Course Descriptions

Psychology

PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology

An introduction to psychological science -- the study of behavior and mental processes. This course surveys the major subdisciplines of the field, including such topics as the brain and neuroscience, behavioral genetics, cognitive and social development, perception, learning, memory, decision-making, language, consciousness, emotions, motivation, psychological disorders, social identity, interpersonal interactions and cultural processes. Lecture and laboratory components.

Frequency: Every semester.

PSYC 172 - Psychology in the Material World

This course is an in-depth psychological analysis of consumerism and the human reltaionship to "stuff." Consumerism, materialistic aspirations, and "affluenza" (the disease of affluence) all exert profound and often undesirable effects on both people's individual lives and on society as a whole. These phenomena, and the consumerist culture they are embedded in, affect our psyches, our families, our local communities, the peoples of the world, and the integrity of our ecological system. This course draws from a range of theoretical, clinical, and methodological approaches to explore several key questions: Where does the drive to consume originate? Do we control our consumer behavior, or does it control us? Is it possible to live in our culture and not be a consumer? What are the alternatives to the status quo? We will analyze and discuss both the scholarly ramifications of these ideas and also how to act upon them in our lives and society more broadly.

Cross-Listed as

ENVI 172

PSYC 180 - Brain, Mind, and Behavior

A multidisciplinary investigation of behavior and the nervous system. Particular emphasis is placed on human processes of perception, cognition, learning, memory, and language. This course also serves as the introductory course for the neuroscience studies major.

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 180

PSYC 182 - Drugs and Society

Topics covered include: social and legal history of drug use and abuse in the United States and other countries, including ethnicity and chemical use, pharmacology of mood altering chemicals, chemical dependence and treatment, and drugs used in treating mental illness. Classes will consist of a mixture of lecture, film, discussion, role plays, etc.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 or permission of instructor

PSYC 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

PSYC 198 - Excursions Exploring Psychology

This course exposes students to topics in psychology not covered in our standard curriculum through travel to a new geographic region. The course focuses on aspects of psychology unique to that region and also typically includes a study of the geography and culture of the region. It is designated as a January course. Participants meet prior to departure in order to learn necessary background information. The field excursion generally spans two to three weeks. The region and area of psychology to be studied may vary from year to year, and a student may take the course more than once for credit. This course is offered S/N grading only.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Prerequisite(s)

permission of instructor

PSYC 201 - Research in Psychology I

This course is an introduction to the basic principles of research in psychology, with an emphasis on statistical techniques used in psychological science. We consider the pros and cons of experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs to test psychological hypotheses. The course includes a weekly laboratory component in which students develop proficiency with statistical software, writing reports in American Psychological Association style, and familiarity with experimental techniques unique to behavioral research.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 Permission of instructor is required for first year students

PSYC 202 - Research in Psychology II

This course continues instruction begun in PSYC 201. We more closely examine key factors for planning and implementing research studies, such as validity, variable operationalization, and common ethical dilemmas faced by psychologists. Students gain in-depth experience in developing, interpreting, and communicating different types of empirical psychological research designs (e.g., experiments, surveys).

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

one of the following:

PSYC 201 and any other intermediate-level psychology course (except 243)

or

MATH 155, MATH 254, any other intermediate-level psychology course (except 243) -and- permission of instructor.

PSYC 220 - Educational Psychology

An introduction to theory and research in educational psychology. Topics include learning theory, learner characteristics, intelligence, creativity, motivation, measurement and evaluation, and models of teaching appropriate for diverse learners from early childhood through young adulthood. Students are required to complete observations in classroom settings.

Frequency: Every semester.

Cross-Listed as

EDUC 220

PSYC 240 - Principles of Learning and Behavior

This course provides an in-depth introduction to the principles and methods used in the study of how behavior changes as a function of experience. The emphasis will be on classical and operant conditioning principles and procedures, which have become the standard research technologies used in biomedical, psychopharmacological, and other animal laboratory research areas. The laboratory component is designed to give students experience with behavioral technology and data collection and analysis. Group A course.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100, PSYC 180 or NEUR 180, and eitherMATH 155 or PSYC 201 

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 240 

PSYC 242 - Cognitive Psychology

A survey of the experimental analysis of the mind. Topics include attention, memory and forgetting, problem solving, reasoning, and language. Special emphasis is given to the study of discourse comprehension and reading. The weekly laboratory sessions afford students an opportunity to interact directly with cognitive phenomena and research methods. Group A course.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100

PSYC 243 - Psychological Anthropology

This course explores the relationship between self, culture and society. We will examine and discuss critically the broad array of methods and theories anthropologists use to analyze personality, socialization, mental illnes and cognition in different societies. Our aim is to address questions related to the cultural patterning of personality, the self and emotions and to understand how culture might shape ideas of what a person is. We will also seek to understand how cultures define behavior as abnormal, pathological or insane, and how they make sense of trauma and suffering.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

ANTH 111

Cross-Listed as

 ANTH 243

PSYC 244 - Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is a relatively recent discipline that combines cognitive science and cognitive psychology with biology and neuroscience to investigate how the brain enables the myriad of complex functions we know as the mind. This course will explore basic concepts and contemporary topics in the field, focusing in particular on the methods used in cognitive neuroscience research. Through lecture and lab sessions, students will learn to read and interpret primary source material, design and implement cognitive neuroscience studies, and present research in verbal and written forms. Overall, students will gain an appreciation for the amazing intricacy of the brain-mind relationship, as well as a sense of how this relationship may be understood eventually using cognitive neuroscience techniques. Group A course.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 180, NEUR 180 or PSYC 100.

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 244

PSYC 246 - Exploring Sensation and Perception

An examination of the processes of sensation and perception. While the course features a strong emphasis on neurophysiology of sensation, classical approaches to the study of perception will also figure prominently. Particular emphasis will be placed on vision and somatosensation, including pain processes. Lecture and weekly 1.5 hour investigatory laboratory. Fulfills Group A requirement.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 or PSYC 180 or NEUR 180 and permission of instructor

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 246

PSYC 248 - Behavioral Neuroscience

An examination of the role of the nervous system in the control of behavior. While the course features a systems approach to the investigation of sensory and perceptual mechanisms, molecular, cellular and cognitive components of the nervous system will also be discussed in the context of course topics. Particular emphasis is given to the nature of learning, memory, and motor processes, motivation, emotion, homeostasis, cognition, and human neuropsychology. The laboratory will be used for a variety of instructor-demonstrative and student participatory research and laboratory activities. Fulfills Group A requirement.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

NEUR 180 or BIOL 163 or BIOL 367 or BIOL 356 or PSYC 180 or permission of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 248

PSYC 250 - Developmental Psychology

This is a course in lifespan human development; as such, we examine psychological theories and research to describe, understand, and explain the processes that shape our lives between conception and death. We will cover issues related to physiological/biological, cognitive/linguistic, and social/emotional development. A theme throughout this course is an exploration of the lifelong interaction between nature and nurture. This course also focuses on developing an understanding of the concepts, methods, research findings, and applied knowledge central to the study of developmental psychology. Group B course.

Frequency: Offered once each year.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 or EDUC 220 or permission of instructor

PSYC 252 - Distress, Dysfunction, and Disorder: Perspectives on the DSM

This course will examine the experiences, causes, and treatments of the major forms of distress and disorder codified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), including schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, stress disorders, and personality disorders. We will critically evaluate theories and research derived from biological, genetic, psychological, interpersonal, and social-cultural perspectives. Group B course.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100

PSYC 254 - Social Psychology

This course will survey the ways in which social phenomena influence the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals. The major theories, experiments, and issues associated with social psychology will be examined. Sample topics include love, aggression, conformity, attitudes, prejudice, persuasion, obedience, and attribution. Group B course.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100.

PSYC 256 - Personality Psychology

This course will survey the major theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding human personality. Specific topics to be covered include psychoanalytic, humanistic, existential, and biological personality theories; motivation and cognition; traits; identity and the self; and the cultural and social context of personality. Research and assessment strategies for understanding personality will be explored and critically evaluated. Group B course.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100

PSYC 264 - The Psychology of Gender

This class is an introduction to feminist psychological theory and research dedicated to understanding and critiquing biological, psychological, social, and cultural meanings and implications of gender and its intersections with class, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc. Examples of research and theory will come from a wide variety of areas in psychology and related disciplines, and will address such issues as socialization and social development, stereotypes, bodies and body image, social relationships, identity, language, violence, sexuality and sexual behavior, well-being, work, etc. We will also learn about the historical, cultural, and epistemological underpinnings of psychological research on gender. Counts as a UP3 course.

Frequency: Offered yearly.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 or permission of the instructor

Cross-Listed as

 WGSS 264

PSYC 266 - History of Psychology

This course explores major developments and ideas in psychology such as: the history of ideas about the mind; the effects of theorists' life experiences on their ideas; key historical and social events that shaped the field; when and how psychology became a science; and how ideas about what is "normal" shape and are shaped by psychology. Counts as a UP3 course.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100.

PSYC 268 - The Psychology of Multiculturalism: Identity in Diverse Societies

This course examines the psychological effects of social diversity on our lives as individuals and as group members. Topics include: 1) gender, ethnicity, social class and other group memberships; 2) the perception of others; 3) social identity formation and change in relation to self; 4) in group/out-group relations in relation to identity; and 5) social change to reduce intergroup tensions. Finally, the class will consider how psychology as a discipline might change to become more relevant and sensitive to questions of diversity. Counts as a UP3 course.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100

PSYC 270 - Psychology of Sustainable Behavior

This course is an introduction to the psychological study of sustainable behavior. As scientific evidence of degraded world environmental conditions accumulates, researchers from many disciplines are joining the effort to find solutions. Technological innovation will certainly play a role, but equally important are behavior changes at both the organizational and individual level. Psychologists use their training in the scientific study of human behavior to examine why people do or do not act sustainably in a variety of situations. In this course we will study this body of research and use psychological principles, theories, and methods to understand the factors that underlie both environmentally destructive as well as environmentally sustainable actions. A significant component of the course will be direct application of theory to one's own actions as well as to a campus-or community-based sustainability issue.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 for Psychology majors

Cross-Listed as

 ENVI 270

PSYC 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

PSYC 300 - Directed Research in Psych

Students are involved and guided in conducting research within specific content areas approved by the supervising faculty. Research may be conducted individually or in small groups depending on the content area. Research groups meet regularly for presentation of background material, discussions of common readings, and reports on project status. Directed research is typically taken in the junior year and is open only to declared majors. Students will be assigned to sections by the supervising faculty.  This course fulfills the capstone requirement for the major in Psychology.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 and PSYC 202 and an intermediate course in Psychology and junior or senior standing

PSYC 370 - Understanding and Confronting Racism

An examination of the social psychological factors associated with race prejudice and racism, particularly in the United States. Focusing on the psychological theories proposed to understand racism, this course investigates the causes and consequences of racism at the individual, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels of society. Special attention will be given to exploring interventions to reduce racism. Counts as a UP3 course.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100, PSYC 201 (or MATH 155), and at least one intermediate course in Psychology.

PSYC 372 - Health Psychology

The field of health psychology addresses three issues: 1) the ways in which psychological factors and experiences (such as stress, personality patterns, discrimination, etc.) affect health, 2) changing health behaviors and 3) the psychological effects of being ill. We will read research articles, theoretical essays, and first person accounts as a basis from which to understand these issues and also to grapple with such questions as: What exactly is "health"? What are the connections between the mind and the body? Can psychology help explain how our membership in different social groups affects our health? Why do some people get sick and others stay well? What is it like to be a patient? A doctor? How do societal ideas about illness and disability affect us?

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Prerequisite(s)

 PSYC 100 or PSYC 201 and at least one intermediate course or permission of instructor

PSYC 374 - Clinical and Counseling Psych

This course examines specific applications of psychological principles to the mental health field by exploring strategies for therapeutic intervention. We will discuss a wide range of approaches (e.g., psychoanalysis; humanistic therapy; cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavior therapy; mindfulness based stress reduction; family therapy; art therapy) and we will consider issues raised by traditional clinical practice, such as ethics, the politics and economics of mental health, and cultural biases.

Frequency: Offered once each year.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 (or PSYC 201) and PSYC 252 or permission of instructor

PSYC 375 - Mood and Anxiety

Sadness, despair, anxiety, dread: This seminar explores contemporary theories and research that help us understand and alleviate mood and anxiety disorders. We will examine evolutionary, cognitive, biological, sociocultural, and developmental perspectives on mood and anxiety, and we will grapple with current controversies concerning diagnosis, comorbidity, prevention, and pharmacology of mood and anxiety disorders. The seminar will also examine the promotion of well-being and positive psychology.

Frequency: Offered every few years.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 252 or permission of instructor

PSYC 378 - Psychology of Language

An examination of psychological factors that affect the comprehension of oral and written language. Topics include the origin of language, how language can control thought, the role of mutual knowledge in comprehension, and principles that underlie coherence in discourse. Includes readings from psycholinguistics, philosophy, sociolinguistics, social psychology, and especially from cognitive psychology. Emphasis is placed on current research methods so that students can design an original study. Student led component.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 (or PSYC 201) and PSYC 242 or two linguistics classes or permission of instructor

 

 

Cross-Listed as

LING 378

PSYC 379 - Cultural Psychology

This course will examine the interplay of culture and the mind. In the first part of the course, we will briefly examie theoretical developments and methodological limitations in the field of cultural psychology, which has hightlighted fundamental differences in models of the self, attention, perception, memory, morality, and emotions across East/Southeast Asians and Western Europeans/North Americans. The remaining time will be spent examining a series of topics on how culture and psychology interrelate in our increasingly globalized world. These topics include, but are not limited to, acculturation, multicultural identity negotiation, cultural evolution and reproduction, multicultural competence, emotion and memory across cultures, culture of gender, and culture of socioeconomic status. Counts as a UP3 course and has a student led component.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

PSYC 380 - Community Psychology and Public Health

This course will examine the inter-related fields of community psychology and public health psychology. These disciplines share a commitment to the promotion of well-being within a social and cultural context. We will explore theory, research, and praxis related to ecological analysis, empowerment models, prevention and health promotion, risk and resilience, and community organizing and activism. These conceptual tools will help us understand the complex processes underlying clinical psychopathology (e.g., serious and persistent mental illness), behavioral health (e.g., smoking; obesity; substance abuse), and symptoms of structural violence (e.g., domestic violence; homelessness). Throughout the course, we will focus on the unique contributions of psychological scholarship to understanding and improving population health. All students will participate in a civic engagement experience of at least two hours a week to foster fuller understanding of the course concepts. Student led component. UP3 course.    

Frequency: Offered every few years.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 and PSYC 201 (or MATH 155) OR two CGH-related courses drawn from Categories A and/or B.

PSYC 382 - Hormones and Behavior

This class will focus on the hormonal mechanisms of behavior in animals (including homo sapiens). Following introductory lectures, a series of topics will be explored, with a particular emphasis placed on those behaviors most directly mediated by hormonal activity (such as aggression, sexual and reproductive behaviors, stress responses, etc.).

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 and PSYC 201, and either PSYC 180 or PSYC 244

PSYC 385 - Mind Reading: Understanding Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive technique used to provide indirect measures of neural activity in healthy (and unhealthy) humans. Although the technique has been readily available to researchers for only about 20 years, its popularity and use has grown tremendously in the last 10, and we now see it influencing aspects of culture and society not traditionally based in biomedical research (i.e., law, politics, economics). This course will cover the mechanics of fMRI, evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and explore recent applications that have received wide and sometimes controversial media coverage. By the end of the course, students will understand essential components of the fMRI technique and be informed consumers of primary and secondary source reports involving brain imaging. Student led component.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 or PSYC 180 or NEUR 180 and PSYC 201 and PSYC 244 or PSYC 248

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 385

PSYC 386 - Seminar in Neuropharmacology

This is an advanced course that will focus on the study of drugs used to alter the central nervous system. The course will begin with basic pharmacological principles and then concentrate on the various uses of drugs to alter brain neurochemistry. Topics for discussion will include the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia, depression, pain, anxiety and generally, the neurochemical basis of behavior. In addition to discussion of the use of drugs for clinical purposes, a significant amount of time will be spent on the use of "drugs of abuse" (e.g., cocaine, marijuana, LSD). While the focus of the course will be on the biochemical mechanisms of these drugs, an effort will be made to investigate and discuss the sociological ramifications of drug use. Three discussion/lecture hours per week.

Frequency: Offered every other year.

Prerequisite(s)

BIOL 356 and junior or senior standing or permission of instructor

Cross-Listed as

BIOL 486

PSYC 389 - Inside the Animal Mind

Ever wondered what your dog is thinking or why your cat behaves a certain way? In this course students will be introduced to the questions and concepts in the study of animal cognition and the neurobiological basis for cognition. We will take a peek into the animal mind and show that many topics in animal cognition can be studied in an objective and scientific manner. The format of the seminar will include student led discussion of recent topics in the study of animal cognition. Topics may include: animal sensory abilities, abstract representations (e.g., numbers and time) cause and effect detection, memory and emotion systems and their neurobiological basis, insight and reasoning, theory of mind, and communication. Book chapters and journal articles will be employed to illustrate these concepts.

Prerequisite(s)

PSYC 100 and PSYC 201; or PSYC 180 and permission of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

NEUR 389

PSYC 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

PSYC 488 - Senior Seminar

Senior seminars examine a variety of topics. Specific topics will be determined at the time of registration, and may include Lives in Context, Pain and Suffering, Culture and Psychology, and Development in Context.

Prerequisite(s)

Senior majors and minors only

PSYC 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

PSYC 601 - Tutorial

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 602 - Tutorial

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 603 - Tutorial

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 604 - Tutorial

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 611 - Independent Project

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 612 - Independent Project

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 613 - Independent Project

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 614 - Independent Project

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

PSYC 621 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

PSYC 622 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

PSYC 623 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

PSYC 624 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

PSYC 631 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

PSYC 632 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

PSYC 633 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

PSYC 634 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.