Psychology Course Descriptions

PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses PSY Courses

PSY 1105 - General Psychology ( II ) - 4 cr.
Designed to provide an overview of concepts, methods, and applications of psychology. Topics include psychology as a science, research methods, perspectives of psychology, sub disciplines of psychology, biological foundations of behavior, developmental psychology, sensation and perception, learning, memory, thinking, language development, intelligence testing, personality, psychological disorders, psychological and biomedical therapies for psychological disorders and social psychology.


PSY 2208 - Lifespan Developmental PSY ( II ) - 4 cr.
Cognitive, personality/social, and physical development from conception to death. Within a life span developmental perspective, the course examines research methods, developmental theories, and application of research findings to selected problems in the major periods of the life span: the prenatal period, infancy, early/middle/late childhood, adolescence, and young/middle/late adulthood. The developmental perspective provides an important foundation for understanding normal children and adults, while also providing the essential knowledge base for the modern view of psychological disturbances as "normal development gone awry." This approach has practical implications for individuals with interests in parenting, caregiving, education, social services, and health sciences with both normal and exceptional populations. Prerequisite: none, but sophomore standing recommended.


PSY 2335 - Statistics for Profl Practice ( V ) - 4 cr.
Introduction to statistical concepts and methods useful in evaluating and applying results of research studies done by others. Students learn to construct frequency distributions and simple graphs, to compute measures of central tendency, variability, transformed scores, correlations and simple regression, and to carry out hypothesis tests (t-tests, analysis of variance, chi-square) using hand calculators and MS-Excel. Taught with a strong focus on numeracy (understanding and using numbers in decision-making) and the correct evaluation and interpretation of research results reported in the public press and professional journals.


PSY 2555 - Project in Psychology - 1-2 cr.
Applications of psychology through supervised practical experience in College or community activities. Some volunteer activities are appropriate. Each student will initiate a project in the form of a written proposal and complete it under faculty supervision. Written report is required. Prerequisite: consent of supervising faculty member and department chair.


PSY 2777 - Topics in Psychology - 1-4 cr.
Courses not a part of the regular Psychology curriculum but taught because of a special need, interest or opportunity.


PSY 3216 - Personality - 2 cr.
Origins, explanations, assessment and modification of personality as described by major theories of personality, with attention to ethical practices. This course includes a focus on applications to coping and adjustment of the healthy personality, as well as applications for helping individuals recover normal functioning. Emphasis is on the interaction of the individual's personality traits with specific situations as the individual attempts to adapt to the environment. Active learning components include theory-based problem-solving and responding to a variety of personality instruments. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3222 - Cognitive Psychology - 4 cr.
Examines principles of human cognition and practical applications of these principles. Topics include perception, memory, mental imagery, general knowledge, language, problem-solving, creativity, deductive reasoning, decision-making, and individual/gender/cultural differences. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3315 - Psychosocial Aspects of Aging - 4 cr.
Overview of the aging individual within a social context. Focus is on characteristics of today's older adult cohort, psychological processes in late life, the social context in which older adults live and society's response to older adults. Topics include demographics, stereotypes and attitudes, research methods, theories of development, sense of and response to the environment, cognitive processes, mental disorders and treatment, death and dying, sexuality, intimate relationships, family relationships, caregiving, employment and retirement, finances, Social Security, Medicare, living environments, ethnicity, gender, crimes against and by older adults, social programs and political power of the older cohort.


PSY 3320 - Biological Psychology - 4 cr.
Provides an over view of the biological bases of behavior. Topics include basic structure and processes of the nervous system, methods and ethics in psychobiological research, sensation and perception, thirst and hunger, sexual behavior, sleep and dreaming, memory, recovery from brain damage, psychopathology and genetics. Prerequisites: BIO 1102 or equivalent and one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: BIO 1102, PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3325 - Group Dynamics - 2 cr.
Study of psychological principles and development of personal skills in working with groups. Topics include group facilitation, ways in which groups are studied, stages of group development, leadership, communication, norms and roles, power, conflict and ethics. Opportunity is given to experience these dynamics in small groups. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology, junior status in the Communications Department, or consent of the instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3327 - Social Psychology - 4 cr.
Explores the history, content, methods, and applications of social psychology as a scientific discipline. Topics include social psychological research methods, the importance of the person and the environment in predicting social behavior, errors in social judgments and decision making, attribution theories, obedience to authority, conformity, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, aggression, altruism, interpersonal attraction and sexuality, and conflict and peacemaking. The most current applications of social psychology to law, the health professions, the clinic, business, and politics are discussed, with special emphasis on connections to students' own lives. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3328 - Behavior Management - 2 cr.
Examines the use of scientifically established principles of learning to promote behavior change. The use of operant and classical conditioning methods and their applications for a variety of human conditions are covered. Special emphasis is on the application of behavioral methods for health improvement and for stress management. Topics include positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, escape and avoidance, reinforcement schedules, modeling, desensitization, progressive relaxation. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3330 - Research Methods - 4 cr.
Overview of research process designed for upper-division students interested in reading and/or conducting research. Topics include logic of scientific research, types of research, phases of a research study, designing experimental and correlational studies, sampling, quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting data, evaluation and writing of research reports, and ethical issues.


PSY 3331 - Statistics ( V ) - 4 cr.
Covers basic statistical concepts and methods useful in conducting research and evaluating results of studies done by others. Topics include frequency distributions and graphs, measures of central tendency and variability, transformed scores, correlations, multiple regression, hypothesis testing (t test, analysis of variance, and chi square), selection of appropriate statistics, calculation with MS Excel spreadsheets and SPSS, interpretation of the "results" sections of journal articles, and numeracy (understanding and using numbers in decision-making). Prerequisite: competence in arithmetic.


PSY 3340 - Psychology of Gender - 2 cr.
Introduces students to the research methods, findings, and theories of psychology of gender. Students examine evidence for gender differences and similarities in cognitive abilities, personality, social behavior and mental health, and explore nature and nurture explanations. Gender stereotypes and their impact are discussed. Women's and men's experiences in the workplace, in relationships, and in parenting are major focuses. Prerequisite: one psychology course or consent of instructor.


PSY 3341 - Introduction to Counseling - 2 cr.
Identification of communication and counseling skills for working with all age groups. Topics include active listening skills, counseling process, empathic responding, overcoming barriers to communication, assets and limitations of paraprofessional helpers and counseling ethics. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3363 - Health Psychology - 2 cr.
Aimed toward understanding psychological influence on variables that explain how people stay healthy, why illness occurs, and how individuals react when they become ill. Course serves as a review of determinants of health behavior through models of behavior which can be used (a) for assessment of barriers to positive health behaviors, (b) to develop prevention strategies for intervention purposes and (c) to understand prediction issues in regard to health-risk behaviors. Topics include biopsychosocial model vs. biomedical model, mind-body relationships, behavioral methods in health care, pain, acute and chronic illness and treatment follow-through/compliance issues. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3423 - Abnormal Psychology - 4 cr.
Provides an overview of what is considered to be abnormal behavior in American society. The main focus of the course is on describing various mental disorders and discussing how these disorders are explained and treated according to the major theoretical perspectives. Important issues related to diagnosing, researching and treating mental disorders are also addressed. Prerequisite: one course in general or developmental psychology and junior status recommended.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 1105, PSY 2208


PSY 3424 - Mental Health and Aging - 2 cr.
Addresses the mental and emotional health of adults over 65 years of age. Factors that contribute to good mental health are discussed; however, a major emphasis is on the manifestation and treatment of mental disorders in late life. Topics include: diagnosing and treating mental disorders, psychosocial factors that affect mental health, stress, grief, depression, suicide, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, delirium, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and alcoholism. Prerequisite: PSY 2208 or PSY/GER//SOC 3315 (or equivalent) or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: GER 3315, PSY 2208, PSY 3315


PSY 3430 - Applied Psychology - 4 cr.
Provides an overview of the ethical issues in applied psychology, the practice of psychological treatments such as counseling and psychotherapy, and career development in the field of human services delivery. Specific approaches to therapy and other forms of treatment are discussed, as well as the ethical constraints and implications inherent in delivery of psychological services. Career issues are addressed by identifying students' interests, skills, and values; the job hunting process; and the opportunities available in the field. Prerequisite: PSY 3216 or PSY 3423 or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite Courses: PSY 3216, PSY 3423


PSY 3550 - Organizational Behavior - 4 cr.
Explores the behavior of people within organizations in terms of the factors that most influence it. Those include factors related to individuals, groups and the larger organizational system. The course relies heavily on experiential learning as a means of teaching students how to apply lessons in organizational settings. Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of instructor; also, for psychology majors, one course in general or developmental psychology.


PSY 3555 - Advanced Project in Psychology - 1-4 cr.
Applications of psychology through supervised, advanced practical experience in college or community activities. Some volunteer activities are appropriate, including non paid teaching assistantships. Students initiate project in the form of a written proposal and complete it under faculty supervision. Written report in APA style is required. Prerequisites: junior status, acceptance into the psychology major, and consent of supervising faculty member and department chair.


PSY 3777 - Topics in Psychology - 1-4 cr.
Courses not a part of regular Psychology curriculum but taught because of special need, interest or opportunity at upper-division level.


PSY 4000 - Learning Outcomes Assessment - 0 cr.
For purposes of program assessment, Psychology majors take a non-credit, non-graded comprehensive examination in psychology and a scientific-thinking examination near the end of their last semester preceding graduation. Prerequisite: Completion or current semester completion of all requirements for the Psychology major.


PSY 4334 - Empirical Research Proposal - 2 cr.
The PSY 4334/4335 course sequence constitutes one of three capstone experiences for the major in psychology (see also PSY 4435 and PSY 4555). Each student conducts an independent research study requiring in-depth synthesis of prior learning of research methods, statistics and report writing. In PSY 4334, students (a) conceptualize their research questions and design and (b) plan and organize the study. In PSY 4335, students (a) collect and analyze data, (b) write a research report and present the results in two department colloquia (one oral, one poster). Prerequisites for PSY 4334: Junior standing; a general psychology course and PSY 3330 (Research Methods) and PSY 3331 (Statistics); and two other 300-level PSY courses. Prerequisite for PSY 4335: Completion of PSY 4334 with a grade of C or higher.


PSY 4335 - Empirical Research Report - 2 cr.
The PSY 4334/4335 course sequence constitutes one of three capstone experiences for the major in psychology (see also PSY 4435 and PSY 4555). Each student conducts an independent research study requiring in-depth synthesis of prior learning of research methods, statistics and report writing. In PSY 4334, students (a) conceptualize their research questions and design and (b) plan and organize the study. In PSY 4335, students (a) collect and analyze data, (b) write a research report and present the results in two department colloquia (one oral, one poster). Prerequisites for PSY 4334: Junior standing; a general psychology course and PSY 3330 (Research Methods) and PSY 3331 (Statistics); and two other 300-level PSY courses. Prerequisite for PSY 4335: Completion of PSY 4334 with a grade of C or higher.


PSY 4435 - History and Systems of Psychology - 2-4 cr.
Traces development of early and modern psychology and integrates diverse materials and approaches to which upper-division students have been exposed in psychology courses. Topics include philosophical foundations of psychology, early scientific psychology, structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalytic theory, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and recent developments in psychology. Race and gender issues are incorporated throughout the course. Prerequisites: two of the following courses (or equivalents), including their general or developmental psychology prerequisites - PSY 3216, PSY 3327, PSY 3328, PSY 3423; junior status minimum, senior status preferable.


PSY 4444 - Research in Psychology - 1-4 cr.
Students either (a) initiate and implement empirical research in an area of special interest or (b) participate in an ongoing empirical research project developed by a faculty member. For student-initiated projects, the student develops the research proposal, conducts the research and reports the research in standard APA format. For faculty-initiated research, students work one on- one with the faculty member or as part of his/her research team of students. Activities may include doing library research, developing measures, collecting data, analyzing data and writing portions of research reports using APA style. Prerequisite: consent of supervising faculty member and department chair.


PSY 4555 - Directed Applied Project in Psychology - 1-12 cr.
Off-campus practicum to provide valuable experience for psychology majors. No later than the middle of the semester before the DAPP placement is to begin, students must complete three tasks: (a) choose a DAPP advisor (must be Psychology faculty, usually the academic advisor), (b) submit a written proposal to the DAPP advisor indicating their objectives and how they plan to achieve them, and (c) submit an interagency agreement form. The DAPP site is selected by the student in consultation with the DAPP advisor. (Some restrictions on counseling placements apply.) Upon completion of the DAPP, the student submits a written report (DAPP thesis), then schedules a DAPP review meeting with the DAPP advisor, at least one other faculty member and, when possible, the supervisor from host agency. Six credits of PSY 4555 are required. Students may choose to do all six in one semester or distributed over two semesters. PSY 4555 may be coordinated with GER 4555 for psychology majors working toward a gerontology minor. See the Gerontology Program coordinator. Psychology majors who have a double major that requires a field internship in which they have experiences appropriate for a DAPP thesis, may petition the department chair for waiver of the PSY 4555 credits and sign up for PSY 4556 instead. Prerequisites: seven psychology courses and consent of academic advisor and DAPP advisor.


PSY 4556 - Double-Major DAPP - 0 cr.
This course is required for psychology majors who have had PSY 4555 waived because they have a double major that requires a field internship in which they will have experiences appropriate for a DAPP thesis. Double majors are still required to write a DAPP thesis and have DAPP orals. An additional six credits of PSY courses to make up for the six credits of DAPP are not required. Prerequisites: seven psychology courses and consent of academic advisor and DAPP advisor


PSY 4777 - Topics in Psychology - 1-4 cr.
In-depth study of a topic of current interest in small group setting. Topic to be covered depends on the joint interest of faculty and students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.


PSY 4999 - Independent Study - 1-4 cr.
Scholarly library research and reading in area of special interest. Students initiate study in form of written proposal and complete it under faculty supervision. Students prepare and defend reports or take examinations. Prerequisite: consent of supervising faculty member and department chair.