Psychology Course Descriptions
Systematic study of the history, experiments, and theories regarding human behavior and the relation of this material to everyday life. Emphasizes the methods and techniques employed in studying human behavior. Required of all psychology majors.
PSY 205, CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT, 4 credits
Traces the origin and development of human behavior from birth to young adulthood. Cognitive, physical, and psychosocial development from infancy through adolescence. Emphasizes understanding of development through knowledge of the theoretical and research literature and through observation of behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 180.
PSY 217, BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
A study of the relationship between human physiology and human experiences such as hunger, sleep, sex, emotions, learning, memory, and perceptions. The course will emphasize the relationship of human experience to central nervous system activity, but will include study of the importance of hormones and genes in the control of behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 180.
PSY 221, INTRODUCTION TO PERSONALITY, 4 credits
Introduces the major categories of theories that have influenced contemporary psychological thought. Surveys these theories in an integrated manner; attempts to show the relevance of each theory by discussion of its therapeutic and social application. Students are introduced to a common framework including the key issues in personality, which will facilitate comparisons among the various theories. Prerequisite: PSY 180. Offered in alternate even years.
PSY 224, PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT, 4 credits
This course provides an introduction to the background and methodology of testing, test construction, and elementary measurement theory. A critical survey of the major types of tests of mental ability, achievement, specialized abilities, vocational interests, attitudes, and personality will be undertaken, including both group and individual tests. Consideration will be given to 1) planning, constructing, scoring, and evaluating tests; 2) using statistical procedures to evaluate tests and test results, as an aid to interpreting individual performance; 3) critical discussion of issues and problems in the use of tests; and 4) understanding the role of tests in making selection, placement, and classification decisions as they are used by psychologists as a part of the assessment process. Prerequisites: PSY 180 and SSCI 280. Offered in alternate even years.
PSY 231, PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN & GENDER, 4 credits
The course will provide a survey and integration of the theoretical orientations and empirical research important to understanding women and their behavior, as well as the influences that affect them in contemporary society. An underlying perspective is that the behavior of women occurs in a biosocial context and can best be understood within that context. Emphasis will be placed on psychologicalliterature, but will draw on important interdisciplinary writings as well. Intersections of gender, race, and class will be considered throughout. Topics covered will include myths and stereotypes about women in a historical context; biological and socio-cultural bases of female development and functioning; women, education, and work; women, mental health, and psychotherapy; women and relationships, including violence against women; and women and aging. Prerequisite: PSY 180. Offered in alternate odd years.
PSY 256, ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
Psychological theories, principles, and research findings as they relate to the study and understanding of people in organizations. Topics include research methods, selection and training, leadership, motivation and productivity, job performance and satisfaction, and group and inter-group relations. Prerequisite: PSY 180 or permission of instructor. Offered in alternate odd years.
PSY 262, LEARNING & COGNITION, 4 credits
A study of changes in cognitions, emotions, and behaviors as explained by an array of evolving learning/thinking theories (classical, instrumental, cognitive). Interactions between these theories and hereditary predispositions will also be examined. Prerequisite: PSY 180.
PSY 316, EXPERIMENTAL & QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH DESIGNS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
A study of various experimental, ex post facto, and quasi-experimental designs commonly used in research in psychology. The course will include an extensive discussion of inferential statistical techniques used to analyze data from these designs, as well as a review of descriptive statistical techniques. In addition to class discussions of the choice and appropriate use of research designs, students will design, implement, analyze, and report results for demonstration research projects. Prerequisites: PSY 180 and SSCI 280 or equivalent.
PSY 341, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
An overview of major theories, principles, and data in social psychology. Emphasizes issues of interpersonal attraction; attitude formation and change; discrimination and prejudice; propaganda and persuasion; human aggression and violence. Prerequisite: PSY 180.
PSY 348, ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
The dynamic processes and factors involved in normal and abnormal behavior, emphasizing the significance of aberrant behavior in understanding more fully normal behavior and the nature of mental hygiene. Lectures, films, case histories, field trips. Prerequisite: PSY 180.
PSY 374, FIELD PLACEMENT, 4 credits
Students participate in the programs of approved field agencies that perform psychological services. Students work at the agency for a minimum of 10 hours a week, meet regularly on campus as a group with the instructor of the course, read and report on research relate d to the clients or type of program at their respective agencies, and write about their experiences. Because arrangements are made individually, permission of the instructor must be obtained by midterm of the preceding fall semester. Open only to junior and senior psychology majors or by permission of the instructor.
PSY 380, SPECIAL TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 4 credits
Integrative treatment of a specific content area or topic in psychology, with particular attention to areas and topics current in psychological theory, research, and practice but not included as regular course offerings. Possible topics include human sexuality, behavior modification, health psychology, communications in psychology, computer applications for psychology, and minority issues. Fieldwork or laboratory work may be required in some semesters, as appropriate to the particular topic. Prerequisite: PSY 180, or permission of instructor. Course may be repeated without penalty, with special permission.
PSY 450, INDEPENDENT READINGS AND RESEARCH, 1-4 credits
Opportunity for the advanced undergraduate psychology student to engage in a planned program of independent readings or to design and execute a smallscale research project, under the supervision of a psychology faculty member. Strongly recommended for students who intend to pursue graduate study in psychology. Choice of supervising instructor and preliminary plan must be approved prior to registration for the course. Open only to senior psychology majors. Course may be repeated without penalty, with special permission.
PSY 481, SENIOR SEMINAR, 4 credits
A course for senior psychology majors, that will focus on 1) preparation for and information on graduate study and careers in psychology, 2) a comprehensive historical review of psychology, and 3) design and completion of an individual, group, or readings research project in an area of interest to the student. Topics may originate from the student or may be drawn from a list of topic areas at the beginning of the course. Open only to senior psychology majors.