Course Offerings - Catalog 2010-11

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Division of Science and Mathematics

The Psychology Program assists students as they develop a thorough understanding of key ideas, works, persons, events, and issues within the discipline of psychology. Students enhance their understanding of scientific psychology by developing their research skills in a variety of settings ranging from laboratory to independent field research projects. In addition, students enrich their understanding of applied psychology through internships and course work. Finally, students strengthen and diversify their critical and creative thinking skills and their multidimensional communication skills in each of the above contexts.

Psychology students are provided a thorough background in the basic concepts, theories, and experimental findings in psychology, and a well-developed set of research skills and experience in thinking creatively and critically about the world using the information they have learned. In addition, the program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the scientific enterprise as undergraduates through their own research. The program provides students with a fine background for advanced training and work in both applied and scientific research areas.


Jan Wertz (chair), Jennifer Asmuth, Melissa Burns-Cusato, Brian Cusato, Mary Gulley, Mykol Hamilton, KatieAnn Skogsberg


Jordan Davis, Laura Hansen

Requirements for the Major

BIO 110 or NSC 120;
MAT 130;
PSY 110, 205, 210;
Four additional PSY courses numbered 300 or higher;
BNS 295 or 370;
BNS 330 or 360;
Completion of senior tests as determined by the psychology program

MAT 130, PSY 110, PSY 205 and PSY 210 should be completed by the end of the sophomore year and BIO 110 or NSC 120 should be completed by the end of the junior year.

A double major with Behavioral Neuroscience is not permitted.

Requirements for the Minor

MAT 130;
PSY 110;
PSY 205;
PSY 210, or BNS 210 and an additional PSY course numbered 300 or higher;
Four additional PSY courses numbered 300 or higher.

Psychology Courses

PSY 110 Introduction to Psychology (four credit hours)
A comprehensive survey of the basic concepts involved in the study of behavior and applications of these principles. Laboratory work is required.

PSY 205 Introduction to Research Methods
A general introduction to the techniques used for the critical evaluation and anlysis of behavioral data. The underlying theory and computational techniques of observational studies, correlations and simple experiments are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the recognition, understanding, critique, and application of analytical methods used in behavioral science journals and popular media. Prerequisite: PSY 110; MAT 130 or concurrently; or permission of the instructor.

PSY 210 Experimental Psychology (four credit hours)
A general introduction to research design and methodology employed in contemporary psychology. Emphasis is placed on the ethical and theoretical issues involved in conducting psychological research with human and nonhuman subjects. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: PSY 110 and 205. Not open to students with credit for BNS 210.

PSY 230 Applied Psychology
A comprehensive survey of the major areas of applied psychology such as clinical, industrial, sports, legal, health, and organizational psychology. The principles of basic psychology which have been adapted for problem solving in these areas are emphasized. The diversity of career settings in which applied psychologists work is explored.

PSY 250 Introduction to Research (one credit hour)
A course intended to provide first-years and sophomores with an opportunity to engage in research under the close supervision of faculty. Students gain the experience needed to successfully conduct independent research projects in PSY/BNS 350 and 351. Offered on a pass-unsatisfactory basis only. Prerequisite: By invitation.

PSY 255 The Psychology of Alfred Hitchcock Films
The acknowledged master of the thriller/suspense genre he virtually invented, Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who said he preferred to film stories ‘with lots of psychology' to ‘make his audience suffer as much as possible.' This course examines how Hitchcock manipulated audience perceptions through his treatment of psychological principles, including emotion, motivation, perception, states of consciousness, personality, memory, morality, and social behavior. Main theories considered include gender and feminist theories, psychoanalytic theory, and various film theories applied to Hitchock films, such as auteur theory.  Films to be studies include Sabotage (1936), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Strangers on a Train (1951), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble with Harry (1955), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959),  Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 300 Cognition

A study of theories and experimental techniques in cognitive science, including behavioral and neurological approaches to mental activity. Specific topics include perception, attention, memory, language comprehension, problem solving, reasoning, intelligence, and decision making. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 305 The Psychology of Learning (four credit hours)
A study of the principles of learning, especially principles involved in classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, verbal learning, and memory. Students develop an advanced awareness of processes which facilitate and hinder learning in humans and animals through discussion, demonstrations, and lab experiments. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 310 Personality

A treatment of the major general issues involved in personality development and adjustment. Emphasis is placed on the theories which have been formulated to explain and to integrate the available clinical and experimental evidence. Students perform laboratory experiments designed to investigate the operation of basic personality processes. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 320 Abnormal Psychology
A survey of the field of behavioral deviance covering causes, classifications, therapies, and preventive measures. Emphasis is placed on anxiety processes, schizophrenia, depression, criminal behavior, and sexual difficulties. Students may participate in a supervised clinical experience. Prerequisite: PSY 110 or permission of the instructor. PSY 210 is recommended.

PSY 325 Child Abnormal Psychology
A study of childhood disorders and available preventative and curative therapies. The class reviews and drafts legislation for the prevention and/or cure of childhood disorders with special attention to community psychology approaches. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 330 The Psychology of Language
An empirical and theoretical examination of how individuals acquire, produce, and comprehend language, as well as what cognitive processes, social rules, and brain mechanisms are involved in language use. Topics include psychological mechanisms of language, phonology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, word processing, sentence processing and language acquisition. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 340 Psychometrics
A study of educational and psychological measurement and evaluation, introducing the student to the logical and technical foundations of measurement in all areas of psychology and education. Emphasis is placed on the theories and findings in the measurement of abilities, attitudes, interests, and personality, and on construction, validation, and use of psychological tests to measure these characteristics. Prerequisite: PSY 110; MAT 130 or equivalent.

PSY 350 Advanced Research Topics (four credit hours)
Students meet in seminar format to discuss key problems of effective experimental research. Students also conduct a research project supervised by department faculty on an individual basis. Research projects and seminar meetings are extended over two long terms. Prerequisite: PSY 210 and permission of the instructor.

PSY 351 Advanced Research Topics
Students meet in seminar format to discuss key problems of effective experimental research. Students also conduct a research project supervised by department faculty on an individual basis. Research projects must be completed within one long term. Prerequisite: PSY 210 and permission of the instructor.

PSY 360 Social Psychology
A study of individuals in their social and cultural settings. Emphasis is placed on empirical research into the social factors involved in perceptual-cognitive processes, attitude organization and change, intergroup relations, group productivity, the socializing process, and the effects of culture on personality. Students perform experiments designed to investigate basic processes of social psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 110 or senior standing and permission of the instructor. PSY 210 is recommended. (Also listed as SOC 360.)

PSY 370 Motivation and Emotion
A survey of the current theories and underlying principles used to study motivation and emotion. Topics range from the physiological processes that drive behavior, to influences of social and cultural environments. Prerequisite: PSY 110, and BIO 110 or NSC 120.

PSY 380 Life-Span Developmental Psychology
A general introduction to the biological, psychological, and social factors involved in human development throughout the life span. Topics surveyed include behavioral genetics, embryology, postnatal growth, and aging, and their interrelationships with intellectual, personality, and social development. Prerequisite: BIO 110 or NSC 120; PSY 110.

PSY 390 Psychology of Women
An examination of traditional and innovative research methods and findings concerning the psychological characteristics, behavior, and lives of women. Among the topics covered: traditional, nonsexist, and feminist approaches to psychology; gender identity and role acquisition; gender differences and similarities; stereotyping and discrimination; work and achievement; romance and sexuality; therapy; motherhood; violence against girls and women. Prerequisite: PSY 110 or permission of the instructor.