David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences
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B.S. Psychology – Course Descriptions

PSY 2000 Introduction to Psychology (4)

An introduction to the major theories, concepts, and applications of psychological topics, including neuropsychology, sensation and perception, human development, learning and memory, social, personality, and psychological disorders and therapy. Throughout the course, an emphasis is placed on understanding the link between theory and real-world application of psychological principles. Students also participate in experiential research activities, which include research studies, reading journal articles, attending psychology media presentations or guest speaker presentations. Fall/Spring

PSY 2100 Statistics for Psychology (4)

An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics commonly used by psychologists, including measures of central tendency, variability, t-tests, correlation, regression, and analyses of variance. Emphasis is on hypothesis testing, interpretation, and application in psychological research. Students are introduced to psychological research methods and learn to use statistical software for analyses. Fall/Spring. Prerequisites: MTH 1130 or higher.

PSY 2200 Personality Psychology (4)

A survey of the major approaches to the study of human personality. Focusing on individual differences in affect, behavior, and cognition, the course reviews classic and contemporary personality perspectives, including the biological, trait, behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, and phenomenological perspectives. Students develop an understanding of the tools and methods currently used to assess and study personality and learn to evaluate the relevant scientific research. The relative validity of self-reports, informant reports, behavioral measures, and life outcomes as measures of personality is examined. Special attention is given to an examination of how personality is manifest in everyday life. Spring. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 2250 Abnormal Psychology (4)

The study of abnormal behavior and psychological disorders in history and in recent times. Clinical assessment, research, and diagnostic methods are discussed. The major categories of psychopathology in the DSM are reviewed including, but not limited to anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Special emphasis is placed on causes, diagnostic features, and current methods of treatment and prevention. Fall. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 2300 Lifespan Development (4)

An integrative introduction into the theories, concepts and applied issues related to the study of the human lifespan. The course provides a balanced examination of the developmental processes that underlie child, adolescent and adult development. Special emphasis is placed on an examination of how biological precursors, as well as social and cultural experiences can shape an individual’s development throughout the lifespan. Spring. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 2400 Social Psychology (4)

An examination of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another in various social contexts. The course emphasis is applying the scientific method to the study of social perception and cognition, attitudes and persuasion, interpersonal attraction, social influence, altruism, aggression, and group decision-making. The application of social psychological research and theory to everyday social behavior is emphasized. Fall. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 2500 Cognitive Psychology (4)

An introduction to the field of cognitive psychology. Students may expect to learn how humans identify, represent, and process information from their environment. Topics covered within the course include, perceptual recognition, attention, memory, language, problem solving, and decision making. Theory and empirical evidence are used to examine the processes underlying these areas. This includes hands-on involvement with different tasks used in these areas of research. Spring. Prerequisite: PSY2000

PSY 2600 Biopsychology (4)

An introduction to the field of biopsychology. Students may expect to learn about current and past methodologies and research on the interplay of the brain and behavior. Topics covered within the course include investigation of behavioral genetics, evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, physiological perspectives of sensory perception, learning and memory, sleeping and dreaming, drug addiction, emotion, human sexuality, and biological bases of psychiatric disorders. Fall. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and BIO-1100 OR BIO-1300

PSY 2880 Special Topics (Variable Credits)

Course may be repeated.

PSY 3100 Research Methods in Psychology (4)

An introduction to the basic research methods used in psychology. Students are exposed to and receive hands-on experience with each step of the research process; from evaluating published research to the collection and analysis of empirical data. The course covers basic topics relevant to designing, analyzing, and reporting research. Topics include the role of theory, the basics of measurement, measurement techniques, application of descriptive and inferential statistics, experimental and non-experimental research designs, scientific writing, and ethical issues. Fall/Spring. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2100

PSY 3210 Person Perception (4)

An examination of the models and theories of person perception with a focus on current areas of research. The course discusses the nature of social judgments, how social perceivers combine information about an individual to reach a judgment, and how that judgment subsequently influences social interactions. Topics include the validity of first impressions, the use of nonverbal cues to understand others, the process by which perceivers make personality judgments, the ability of perceivers to accurately detect thoughts and emotions, and our ability to accurately detect attempts at deception. The application of person perception theory and research to intimate relationship processes, everyday social influence attempts, personnel selection and evaluation processes, and interactions between members of different cultures. Fall even years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

 PSY 3310 Child Development (4)

A more focused examination of the period of development that spans from prenatal development up to late childhood. Topics include an examination of traditional and non- traditional birthing methods, the influence of early parent-child relationships on later child development, development of gifted and special needs children, and understanding the development of friendships during childhood. Special emphasis is placed on utilizing classic and contemporary child development research to further students’ understanding of the principles and theories discussed in class. Students are given the opportunity to raise their own “virtual child” to provide a hands-on understanding of the biological, social and environmental processes that affect child development. Fall odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2300

PSY 3320 Adolescent Development (4)

This course provides a targeted examination of the biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of humans between the ages of 12-18 years. It will explore the general patterns of development of the “typical” adolescent, as well as focusing on more specific topics related to adolescent development: puberty, risky behavior, peer pressure and dating, parent-adolescent relationships, academics, identity development and psychological well-being.  Fall even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2300

PSY 3410 Social Cognition (4)

An examination of how peoples’ perceptions of their social environment motivate their thoughts, emotions and actions. The primary focus of course discussion is on applying this unique perspective to daily life. Course material draws from sources in a variety of contexts, including research in social and cognitive psychology, marketing, group processes, and consumer behavior. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2400

PSY 3420 Close Relationships (4)

An introduction to the scientific study of close, intimate relationships. The course considers how attachment processes, social needs, and interpersonal traits might affect the establishment of stable interpersonal ties, examines how relationships form and develop over time, and reviews the factors that contribute to relationship distress and dissolution. Students develop an understanding of how historical and socio-cultural factors influence the form and function of intimate relationships and how the psychological research methods can help us understand the essential role of close relationships inhuman life. Fall odd years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 3450 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4)

An introduction to psychological science as applied to the study of organizations and people at work. The course explores three broad areas of individual and organizational functioning: personnel decision-making (such as job analysis and employee selection); personal work experiences (such as job attitudes and motivation); and work group/organizational issues (such as leadership and group/team dynamics). For each topic, the course examines how psychological research can be conducted and applied to understand and improve worker experiences and organizational functioning. Fall even years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 3470 Cross-Cultural Psychology (4)

This study abroad course will examine factors leading to socio-cultural similarities and differences in personality, emotion, interpersonal interaction, relationships, group processes, and physical and mental health in order to identify universal vs. culture-bound aspects of behavior.  Issues concerning cultural contact and intercultural relations will be considered. Students will gain a greater appreciation of the influence of culture on everyday experiences while simultaneously understanding that culture is a dynamic entity. Students will participate in individual and small group projects, both in the US and abroad, that explore our understanding of culture and apply the findings of cross-cultural psychology to a variety of human behaviors and experiences in the countries we will visit. Spring with interest. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 3510 Language and Thought (4)

A comprehensive survey of current theories and research of language functions in natural context and their relation to the processes by which language is produced (how we construct an utterance, from idea to completed sentence), understood (how we perceive and understand speech and written language), and acquired (how children acquire language and how second languages learned). This course examines the relationship between language and thought, psychological approaches to meaning, and disorders of speech and language.  Fall even years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000 and PSY-2500

PSY 3520 Sensation and Perception (4)

This course introduces students to two closely related, though distinct processes. Sensation and perception are the processes by which we absorb information from environmental stimuli (sensation) and convert it into data that our brains and bodies use to modify behavior (perception).  Students will learn about the neurobiology of sensory pathways, fundamentals of perceptual processing, and higher-level meaning-making for our senses including: vision (seeing), audition (hearing), the chemical senses (taste and smell), and somatosensation (touch).  Additionally, time will be spent discussing what happens when sensory and perceptual processes fail. Spring even years. Prerequisite: PSY-2500 or PSY-2600

PSY 3610 Health Psychology (4)

An examination of the contribution psychology has made to understanding health and illness. This course focuses on the physiological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to health and illness. The course includes such topics as the promotion and maintenance of good health, the treatment of illness in the medical setting, doctor-patient communication patterns, patients’ reactions to illness, and behavioral intervention to reduce health risks. Spring even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000

PSY 3620 Human Sexuality (4)

The scientific study of human sexual behavior and attitudes, examining biological, cognitive, social, and cultural influences. Emphasis is on using psychological science to understanding aspects of sexual functioning, sexual behavior, gender/sexuality influences across the lifespan, and sexuality within its societal and cultural context. Topics include, but are not limited to, sexual anatomy and response, gender roles, sexual orientation, sexual deviations, sex-related crimes, sexual dysfunctions, and sex in the context of intimate, romantic relationships. Spring even years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 3710 Career Development and Psychology (4)

Using psychological research on career decision-making, this course examines career preparation, training, and job search issues relevant to psychology. Students explore career options related to psychology, study factors related to career choice, and participate in activities designed to help them clarify and achieve career goals. Emphasis is on preparatory activities during the undergraduate years for careers or graduate study. Additionally, psychological research on job searching, application, and interviewing is studied and used to develop action plans for achieving career goals. The emphasis is on the development of applied skills in career preparation and progression. Spring odd years. Prerequisite: PSY-2000

PSY 3880 Special Topics (Variable Credits)

Course may be repeated.

PSY 4100 Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (4)

The primary objective of this course is for students to expand their basic research skills through the development and execution of their own research project. Students conduct an extensive literature review of a research topic within psychology, design, conduct, analyze, and share their research project within the class. Students experience all aspects of the psychological research process first-hand and further develop their communication skills, both written and oral. Fall/Spring. Prerequisites: PSY-2000, PSY-2100, and PSY-3100

PSY 4110 Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research is designed to allow students to develop highly individualized research or creative projects that are typically undertaken by students with an expressed interest in and aptitude for attaining more advanced, hands-on experience in psychology. In this course, students may contract to work individually with a faculty member on a project initiated and designed by the student, as part of a collaborative research or creative team, on a project initiated by the professor (more typical), or with a group of students working collaboratively on a common project in conjunction with a faculty member. Students, in collaboration with a faculty member, practice advanced psychological research methods, such as independent project design, data gathering techniques, data analysis, and report writing. Enrollment in the course is limited and requires prior approval of both the faculty collaborator/mentor and the department chair. Credit is variable, and depends on the quantity and depth of work involved in the proposed research project. One to four hours credit; no more than four hours per semester and no more than four hours counted toward the major requirements. Fall/Spring. Prerequisites: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in PSY 2100 or PSY 3100; permission of instructor and department chair.

PSY 4120 Independent Study (4)

The study of a particular research problem with the permission of the department chair and under the supervision of a faculty member in psychology. Prerequisites: Restricted to upper level majors in psychology

PSY 4190 Psychological Testing (4)

A theoretical and applied approach to understanding the theory and construction of psychological tests and measures. Students critically evaluate measures of personality, intelligence, and attitudes, and develop their own psychological tests. Throughout the course, a strong emphasis is placed on students understanding the basics of psychometric theory and issues related to reliability and validity. Fall odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2100

PSY 4200 Counseling and Psychotherapy (4)

An introduction to topics that cut across counseling practice, such as the stages of psychotherapy, treatment planning, ethics, and multicultural competence. In addition, specific theoretical orientations (e.g., psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive) are explored and students are exposed to therapy techniques that are consistent with each of these perspectives. Finally, students are introduced to the dynamics of alternative therapy modalities, such as couples/family and group therapy. Spring odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2250

PSY 4210 Personality and Psychopathology (4)

This course will allow students to learn about predominant theories or models of personality and their relationship to various forms of psychopathology.  A particular focus of the course is the diagnostic category of personality disorders.  Students can expect to learn about how personality disorders are currently classified, as well as proposals for future classification that are based in personality theory. Spring odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2250

PSY 4301 Family Dynamics (4)

This course will take a lifespan developmental approach towards understanding the family unit. Topics will include research methodology and theories of the family, as well as the stages of family development: marriage, child-rearing, conflict, divorce, illness and death. Inclusion of critical discussion and comparison of family units outside of the U.S. will provide students with the opportunity to understand how cultural differences have a powerful influence on the developmental tasks of the family unit and its individual members. Students will also examine through both lecture and applied and hands-on activities and projects how developmental change at the level of the individual family member impacts functioning of the entire family unit, and conversely how changes within the family unit impact the development of the individual members. Spring even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2300

PSY 4342 Cognitive Aging (4)

An in-depth examination of adult age-related changes in basic cognitive functions. Specifically, the course focuses on memory, reasoning, language and intelligence, and applies the current theory and research to the use of these processes in everyday life. Emphasis is placed on the application of scientific methods to the study of aging. The course also examines cognitive dysfunction from mild cognitive impairment to more severe impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Spring even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2300 OR PSY-2500

PSY 4430 Social Influence (4)

An in-depth analysis of topics within the subfield of social influence. Topics in this area include persuasion, conformity, obedience, and group processes. This course emphasizes the application of social influence concepts within a number of domains. Course work includes several experiential independent projects. Spring even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2400

PSY 4450 Organizational Behavior (4)

A study of the determinants and consequences of behavior in work organizations, focusing on individual-level, group-level, and organization-level variables. Scientific research is reviewed to understand these influences and how they affect personal experiences and organizational effectiveness. Influences such as personality, emotions, social perception, job satisfaction, power, conflict, workplace violence, and organizational culture are reviewed, with emphasis on how knowledge gained from systematic study can apply to employee well-being and evidence- based management strategies. Fall odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-3450

PSY 4510 Learning and Memory (4)

A comprehensive study of the literature on learning and memory including cognitive and neural organization of memory, mechanisms of remembering and forgetting, and why people sometimes falsely remember events that never happened. The course integrates theory and empirical research with application to everyday memory situations. Students can expect direct experience with common tasks used in research. Spring odd years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2500

PSY 4610 Drugs and Human Behavior (4)

Examines the basic principles of psychopharmacology and the effects of psychoactive drugs on human nervous system functioning, emotion, thought, and behavior. Historical and current patterns of drug use are explored, with an emphasis on drugs of abuse and their effects on individuals. The effects, applications, and abuse of several drug classifications are studied, including but not limited to stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, cannabinoids, depressants, and alcohol. Relationships and applications to several areas of psychology are discussed, as are general issues in prevention and treatment. Fall even years. Prerequisites: PSY-2000 and PSY-2600

PSY 4710-4750 Student Internship (3, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 credits)

See program description.


PSY 4880 Special Topics (Variable Credits)

Course may be repeated.



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