Course Overview and Objectives

The course is designed to familiarize students with the historical movements and intellectual antecedents associated with psychology.  Students will learn about early pioneers in the field of psychology and their impact on contemporary psychology.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize the names of the individuals responsible for the founding and development of the discipline of psychology.
  2. Identify the major philosophical positions that have influenced the discipline of psychology.
  3. Identify and describe the major schools in the history of psychology.
  4. Name the important dates in the history of psychology.
  5. Describe how the discipline has evolved over time and identify major paradigm shifts.
  6. Explain how the events of the past have shaped the current discipline of psychology.

Learning Model Architecture

The course follows a weekly cycle of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder and Prove activities.

Students will prepare for each week by completing a set of assignments that include reading chapters in the textbook and exercises.

Students will teach one another by working in groups to complete simulation assignments, weekly assessments, and attending optional live sessions with the instructor.

Students will ponder and prove what they have learned by taking weekly assessments and four unit exams.



Hergenhahn, B.R. (2009). An introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. (You may also use the 2005 or 5th edition).


For the 6th edition (978-0-495-50621-8) or (978-0-495-50622-5)
For the 5th  edition (978-0-534-55401-9)


Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.

You will need to download a free flashcard program called ANKI. Go to and scroll down the page to the installing and upgrading section. Choose your operating system and download the appropriate ANKI program.


Students will earn points towards their final grade via the following. They will be discussed in more detail below:

Lobe Probes (20)

Tests (4)

Final Essay Exam (1)

Supplemental Reading Discussions (4)

Final Paper

Lobe Probes: 20 learning experiences (Lobe Probes) will be available throughout the semester. These may be quizzes, group projects, short essays, films, discussions, etc. Each Lobe Probe will be worth 10 points. 

Exams: There will be four exams administered during the semester. All exams will focus on lecture and chapter material with an emphasis on lecture. These tests will be a combination of multiple choice and essay items. Each test will cover only the material directly preceding it. Each exam will be worth 100 points for a total of 400 points. 

Final Essay Exam: This exam will be open-book and open-note but must be completed during the final exam period. There will be four essay items that you will be expected to respond to. Questions will be based on the topics addressed throughout the semester. The Final Essay Exam will be worth 100 points.

Supplemental Reading Discussion Board: There are a number of supplemental readings. You will select one reading each week and create a discussion board post on the questions associated with that reading. Annotations are due by midnight of the due date. Late submissions will be accepted but will receive a reduction in points based on instructor judgment.


Lobe Probes

200 points


400 points

Final Essay Exam

100 points

Supp Read Discussions

120 points

Final Paper

150 points

Other Assignments and Quizzes

61 Points


1031 points

Grades will be assigned based on the following scale:

93% or above    A

90 – 92%           A-

87 – 89%           B+

83 – 86%           B

80 – 82%           B-

77 – 79%           C+

73 – 76%           C

70 – 72%           C-

67 – 69%           D+

63 – 66%           D

60 – 62%           D-

59% and below   F

Office Hours

There will be an Online Meeting each week where you will meet with your instructor and other classmates to expand on principles being covered that week. Your instructor will post the day and time they will hold the Online Meeting each week in the “Questions and Conversations” section of each lesson. A link to the meeting will be available in the “My Instructor” folder.

Time Commitment

The online class policy is that for every credit hour, you should expect to spend 3 hours of work per week. For example, in a 3-credit course, there would be 9 hours of work each week. For this class, you should plan on spending about 9 hours per week.

Policy on Plagiarism

Students who use material from other sources must use appropriate citations or quotations. Failure to do so will incur severe penalty on the final grade. If uncertain, see the instructor before you hand in the assignment. Plagiarism is an issue in all classes, but especially in this one. Most cases of plagiarism are due to sloppy work, not bad intentions. In either case, penalties will be severe.

Policy on Cheating

Any student caught engaging in such behavior will be given an automatic “F” in the course. 


Materials on BYU Idaho I-Learn and related sites may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.


Online Support Center

The Online Support Center (OSC) is designed to help any students taking online courses at BYU-Idaho.  If you have questions about any online course or any feedback concerning online courses, instructors, or your online learning experience please contact the OSC.

OSC Contact Information

Phone: 208-496-1411

Text Messaging: 855-808-7102


Live Chat: Click Here


Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM, MST

Paper Criteria

Final Paper:  You will be asked to prepare a paper on an important figure in psychology’s history or on some movement in the history of psychology.  This paper will be at least 8 pages long and not more than 20.  This paper will be prepared in stages:

Total: 150 points

Students often wonder what instructors are “looking for” when they grade papers.  For this purpose, the psychology department has designed a general rubric for papers within our discipline.   Please review the information below as you will be held accountable for it (meaning this is what I will be using to grade your papers).   The letters in parentheses are shorthand marks used by the instructor for correcting.   The letter above a sentence or passage will indicate the problem with that sentence or passage.



Content and Focus

20 points

(C)  The content and focus of the paper is appropriate for the class.   (For Psy 311, the paper should be discussing a person or topic from psychology within an historical context)

You must also have at least five appropriate sources for your paper.


20 points

(R) There are problems with the soundness of the arguments, ideas, and conclusions.

  • (Un) Unsupported:  the conclusions do not follow from the arguments and ideas that have been presented.
  • (I) Illogical:  the premises and conclusions don't match; there is no real argument or structure; it is random
  • (C) Clarify:  a point needs to be developed or is unclear
  • (Th) Thesis:  the thesis or topic of the paper is not stated or is unclear
  • (Pr) Premise:  the premise of an argument is incorrect


20 points

(S) There are issues with how ideas are presented even though the ideas, arguments and conclusions may be reasonable.

  • (O) Organize:  the structure makes it difficult to understand but reorganization would make it more clear
  • (N) Unnecessary:  the point isn’t important to this part of the paper or perhaps doesn’t contribute to the overall organization of the paper
  • (Red) Redundant:  the point has already been made and the paper is not improved by including it again.  Perhaps limiting it to a different part of the paper would help.
  • (T) Transition:  there isn’t a transition between one point and another or the transition is unclear
  • (U) Unpack:  the points are too condensed and the paper would benefit from elaboration on a point or points


15 points

(M) There are problems with the technicalities of writing such as grammar, word usage, punctuation, spelling, etc.

  • (G) Grammar:  the grammar is incorrect
  • (Use) Usage:  a word is used incorrectly
  • (Ref) Referent:  the referent word is unclear
  • (P) Punctuation:  incorrect punctuation
  • (Sp) Spelling:  word is misspelled


25 points

(Sty) There are problems with the style of the paper.

  • (APA) APA style has not been used or has been used inappropriately
  • (Cit) Citation:  a citation is missing or an incorrect citation format
  • (K) Awkward:  the sentence is grammatically correct but doesn’t read well; it could have been worded better
  • (Q) Quotation:  too many quotes or there is plagiarism
  • (W) Wordy:  the point could be made more succinctly
  • (WC) Word Choice:  the word being used is technically correct but not stylistically correct
  • (Cas) Casual:  too many colloquialisms or the tone is unprofessional
  • (E) Unengaging:  the writing style makes the paper dry and uninteresting

Common Problems with Student Papers


 Friendly advice designed to keep you from irritating your instructor as he reads ninety plus papers written by well-intentioned Psy 311 students


“DO NOT”  This means under no circumstances should this be found in your paper and if it is found, it will probably result in a loss of points.

“DO”  This means that you definitely should do this as it will lead to a much improved paper.

“AVOID” This means that for the most part don’t do this but there may be a few (rare) instances where it is appropriate.

DO NOT start your paper with a question.

DO NOT confuse the word “effect” and “affect”.   If you’re not sure about the difference, check with me.

DO NOT use a semi-colon unless you know its proper use. 

DO NOT put an extra space in between paragraphs.   APA style requires that the entire document be double-spaced with no additional spaces between paragraphs or headings.

DO NOT procrastinate the writing of the paper.  Rush jobs are generally easy to spot.

DO NOT use the word “since” as a synonym for “as” or “because”.

DO NOT write the introduction to your paper in such a general way that it is impossible to tell what your paper is about.

DO NOT use the word “pretty” or “really” as a synonym for “very”.

DO NOT spell “psychology” with a capital unless you’re referring to a book or course title.  This goes for most areas of the discipline as well.

DO make sure that the running head is the same font and size as the rest of your paper.

DO read over your draft one more time before you submit it.

DO have someone else read your draft for clarity and errors.

DO make sure your topic is appropriate to the class (not all psychology or history topics are)

DO use direct quotes from your sources but use them SPARINGLY.    Don’t include the quote if you can easily paraphrase it.  

AVOID using web sites as sources for your paper, meaning you should not use a site like Wikipedia or as a source.   There are many appropriate on-line sources available.   Try going through the library web page to identify such sources.

AVOID using questions as transition points between paragraphs.

AVOID using the word “spark” as a metaphor for “inciting change.”

AVOID using personal pronouns in the paper.

AVOID going into detail as to why you selected this topic (not relevant generally speaking)

AVOID using the following words or phrases in your paper: