Academics Banner

Courses

PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology (3 cr.)
Required for the major and minor. This course constitutes a series of lectured discussions designed to acquaint studentswith the major ideas in psychology. Prior knowledge ofpsychology is not expected. Topics include the history of psychology, sensation and perception, brain and behavior, learning and memory, intelligence, developmental, personality theories, social psychology, and psychopathology. Other topics may include altered states of consciousness, cognition, language, motivation, or emotions.

PSY 2001: Developmental Psychology: Infancy Through Late Childhood (3 cr.)
This course is a survey of the existing evidence on physical, cognitive, and social changes in development that occur from conception through late childhood. It will explore the current theories about child development and then proceed to examine what current research can tell us about: children's capabilities, changes in these capabilities that occur over time, influences of the environment on children's characteristics, and influences of children on their own environments and development.

PSY 2002: Developmental Psychology: Adolescence (3 cr.)
This course is a survey course in which students will learn about the existing theories of adolescent development, how research methods are used to investigate development, and what the current research can tell us about: adolescents' capabilities, changes in these capabilities that occur between 10-18, influences of the environment on adolescents' characteristics, and influences of adolescents on their own environments and development. The domains of identity, gender, achievement, competence, and peer and family relations will be examined in terms of their combined importance during adolescence.

Prerequisite: PSY 2001 Developmental Psychology: Infancy through late childhood.

PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior (3 cr.)
This course surveys the current information on brainbehavior relationships. Emphasis is placed on a critical approach to the methods of investigation and how these methods affect our ideas about brain function. The aim is to provide a description of how physiological systems contribute to, cause, or maintain various forms of behavior. Basic concepts in neurophysiology and neurochemistry also will be covered. Physiological processes mediating sensation, perception, development, emotions, motivation, arousal, learning, memory, motor performance, mental illness, and consciousness are among the topics to be examined.

PSY 2008: Sensation and Perception (4 cr.)
Sensation and Perception provides for the study of the anatomy and functioning of the sense organs and their associated neural structures. It also examines the adaptability of the organism in acquiring and using information from the environment. The major theories in the fields of sensation and perception will be considered. This course includes a lab component.

PSY 2009: Social Psychology (3 cr.)
This course studies how other people affect individuals' behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Social psychology focuses on the situational, social, and interpersonal factors that affect the individual. Questions to be addressed include: How do people influence one another? How can we understand prejudice? What makes people obey or resist authority? How do people form impressions of one another? How accurate are people in their judgment of others?

PSY 2011: Abnormal Psychology (3 cr.)
This course is designed to survey major psychological disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. It begins with general consideration of the study of psychopathology, including philosophical and historical perspectives on the concept of abnormality, as well as issues of assessment and diagnosis. Then, using an integrative theoretical framework, the course examines the clinical descriptions, origins, treatments, and outcomes of specific psychological disorders. A broad sampling of current topics and controversies in the field of abnormal psychology will be highlighted. Lecture material is supplemented with discussion of case material and films.

PSY 2012: Statistics for the Social Sciences (4 cr.)
This course is an introduction to elementary statistics for psychology majors or other social science majors. Topics include: techniques for organizing and displaying data (e.g., tables and graphs), statistical techniques for describing data (e.g., percentages, averages, and variability), and statistical techniques for determining relationships or differences (e.g., correlation, probability, z-scores, t-tests, and  ANOVA's, and tests of proportionality). Bi-weekly laboratory sessions will instruct students on how computer programs are used for the statistical analysis and management of data. Both Excel and Statistica software programs will be used.

PSY 2018: Drug Use and Abuse (3 cr.)
This course surveys the physiological and behavioral effects of ―recreational drugs, drugs of abuse, and drugs used to treat mental illness. Physiological mechanisms of action within the nervous system will serve as the framework in understanding how drugs affect behavior and mental activity. Drugs to be discussed include: crack/cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, inhalants,  marijuana, anabolic steroids, hallucinogens, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antianxiety agents. Issues related to drug tolerance and dependence, and substance abuse treatment and prevention are among potential topics to be discussed.

PSY 2030: Computer Applications in Psychology (3 cr.)
This course will provide a brief introduction to various computer software applications as they relate to professional activities of psychologists. Activities for which software use will be reviewed include writing research proposals and APA-style manuscripts (WORD), the handling, management, and organization of research data (EXCEL), statistical data analysis and graph making (STATISTICA, EXCEL), and developing multimedia conference presentations (POWERPOINT). Other topics may include information retrieval in psychology, using the Internet as a source of scholarly information, and the use of computers in the psychological laboratory. (Summer: Offering is tentative based on student interest)

PSY 2036: Personality Psychology (3 cr.)
This lecture-based course is intended to introduce students to the theory and research of personality psychology. Personality psychology refers to the systematic investigation of people's enduring characteristic patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings. This course examines the major theoretical approaches to personality, critically evaluating assumptions and ideas, relevant research, and clinical implications. Emphasis is placed on the value of alternative viewpoints. The appreciation of various personality theories provides a solid foundation for exploring issues of assessment, psychopathology, and behavior change.

PSY 2040: Research Methods in Psychology (4 cr.)
This course introduces students to research design and to the observational, correlational, and experimental methods used to examine research questions in various areas of psychology. Students will learn to critically evaluate research methods in terms of their appropriateness with regard to the data and to the specific research questions asked. The seminar format of the course will enable students to develop their abilities to communicate their questions, ideas, analyses, and interpretations.

Prerequisites: PSY 2012: Statistics for the Social Sciences.

PSY 2042: Psychology and Culture (3 cr.)
This course introduces students to the area of cultural psychology, a sub-discipline of psychology that focuses on how culture influences how people think and behave. Students will examine the ways in which culture influences cognition, development, emotion, the self, personality, cultural values and psychological orientations, morality, concepts of gender, and mental health. In addition, the course will focus on the processes of globalization, immigration, and intergroup conflict and social change and how they pertain to our understanding of culture.

PSY 2044: Cognitive Psychology (3 cr.)
Historical and contemporary approaches to the study of the mind including developmental theorists will be surveyed. Topics may include: consciousness, attention, memory, perceptual processes, emotion, information processing, imagery, concepts, language, problem solving, reasoning, intelligence, and creativity.

PSY 2046: Psychology of Identity (3 cr.)
This introductory level course examines the ways in which psychology can help us to understand the development of identity. It will emphasize the influence of socialization experiences, the role of maturation, and the importance of social construction, as well as an examination of the linkage between development of identity and sociocultural contexts.

PSY 2052: Developmental Psychology: Adulthood and Aging (3 cr.)
Throughout life we continue to develop as an adaptive response to continuous changes in life circumstances. This course will explore the current theories about adult development and examine what current research can tell us about: adults' capabilities and changes that occur over time, influences of the environment, and how we influence our own environments and development. In addition, it will explore what is known about continuities between childhood/adolescence and adulthood.

PSY 2063: Social Influence and Persuasion (3 cr.)
This seminar will provide an intellectual forum for discussing the psychology of social influence and persuasion - the ability of a person or group to change the behavior of others. Integrating theory, scientifically documented research, and practical applications, students will explore such topics as: mindlessness, compliance, obedience, cults, subliminal persuasion, and propaganda.)

PSY 3004: History and Systems of Psychology (3 cr.)
Although psychological questions and phenomena have been a source of curiosity for millennia, psychology as a formal discipline is little more than a century old. After tracing the philosophical and physiological roots of psychology, this course will focus primarily on the history of modern psychology, that is, since 1879. The course will include a discussion of historiography, and students will learn that the history of psychology is a thriving research specialty. Relying on primary and secondary source materials, students will examine the dawn of scientific psychology and the major systems of psychology that later emerged (structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis, Gestalt psychology, and cognitive psychology). In addition, this course will include an examination of the origins of psychology as a profession, with a particular emphasis on clinical psychology. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to identify persistent questions, controversies, and conflicts that have continually resurfaced, albeit in an ever-changing social, political, economic, and intellectual context.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology (or PSY 1017), and 4 out of 5 of the breadth content courses.

For juniors and seniors only.

PSY 3010: Psychology of the Self (3 cr.)
As a complement to Psychology of Relationships, this seminar will deal with the growth of the Self and how it is conceived and constructed. This material will be examined from historical, developmental, therapeutic, and physiological perspectives and will bring in the subjective experience of the infant and of the person who is developing. Thus, it will contain an experiential appreciation of the self and its conceptualization. This will include information from Developmental Psychology, Social Analysis, and Neuroscience. Included in this course will be readings from Erich Fromm, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, William James, Ronald. D. Laing, Ulric Neisser, and Daniel Stern. Secondary material will deal with the works of Mary Calkins, George Herbert Mead Erik Erikson, Carl Rogers, Antonio Damasio, Jaak Panksepp and Social Constructionism.

Recommended: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology.

PSY 3013: Psychology of Relationships (3 cr.)
Persistent patterns of dealing with significant others are examined from birth through adulthood. John Bowlby, Ronald Laing, Carl Rogers, Jean Baker Miller, and other topical writers are assigned. Topics include: roles, attachment, love, commitment, symbiosis, autonomy, mutuality, and intimacy. This course will make use of group interaction.

Recommended: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology.

PSY 3016: Psychopharmacology (3 cr.)
This course provides an in-depth presentation of basic scientific principles in psychopharmacology, followed by a scientifically-oriented consideration of various drugs of abuse and drugs that are used to treat mental illnesses and disorders. Topics include the history of psychopharmacology, neurochemistry of brain function, general pharmacology principles, and methodologies employed in psychopharmacological research. Additionally, drug treatments for a variety of mental diseases and disorders including: anxiety, psychosis, depression, mania, dementia, epilepsy, and obsessivecompulsive behavior; and drugs of abuse such as:amphetamines, alcohol, the opiates, and THC will be examined.

Prerequisite: PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3021: Theories of Psychotherapy (3 cr.)
This seminar course is intended to introduce students to contemporary American psychotherapy. It attempts to define and compare various approaches to psychotherapy within the context of the history of the mental health profession in America. In so doing, it will consider elements common to all psychotherapies. It will explore the relationship between therapist and client as well as the evolving perceptions of its role in the therapy process. Particular emphasis will be given to empathy and empathic responding. In addition, the course will briefly discuss other topics pertaining to psychotherapy such as law and ethics, multicultural diversity, outcome research, and 146 clinical practice.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology. (Offering is tentative based on student interest).

PSY 3022: Neuropsychology (3 cr.)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the field of neuropsychology. It will review the anatomy and function of brain, particularly that of the cerebral cortex. Major neuropsychological dysfunctions related to brain damage, as well as what neurological disorders can reveal about normal brain functioning, will be presented. Specific issues related to brain damage-induced memory loss, language impairments, deficits in attention, alterations in emotionality and affect, and changes in consciousness and perception of self are potential topics of study. Students will also gain an understanding of the typical assessment tools and procedures for diagnosing neuropsychological disorders. The course will also include how basic research in neuroscience informs the practice of neuropsychology.

Prerequisite: PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3023: Biological Bases of Mental Illness (3 cr.)
This course will examine the organic bases of such major psychoses and mental disorders as schizophrenia, manic depression, dementia and psychophysiological dysfunction. The specific cognitive disorders and behavioral abnormalities associated with each syndrome will be reviewed. Background readings will include material on the psychology of mental dysfunction, the genetic determinants of these syndromes, and the relevant neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates and processes.

Prerequisite: PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3025: Psychology of Experience (3 cr.)
Early psychologists, including Wilhelm Wundt and William James, presumed that psychology meant a psychology of experience. This was also true of Freud and Psychoanalysis. It was not true for many years in America thanks to the popularity of John B. Watson and all those who were swayed by the school of Behaviorism. This seminar-discussion course considers several major sources in Early Psychology, including material from William James, Humanistic Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Csikszentmihalyi & Positive Psychology.

Recommended: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology.

PSY 3035: Biopsychology Seminar: Neurobiology of Addiction (3 cr.)
This course will focus on a single contemporary topic in neuroscience: the neurobiology of drug addiction. Students will be required to read, discuss, and critique the scientific literature in this area.

Prerequisite: PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3037: Folk Psychology (3 cr.)
This course examines the psychology of everyday assumptions. It will assess assumptions that seem immediately given (normality, health, relationships, self, gender identity, morality, etc.) and which provide the cultural structure of Folk Psychology. Topics also include: cognitive science, cultural psychology, social constructionism, and narrative as a vehicle for Folk Psychology.

Recommended: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology.

PSY 3042: Clinical Psychology (3 cr.)
This seminar course is intended to introduce students to the field of clinical psychology. The course begins with an examination of the historical development, philosophical issues and theoretical bases pertinent to the study of clinical psychology. Using an integrative theoretical framework, the course examines a broad sampling of current topics and controversies in the field of clinical psychology, including: the concept of abnormality, assessment, issues of diagnosis and classification, clinical judgment, the nature and evaluation of psychological intervention, and forensic psychology.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology, PSY: 2036 Personality Psychology, and PSY 2011: Abnormal Psychology. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3047: Seminar in Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination (3 cr.)
This upper-level seminar will provide an intellectual forum for discussing the psychology of stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination. Utilizing materials from textbooks, scholarly research articles, and the Internet, students will explore such topics as the social psychology of prejudice, the maintenance of stereotypes and prejudice, the power and consequences of stereotypes, techniques for reducing prejudice, current research on ethnic and gender stereotypes, and coping with prejudice.

Prerequisite: PSY 2009: Social Psychology

PSY 3055: Social Development and Attachment (3 cr.)
The development of attachments and their importance to later development will be covered. The various theories of attachment will then be used to help explain how other types of social behaviors, such as: sharing, caring, empathy, and aggression develop.

Prerequisites: PSY 2001: Developmental Psychology: Infancy through late childhoodand PSY 2002: Developmental Psychology: Early through late adolescence.

PSY 3056: Death, Dying and Bereavement (3 cr.)
The course will offer opportunities to understand the changing demographics of death and terminal illness in America; to compare cultural and developmental differences in approaches to death and dying; to explore some highly controversial current topics in the field; to become acquainted with resources in this area; and to recognize and appreciate one's own attitudes and reactions to death and dying. This will be accomplished through lectures, videos, class discussions, and presentations. Lectures from individuals ―on the front line,‖ who work in various related fields may also be incorporated.

Prerequisites: PSY 2001: Developmental Psychology: Infancy through late childhood and PSY 2002: Developmental Psychology: Early through late adolescence.

PSY 3058: Qualitative Approaches to Psychology (4 cr.)
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of qualitative research methods. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to research will be discussed as different (not opposing) approaches, influenced and driven by different theoretical perspectives, assumptions, and research questions. Students will acquire knowledge about the historical context of qualitative research. In addition, students will gain specific knowledge and practice in the major qualitative research approaches including interview and ethnography. Methods of analysis for qualitative data will also be examined and utilized. Writing skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology and 2040: Research Methods in Psychology

PSY 3064: The Philosophy of Psychology (3 cr.)
This upper level seminar course will explore the philosophical foundations of scientific psychology. The course will consider the problematic nature of the concept of mind from Descartes to the present. Students will explore various theories postulated to explain the relationship between the brain and the mind. In so doing, students will contemplate the ambiguities surrounding relevant concepts such as causation, reductionism, and explanation. Readings will include primary sources from both psychology and philosophy.

Recommended: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology. (Offering is tentative based on student interest.)

PSY 3067: Advanced Seminar in Cultural Psychology (3 cr.)
This seminar provides the opportunity to examine in depth, specific areas of theory and research in cultural psychology. Focus is placed on current research in the field, described by primary sources, as a basis for the critical evaluation of the validity of theory. For example, we will look more closely at some of the theoretical work of Lev Vygotsky on the role of culture in development and the influences of Richard Shweder on the theories providing the foundations for cultural psychology. A principal focus of analysis will be whether the particular psychological processes and behaviors in question can be explained more fully in culture-specific or universalistic terms, and how they are related to the salient characteristics of the cultural-historical context in which they are embedded. Through the examination, interpretation, and analysis of these data, critical thinking, verbal communication, and writing skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: PSY 2042: Psychology and Culture.

PSY 3333: Psychology of Emotion (3 cr.)
The history of attempts to understand emotions in Western Society and the theories developed in Psychology will be studied. The physiological mechanisms underlying emotions will be stressed including the debate on emotional expression. The primary emotions of joy, distress, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust will be presented and compared with the secondary, social and higher cognitive emotions such as embarrassment, love, guilt, shame, pride, jealousy, etc. The relations between emotions and feelings and consciousness will be explored. Selections from the work of James, Cannon, Arnold, Ekman, LeDoux, Lewis and Damasio will be included.

Prerequisite: PSY 2004: Physiological Bases of Behavior or similar background.

PSY 4020: Writing Review Articles in Psychology (3 cr.)
Papers in the professional literature that thoroughly review and integrate previous research findings and speculate about their implications are referred to as review articles. In consultation with and under the direction of a faculty member, students will write a review article on a welldefined topic in Psychology. The student's finished product should resemble articles published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology, PSY 2012: Statistics for the Social Sciences, PSY 2040: Research Methods in Psychology.

PSY 4025: Research Experience (3 cr.)
In consultation with and under the direction of a full-time faculty member within the Psychology Department, students in this course will work independently on a welldefined empirical research project. Students will be required to complete all aspects of the research process including: generating a research hypothesis and surveying the literature, constructing the study's methodology, collecting and statistically analyzing data, and writing the results up in manuscript form according to the stylistic guidelines of the American Psychological Association.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology, PSY 2012:  Statistics for the Social Sciences, PSY 2040: Research Methods in Psychology.

PSY 4030: Field Work Experience (3 cr.)
Students who have arranged an acceptable field work placement and who wish to obtain course credit and supervision should sign up for this course. Weekly meetings with a full-time Psychology Department faculty supervisor and a paper including: a description of the institution and work experience, personal insights and benefits, and a connection to research literature in Psychology are required.

Prerequisites: PSY 1004: Fundamentals of Psychology, and four other psychology courses.

PSY 4495: Independent Study (1 to 3 cr.)
Students interested in conducting independent study projects should consult a full-time Psychology faculty member to determine whether he or she is willing to supervise the proposed project. Possible projects include: library-based research of scholarly psychological literature on a circumscribed topic, data entry and analysis, specialized readings in psychology, and the study of how 148 psychological theory is applied to real-world situations.