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Toward Self Understanding (PSY103)

Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one
Better to conquer yourself
than others.
When you've trained yourself,
living in constant self-control,
neither a deva nor gandhabba,
nor a Mara banded with Brahmas,
could turn that triumph
back into defeat.

Instructor: Dr. Shanette M. Harris

Office: 131 or 420 Chafee Building
Office Hours: Thursday 3:00-5:00 p.m. Gautama Buddha
Class Meeting: ONLINE
E-mail Address:

This course presents and discusses perspectives, concepts and strategies based in psychological
theory and research to help understand, cope with and improve the human experience in order to
handle typical problems in living and more atypical psychological concerns. A primary purpose
of the course is to promote and encourage self-knowledge and individual accountability by
promoting self-awareness with the objective of improving personal adjustment and growth.
Consequently, several areas of adult growth and adjustment are examined including but not
limited to: social advancement and technology, stress/resilience, personality, psychopathology,
interpersonal relationships, freedom of choice, and spirituality.


Recognize assumptions and tenets of psychological theories discussed and presented

Show awareness of personal values, beliefs and worldviews that motivate behavior

Demonstrate understanding of the stress-health relationship

Awareness of the reciprocal relationship among thoughts, behaviors and emotions

Engage in critical reasoning and analysis of living situations for others

Apply theoretical models to work and interpersonal/social situations

At the end of this course it is expected that you will:

Understand how to apply psychological principles to issues and concerns of everyday life

Demonstrate familiarity with important theories in the field of Psychology and their
associated assumptions and tenets

Be able to apply interventions/techniques/strategies from several theoretical models to

improve personal and interpersonal adjustment

Demonstrate the ability to evaluate your own behavior and apply appropriate
psychological strategies

Develop awareness and understanding of how the systems in which we are embedded
(e.g., family, community, culture) influence our perspectives, values, beliefs and

Required Course Materials:

Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st

Century, 11th Edition
Wayne Weiten; Dana S. Dunn; Elizabeth Yost Hammer
ISBN-10: 1-285-45995-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-28545995-The textbook can be found at the bookstore in the Memorial Union on the URI Kingston campus.


Calculation of Final Grade
Semester Journal 100 points
Book Critique

100 points


100 points


100 points

4 Exams

100 x 4=400 points

800/8=100 points FINAL GRADE


Journal Writing Assignment

Research has shown that writing can yield positive effects on emotional and physical well-being
(see The importance of writing to
psychoemotional and physical health particularly following sensitive or traumatic experiences is
discussed on page 116 in your textbook (i.e. Weiten, Dunn & Hammer, 2015). During the
semester, you will maintain a journal of your experiences during the course. You will write
about your thoughts, emotions, insights, and behaviors. You will maintain your journal on a
computer to make it easy to submit to me at the end of the term. You are expected to have at
least two entries per week for a minimum of 22-24 entries and a concluding summary.
You should label each entry with the Day, Date and Time (e.g., Monday, March 3, 2016; 4:00
In the final summary you should (a) discuss any insight that you gained about yourself (e.g.,
dreams, aspirations, regrets, worries, conflicts, fears), (b) any new lesson that you learned or
lesson that you revisited in your life, and (c) any change you have made or believe that you
might need to make. Finally, you should also (d) describe how you felt about this journaling
assignment including likes and dislikes.
Journal Information:

Use Microsoft Word ONLY and keep the journal in your computer; use more than a
single backup to avoid lost information.

Begin to write entries in your journal the FirstWeek of the course.

If you miss the deadline or due date for the assignment, your work will NOT be accepted.

Journals will be evaluated according to the presence, quality and depth with which you
approach each of the journal components presented above.

Journaling Prompts

Self Help Book Critique

The idea behind this assignment is to give you the opportunity to read a about a particular subject
of interest and to analyze the book critically. The paper you will be writing should be a book
critique, rather than a book report. In a book report, you simply summarize the book. In a book
critique, you go much further - you analyze and evaluate the book. This paper should be at least
five pages not including the APA style cover, abstract and reference pages. Please see the
posting related to the project (How to write a book critique).

Discussion Posts

You are to respond to discussion posts during the semester. You will be evaluated on quality,
timeliness and quantity of posts. Make sure to respond to all elements of the discussion prompts
and to demonstrate critical reasoning and knowledge. Please review the rubrics posted on
individual and threaded discussions

Online Activity Posts

You will be asked to respond to activities selected to represent various chapters during the
semester. Make sure to follow directions and to respond on time. Again, respond to each
element of the assignment and post in the correct location.


Four Multiple Choice Exams

You will be asked to provide responses to four multiple choice exams including the Final exam.
These exams cover approximately four chapters and are not cumulative. Please see the attached
tentative schedules.
Expectations of Students:

Review the How to Get Started information located in the course content.
Provide personal introduction of yourself during the first week by posting a selfintroduction in the appropriate discussion forum.

Make sure that your computer is compatible with sakai used by URI.

Interact online with instructor/s and peers and keep up with all assignments.

Review and follow the course calendar.

Read and follow course rules, norms and guidelines

Read all components of the course syllabus

Course Related and Useful Website Links Internet Mental Health Master Site Information about Abnormal Behavior Psych Web Master Site Psychology Electronic Journal Netpsych A.P.A. Patient's Network for Health Health Related Site Rollo May Existential and Humanistic Psychology Humanistic Psychology Person-Centered Psychology site Psychotherapy

Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.

Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.

Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.
Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery.
Read it with hope and you will feel positive.
Read it with humor and you will feel joy.
Read it with God and you will feel the truth.
Read it without bias and you will feel peace.
Don't read it at all and you will not feel a thing.
Shannon L. Alder

Tentative Semester Course Calendar

Week 1 January 28th to February 8th

Chapters one and two


Discussion Question

Week 2 February 9th to February 19th

Chapters three and four


Discussion Question)


Week 3 February 20th to March 2nd

Chapters five and six


Discussion Question

Week 4 March 3rd to March 13th

Chapters seven and eight


Discussion Question


Week 5 March 14th to March 24th

Chapters nine and ten


Discussion Question

**Book Critique Due before Midnight

Week 6 March 25th to April 4th
Chapters eleven and twelve


Discussion Question


Week 7 April 5th to April 15th

Chapters thirteen and fourteen


Discussion Question

Week 8 April 16th to April 25th

Chapters fifteen and sixteen


Discussion Question

FINAL AND FOURTH EXAM (Chapters 13-16)

**Journal Due before Midnight of April 26th


= Exam Date

=Book Critique

=Weekly Online Activity

=Computer Journal

=Weekly Discussion Question