Department of Psychology

Department Head: Dr. Paige McKerchar

211 Ayers Hall

The Mission of the Department of Psychology:

  • Develop a thoroughgoing, science-based psychology curriculum for understanding behavior
  • Establish student learning outcomes related to basic psychological principles, research methods, critical thinking, and professional skills
  • Support student participation in research programs and community service projects

These experiences are designed to allow students the opportunity to practice discussing major psychological principles and research findings, to apply psychological principles and procedures to real-life settings, and to eventually pursue careers in an array of human-service industries or admission to various graduate programs.

PSY 201  Principles of Psychology  (3)  

An introduction to basic methodology, principles, and terms of contemporary psychology. Stresses a scientific analysis of behavior. Direct experience with research psychology or its equivalent may be required.

PSY 202  Honors Principles of Psychology  (3)  

An introduction to the methodology, principles and terms of contemporary psychology, with emphasis on the scientific investigation of behavior. Direct experience with research psychology or its equivalent may be required

PSY 205  Orientation to Psychology  (1)  

An introduction to what psychologists do, what jobs are available in psychology, and how students should proceed through a major in psychology. For students considering a psychology major or who have declared a psychology major. Grades: Pass/Fail.

PSY 220  Principles of Behavior Analysis  (3)  

Corequisite(s): PSY 221.

Prerequisite: "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202. Suggested An introduction to principles of behavior analysis stressing experimental design, observing and recording techniques, and the basic principles of operant conditioning, including schedules of reinforcement.

PSY 221  Behavior Analysis Lab  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Corequisite(s): PSY 220.

Stresses the skills involved in specifying, observing, and consequenting behavior and teaches the standard techniques of behavioral laboratories.

PSY 222  Human Development  (3)  

Study of mental, physical, social, and emotional life of the individual throughout the life span. Special attention given to the first two decades of life.

PSY 301  Research Methods and Statistics (WI)  (4)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or PSY 202.

Corequisite(s): MS 204 or MS 302, PSY 220, PSY 221.

Prerequisites or Introduction to scientific research methodology and statistics as applied to psychological research. (Writing Intensive Course)

PSY 323  Adult Development and Aging  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Introduction to methodological, empirical, and theoretical perspectives of psychological development during adulthood. Topics include physical and cognitive development, personality, social development, and the role of work.

PSY 327  Child and Adolescent Development  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or PSY 202.

The study of human development from prenatal development to adolescence. Topics include psychological theories of physical and motor development, cognitive development, social development, and emotional development, as well as the application of these theories to everyday life.

PSY 330  Abnormal Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Examines the major forms of and theoretical explanations for behavior patterns which have been culturally defined as deviant or psychologically abnormal.

PSY 331  Abnormal Child Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Integration of theory and empirical research on a wide range of child and adolescent disorders. The course provides a comprehensive coverage of the biological, psychological, and social-contextual determinants of childhood problems. Specific disorders will be presented, describing their characteristics, developmental course, and epidemiology; outlining current diagnostic and classification schemes; identifying risk and protective factors; and discussing implications for prevention and treatment. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 412.)

PSY 336  Personality and Individual Differences  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or PSY 202.

Overview of the major theories, approaches to measuring personality variables, research findings, and applications in the scientific study of personality. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 335.)

PSY 337  Psychology of Gender  (3)  

Studies of the origin of sex differences within three theoretical models: biological, psychological, and sociological. Examination of the nature of these differences emphasizing current research in areas such as androgyny, sex typing, sexuality, employment, tokenism, and marriage.

PSY 350  Social Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or PSY 202.

The study of how others influence an individual's behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Topics include social influence, persuasion, attitude-behavior consistency, prosocial behavior, aggression, casual attribution, and affiliation.

PSY 352  Human Sexuality  (3)  

Study of the psychological, physiological, social, and behavioral aspects of human sexuality. Topics include sexual orientation, sexual anatomy, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy/birth, and sexuality through the life cycle.

PSY 354  Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 220 and PSY 221.

The application of behavioral principles and behavior assessment, including the measurement of human behavior, experimental design, and data analysis and interpretation. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 362.)

PSY 355  Positive Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Overview of diverse topics such as happiness, relationships, spirituality, aesthetic appreciation, work satisfaction, self-control, intergrity/ethics. Self-assessment and critical thinking are emphasized.

PSY 364  Behavior-Change Procedures in Applied Behavior Analysis  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 354.

Discussion of fundamental elements of behavior change and specific behavior change procedures, including those used to teach and maintain appropriate behaviors, eliminate inappropriate behaviors, and develop comprehensive behavioral intervention programs.

PSY 366  Cognitive Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 301.

This course reviews processes, such as memory, concept formation, reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving, and applications of cognitive science. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 415.)

PSY 383  Biological Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 301.

Study of the physiological structures and mechanisms that mediate between environmental events and behavior. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 400.)

PSY 399  Study Tour  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

Topics, excursions, and requirements determined by department. May be duplicated for credit; however, only three (3) credits may be applied toward any major or minor. Infrequently scheduled and subject to minimum and maximum numbers. Advance deposit required.

PSY 401  Professional Development  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

How to choose a career or graduate program in psychology or related field, evaluate and improvise your credentials, and prepare to apply. Recommended for junior-level students. (Not open to students with credit for PSY 305.)

PSY 403  Psychological Testing  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 301.

An introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and methods of psychological assessment centered on historical foundations, test construction and evaluation (psychometrics), and ethical issues pertaining to the use of psychological tests. The application of commonly used types of intelligence, personality, scholastic, and vocational tests are considered.

PSY 411  Topics in Social Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or 202.

Intensively explores one or two topics within social psychology. Sample topics include emotion, empathy and altruism, happiness, judgment and decision-making, social psychology in film, social influence, and prejudice and stereotyping.

PSY 425  Health Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or PSY 202.

The use of psychological techniques within medical settings for problems such as hypertension, pain, asthma, eating disorders, and smoking.

PSY 433  Cultural Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 or PSY 202.

Beginning with an examination of theoretical definitions of culture, the course covers a broad range of theories and research findings regarding cultural influences on human behavior and cognitive processes.

PSY 436  Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

Provides an overview of current drug-related issues, including societal trends, basic pharmacology of drug action, legislation, treatment, and prevention.

PSY 444  Conditioning and Learning  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 220 and 221.

A review of research, investigating the basic parameters of conditioning and its theoretical implications. Topics covered will include operant and respondent conditioning.

PSY 446  Introduction to Political Psychology  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): "C" or better in PSY 201 or 202.

This course is an overview of the interdisciplinary connection between political and psychological processes. The incorporation of political science and psychology may help in the understanding of why leaders behave as they do and why citizens support or oppose political leaders. The course will include social cognition and decision making, personality and identity, and environmental factors that affect individual political ideologies. (PSY 446 is crosslisted with PSC 455, but only one course may be taken for credit.)

PSY 447  Psychology Seminar  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Examines relevant research and conceptual issues related to varying topics in psychology, such as self-control, family violence, and evolutionary psychology. When offered, a more detailed description will be available on the department website.

PSY 448  Psychology Seminar  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

Examines relevant research and conceptual issues related to varying topics in psychology, such as self-control, family violence, and evolutionary psychology. When offered, a more detailed description will be available on the department website.

PSY 450  History and Systems of Psychology (WI)  (3-4)  

Prerequisite(s): None.

Undergraduate Prerequisites: "C" or better in PSY 301 and senior standing. Graduate Examines the historical evolution of modern psychology and the conceptual systems which have been developed. This course serves as the psychology capstone course and the Major Field Test in Psychology is required. (Writing Intensive Course)

PSY 460  Instructional Practicum I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Practice of behavioral techniques in an instructional setting. Only students with exceptional performance in Psychology classes will be considered for this practicum.

PSY 461  Instructional Practicum II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Practice of behavioral techniques in an instructional setting. Only students with exceptional performance in Psychology classes will be considered for this practicum.

PSY 480  Community Practicum I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Practice of psychological techniques in a community organization such as mental health clinics, juvenile detention centers, etc. Grades: Pass/Fail.

PSY 481  Community Practicum II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Practice of psychological techniques in a community organization such as mental health clinics, juvenile detention centers, etc. Grades: Pass/Fail.

PSY 485  Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 220, PSY 221 and permission of instructor.

Practice of behavior analysis principles in applied settings such as developmental centers and organizations.

PSY 486  Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 220, PSY 221 and permission of instructor.

Practice of behavior analysis principles in applied settings such as developmental centers and organizations.

PSY 490  Individual Research I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 301 and permission of instructor.

Students will conduct supervised research projects chosen in coordination with their supervisor.

PSY 491  Individual Research II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 301 and permission of instructor.

Students will conduct supervised research projects chosen in coordination with their supervisor.

PSY 498  Honors Thesis I  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 301, permission of thesis supervisor, and senior standing.

Completion of an original research project developed in conjunction with a psychology faculty member.

PSY 499  Honors Thesis II  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): PSY 301, permission of thesis supervisor, and senior standing.

Completion of an original research project developed in conjunction with a psychology faculty member.