SECTIONS: 1. MWF 10-10:50 (P49S1) 2. MWF 11-11:50 (P49S2) 3. MWF 2-250 (P49S3) 4. Mon 6-8:50 pm (P49S4)
HOURS: Monday 12-12:50 and Monday 3:00-4:50
PHONE: (916) 278-6875 E-mail: doolittlejh@csus.edu
Recommended: D. Halpern CRITICAL THINKING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (only for those who have trouble with the POSSIBILITIES WORKBOOK’s justifications).

Course catalog description:  Scientific thinking is the process of thinking logically, critically and creatively about real, as opposed to imaginary, problems.  Students will develop an understanding of the scientific thinking process from a psychological perspective and will develop skill in scientific thinking.  Topics will include the psychology of thought, logical operations and fallacies, convergent and divergent thinking, the relationship between language and thought, valid and invalid arguments, logic and probability, decision making and hypothesis testing in the science of psychology.

WARNING!! Because words and expressions have more than one meaning, they are excellent tools for teaching flexible thinking. Unfortunately, the words and expressions used in the course are common American words and expressions, which may be unfamiliar to some students. If you are not fully confident of your familiarity with American words and expressions, please choose another course to complete this requirement. If: 1. You are completely stumped by the Morphs and Dr. DooRiddles in the B1 and C1 workbooks (even after examining the answers), and, 2. Expressions such as, underdog, traffic jam, goose bumps, and coming out of the closet convey only their literal meaning, this could be a very long semester for you. In the future, I hope to offer several cultural paths through this course.
WARNING!!: This course requires considerable fortitude and persistence: You will be asked to find order where there appears to be only confusion. This course is not for the easily panicked. If you like spoon-feeding courses, look elsewhere. Also, in a self-paced course such as this one, life is much easier if you get ahead early and stay ahead -- falling behind is ALWAYS disastrous.
WARNING!!: University guidelines with respect to cheating will be followed. Remember, that giving and receiving answers on homework, including computer games, is cheating. See the Possibilities workbook for guidelines on how to give assistance without cheating (spotting).
COURSE OBJECTIVES: To apply the theories and research of cognitive psychology to the development of your own problem-solving abilities, both critical and creative. A subgoal is to teach patience and perseverance in the face of enormous frustration.
All point values listed are maximums. Try to finish work ahead of the deadlines because late work will be penalized. For more extensive descriptions of each assignment, see the homework web page ("homework descriptions")
HOMEWORK: due dates and assignments (MARK YOUR CALENDARS!)
9-6 Midnight Tuesday: WeekA e-mail homework (see homework descriptions below for details)
9-13 Midnight Tuesday: WeekB e-mail homework
9-20 Midnight Tuesday: Week C e-mail homework
9-27 MidnightTuesday : Week D
10-4 Midnight Tuesday: Week E
10-11 Midnight Tuesday: Week F
10-17 Start of class Monday: B1 workbook due (see details below)
10-18 Midnight Tuesday: Week G
10-24 Monday: Deductive Reasoning Exam (optional practice - see below)
10-25 Midnight Tuesday: Week H
10-31 Start of class Monday: C1 workbook due (no costumes……please)
11-1  Midnight Tuesday: Week I
11-7 Monday: Deductive Search Exam (optional practice - see below)
11-8 Midnight Tuesday: Week J
11-14 Monday: Creative Reasoning Exam (optional practice - see below)
11-15 Midnight Tuesday: Week K
11-22  Midnight Tuesday: Week L (send early if you're leaving town for Thanksgiving)
11-28 Monday: Creative Search Exam (optional practice - see below)
12-5 Monday Start of class: Possibilities Workbook with diskette taped to front is due

Assignments and points:

  1. E-mail homework assignments: 19 e-mail homework assignments worth up to 9 points each if turned in on time and in the assigned format (correct font, address, etc.). These will be worth up to 6 points (ouch) if turned in within one week of the due date and 3 points thereafter.
  2. Exams  There will be 4 competency exams worth 50 points each which will be given during the final exam period for your section.  A version of each of these exams will be available for you to practice on at some point during the semester (see schedule above).  If, as only rarely happens, your practice score is higher that your exam score, the higher score will be retained.
  3. The Creative Thinking Puzzlers  workbooks volumes B1 and C1 are worth 9 points and are graded on the basis of effort shown (use ink and don’t erase your mistakes, line them out!).   Hint: photocopy any puzzle pages you may need to review (for exams) before you turning in these workbooks.
  4. Possibilities workbook/portfolio/journal (or what's left of it) will be worth 30 points. Keep all of your scratchwork, thoughts about the problem-solving process as you are experiencing it, etc. inside the Possibilities workbook. Staple pages in if necessary.  Be sure to staple a copy of your homework sent-mail files into the workbook in the appropriate places.
  5. The Possibilities take-home essay exam #1 will be worth 8 points.  See the Possibilities workbook for the essay exam questions and the green paper on which you are to write your answers.
  6. Miscellaneous: 50 points: This category is a hodge-podge of points for attendance, in-class pop quizzes, your approaches to the weekly homework, and something I call general sleuthing.  Sleuthing is how much independence, initiative and persistence you display.  You are required to bring order out of confusion and figure stuff out for yourself by trying a variety of things.  The purpose of this course is to help you become a better problem solver.  Therefore, YOU must solve the problems of this course your own self.  Seek help only when absolutely necessary.

GRADES : Total points=477 A=460+ A-=445 B+=430 B=415 B-=400 C+=385 C=370 C-=355 D+=340 D=325 D-=310+

EXAMINATION 1: DEDUCTIVE REASONING : This exam will consist of a puzzle like Who the Freg from the workbook EXAMINATION 2: DEDUCTIVE SEARCH: This exam will consist of a variety of puzzles, including Queue4 protocols, secret words, codeword clusters, telephone codes, line puzzles and shape puzzles.
This exam will consist of a variety of the creative reasoning-type puzzles that you have faced, including riddles, connector vectors, crossword puzzles, etc.
This exam will consist of essay questions about the adventure games and will be open-notes, open-printouts, copies of all e-mails, and open-maps (so be sure to have these with you when you take the exam). All of these materials will be turned in with your exam.

Final warning:  Lack of familiarity with this syllabus and the homework descriptions to follow will result in a final course grade that will average about one grade lower than it would have been. PLEASE read and follow these instructions carefully.

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