PSYCHOLOGY

 

CAROLYN B. BECKER, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

JANE B. CHILDERS, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

PAULA T. HERTEL, Ph.D., Professor

GLENN E. MEYER, Ph.D., Professor

LUIS F. SCHETTINO, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

HARRY M. WALLACE, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

CHARLES B. WHITE, Ph.D., Professor; Vice President for Information Resources and Administrative Affairs

CAROL Y. YODER, Ph.D., Professor; Chair

 

 

THE MAJOR

 

The curriculum in psychology reflects both the diversity of its subdisciplines and the universality of their reliance on methodological sophistication. All students who major in psychology are required to take courses that represent the main topical areas within the psychological sciences, plus a year-long methods sequence (preferably in the sophomore year). Through a rigorous advising program, students are encouraged to choose electives to develop their particular interests. Students who intend graduate study are encouraged to choose research experiences, as well as seminars related to their interests.

 

The requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology are as follows:

 

I. †††† The common curriculum

 

II. †††† Departmental requirements: 38 hours in psychology, including:

 

A. †† PSYC 1300 (with a minimum grade of C).

B. ††† PSYC 2401 (with a minimum grade of C) and 2402.

C. ††† One course in each of the following clusters:

††††††† 1.†††††††††††† Basic physiological and perceptual processes: 2310, 3311, 3312.

††††††† 2.†††††††††††† Development: 2320, 3321, 3322.

††††††† 3.†††††††††††† Cognition: 2330, 3331, 3333.

††††††† 4.†††††††††††† Social and Individual Differences: 3340, 3341, 3342.

††††††† D.†††† Electives totaling 15 credits (other cluster courses, companion courses, and individual experiences).

 

III. ††† Electives sufficient to total 124 semester hours.

 

Majors are encouraged to take courses from other disciplines that can serve to broaden their understanding of specific areas within psychology (e.g., mathematics, biology, computer science, and anthropology/sociology).

 

THE MINOR

 

A minor in psychology may be obtained by successful completion of at least 18 semester hours. At least nine of these hours must be at the upper-division level.

 

HONORS IN PSYCHOLOGY

 

To be eligible for graduation with Honors in Psychology, students must earn a grade point average of at least 3.33 in all courses taken prior to the semester before graduation, a grade point average in psychology courses of at least 3.50 and ďAĒ in PSYC 4395, 4396 (Thesis I and II).

 

To apply for graduation with Honors in Psychology, students should address a written request for consideration to the chair of the department. The request must be received no later than the first full week of the studentís final semester before graduation. The decision to confer or not to confer Honors will be made by the faculty in the department and will be based on the quality of the written thesis and its oral presentation in a departmental colloquium.

 

COURSES

INTRODUCTION AND METHODS

PSYC 1300††††††† Principles of Psychology

An introduction to the major domains of psychological knowledge, informed by biological, cognitive, environmental, and motivational perspectives. Emphasizes scientific theory and methods supplemented by applications to everyday experience.

 

PSYC 2401††††††† Statistics and Methods I

Instruction in measurement processes, descriptive statistics, correlational and inferential reasoning and basic statistical procedures. Students become acquainted with major procedures and issues involved in the framing of psychological research. Instruction includes the use of computer-implemented statistical packages and the method and style of writing about psychological research.

 

PSYC 2402††††††† Statistics and Methods II

Instruction in additional techniques in inferential reasoning, including analysis of variance and major nonparametric statistics. All topics are presented within the context of research design and methodology. Related statistical packages for computer-assisted analysis and further instruction in writing are included.

Prerequisite: PSYC 2401 or consent of instructor.

 

CLUSTER 1:††††††††††† BASIC PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PERCEPTUAL PROCESSES

PSYC 2310††††††† Introduction to Neuroscience

A survey of basic neuroscience, starting with fundamentals of neuronal structures and ending with higher brain functions and their relations to mind and behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

PSYC 3311††††††† Sensation and Perception

Study of sensory and perceptual systems. Emphasis is on the relationship of neurophysiological and cognitive principles. Major focus is on vision (visual neurophysiology, spatial vision, form, color, depth and motion) with some discussion of psychophysical methods, audition, speech perception and the chemical senses. Demonstrations and conducting experiments are part of course.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300, 2401.

 

PSYC 3312††††††† Principles of Learning

Understanding the principles that form the basis of the major modern learning theories. Coverage includes early theories such as those of Thorndike, Watson, Pavlov, Hull, and the contribution of animal and conditioning models. Additional topics include the methods of behavioral research, application to human experience, and the importance of learning theory to modern usages in applied psychology, education, and psychopathology.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

CLUSTER 2: DEVELOPMENT

PSYC 2320††††††† Lifespan Development

Overview of contemporary theoretical and empirical approaches to lifespan development. Biological, social, and psychological dimensions of behavior will be examined from conception and infancy through late life.

 

PSYC 3321††††††† Cognitive Development

Examination of contemporary theoretical and empirical approaches to cognitive development from birth through adolescence. Major areas of cognition (e.g., perception, categorization, memory, language) are studied from a developmental perspective.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

PSYC 3322††††††† Social Development

Investigation of social development from infancy through adolescence. The course focuses on topics including infant attachment, gender development, the understanding of race/ethnicity, the development of morality, and the influence of peers, parents, and the media on social development.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

CLUSTER 3: COGNITION

PSYC 2330††††††† Fundamentals of Cognition

An introduction to the principles of cognitive psychology. Topics include the development of the cognitive paradigm, attention, higher order processes in perception, language, memory, problem-solving, and human-computer interaction. Application to other domains in Psychology and disciplines will be discussed.

 

PSYC 3331††††††† Memory and Cognition

Examination of the fundamental principles of memory and thought, the experimental evidence to support these principles, and the theoretical perspectives used to understand them.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 and 2402 or consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 3333††††††† Simulation of Neural and Cognitive Processes

The interrelations among the study of the mind, the elaboration of brain mechanism, and studies in artificial intelligence. Discussion of modern computers as a model of brain functioning with emphasis on the question of parallel versus serial processing and contemporary approaches to information processing in the nervous system. Students will gain experience in modeling these processes on computers.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 or 2330.

 

CLUSTER 4: SOCIAL AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

PSYC 3340††††††† Psychopathology

Examination of current theory and research findings concerning major psychological disorders. Causes, treatment, and phenomenology of psychopathology are explored, with emphasis on relevant social, intrapsychic, and physiological factors. Includes a critique of approaches to differentiating pathological and adaptive behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

PSYC 3341††††††† Social Psychology

Examination of how individuals think, feel, and behave in different social contexts. Explores basic and applied research on topics such as aggression, attitudes, attribution, prejudice, relationships, self-perception, and social influence.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

PSYC 3342††††††† Personality and Individual Differences

Examination of the following perspectives on personality process: psychoanalytic, trait, genetic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic. Major research methods and issues of each perspective are stressed.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 and 2401.

 

COMPANION COURSES

PSYC 2323††††††† Psychology of Gender

Biological, social, and cultural contributions to gender role development. Specific topics to be discussed will include psychological theories of gender role development (biological and social), gender differences in cognition, models of gender differences, masculinity and femininity, representation of masculinity and femininity in literature and the media, gender based sexuality, peer relationships, and gender based development of identity and self.

 

PSYC 3338††††††† Comparative Psychology

An examination of the theories used to interpret animal behaviors such as communication, territoriality, and aggression. Research and observation pertinent to differences among these major theories are stressed.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1300.

 

PSYC 3351††††††† Clinical Psychology

Exploration of the field of clinical psychology, with a focus on theories and practices of intervention. The major approaches to intervention, including psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and systems, are examined. These approaches are critically evaluated with attention to relevant research issues.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 and 3340.

 

PSYC 3353††††††† Psychological Assessment

The history, principles, purposes, and problems of psychological assessment. Recent interest in gender, age, and cultural differences is integrated with the examination of major assessment techniques.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1300 and 2401.

 

PSYC 3355††††††† Behavioral Medicine

Examination of the basic psychological processes that influence health and illness. Specific behaviors, illnesses, and physical conditions such as smoking, obesity, cancer, HIV, and hypertension are explored with a focus on theoretical models and psychological interventions.

Prerequisite: PSYC 3340 or consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 3360††††††† Special Topics in Psychology

In depth study of theory and research within a particular domain of psychology. May be repeated on different topics.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 4370††††††† History and Systems

Survey of the scientific and philosophical concepts that served as the precursors to contemporary psychology. Emphasis on the historical development of psychological theories in America.

Prerequisite: Senior status.

 

PSYC 4390††††††† Senior Seminar in Psychology

In depth study of theory and research on a topic that spans subdisciplines within psychology or relates psychology to cross-disciplinary interests.

Prerequisite: Senior status or consent of instructor.

 

INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE

PSYC 3357††††††† Directed Field Practicum

Field work conducted as part of the academic curriculum. May be repeated once for credit on a different topic. Pass/Fail basis only (does not count toward the major).

Prerequisites: PSYC 3340 and consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 3161††††††† Reading and Research

Independent study under supervision; three hours per week is assumed, on average; may be repeated twice.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 3368††††††† Supervised Research

Independent research using empirical methods. May be repeated once. Nine hours per week will be distributed across research activities, colloquia attendance, and student presentations.

Prerequisite: PSYC 2401.

 

PSYC 4395††††††† Thesis I

Independent research and scholarly investigation conducted with faculty supervision and culminating (with PSYC 4396) in the preparation of a written thesis.

Prerequisites: PSYC 2401, 2402, and consent of instructor.

 

PSYC 4396††††††† Thesis II

Completion of research initiated in PSYC 4395 and the presentation of the written thesis according to departmental guidelines.

Prerequisites: PSYC 4395 and consent of instructor.