Final Exam Information

The final exam is non-cumulative and the format is the same as the others: 50 multiple choice questions, roughly 1/2 based on readings and 1/2 based on lectures. It will count for 1/3 of your grade (all exams are weighted equally). We are officially given 2.5 hours, but it will not take any of you this long!

Time/Location. Thursday, December 19, 7:00-9:30 pm in Barton Hall.

The final exam covers the following material: 


  • Michael Goldstein Guest Lecture
  • Emotion, Pt. 3
  • Sex, Pt. 1 & 2
  • Health Psychology
  • Tom Gilovich Guest Lecture
  • Social Psychology: Two Big Ideas
  • Milgram Film
  • Harry Segal Guest Lecture
  • Happiness Pt. 1 & 2
  • Personality
  • Culture
  • Superstition & Supernatural Beliefs
  • Wrap-up

Reading Selection

  • Norton Reader Selection from The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris (pp. 291-303)

Texbook Chapters

  • Chapter 11 (Health and Well-Being)
  • Chapter 12 (Social Psychology)
  • Chapter 13 (Personality) 
  • Chapter 14-15 (Disorders of Mind and Body/Treating Disorders)

A note about make-up exams 

We have been given an unfortunately late exam date. However, we cannot accommodate last-minute appeals for a make-up exam based on the inconvenience of traveling late (or of having scheduled travel plans without looking at the schedule). The finals schedule has been posted since the beginning of the semester, and it is the responsibility of the student (and professor) to ensure that they are on campus until their last final, or to make arrangements well in advance if you know it will be physically impossible to be there.

Unless you have already made accommodations with me or Cindy Durbin, you are required by school policy to take the exam on Thursday evening. Email Cindy Durbin ( if you feel as if you meet the conditions for truly extenuating circumstances. 

Day 28: Stress and the Mind-Body Connection

Download lecture slides here (637KB .pdf) 

See Judith Andersen (from whom you can see I borrowed much of today's lecture, as she was not able to deliver the guest lecture) give a more in-depth talk on stress and health at the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science

National Geographic Documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer.

Note: this is the full-length documentary, but in today's lecture I showed about 3 minutes, beginning at around the 20:30 mark. 

Prelim Grades Posted

[this message was also sent as an email via Blackboard, so apologies for the redundancy] 

Hi all -

The grades for Prelim 2 are up. Please check your grade in a timely fashion. Also, there were a few of you who did not include your name on the scantron. If you took the exam and do not have a grade, you may be one of these. Please check-in with your TA if this is the case, as you will need to meet with them to find your original exam. 

If you have NOT yet taken the exam or scheduled a make-up (and have a valid excuse), please do this ASAP by emailing Cindy Durbin (the course administrator) at 

And remember that you will be eligible for 5% added to your final grade if you complete all of the extra credit, so take that into account when mentally calculating your overall grade! 




Day 22-23: The Psychology of Emotion Pt. 1 & 2

Is your face giving you away? Meet renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, who has spent his life studying how our facial muscles involuntarily reveal emotions like sadness and anger. His comprehensive catalog of human facial expressions has become an important tool for everyone from law enforcement agents to animators.

Grades Up on Blackboard

-If you are registered, you should now be able to access your exam grade on Blackboard. (Please do not email me with questions about accessing Blackboard--I hate the thing and am absolutely sure I am a worthless source of tech support for it). 

 -I calculated your percentage grade using 47 points as the total rather than 50--48 was the top score, and I'm adding one more free point to cover any possibility of an unfair question.  (And remember that question 50 was a freebie: as long as you answered it, you got credit for any response). I do not think I will be this lenient for exams 2 and 3, but given that for many of you this is the first exam you've taken at Cornell I wanted to give a bit of a buffer. 

-Given the adjustments, the class average is about 85%. With two exams to go, and the possibility of 5% extra credit at the end, we will have a lot of good grades in the course by the end. I am okay with a lot of good grades. Keep up the good work.  If you think you bombed the test, please do not panic. it is very reasonable to bring your grade up easily with two more good performances and the EC available. I've seen students score horribly on the first exam and pull themselves up to a great overall grade. 

 -If you have questions about your grade, please email the undergrad tutor  assigned to you first. They should be able to answer your questions, set up a meeting if necessary, and look over your exams and scantrons should you want to do so. (You should all have received an email from a tutor at some point this semester. If you did not, feel free to email any of them). 

-Errors can be made with spreadsheets, scantrons, matching IDs with scores, uploads, etc. With this many students it only increases the odds that something will go wrong... Please be patient with us! If you think there is a mistake, let your tutor know. 

 -If you still have questions after having spoken/met with one of the tutors, please let me know (and let me know which of the tutors you spoke to first).