Welcome to Mr. Fortson’s Class!

Welcome to the website for Mr. Fortson’s Psychology class. Here you will find my class rules, a basic syllabus, and a calendar of upcoming assignments and important event.

Below you’ll find:

Contact Information

Rules and Expectations

What We’ll Cover and PDF of our text book to download

Class Syllabus

Calendar of upcoming assignments

Contact Information

My class room is in Kip Winger hall, room 666. If you have any questions, please contact me at email [at] schoolemail [dot] edu

Rules and Expectations

Communication: Please talk to me if you have questions, special situations (homework, tests, absences, etc) or any other issue that affects your time in class. I can’t read minds, so let me know right away by sending me an email or speaking to me in person. You can also email me if you want to schedule a specific time to meet me during my office hours to discuss any issue in-depth.

Class and Homework: You are required to take notes in class. Homework is worth 40% of your grade, so make sure to do your work! Late homework is graded as follows: 1 day late, 10% off; 2 days late, 20% off; 3 days late, 30 % off. I don’t accept homework that is more than 3 days late!

Participation: It is important for both your grade and your education to participate in class. That means speak up during discussions! Your participation and behavior will be noted each day. It is expected that you will be speaking in English during class because it helps you to gain more experience with the language.

Attendance: Be in the classroom and in your seat before class starts. If you have an allowable absence (illness, death in the family) let me know and e-mail me right away. I can send you materials and assignments so you don’t fall behind in class. If you are late to class, you will lose points—the later you are, the more points you will lose.

Tests/quizzes: Your tests and quizzes are worth 30% of your grade, and your final post-assessment test is 30% of your grade. If the class seems unprepared for the lesson, or I suspect students have not done the reading, I may give a pop quiz (unannounced quiz) to test your knowledge. That means to avoid a surprise quiz, be prepared, do your homework, and speak up during class discussions. Assignments are worth at LEAST 40% of your grade.

Extra Credit: Extra credit will be given sparingly. Points for extra credit will be added to previously turned in assignments.

Plagiarism, cheating, dishonesty: If you are caught cheating you will automatically fail the assignment or test, and you will be reported to the administration. Don’t try to copy or buy essays from online because teachers can easily check your work with software that compares your essays with thousands of others in a database (plus, it will be obvious if it isn’t in your writing style); in other words, it is very easy to catch you, so don’t try it! If you copy a classmate’s homework or test answers, both students will fail the assignment. You CAN use references and quotes from sources for most assignments, so long as you give them a proper citation in MLA format.

AP Option: If you plan to take the AP test, tell me right away. You will have extra readings, and need to purchase the AP Psychology book.

What We’ll cover

As a new class, we’ll be flexible regarding how long we spend on each subject. Your main text for this course will be Introduction to Psychology by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French. You can download the text online as a PDF here:


Assignments and additional readings will be posted online on a weekly basis. By the end of the year, we’ll have covered all of the following topics:

1. Introduction: What is Psychology?

The History of Psychology

Branches of Psychology

WEIRD Science: How Culture Affects the Mind

2. Psychology as a Science

The Empirical Method

Famous Experiments (You’ll create your own experiment and conduct your own research in this unit!)

Biology – What is our mind?

3. This Is Your Brain on Sleep

4. How We Learn: Bells, Boxes, and Brains

Free Will?: Pavlov, Skinner, and the Behaviorists

Memory: Is your brain an organic computer?

Types and Measures of Intelligence: You’re Even Smarter Than you Know

4. How Language Works

5. The Developing Mind

Erickson’s Stages of Development

Consciousness and Sentience: Does Your Dog Know He’s A Dog?

6. Personality

Who Are You? Where Are You? Why Are You?

No Man is an Island: How Culture and Society Shape Psychology

7. Things Fall Apart: Disorders and Insanity

The DSM V and types of abnormal psychology

Treatment: Psychology as Medicine

Calendar of Upcoming Assignments

October 13: PPT of two famous Psychology Experiment

October 13: rough draft proposal for your own experiment

October 18: Chapter 4 and 5 test (Cultural Psychology and The Experimental Method)