Psychology Course Descriptions


Orientation to contemporary scientific psychology including the study of learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, biology and behavior, personality, individual differences, abnormal psychology, psychotherapy and developmental and social psychology.


This course is an orientation to contemporary scientific psychology, including the study of learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, biology and behavior, personality, individual differences, abnormal psychology, psychotherapy and developmental and social psychology. As a student in General Psychology in the baccalaureate day program you will participate in weekly laboratories. Offered every semester. Also offered in Weekend College and occasionally in summer.


This course is a scientific study of development from prenatal life through late adulthood, with emphasis on the interplay of psychological processes, heredity and environment. This chronological review addresses physical, cognitive, social and emotional changes across the lifespan. In this course in the baccalaureate day program you will observe children in the campus Early Childhood Center or in a similar setting off campus. Offered every semester. Also offered in summer and in Weekend College. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001.


This course includes basic principles and techniques of statistical analysis, emphasizing the treatment and evaluation of representative psychological data, descriptive statistics including linear regression and correlation, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics through analysis of variance, confidence intervals and selected nonparametric statistics including chi square. You will complete some homework exercises using MINITAB. Offered every semester. This course meets the liberal arts and sciences core math/stats requirement. Prerequisites: Appropriate level on mathematics/statistics placement assessment or ACT math score. Credit is given for only one of the following courses: ECON 2200, ECON 2250, MATH 1080 or PSYC 2050.


This course is an examination of attempts to explain our psychological states and capacities: cognition, sensation, perception, emotion and memory. Philosophical theories of psychology such as mentalism, behaviorism and functionalism are discussed, as well as the philosophical significance of recent work in psychology and computer science: computer simulation of cognitive processes, artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. Offered annually. Same as PHIL 2800. Prerequisites: Open to students with no prior work in philosophy, but such students should consult with the instructor or department chair before registering.


The first of two seminars required for the psychology major, this course is designed to consolidate previous learning in psychology and assist students in curriculum and career planning, reinforce critical skills (database searching and literature reviews, measurement design, data analysis), and provide a forum for discussing ethical and diversity issues related to the science and practice of psychology. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2050. Prerequisites with concurrency: Third psychology course.


This course provides an overview of psychological disorders such as anxiety, affective, eating, psychotic and personality disorders. You will learn how abnormal behavior is conceptualized, about various theories of psychopathology and about clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. For each disorder, we will explore etiology, prognosis, and empirically-supported treatments as well as general concerns related to mental illness. Offered every semester and occasionally in summer and in Weekend College. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001.


This course covers major theories and research that consider the definition, development, motivation, assessment and change of personality, as well as evaluation and comparison of the cognitive, biological, behavioristic, trait, psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches in particular. Offered annually. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001.

PSYC 3030: HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (4 credits)

This course is a study of current literature, theory and application of health psychology and behavioral medicine principles to health-related issues. You will learn about the psychological aspects of physical illness/wellness, modification of health-related behaviors, patient-practitioner communication, adherence to a treatment plan, stress and coping, and the management of chronic and terminal illness. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001 and 3010 or permission of the instructor.


This course addresses a basic question: How does gender influence your identity and development? You will review research about the patterning and origins of gender differences in behavior, cognitive functioning and personality. We will also consider how cultural definitions of gender influence the socialization of men and women into adult social and occupational roles. You will be expected to critically analyze psychological research and theory for gender-related biases. Offered annually. Also offered as WOST. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001.


This course involves the study of the course of human maturation and aging from adulthood until death, with a focus on how gender, social class, race, culture and ethnicity mediates the aging process. Topics include the self and the life story, marriage and the family, intergenerational influences, work, retirement, health, well-being, physical aging, death and dying. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2025.


This is an advanced developmental psychology course about the role of socialization processes in personality and social development. We will focus on cultural differences in socialization and the influence of different agents of socialization (parents, peers, teachers, media). Topics include gender role socialization, moral development, attachment and affiliation, and identity formation processes. Weekly laboratory sessions focus on descriptive and observational research methods. You design and complete an independent research project. Offered annually. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2025, 2050.


This course covers perennial and current issues in the study of learning: reactive, classical, operant and observational; behavior modification; motor learning; biological limits on learning; verbal learning and basic memory processes; applications to education and training. You will participate in weekly laboratory exercises and design and execute an independent research project. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2050.


This is a survey of current research paradigms, information processing theories and controversies in a wide range of areas, including attention, pattern recognition, mental imagery, models of memory and forgetting, language, concept formation, problem solving and creativity. You will participate in weekly laboratory exercises and design and execute an independent research project. Offered annually. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2050.


This course involves analysis of a variety of relationship techniques for use in the regular classroom as well as in education-related services and other helping professions, as well as the discovery of approaches that best fit a person's own characteristics and preferred ways of working to help others acquire appropriate social behaviors. Not open to first-year students. Offered annually. Same as EDUC 3540. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2025. Psychology majors and minors need permission of their psychology advisor.


This is a survey of current theory and research in industrial and organizational psychology. Topics include worker attitudes and motivation, personnel selection and training, job performance and performance appraisal, occupational health, organizations and organizational development, work/life balance and leadership. Emphasis is placed on principles of measurement; individual differences in behavior at work and influences of organizational factors on individual behaviors. You participate in weekly lab sessions and design studies, collect and analyze data, interpret study findings and write scientific reports. Offered annually. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2050.


Survey of current theory and research. Topics include effects of mass communication and group membership upon the attitudes and behavior of the individual, experimental methodology, attitude formation and change, interpersonal attraction, altruism, aggression, prejudice and group dynamics. You will participate in weekly laboratory sessions and design and execute social psychological research projects. Offered annually. Also offered as SOCI. Prerequisites: PSYC 1001, 2050.

PSYC 3850: BIOPSYCHOLOGY (4 credits)

This course involves the study of the biological mechanisms underlying behavior. Examines the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of the nervous system in relation to sensation, movement and cognition. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory (including independent student research) each week. Offered in alternate years. Also offered as BIOL. Prerequisites: BIOL 1210, 1220 and a course in statistics.

PSYC 4220: HISTORY AND SYSTEMS (4 credits)

For the first half of this course you will study the major philosophies, scientific discoveries and cultural developments that led to the formation of psychology as a discipline. The second half examines psychology’s impact on society. Topics include key features of the Western intellectual tradition, the emergence of the secular-scientific worldview, and the history of psychology's involvement in education, mental health and culture. You will have the opportunity to research a topic in psychology of your choice. Offered annually. Prerequisites: Four courses in psychology. Senior status recommended..

PSYC 4602 or 4604: INTERNSHIP (2 or 4 credits)

This is a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves you in a particular profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, you must meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and department chair.


This is the capstone course for senior psychology majors in their final year. You compile a portfolio of your papers from previous psychology courses and prepare a paper or poster for presentation to an external audience or submit a paper for publication. You also lead discussions and engage in dialogue with faculty and student colleagues on timely and controversial issues in psychology and participate in the department’s assessment program. Prerequisites: Senior status, six courses in psychology or permission of instructor.

PSYC 4912 or 4914: RESEARCH (2 or 4 credits)

This involves an assigned or original research problem under the direction of a staff member. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and department chair.

PSYC 4952 or 4954: INDEPENDENT STUDY ( 2 or 4 credits)

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and department chair.

PSYC 4994: TOPICS (4 credits)

A survey of current literature and theory in a selected area of contemporary psychology. The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses.