San José State University
Department of Psychology
PSYC 190, Sec. 6
Current Issues Capstone: Modern Manifestations of Behaviorism
Spring, 2013



Dr. Steven Del Chiaro

Office Location:

DMH 318




Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday/Thursday 8:00 am – 9:00 am
By Appointment

Class Days/Time:

 Monday/Wednesday 9:00 am – 10:15 am


 DMH 347

Link to Syllabus Word: Capstone Behaviorism Spring 2013.doc

Course Description
The catalog description of the course is as follows: Integrative survey of current viewpoints and issues in psychology, how they developed and likely future directions of psychology. In this class, this goal is to use the medium of film to discuss the different portrayals and corresponding intellectual and emotional narratives of human suffering or psychopathology. The primary goal is to refine student’s critical thinking skills applicable to the study of abnormal behavior and to appreciate this in a broad cultural context.

Learning Outcomes
Specifically, our course objectives are as follows:

1. To review and develop skills in understanding/applying behaviorism and to critically evaluate its use in our culture

2. To focus, refine, and provide evidence of critical thinking skills in the evaluation of behavioral techniques with a specific emphasis on application

3. To demonstrate competence in oral presentation and communication

4. To demonstrate competence in written communication by analyzing, synthesizing, and integrating existing psychology literature relevant to this topic

5. To demonstrate an integration of knowledge and skills developed across the psychology major including an appreciation of contextual variables such as gender and ethnicity as they relate to psychological principles and human behavior

6. To provide evidence of skills in researching the psychology literature (including accessing electronic and print journal articles in libraries and beyond)

7. To thoughtfully apply these skills to topics of interest

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

Upon successful completion of the psychology major requirements…

PLO1 – Knowledge Base of Psychology – Students will be able to identify, describe, and communicate the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

PLO2 – Research Methods in Psychology – Students will be able to design, implement, and communicate basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretations.

PLO3 – Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology – Students will be able to use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and a scientific approach to address issues related to behavior and mental processes.

PLO4 – Application of Psychology – Students will be able to apply psychological principles to individual, interpersonal, group, and societal issues.

PLO5 – Values in Psychology – Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and recognize their role and responsibility as a member of society.

Required Texts/Readings


There are no required textbooks for this course.  However, there will be extensive literature review and you will need to purchase a thumb/jump drive that will not be returned.


Other readings will be required and will be available for download from the course website.


Click to download evaluation sheets:

Group Evaluation

Audience Evaluation

Definition of a Credit Hour

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.


As an example, the expectation of work for a 3-credit course is 150-minutes of direct faculty instruction and six hours of out-of-class student work each week.


Classroom Protocol
Syllabus Policy:
The course syllabus presented in this document will be followed as closely as possible. However, the course syllabus, schedule, policies, and procedures are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor or in the event of extenuating circumstances. This includes the tentative dates listed. The instructor will announce possible changes in advance if possible. Since such announcements are typically made during class, it is the student’s responsibility to clarify any of these changes that may have been made when the student is absent.

If there is material that is unclear to you it is highly recommended that you discuss this material with me at an appropriate time (e.g., during office hours). It is your responsibility to read the syllabus and ask questions about it so that you have a clear understanding of the expectations. If you are unclear about any of the requirements/expectations, then please set up a time to speak with me. I will be grading as though you have a clear understanding of the course requirements and material.


I will not be taking attendance.  However, students are responsible for everything that is said and done in class. This is a seminar, and my role is as guide and facilitator.  I am not a lecturer for this course; you are the group leaders.  As such, your attendance is essential to do well and get the most out of the course.

It is important to note that it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a course they do not wish to take. Additionally, I encourage students to arrive on time for the class. However, I understand that extenuating circumstances do arise that can prevent your diligent efforts toward punctuality. If you are late to class, please take a seat in the row of desks/seats closest to the door in order to prevent disruption to the class. I hope you will take advantage of this policy only when absolutely necessary.  Many important pieces of information are discussed in class, and students are responsible for knowing and complying with this information including changes in assignments. Please make appropriate adjustments to your schedule to allow for arrival to the class on time (e.g., arriving early to avoid traffic/parking problems).

Classroom Courtesy and Disruptions
Class disruptions are not tolerated. Students will be asked to leave if they are being disruptive to fellow students or the professor. Disruptions include but are not limited to cell phones and pagers going off for any reason (even accidental), talking when not participating in an instructor- assigned activity, and not paying attention (e.g., reading the newspaper, sleeping). In addition, please place electronic communication devices (e.g., pagers, cell phones) on silent mode during class. If you must make or answer a call, please excuse yourself from class for such activity.  In accordance with university policies on student conduct, it is expected that you will treat other students and the instructor with courtesy and respect. Additionally, this class is conducted where you have wireless Internet access, please do not “surf’ the web.  You may use your computer to take notes, but you must sit in the back of the classroom or along the wall with your screen out of other students view.  In addition, if other or I students deem “keyboard noise” distracting, you will have to stop using the computer. This policy is in existence so that you do not distract me or other students.  I reserve the right to ask you to put the computer away at any time.  Failure to do so may result in you being asked to leave the classroom and dropped from the course.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc.  Refer to the current semester’s Catalog Policies section at  Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic calendar web page located at  The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.


Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at and Grading Policy



Major Assignments (all major assignments submitted by group):

Group Selection – 15 points.
The class will be divided into eight groups comprised of approximately 3 individuals.  Each group will be able to choose a name for the group and the topic of most interest to them. The group needs to function autonomously. Please act respectful to your group members.  I cannot and will not provide supervision for your group, if there are group problems, use your critical thinking skills and psychology background to be productive.  Please only use my wonderful and magical skills as a last resort.  Be aware there will be a fee for my services. All groups will be required to fill out a selection page containing the names of the group members and a detailed evaluation of why the group functioned well or why it did not. Evaluations should describe each group member’s contributions, if work was divided evenly, and any areas of improvement with specific examples, if any problems arise.[ML1] 

Topic Proposal – 25 points.
This assignment should be 2-3 pages in length and address the following questions:
1) What is your research question? Is it debatable? 2) What is your personal relationship to this question? What drew you to this question? How will your relationship to it affect your research and writing process? 3) What is the larger significance of your topic? Who or what could benefit from your research? 4) Which one or two Program Learning Outcome(s) does your topic address? How does your topic/question address these PLOs? 5) What research sources will you use and where will you find them?
Will you need to look outside of the SJSU Library? Who are the original sources and key experts you will need to cite?

Annotated Bibliography – 30 points.
For this assignment, submit an annotated bibliography for
10 scholarly sources mostly published within the past 10 years. Original sources/founding authors can be older than 10 years. Web sites are not acceptable unless they are online versions of print academic journals.  For each source, include a correct APA reference citation. Under each reference citation, provide a paragraph of 5-8 sentences that: 1) summarizes the main argument of the source; 2) evaluates the credibility of the author; 3) identifies the intended audience; and 4) explains how this source will be helpful in answering your research question. These sources should be used in the final project. 


Research Paper – 100 points.
Final paper must include the following:

  1. Ten to fifteen pages of text, not including the title page or references pages.
  2. A focused, arguable, and thoughtful research question and literature review that involves challenging significant research.
  3. Comparisons and/or contrasts information from a wide range of relevant sources, both print and electronic which are relevant, balanced, and critically evaluated for credibility and objectivity.
  4. Logical organization with unity developed from the thesis and clear connections, synthesis, among ideas. 
  5. Paraphrased and quoted material with all conclusions clearly supported by relevant, convincing evidence.
  6. Results of research convey an original understanding (researcher’s voice) with clear, unified concluding ideas.
  7. Clear writing that exhibits mostly proper grammar, word choice, spelling, and consistently accurate APA format and citation style.


PowerPoint Presentation – 75 points.
The group will present a PowerPoint presentation to the class and have the entire class period.  Each team member will be graded individually, but included in that grade is how well the team as a whole performed. Be aware that if you shine and your partners falter, your grade will fall. Each presentation will take about 60 minutes with questions and discussion following the presentation. Presentations that are significantly less than 60 minutes will receive appropriate grade reductions. Also, inaccuracies, editorializing, or false answers to questions will also result in grade reductions. In addition, each group must turn in to Dr. Del Chiaro a hard copy of their presentation and five (5) multiple choice questions about their topic the afternoon of their seminar prior to starting.  These will not be accepted over email.


Group presentation guidelines

• Be professional!

• Time should be equally divided among team members.

• Discuss the impact of the topic on society.

• Avoid slang and colloquialisms.

• Be aware that by using a Power Point presentation you will need a laptop, a projector, speakers, your presentation, and yourselves, properly dressed and in front of the classroom before the class begins. Make sure your technology works. Our suggestion to you is to practice with the equipment you plan on using during your presentation.

• Do not read your presentation. Individuals who read their presentation will earn no higher than a C.

• REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE!!!! Make it a smooth presentation!

• Wear appropriate attire.

• Video should not account for more than 15 minutes of presentation.

• Set a mood! Make it interesting! Be creative! Do not bore the class.


Requirement for audience members

1. Come on time

2. Do not leave early

3. Do not sleep or work on other material during the presentation

4. Take thoughtful notes during the presentation[ML2] 

5. Complete evaluation of presentation and submit following class.
Students are allowed to, but not encouraged to have one absence from presentations. After one absence, a 20 - point deduction per class will be incurred.


Students will lose points if audience member requirements are not met.


Submission of work – 15 points

All groups will have a thumb/flash/jump drive that will be submitted at the time of their presentation.  It will contain the following items:

1.      The drive will be labeled with the group name.

2.      There will be a folder titled “Modern Manifestations of Behaviorism: (INSERT GROUP TOPIC).

3.      In the folder you will have the following:

a.       Group Selection Page

b.      Topic Proposal

c.       Annotated bibliography

                                                              i.      MUST HAVE DOWNLOADED FULL TEXT ARTICLE.

d.      Research Paper

e.       PowerPoint Presentation

Evaluation of Presentations – 15 points

During presentations, there will be two evaluations made. All students will complete an evaluation of the presentations they attended, and presenting groups will evaluate the audience. Evaluations will offer thoughtful feedback. Evaluations will be distributed on March 21st.


Final Exam – 25 points

Each group will submit five multiple-choice questions for their presentation.  Of the 40 questions submitted by the class, the 25 best questions will be chosen for the final exam.  The final exam is Thursday, May 19 at 8 am. 


University Policies

Academic integrity
Your commitment as a student to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University.  The University’s Academic Integrity policy, located at, requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include your assignment or any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy S07-2 requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at to establish a record of their disability.

Student Technology Resources
Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Additional computer labs may be available in your department/college. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library.

A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, projection screens and monitors.

SJSU Writing Center

The SJSU Writing Center is located in Room 126 in Clark Hall.  It is staffed by professional instructors and upper-division or graduate-level writing specialists from each of the seven SJSU colleges. Our writing specialists have met a rigorous GPA requirement, and they are well trained to assist all students at all levels within all disciplines to become better writers. The Writing Center website is located at

Student Success and Wellness
Attending to your wellness is critical to your success at SJSU. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the workshops and programs offered through various Student Affairs Departments on campus such as Counseling Services, the SJSU Student Health Center/ Wellness & Health Promotion Dept., and Career Center. See or for workshop/events schedule and links to many other services on campus that support your wellness! You may go to to register for any one of the workshops.

SJSU Peer Connections

The Learning Assistance Resource Center (LARC) and the Peer Mentor Program have merged to become Peer Connections.  Peer Connections is the new campus-wide resource for mentoring and tutoring.  Our staff is here to inspire students to develop their potential as independent learners while they learn to successfully navigate through their university experience.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of our services which include course-content based tutoring, enhanced study and time management skills, more effective critical thinking strategies, decision making and problem-solving abilities, and campus resource referrals. 


In addition to offering small group, individual, and drop-in tutoring for a number of undergraduate courses, consultation with mentors is available on a drop-in or by appointment basis.   Workshops are offered on a wide variety of topics including preparing for the Writing Skills Test (WST), improving your learning and memory, alleviating procrastination, surviving your first semester at SJSU, and other related topics.  A computer lab and study space are also available for student use in Room 600 of Student Services Center (SSC).


Peer Connections is located in three locations: SSC, Room 600 (10th Street Garage on the corner of 10th and San Fernando Street), at the 1st floor entrance of Clark Hall, and in the Living Learning Center (LLC) in Campus Village Housing Building B.  Visit Peer Connections website at for more information.

Course Schedule



Topics, Readings, Assignments, Deadlines


January 23

Introduction to Course/Class Business



January 28

January 30

Behaviorism Overview

Behaviorism Overview



February 4

February 6

Behaviorism Overview

Behaviorism Overview



February 11

February 13

Behaviorism Overview

Topic Brainstorm



February 18

February 20

Group Selection/Topic Finalization

Behaviorism Overview



February 25

February 27

Group Meet

Group Meet



March 4

March 6

Topic Proposal Due/Present to class

Group Meet



March 11

March 13

Group Meet

Group Meet



March 18

March 21

Group Meet

Annotated Bibliography Due (All Students Required to Attend)



March 25

March 27

Spring Break

Spring Break



April 1

April 3

Group Meet

Group Meet



April 8

April 10


Research Papers Due at time of Presentation



April 15

April 17

 Group Presentation 1

 Group Presentation 2



April 22

April 24

 Group Presentation 3

 Group Presentation 4



April 29

May 1

 Group Presentation 5

 Group Presentation 6



May 6

May 8

 Group Presentation 7

 Group Presentation 8

Final Exam

May 21

7:15 am


Summary of Grading
Group Selection                      15 points
Topic Proposal                        25 points

Annotated Bibliography         30 points
Research Paper                     100 points
PowerPoint Presentation         75 points
Submission of work                15 points
Evaluation of Presentations    15 points
Final Exam                              25 points
Input from Evaluations            50 points
Completion of Exit Exam        10 points

Total:                                       360 points


The grade scale is as follows:



94 – 100%



77 – 79%




90 – 93%



73 – 76%




87 – 89%



70 – 72%




83 – 86%



67 – 69%




80 – 82%



60 – 66%