findings (results) of
your selected research studies with specific aspects of the interviewees experience.
Describe how these research findings explain, are consistent, or are inconsistent with the
experience and short- and long-term effects of the experience. You must use APA
formatted, in-text citations when you discuss information from the research articles. Attach
a copy of the abstracts of your articles to the back of your paper. Late abstracts will not be
accepted. DO NOT USE QUOTES.
4. Conclusion: (1/2 page, 5 possible points): indicate whether or not you have learned
anything more about the persons life experience by reading what researchers have found.
DO NOT USE QUOTES.
5. Reference List: (2 points): You will need to include a complete reference list for the
articles that you read and included in section 3 of your paper in APA format (6th edition).
DO NOT list sources you didnt cite in your paper. The citations in your paper must match
the ones listed in your reference list and vice versa. The reference list should be typed on
a separate piece of paper; it will be the last page of your term paper. You do not need to
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include the textbook on your reference list, but you must use in-text citations when
discussing information from the textbook in your paper, such as, (Santrock, 2014).
6. Technical Merit: (3 points): Please staple copies of only the abstracts of the articles
you used, not the whole articles. Your paper must be 6-8 pages (excluding reference
page) typed, size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, and in APA
format. You are not required to include a title page or abstract for your paper. You paper
should reflect your own thoughts in a concise manner. Proofread your paper, points will be
deducted for mechanical errors and poor writing. DO NOT USE DIRECT QUOTES OR
PLAGIARIZE!
Papers will be due at the beginning of the class on the due date. You must also submit
your paper to www.Turnitin.com by midnight on the due date. Three points will be
deducted for every day either the paper copy or electronic submission to Turnitin.com is
late (including weekends; maximum of 3 points per day). Papers will not be accepted after
one week past the due date.

Paper Rubric
Section 1: The Experience (5 pts)
- Describe the event in third person narrative
- Describe two long-term effects
- Describe two short-term effects
Section 2: Textbook Comparison (15 points)
- Summarizing/applying concept(s) correctly
- Quality of comparisons between the text and specific aspects of the interviewees
experience or effects of the experience. Thoughtful comparisons that are thoroughly
explained or applied will receive higher points than simplistic connections.
Section 3: Current Research Comparison (20 points)
- At least two peer-reviewed, empirical research articles
- Summarizing/applying concepts and findings correctly
- Quality of comparisons between the research findings and specific aspects of the
interviewees experience or effects of the experience. Thoughtful comparisons that are
thoroughly explained or applied will receive higher points than simplistic connections.
Section 4: Conclusion (5 points)
- Quality of reflection; Must be thoughtful and incorporate research, as well as the life
experiences of the interviewee
Section 5: Reference list (2 pts)
- APA 6th edition format; All articles cited are included in the reference page
Section 6: Technical Merit (3 pts)
- Grammar, spelling, flow, concise
- Formatting guidelines: size 12 Times New Roman, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, APA
format, 6-8 pages (excluding reference page)
Common deductions
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- Late papers: Deduction for papers not turned in at the beginning of class (3 pts per
day)
- Does not follow page-limit guidelines by more than a few lines (1 pt per half page)
- No abstracts attached (1 pt)
- Lack of in-text citations (depending on severity: 2 pts if moderate, 4 pts if completely
missing)
- Use of quotes (depending on severity: 3 pts if moderate, 6 pts or rewrite paper if
extreme)
** Papers that are flagged by turnitin.com as being very similar to other sources will either
1) require rewriting or 2) be given 0 points and the student will be reported to the
university for plagiarism, depending on severity.

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