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Course Objectives, Organization, & Requirements Copyright 2014 Dr. Michael A. Bozarth, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Presentation on theme: "Course Objectives, Organization, & Requirements Copyright 2014 Dr. Michael A. Bozarth, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Course Objectives, Organization, & Requirements Copyright 2014 Dr. Michael A. Bozarth, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo

2 Motivational Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Psycho- pharmacology Drug Addiction

3  Attitude & Subjective Appraisal  Concepts & Terminology  Analytical Methods  Factual Knowledge Overall objective is to develop a fundamental understanding of drug addiction with an emphasis on depth rather than breath of knowledge (Detailed and specific course objectives are listed on the course syllabus.)

4  Overview of fundamental concepts  Detailed examination of two prototypical drug classes  psychomotor stimulants (e.g., cocaine)  opiates (e.g., heroin)  Emphasis on biological mechanisms  Possible generalization to some other addictive drugs

5  Not covered in the course  many psychoactive drugs  marijuana  MDMA (ecstasy)  hallucinogens  alcohol  nicotine & caffeine  diagnosis & treatment of addiction  possible nonchemical “addictions”

6  Module-1: Essential Background for the Study of Addiction  Phenomenology of drug addiction  Key concepts fundamental to understanding addiction  Drug action and classification  Module-2: Theories of Addiction and Methods of Scientific Study  Module-3: Biological Basis of Drug Addiction

7  General Psychology  conditioning & learning theory  biological mechanisms of behavior  social factors involved in behavior  clinical psychology & personality theory  Research Methods & Statistics  experimental design  principles of scientific inference  Biopsychology or Behavioral Neuroscience  Survey course/module on Drug Abuse or equivalent background is very helpful

8  Assigned readings (primary learning ‘tool’)  Online podcasts & lecture slides (mandatory assignment)  Lectures (primarily Q & A with mini lectures)  Discussions (limited to main themes & implications)  Some videos (introductory case studies)  Class attendance essential but not mandatory  Internet & UBlearns access mandatory  Participation in UBlearns Discussion Boards is highly recommended  Will be using a modified “flipped classroom” approach for most of the course

9  Combines elements of the “flipped classroom” with traditional programmed instruction  Read the assigned text  Listen and view the audio/slide presentations  Question and discuss the material  attending in-class Q & A sessions and mini-lectures  using the online discussion forums  Test comprehension on short learning units  Review material for the entire thematic module  Evaluate understanding with major in-class exam Evaluate overall comprehension with final examination

10  Textbook installments available at Jacob’s Copy Center throughout the semester  availability announced in class  chapter study guides are available online  readings should be completed before class meeting  Podcasts & lecture slides available on UBlearns  Other online material available through UBlearns and from the Addiction Science Network website  Reserve list at UGL may be used  Student is responsible for ‘mastering’ the material and asking questions for clarification

11  Based on three exams (20% each) administered during regularly scheduled class periods  grades are not “curved” but based on absolute grading criteria (A- = 90%, B- = 80%, etc.)  exams are allotted the full class period  exams typically 75 to 90 objective-type questions  exams are somewhat ‘speeded’ like the GREs  Online quizzes (10% total, minimum 10 quizzes)  Comprehensive final exam (30% or 75% of the overall course grade, performance based)

12  Grade assignment from the instructor’s point of view:  “C-level” students demonstrate a basic competency in the subject matter being able to explain where and how prototypic addictive drugs work to produce an addiction  “B-level” students are able to explain how scientists know this to be true citing pertinent empirical evidence  “A-level” students can defend this position in a lively debate against and ‘educated’ opponent

13  Term Exams (3 x 20%)  major emphasis on readings and lecture material but material discussed in class may also be included as well as material from the Discussion Boards  make-up exams allowed only under exceptional circumstances and with prior approval of the instructor and must be accompanied by verifiable written documentation for the absence

14  Quizzes (10%)  major emphasis on online lecture material (i.e., podcast & slide content) but may also include material from the assigned readings  make-up quizzes not allowed  once begun must be completed within the time allotted  open book/open note but insufficient time allowed for looking up some answers  scores from the lowest two quizzes will be dropped from the grade computation which includes exams not completed because of student or technical errors

15  Final Exam (30% or 75%)  comprehensive exam covering the entire course content (last final exam consisted of 240 questions)  administered during final exams week  constitutes either 30% or 75% of the overall course grade based on individual student performance  if the score on the final exam exceeds the average of the term exams and quizzes, then the final exam will constitute 75% of the overall course grade  otherwise the final exam will constitute 30% of the overall course grade

16  This is an upper level (elective) psychology course that places responsibility for ‘learning’ largely on the student  The course becomes progressively more difficult for most students  later concepts build on earlier concepts  more material to learn, more difficult reading (e.g., details & level of analysis)  more biological orientation

17  Past course grades  average “C+”  40 to 48% “A’s & B’s  usually 10 to 14% “A’s”  a few students have managed perfect or near perfect exam scores (even on Exam #3) Modified flipped-classroom approach

18  Students should expect to spend an average of 6 to 9 hours weekly outside of class meetings on a regular basis throughout the semester and more time in preparation for the exams  some students may require considerably MORE study time depending on their academic ability  a few students can perform well with less study time (better students who could master the basic material in less time tend to be working towards higher grades which necessitates expending comparable time to students struggling just to earn course credit)

19  A few students have passed a comprehensive exam based on the overall course content with a score of 80% or better after studying the text on their own for two weeks or less and without the aid of the study guides, lecture slides, podcasts, or consultation with the instructor  Because of the unique content of this course, they had no more advanced preparation for the exam than other academically talented (and hard working) students in our department  There is no excuse for failure other than an unwillingness to do the work consistently throughout the semester

20  More detailed information is available in the course syllabus, including specific learning objectives, detailed lecture schedule, and statements on academic integrity and expected classroom behavior  Post general questions regarding course organization and related issues to the appropriate Discussion Board on UBlearns  E-mail confidential questions directly to me with “PSY451” included in the subject heading


22  What does the term “addiction” mean?  What drugs are considered addictive by this definition?  What does the term “drug abuse” mean?  What drugs are considered abused by this definition?  What does the term “dependence” mean?  What are some examples of dependence?

23  addiction : to use compulsively or uncontrollably; to enslave  abuse : to use wrongly or improperly  habit : a constant, often unconscious, inclination to perform some act, acquired through its frequent repetition  addiction liability/potential : the tendency to develop/produce an addiction

24  dependence : state of being determined, influenced, or controlled by something else; subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired; required for normal physiological or psychological function  physical/physiologic/physiological  psychological/psychic

25  Compare the course title/subject matter (i.e., Drug Addiction) vs. the National Institute on Drug Abuse  Therein lies the difference—this course is about drug addiction not drug abuse

26  Addiction potential is a property of...  the drug?  the individual?  the situation/circumstances (e.g., social setting?)  The common factor that has been identified is the drug

27  Some important characteristic of a drug’s action is critically involved in producing an addition  Attempts to identify personality characteristics, social environment, etc. have been far less successful than identifying common characteristics of drug action

28  Determine characteristics of addiction  Refine definitions of addiction  typical characteristics  defining attributes  Develop scientific understanding of addiction  behavioral processes  biological mechanisms


30  Addictive drugs take a horrific toll on humanity  personal  social  economic

31  But addictive drugs also provide probes for understanding brain function  addictive drugs provide a tool for probing the mind and its underlying neurochemical and neuroanatomical basis From Smith et al., 1998. From Bozarth, 1987.

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