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Psychology

Dr. Zella E. Moore
Chair of the Department

The field of psychology involves a multidisciplinary commitment to the scientific understanding and improvement of human and animal functioning, and seeks to investigate behavioral, cognitive, and emotional processes associated with adaptive and maladaptive experience.

The Psychology Department offers a program that emphasizes both the humanistic and scientific aspects of psychology. The psychology major is designed for students:

  1. Who desire to study and understand the human experience,
  2. Who want to enter psychology as a profession, or
  3. Who regard psychology as a liberal arts preparation for further training in the professions. In order to meet the diverse needs of students, the Psychology Department offers both a B.A. and a B.S. degree and an optional concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. There is also a specific track for Education students concentrating in Psychology. These degrees and options are discussed in greater detail below.

The Psychology Department maintains five important goals, adapted from the guidelines of the American Psychological Association:

  • Goal 1: Knowledge Base. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavior and mental processes. This includes, but is not limited to, developing a working knowledge of psychology's content domains.
  • Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking. Demonstrate scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods This includes, but is not limited to, using scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena; interpreting, designing, and conducting basic psychological research; and demonstrating psychology information literacy..
  • Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World. Adopt ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. This includes, but is not limited to, applying ethical standards to evaluate and implement psychological science and practice.
  • Goal 4: Communication. Demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills through the use of discipline-specific language, critical thinking, and APA format.
  • Goal 5: Professional Development. Apply psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation to develop a meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.

Majors

Every student who wishes to declare a major in Psychology should consult with the Department Chair. Students must receive a minimum grade of C in a psychology course for the course to be credited to their major. Students who are considering graduate school should consult with faculty members during their junior year. All students interested in graduate study are advised to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). As part of the department’s outcomes assessment initiative, all psychology majors may be required to complete a standardized psychology achievement exam and/or senior exit survey during their senior year, as well as surveys measuring department and instructor effectiveness.

Requirements for a Major in Psychology

All students must complete 30 credits in Psychology for a B.A., or 33 credits in Psychology for a B.S. The B.S. also requires several additional credits in science, as described below. Specific requirements for each degree are as follows:

I. The Psychology Core

All psychology majors must complete the following four courses in this sequence, although they do not need to be completed in back-to-back semesters:

PSYC 150Roots: Psychology3
or PSYC 153 Roots: Psychology - FYS
PSYC 214Statistics and Research Methods I3
PSYC 314Statistics and Research Methods II3
PSYC 414Senior Capstone: Advanced Research Methods (senior year ONLY)3

Note: For psychology majors, PSYC 150, 153, or 203 is a prerequisites to all 300- and 400-level courses.

II. The Psychology Distribution

All Psychology majors must take one course from each of the following six areas:

Clinical Psychology/Personality Psychology3
Abnormal Psychology
Theories of Personality
Social Psychology/Applied Psychology3
Social Psychology
Industrial Psychology
Organizational Psychology
Cognitive Neuroscience: Group A3
Artificial Psychology
Motivation and Emotion
Cognition and Learning
Cognitive Neuroscience: Group B3
Physiological Psychology
Sensation and Perception
Developmental Psychology3
Lifespan Development
Psychology of Childhood
Psychology of Adolescence
One Elective in Psychology3
Students will choose one elective from all PSYC courses offered

Additional requirements for a 33-credit B.S. in Psychology

In addition to the requirement above, students seeking a B.S. in Psychology must complete the following requirements:

Permission of the Chairperson of Psychology to enter the B.S. program or a math SAT score of at least 600.

Take one additional course in either Cognitive Neuroscience group A or B, for a total of 9 credits in the cognitive neurosciences. The third course may be chosen from either of the two cognitive neuroscience groups.

The following science requirements:
BIOL 111
BIOL 113
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOL 112
BIOL 114
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory
4
BIOL 207Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 208Anatomy and Physiology II4
One of the following:8
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Introduction to Physics I
and Introduction to Physics II

B.S. students are also encouraged, but not required, to take Genetics (BIOL 217 Genetics) and Neurobiology (BIOL 405 Neurobiology).

Requirements for Education students concentrating in Psychology

All Psychology/Education majors must complete the following courses:

The following eight courses are required (24 credits):
PSYC 203Introduction to Psychology3
PSYC 214Statistics and Research Methods I3
PSYC 314Statistics and Research Methods II3
PSYC 310Psychology of Developmental Disorders and Delays3
PSYC 321Social Psychology3
PSYC 333Motivation and Emotion3
PSYC 340Cognition and Learning3
PSYC 421Abnormal Psychology3
Psychology/Education students must also successfully complete two of the following elective courses (6 credits):
PSYC 302Psychological Testing3
PSYC 343Psychology of Women3
PSYC 347Theories of Personality3
PSYC 348Cultural Psychology3
PSYC 316Issues Affecting Todays Youth3

Optional Concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (for Psychology Majors only)

In addition to the requirements for psychology majors described above, students who wish to specialize in industrial/organizational psychology may do so by completing the requirements listed below. This is fully optional. 

PSYC 373Industrial Psychology3
PSYC 374Organizational Psychology3
PSYC 302Psychological Testing3
One of the following:3
Motivation and Emotion
Health Psychology
One of the following:3
Research in Psychology
Research in Psychology
Internship
Internship

 Requirements for a Minor in Psychology

15 approved credits, including PSYC 203 Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 153 Roots: Psychology First Year Seminar, or PSYC 150 Roots: Psychology, and any 12 additional PSYC credits. Students wishing to minor in Psychology must consult with the Chair of the Department and complete a minor declaration form.

Courses

PSYC 150. Roots: Psychology. 3 Credits.

Roots: Psychology provides students with a critical examination of the field of psychology, which concerns itself with the scientific study of the brain, mind, and behavior. This course        provides a general overview of the science of psychology by introducing basic principles, theories, research, and scientific techniques that psychologists use to describe, explain, predict, and change human behavior and mental processes. The course surveys selected concepts, such as development; memory; learning; attention; cognitive and biological foundations; personality; social psychology; and mental health. (Only open to Liberal Arts and Science students; Not open to students who have taken PSYC 153 or PSYC 203).

PSYC 153. Roots: Psychology - FYS. 3 Credits.

Roots: Psychology provides students with a critical examination of the field of psychology, which concerns itself with the scientific study of the brain, mind, and behavior. This course provides a general overview of the science of psychology by introducing basic principles, theories, research, and scientific techniques that psychologists use to describe, explain, predict, and change human behavior and mental processes. The First Year Seminar (FYS) version of Roots: Psychology uses a particular theme as a starting point to examine selected concepts, such as development; memory; learning; attention; cognitive and biological foundations; personality; social psychology; and mental health; and focuses on honing critical writing skills.      (FYS courses are restricted to first-year students only; Not open to students who have taken PSYC 150 or PSYC 203).

PSYC 203. Introduction to Psychology. 3 Credits.

Introduction to Psychology provides a critical examination of the field of psychology, which concerns itself with the scientific study of the brain, mind, and behavior. This course provides a general overview of the science of psychology by introducing basic principles, theories, research, and scientific techniques that psychologists use to describe, explain, predict, and change human behavior and mental processes. The course surveys selected concepts, such as development; memory; learning; personality; social psychology; and mental health. (Not open to students who have taken PSYC 150 or PSYC 153).

PSYC 214. Statistics and Research Methods I. 3 Credits.

This course explores the research methodologies, statistical concepts, and procedures employed to create and test psychological theory. This course will emphasize an integration of introductory method topics and statistical procedures, including descriptive and correlation-based statistics, natural observation, and survey design. You will learn about psychological methods in lecture, discussion, and through hands-on practice. You will design and conduct research, analyze and interpret data both by hand and using SPSS, review research literature, and prepare APA-style reports. This course is required for all Psychology majors in the School of Liberal Arts, and is a prerequisite to PSYC 314. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 or PSYC 153 or PSYC 203.

PSYC 216. Behavior Modification. 3 Credits.

A survey of the principles of learning as applied to selected problems of behavior.

PSYC 257. Forensic Psychology. 3 Credits.

An analysis of psychological causes of criminal behavior. Topics include antisocial personality, neuropsychological components of criminality, and the interface between psychology and law in areas such as jury selection, sentencing, the insanity plea, eyewitness testimony, and psychiatric evaluation of defendants.

PSYC 302. Psychological Testing. 3 Credits.

This course provides a survey of various assessment measures that are available to psychologists, teaches students to think critically about the        extent to which these tests accurately measure the attributes they purport to measure, offers an understanding of how these tests were developed, and provides students the opportunity   to develop a psychological measure of your own. Intelligence, achievement, aptitude, and objective/subjective personality assessment will be covered. We also discuss how the clinical interview can be used as an assessment tool, and discuss issues relating to test selection, administration, construction, and use in applied settings. Students also learn to compute and interpret several statistical procedures that are used in the development of a psychological    measure, including reliability and validity coefficients, and factor analysis. Note that students will NOT be trained to do clinical interpretations.  Prerequisite: PSYC 214.

PSYC 310. Psychology of Developmental Disorders and Delays. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of developmental disorders, delays, and psychopathology among children. The course will emphasize assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Students may be expected to perform field activities and child observations.

PSYC 314. Statistics and Research Methods II. 3 Credits.

This course continues exploring the research methodologies, statistical concepts, and procedures employed to create and test psychological theory. This course will emphasize an integration of method topics and statistical procedures, including hypothesis testing using t-test and ANOVA, and experimental design. You will learn about psychological methods in lecture, discussion, and through hands-on practice. You will design and conduct research, analyze and interpret data both by hand and using SPSS, review research literature, and prepare APA-style reports. This course is required for all Psychology majors in the School of Liberal Arts, and is a prerequisite to 414 Prerequisite: PSYC 214.

PSYC 316. Issues Affecting Todays Youth. 3 Credits.

An overview of issues affecting psychological, physical, intellectual, and social development in today's youth. Empirical and theoretical foundations of these issues and the impact on development will be emphasized. Implications for parenting, education, prevention and intervention will be addressed; appropriate for anyone interested in the issues of modern day youth.

PSYC 321. Social Psychology. 3 Credits.

A study of the processes by which the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of the individual are influenced by his/her social environment. Topics include: social perception and attribution, attitude development and change; interpersonal attraction and interpersonal relations such as friendship.

PSYC 327. Interviewing and Counseling. 3 Credits.

Indepth exploration of techniques for establishing a stable working relationship with a client; examination of prominent contemporary approaches to interviewing and counseling from theoretical and practical standpoints.

PSYC 330. Special Topic: in Psychology. 3 Credits.

New course offerings in any area of psychology. Descriptions of specific topics will be posted in the psychology department. Specific requirements will depend upon the topic.

PSYC 332. Artificial Psychology. 3 Credits.

What is it that makes us human? In this course we pursue the answer to this question by examining consciousness, free will, creativity and other cognitive capacities. We investigate whether these can be implemented artificially using technological means. We adopt an interdisciplinary approach using perspectives from artificial intelligence, robotics, neuroscience, evolution, psychology and philosophy.

PSYC 333. Motivation and Emotion. 3 Credits.

This course investigates why we do what we do. The course takes a multi perspective approach (evolutionary, biological, environmental, and cognitive) to examine why organisms engage in certain behaviors and the extent to which they persist at a behavior.     Further, the course examines the important role that emotions play in understanding why people choose and maintain behaviors.".

PSYC 334. Lifespan Development. 3 Credits.

The course examines the developmental processes that shape our lives from conception to death. We will explore the ways biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional influences systematically interact to shape the lifespan. Some topics covered include gene-environment interactions, social relationships, personal identify, resilience, and longevity.

PSYC 340. Cognition and Learning. 3 Credits.

This course examines the concept of the mind and mental processes using theoretical and empirical perspectives. Students learn about different       mental activities such as perception, attention, learning, memory, and problem solving, discuss how these cognitive processes are studied, and consider how they apply to our experiences.".

PSYC 341. Health Psychology. 3 Credits.

This course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of how psychological processes are related to physical health behaviors and outcomes. This area of psychology seeks to determine and implement ways to improve individuals’ physical, mental, and social world, with the hope of maximizing quality of life in a variety of domains. Common topics include psychological             analysis of health-promoting and health compromising behaviors; and psychobiological and psychosocial perspectives on stress, pain management, chronic illness, terminal illness, eating pathologies, cardiovascular disease, and alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

PSYC 342. Psychology of Family Relationships. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of modern perspectives and psychological research on the family. The course investigates a fundamental               description of family as well as familial issues across the lifespan, guided by historic and contemporary perspectives. Throughout the course, we use family stories to examine the             psychology of the family.".

PSYC 343. Psychology of Women. 3 Credits.

The major objective of this course is to develop an understanding of and critical thinking about the psychology of women. Topics unique to women's lives, such as menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, will be explored. Additional topics including gender and sexual development, work roles, abuse, violence, and body image will be analyzed.

PSYC 345. Psychology of Childhood. 3 Credits.

This course emphasizes the developing child, from the point of conception until adolescence. Particular attention is paid to the major transitions and crises that occur during this time period. Various psychological theories and research studies in the areas of physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development are studied,                 highlighting the assumptions of the life span developmental approach.".

PSYC 346. Psychology of Adolescence. 3 Credits.

Adolescence is a period of great transition marked with both triumph and tribulation. This class provides students with an understanding of the period between childhood and adulthood      known as adolescence, and examines biological, cognitive, self, and social transitions during this important period of life.

PSYC 347. Theories of Personality. 3 Credits.

Using scientific reasoning and research as clues, this course explores several major mysteries in the scientific quest to understand what makes a      person themselves, and why people do what they do. The course investigates core questions, such as: Does personality predict what people do, and how their lives will turn out? Do        others know more about your personality than you? How do personalities develop? Can personalities be disordered? What is personality, anyway? Do we even have personalities? Can    we know someone else's personality? How can we use science to understand personality?".

PSYC 348. Cultural Psychology. 3 Credits.

Cultural psychology takes the position that broad human similarities exist, but that there is also vast psychological variation that is observed across human groups. In this course, we consider current theories and empirical research on culture, race, and ethnicity and examine evidence suggesting the psychological processes are culture-and context-dependent.

PSYC 360. Independent Study. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to allow psychology majors to pursue an area of special interest in psychology. Students must present a preparatory outline to qualify. Permission of the faculty mentor, department chair, and the Dean of the School of Arts are required at the time of registration.

PSYC 373. Industrial Psychology. 3 Credits.

This course explores the application of psychological principles and methods to the study of individuals and groups in the workplace. Topics include personnel selection, performance appraisal, training, and employment law. Students who take this course are also encouraged to take PSYC 374.".

PSYC 374. Organizational Psychology. 3 Credits.

This course provides an analysis of human behavior in organizations. Topics include organizational culture, motivation, job satisfaction, management styles, and problems in human relations, and leadership. Students who take this course are also encouraged to take PSYC 373.".

PSYC 375. Internship. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of study. Frequent meetings with the internship advisor and a paper are required. Internships are arranged through the Center for Career Development and must be approved in advance by the chair and the Dean of the School of Arts. Offered fall semester.

PSYC 414. Senior Capstone: Advanced Research Methods. 3 Credits.

The senior capstone seminar is an opportunity to conceptualize and execute an independent research project. This course emphasizes an                  integration of advanced method topics and statistical procedures through experimental designs with 2 independent variables and factorial ANOVA. The independent project includes        reviewing the literature; designing an independent research study; and collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, which culminates in an APA-style research paper, oral presentation, and scientific poster presentation. All students are expected to participate in the annual poster session held in May. This course is required for all    senior Psychology majors in the School of Liberal Arts. Prerequisite: PSYC 314.".

PSYC 421. Abnormal Psychology. 3 Credits.

This course offers an exploration into some of the major diagnostic categories and specific psychological disorders affecting humankind, such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and eating disorders. The course further emphasizes epidemiological factors, etiology, symptomatology, maintaining factors, pathological processes, and evidence-based treatment. Additional attention is given to differential diagnosis and comorbidities among disorders. Students also receive an introduction to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

PSYC 429. Research in Psychology. 3 Credits.

Supervised participation in research design, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results in conjunction with ongoing research projects in psychology. Permission of the faculty mentor, the department chair, and the Dean of the School of Arts are required at the time of registration.

PSYC 430. Research in Psychology. 3 Credits.

Supervised participation in research design, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results in conjunction with ongoing research projects in psychology. Permission of the faculty mentor, the department chair, and the Dean of the School of Arts are required at the time of registration.

PSYC 435. Physiological Psychology. 3 Credits.

This course explores the biological factors underlying behavior and mental processes. Students learn about the anatomy and functions of the brain    and nervous system and how changes in activity connect with the resulting thoughts, emotions, and behavior, in addition to health-related issues and psychological disorders.".

PSYC 437. Contemporary Psychotherapy. 3 Credits.

Contemporary forms of psychotherapy are discussed and critically evaluated including psychoanalysis, behaviorism, Gestalt, and humanistic therapies.

PSYC 460. Independent Study. 1-3 Credit.

This course is designed to allow psychology majors to pursue an area of special interest in psychology. Students must present a preparatory outline to qualify. Permission of the faculty mentor, department chair, and the Dean of the School of Arts are required at the time of registration.

PSYC 467. Sensation and Perception. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the psychological study of the relationship between the external world and our internal experience. The primary goals are to examine the anatomy and physiology of the sensory systems, reveal the common methods used to investigate these systems, and discuss the phenomenal (subjective experience)           issues surrounding questions of perception through various sensory illusions. Not open to students who have completed PSYC 367.".

PSYC 475. Internship. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of study. Frequent meetings with the internship advisor and a paper are required. Internships are arranged through the Center for Career Development and must be approved in advance by the chair and the Dean of the School of Arts. Offered spring semester.