Course Offerings - Catalog 2012-13

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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.


Brian Cusato (chair), Melissa Burns-Cusato, Aaron Godlaski, Jennifer Goetz, Mary Gulley, Mykol Hamilton, Karen Roper, KatieAnn Skogsberg, Jan Wertz


Hillary Henize, Taylor Knight

Requirements for the Major

Foundation Requirements: PSY 110, BIO 110 or NSC 120, MAT 130, PSY 205 and PSY 210;
Advanced Group A courses (choose 2): PSY 320, PSY 360, PSY 380;
Advanced Group B courses (choose 1)*: PSY 300, PSY 305;
Advanced Group C courses (choose 2)*: BNS 295, BNS 300, BNS 360, BNS 370, BNS 390;
*at least two of the selected courses from Groups B and C must have a laboratory (four hour course);
Additional advanced courses: Two additional PSY courses numbered 300 or higher excluding PSY 350, 351, 500;
Capstone (choose 1): PSY 350 or 351 or 500.

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;
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)
An introduction to experimental and quasi-experimental design, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics in psychological research. Students apply these concepts across the term in the laboratory component by designing and performing an experimental study, analyzing the results and writing a scholarly research paper. Prerequisite: PSY 110 and 205. Not open to students with credit for BNS 210.

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 300 Cognition
A study of questions about the nature of the mind, thinking and knowledge. The course examines theories, experimental techniques, and empirical findings and covers a range of topics including: attention, perception, memory, knowledge, problem solving, reasoning, intelligence, and decision making. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 305 The Psychology of Learning (four credit hours)
An overview and critical analysis of current learning theory with emphasis given to investigations of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning. Students develop an awareness of processes that facilitate and hinder learning in humans and animals through classroom and laboratory activities. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 310 Personality

A study of the major personality theories and the application of these theories to understanding normal and abnormal behavior. The course covers the major theorists, along with the personal and cultural forces that appear to have influenced the person and his or her theory. Emphasis is placed on the theories which have been formulated to explain and integrate the available clinical and experimental evidence. To gain a more concrete understanding of the concepts, students complete personality tests associated with some of the theories. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

PSY 315 Health Psychology
An overview of the theory, research, and practice of health psychology from a biopsychosocial framework. Students will actively learn how psychological factors relate to both pathological and positive outcomes in physical health. Major themes will include the role of psychologists in the research and treatment of stress, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and nutrition, in integrative healthcare settings. Prerequisite: PSY 110; BIO 110 or NSC 120 is recommended.

PSY 320 Abnormal Psychology
A study of the causes, symptoms and treatments of psychopathology. The course covers many disorders, including mood disorders (depression, bipolar), anxiety disorders (panic disorder, phobias, PTSD), schizophrenia and personality disorders. Causes and treatments are viewed from common and empirically based theoretical perspectives including psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive and biological. Prerequisite: PSY 110.

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 335 Cultural Psychology
An examination of the emerging fields of cultural and cross-cultural psychology. The course covers theoretical and methodological foundations of the study of interactions of culture and human psychology. Focus is on culture-specific theories of mind, person, self, and social institutions on human cognition, motivation, emotion, and social interaction. Prerequisite: PSY 110; PSY 210 is recommended.

PSY 340 Psychometrics
A study of educational and psychological measurement and evaluation, including the technical foundations of testing and measurement. Students learn the major ways in which tests are classified, study psychometric theory and measurement, and discuss relevant issues in testing and assessment. The course covers the major psychological tests (i.e., intelligence, achievement, affective, personality, neuropsychological). 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 of record and the faculty research advisor.

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 of record and the faculty research supervisor.

PSY 360 Social Psychology
A study of individuals in their social and cultural settings. Emphasis is placed on empirical research into the social and situational factors involved in perceptual-cognitive processes, attitude acquisition and change, intergroup relations and sociocultural differences. Students perform studies 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 study of the fundamental question in psychology: Why do individuals behave the way they do? The course covers current theories and underlying principles used to study motivation and emotion. Prerequisite: PSY 110, and BIO 110 or NSC 120.

PSY 380 Life-Span Developmental Psychology
A study of human development through the lifespan, including physical, cognitive and psychosocial changes. Starting with prenatal development and progressing through death and dying, topics are analyzed from the applicable perspectives of major theories of development--cognitive, psychosocial, biological, learning and humanistic. As part of the cousre, students are asked to perform community-based learning. Prerequisite: BIO 110 or NSC 120; PSY 110.

PSY 390 Psychology of Women
An examination of findings concerning the psychological characteristics, behavior, and lives of women. Among the topics covered: traditional, nonsexist, and feminist approaches to psychology; gender identity and gender 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.

PSY 500 Senior Seminar

An in-depth study of current research topics in psychology. Students read extensively from the primary literature, critically analyze published findings and the views expressed by their peers, lead and participate in class discussions, and present their research findings on a regular basis throughout the term. Prerequisite: senior PSY major or permission of the instructor.