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INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Brain and Cognitive Science 9.00 Spring Semester 2015-2016


Course Overview and Organization

TIME: T-Th 2:00-3:30 INSTRUCTOR: John Gabrieli, 46-4033b


PLACE: 32-123 OFFICE HOURS: Tues & Weds 3:30-4:30 & by appt.
PHONE: 617-253-8946
E-MAIL: gabrieli@mit.edu

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Kosslyn & Rosenberg, Introducing Psychology (4th edition)


Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Harper & Row, 1987

OBJECTIVES:
This course is designed to introduce you to the scientific study of human nature. You will learn how
psychologists ask questions from several different perspectives: questions about the relation of brain
and behavior, about perception, about learning and thinking, about development, about social
behavior and personality, and about psychopathology and psychotherapy. You will also learn about
the methods psychologists use to find the answers to these questions and become acquainted with
many of the important findings and theoretical approaches in the field of psychology. By the time it's
over, we hope that you will have learned to think critically about psychological evidence, and to
evaluate its validity and its relevance to important issues in your life.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
1) Three exams consisting of objective multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions;
2) Attendance and participation in section, including short quizzes and short writing
assignments.

ASSIGNED READINGS:
Each week there are assigned chapters in the text, Introducing Psychology by Kosslyn & Rosenberg.
This book presents a large amount of material at a fairly demanding level, so it is essential that you
read each chapter several times and that you keep up with the reading. In addition, for some weeks a
chapter is assigned from The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Sacks. Those chapters will be
discussed in that class, so please read the chapter prior to the class.

EXAMINATIONS:
Each exam will cover about a third of the course material; the exams are not cumulative. Each exam
will consist of multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions based on the text and lectures.
NOTE: There are no make-up exams, except for medically verified illnesses or University-authorized
absences. For authorized absences, Mary Lambo (mlambo@mit.edu), the Course Coordinator, must
be notified one week in advance in order to reschedule the exam. This policy will be strictly
enforced.

GRADING:
Grading will be based on the total number of points you earn. The grade will be calculated based on
60% from the exams, 30% on the papers, and 10% on section.

EXTRA CREDT (optional):


Up to 5 points of extra credit can be awarded for either 3 hours of participation in experiments in the
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences or submission of a 3-page paper.