Psychology Course Descriptions

100. Introductory Psychology

This course surveys the scientific study of behavior and mental processes as natural phenomena. Basic psychological areas such as biopsychology, perception, learning, memory, motivation and emotion are typically addressed. Broader, integrated topics such as development, personality, social and abnormal psychology are also explored. The laboratory section (101) focuses on how psychologists formulate research questions, gather data and interpret findings based on the major conceptual approaches in the field of psychology. Psychology 100 or 101 is a prerequisite for all other courses.

101 Introductory Psychology with Lab Counts towards NS-L distribution requirement

This course surveys the scientific study of behavior and mental processes as natural phenomena. Basic psychological areas such as biopsychology, perception, learning, memory, motivation and emotion are typically addressed. Broader, integrated topics such as development, personality, social and abnormal psychology are also explored. The laboratory section (101) focuses on how psychologists formulate research questions, gather data and interpret findings based on the major conceptual approaches in the field of psychology. Psychology 101 (or 100) is a prerequisite for all other courses.

205 Research Methods in Psychology  Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)

This course presents students with various techniques for applying the scientific method to behavioral research. It also emphasizes effective communication through scientific writing. Students learn about observational, correlational and experimental research designs. They have the opportunity to apply these designs in the laboratory while investigating relevant psychological phenomena. Appropriate statistical procedures and computer software are used to analyze the data from these labs. For this reason, it is highly recommended that prior to the course the student take a course in statistics (Mathematics 113). Counts toward the minor in Applied Statistics and the Neuroscience major (behavioral track).

207 Developmental Psychology - Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit II. Developmental - Social Processes

This course is intended to describe and explain the changes in behavior that occur with the passage of time from conception until death. While emphasis is placed on the early years of most rapid change, appropriate topics are covered throughout the life span. As the mature individual is a product not only of his or her own life history, but also of the history of our species, there is some discussion of evolutionary theory and developmental data gathered on other species. Prerequisite: Psychology 100 or 101.

215 Cultural Psychology - Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit II. Developmental - Social Processes

The goal of this course is to examine the influence of culture and social structure on human cognition,emotion, motivation, moral reasoning, social development and social behavior. Students are encouraged to think of cultural meaning systems and practices that are essential to understanding mental processes, as well as how these mental processes in turn constrain reproduce and transform the cultural system. Emphasis is on studies in non-Western societies and with different ethnic groups in the United States

220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225. Seminars for Non-Majors  Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)

These seminars are offered occasionally in specific areas of psychology at a depth intermediate between Psychology 100,101 and advanced-level courses. Topics and format vary depending upon the instructor. Consult the Class Schedule for descriptions of courses currently offered. First priority is given to first-year students and sophomores, second priority to junior and senior non-psychology majors.

232 Lab Animals  Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab). Dual-listed as NRSCI 232 or BIOL 232

The course focuses on government rules and regulations pertaining to research with animals, anesthesia/analgesia, surgery techniques and overall animal care. Counts toward the psychology major.

238 Psychology and Law - Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

This course explores the contributions psychological science can make and has made to legal policy and the legal system through the examination of several topics within the field of psychology and law. Topics include expert testimony in the courtroom (e.g., eye-witness identification, syndrome evidence), issues of competence (e.g., competence to stand trial, insanity defense), jury behavior, capital punishment and the psychology of law enforcement.

248 Special Topics in Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101  Introductory Psychology (with lab)

These courses cover special topics not regularly offered in the curriculum. The courses are designed for first-year students and sophomores and are taught in a regular class format. Refer to the Class Schedule for course descriptions. First enrollment priority will be given to first-year students and sophomores.

253 Personality  Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit II. Developmental - Social Processes

Personality theories provide a framework with which to understand a person's development, motivation and behavior. This course examines traditional and contemporary theories of personality focusing on representative theorists from the psychoanalytic, trait, behavioral, cognitive and phenomenological approaches. Evaluation of theories on logical and empirical grounds is discussed.

255 Sport Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

This course is designed to develop understanding of human behavior and mental processes in sport and exercise settings. Topics that we examine include: (a) psychosocial aspects (e.g., motivation, psychological responses to injury, aggression) involved in the sport training process and competition among adults, youth and children at all skill levels, (b) psychological skills training for athletic performance (e.g., relaxation, self-talk, mental routines), (c) sport group dynamics (e.g., leadership, communication) and (d) major exercise psychology concepts and issues (e.g., exercise adherence, motives for participation, and exercise and psychological well-being).

313. Industrial/Organizational Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

A course designed to acquaint the student with major applications of psychological findings and techniques to problems of management and industry. The course includes human factors engineering, personnel procedures, and organizational behavior.

317 Abnormal Behavior Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

A study of the major behavioral disorders, personality disturbances and mental illnesses. Included are consideration of the mentally ill throughout history and current methods of diagnosis, treatment and research. Actual case reports are reviewed.

318 Environmental Psychology (with lab) Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 205 Research Methods in Psychology (also offered as Environmental Studies 318)
Counts towards lab credit
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

This lecture-laboratory course studies the relationships between humans and physical environments--both natural and built. Topics include environmental assessment, attitudes and behavior toward the environment and the psychological effects of such environmental factors as crowding, architectural design, extreme environments, pollution and natural disasters. Prerequisite: Psychology 100 or 101; if taken for laboratory credit, Psychology 205. Also offered as Environmental Studies 318 and through Outdoor Studies.

325 Social Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts towards lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit II. Developmental - Social Processes 

A lecture-laboratory course that introduces the theory and research relating the behavior of individual humans to factors in the social environment. Topics, chosen to represent the scope of social psychology, include attitude formation and change, conformity, affiliation and attraction, altruism, aggression, prejudice and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Psychology 100 or 101; if taken for laboratory credit, Psychology 205

326 Hormones and Behavior Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab), if taken for laboratory credit, 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts towards lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes

This lecture-laboratory course is an introduction to the field of behavioral endocrinology. In this course, current knowledge derived from human and animal research concerning the effects of hormones on behavior is reviewed. Topics include the influence of hormones on reproductive behavior, parental behavior, aggression, sexual orientation, moods and emotions, psychiatric disorders and perceptual and cognitive abilities. Environmental and experiential influences on endocrine activity are also examined. Prerequisites: Psychology 100 or 101; if taken for laboratory credit, Psychology 205.

327 Sensation and Perception Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab); if taken for laboratory credit, Psychology 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Count towards lab credit if taken with lab.
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes

A lecture-laboratory course dealing with the way we perceive the world around and within us from a biological/cognitive perspective. The course emphasizes current research problems in hearing and sight. Counts toward the neuroscience major (behavioral track).

331 Physiological Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab); if taken for laboratory credit, 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts towards lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes

A lecture-laboratory course designed to show how neural structure and activity is related to behavior--an evolutionary approach covering no particular species but including humans.

348 Special Topics Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab)

These courses cover special topics not regularly offered in the curriculum. The courses are designed for juniors and seniors and are taught in a regular class format, possibly with laboratory. Refer to the Class Schedule for course description

348A Positive Psychology with Lab Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab); 205 Research Methods

While there is no shortage of lay theories and self-help literature that offer advice on how to achieve “the good life,” this lecture-laboratory course will examine the nature of positive emotions and well-being from the viewpoint of empirical psychology research. Recent empirical research will be reviewed, and students will apply the information in class discussion, written assignments, and hands-on experiences. By examining the relationship between happiness and such topics as life circumstances, character strengths, the conflicted mind, reciprocity, social relationships, trauma, and spirituality, we will understand and apply empirically-supported ideas for enhancing well-being.
Counts toward Unit III: Clinical and Applied Areas, and also fulfills the lab requirement of the major if taken with lab

401 Fundamentals of Learning Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab). If taken for laboratory credit, Introductory Psychology 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts as lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes

A lecture-laboratory course dealing with the concepts involved in learning as derived from experimentation with both human and nonhuman subjects. Topics include the laws of classical and operant conditioning, biofeedback, token economies, observational learning, learned helplessness, biological constraints on learning, behavior modification techniques and ethics of behavioral control.

402 Memory and Cognition Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab). If taken for laboratory credit: 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts as lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes

This lecture-laboratory course involves a fairly comprehensive study of human cognition, and covers such topics as perception, attention, memory, intelligence, judgment, and decision-making. Its primary aim is to survey the framework of principles, concepts, ideas, and methods of inquiry that make up and give meaning to the field of cognitive psychology. At the end of the course the students should be able to answer the question, ‘How does the mind work?’, in a way that shows a broad grasp of the foundations of cognitive science and a deep understanding of key areas of the field. The course integrates perspectives from both behavioral and neurobiological approaches to the study of cognition, and provides a number of opportunities to examine a variety of applied academic and real-life topics.

413 Community Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab), 205 Research Methods in Psychology and permission of instructor.
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

This seminar-internship course has two objectives: to develop an understanding of the community psychology perspective through primary source readings and discussion and to further that understanding through an internship placement in a community setting (eight hours per week). Topics considered in the seminar include the ecological perspective, stress and coping, prevention and empowerment; exemplars of community psychology interventions (e.g., preventive interventions, grassroots organizing and self-help groups) and current issues in the field (e.g., child abuse and neglect, homelessness, alcohol and substance abuse) will also be explored. Possible internship placements include Headstart, residential homes for juveniles, nursing homes, crisis intervention centers and Planned Parenthood; a small number of students may participate in a community research project as their internship placement. Due to the nature of the course, students must complete an application and preregister for the course.

422 The Psychology of Happiness:  Prerequisites: Psychology 100 or 101 and Psychology 205

This course examines positive psychology, the study of the role of positive motivation and emotion in human nature. What makes humans happy, and what are the consequences of leading a happy life? Topics range from the early 20th century psychological approaches to learning and motivation, through the mid-century theory of learned helplessness and depression, toward a 21st century approach to human nature that promises a focus on the positive psychology of happiness. Course material is aimed at increasing the student's understanding of psychology as a science and also as a subjective pathway toward self-knowledge.

432 Animal Behavior Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) If taken for laboratory credit; 205 Research Methods in Psychology
Counts towards lab credit if taken with lab
Counts toward Unit I. Biological - Acquisition Processes 

A lecture-laboratory course studying various forms of behavior as they appear throughout the phylogenetic scale. The roles of evolution, genetics and the neural system in the control of diverse behaviors from feeding to territoriality and human aggression are considered.

438 Human Neuropsychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) If taken for laboratory credit; PSYC 331 or BIO 288 or NRSCI 288
This course will examine the function of the human nervous system as it relates to cognition and behavior. Topics covered will include: language, attention, memory, motor skills, visual-spatial processing, problem solving, emotion, and consciousness. Special attention will be paid to the modern methodologies used to study brain-behavior interactions in normal and neuropathological populations. Lectures, discussions, and projects will make use of both empirical and clinical case materials.

442 Intellectual Development and Developmental Disabilities Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 317 Abnormal Behavior
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

An examination of the area of developmental disabilities (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy) with primary emphasis on intellectual disability, previously called mental retardation. Among the topics considered are historical and contemporary trends, the influence of biological and psychological factors in producing disabilities, cognitive and and personality characteristics associated with the different levels of intellectual disability, assessment of intelligence and adaptive behavior, and societal intervention through community services, educational placement and treatment programs. On-site visits to residential facilities are generally scheduled

443 Introduction to Clinical Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 317 Abnormal Behavior.
Counts toward Unit III. Clinical and Applied Areas

An examination of the field of contemporary clinical psychology. Investigation focuses on the problems and procedures related to psychological diagnosis, therapeutic methods and research strategies. A community-based learning component is required of all students.

448/ECON 450 First Comes Love…: Economics, Psychology, and the Family Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 205 Research Methods.

Bringing together economics and psychology majors, this interdisciplinary senior seminar will explore the social institution of the family by considering the evolving processes of courtship, marriage and parenting.  Families perform a variety of functions, many of them to secure the psychological and economic well-being of their members.  However, those functions have evolved over time, requiring that the forms of families evolve as well.  In particular, we will consider ways in which economic changes have required families to adapt new structures to fulfill their functions.  For example, consider the challenges of child care for families with two working parents or the ways that economic prosperity—or lack thereof—affects the role of love in the decision to marry.  In this seminar, we will compare and contrast the methodologies and theories the two fields use to explore how and to what extent families fulfill their functions and how the family has changed.  Our hope is that an exploration of the scholarly literature on the family from both disciplines will provide you with fascinating research questions and shed some new light on the nature of the modern family.

452 Infancy Prerequisites: 205 Research Methods in Psychology, 207 Developmental Psychology and permission of instructor

A peek-a-boo at the environmental and evolutionary influences on human development from conception until about two years. Topics include: (1) prenatal development and birth, (2) the perceptual, motor, cognitive and linguistic abilities of the infant, (3) assessment in infancy and (4) social development in infancy (e.g., sex and personality differences, theories of attachment, etc.). The course is intended for junior and senior psychology majors who have taken Psychology 205 and 207. Interested students who do not have the recommended background are encouraged to consult with the instructor. Course format: lecture and discussion.

455 Highlights and Connections Prerequisites: Junior or senior major in psychology or neuroscience

Highlights & Connections is a capstone senior seminar in the psychology/behavioral neuroscience major (enrollment is open to juniors and seniors).  The course aims to convey a perspective on the broader meaning of psychology as a discipline in the behavioral sciences, and to empower students to discover their place in relation to the field of their major. The course aims to expose students to a variety of subfields in psychology represented by areas of expertise of individual psychology faculty members, with the goal to develop a sense of both uniqueness and particular strengths of each subfield. To this end, each faculty member in the psychology department visits the class to discuss his or her special area of expertise and to relate it to the general field of psychology. Another goal is to develop thinking across disciplinary and subject barriers and to foster, through readings, discussion, and research, a sense of connectedness among various psychology domains, and a grasp of the scope of the field that has become increasingly interdisciplinary in recent past. In addition, the course provides students with career-development tools and means to identify and elucidate post-graduate options and opportunities, such as internships, graduate/professional schools, and careers.

456 Health Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) Counts towards Unit III - Applied Areas

Health psychology is an applied field devoted to understanding psychological influences on health and illness in our society. This course examines a variety of social and behavioral factors that affect our physical well being, including the impact of life stress on the immune system, the influence of personality factors on specific illnesses and the relationship between doctor-patient interactions and adherence to medical advice. Other topics include obesity, heart disease, stress management and behavioral therapy.

468, 469 SYE: Independent Research Prerequisites:100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab), 205 Research Methods in Psychology, Senior status and permission of instructor

An opportunity for seniors to engage in empirical research.

471, 472. Independent Study in Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab). Permission of instructor required

Individual opportunity to engage in in-depth documentary investigation of a particular topic in psychology.

480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485 Seminars in Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab). Permission of instructor required

These seminars involve group study and investigation of psychological topics not regularly offered in the curriculum. Refer to the Class Schedule for descriptions of offerings.

497. Independent Research in Psychology Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab) and 205 Research Methods in Psychology. Permission of instructor is required

This course offers students the opportunity to engage in empirical and/or experimental research in psychology.

498 (Fall), 499 (Spring) SYE: Senior Project Prerequisites: 100 Introductory Psychology or 101 Introductory Psychology (with lab), 205 Research Methods in Psychology. Permission of instructor is required.

This course must be completed satisfactorily to receive honors in psychology. Requirements include presentation of high-quality preliminary and final colloquia on the project, attendance at colloquia of others doing senior projects and filing a copy of the final paper with the department and with the project supervisor. Prerequisites: