Fall 2020 - PSYC 308 D100

History and Systems of Modern Psychology (3)

Class Number: 3162

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201.



Examines the development of modern psychology from the founding of the first laboratories in the late 19th century to the present. The development and revisions of the major theoretical systems of psychology are examined from a comparative and critical perspective. Students with credit for PSYC 207 may not take this course for further credit.


This course will be taught remotely due to COVID-19. Lectures will be ASYNCHRONOUS with optional synchronous components

The systems of modern psychology (e.g., psychoanalysis, behaviourism) are often used as tools to explain the history of the discipline. However, there are other ways of telling this story. For example, some claim that early philosophers had a psychology that anticipated the modern use of the term. Others believe this is misleading and wonder how we can speak of psychology before the discipline had even begun. In other words, the history of psychology is itself, in part, a matter of academic debate, and part of our job in this course will be to think about what it means for psychology to have a history.


  • 3 low-stakes reflection exercises: 15%
  • 2 article summary and evaluations: 40%
  • 3 mini take-home exams: 45%


Office Hours via Zoom:  Mondays 2:00-3:00, or by appointment.



There is no textbook for this course. The course readings will be available directly through Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).