Psychology (PSY)

Course Descriptions (Per Subject)

PSY 100.  Introduction to Psychology.  4. 
Introduction to the science of behavior including study of motivation, learning and remembering, the brain, perception and thinking, social processes, and developmental behavior disorders. Includes instruction on basic research methods in psychology, and requires students to find, read, and analyze primary research articles. Fulfills social science requirement (1998). Social/behavioral science requirement (2019).

PSY 150.  Special Topics.  1-8. 
May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels. Prerequisites vary.

PSY 210.  Mexican Childhoods.  4. 
In this team-taught, interdisciplinary travel course, we’ll study diverse experiences of childhood in Mexico through the lenses of developmental psychology and Latin American cultural studies. The course brings into focus Mexico, a country whose culture and history have important implications for life in the United States. Stereotypes and overgeneralizations about Mexico flourish here; your experiences in this course will allow you to see beyond reductive, harmful discourses and equip you to challenge many of them. 
This course centers social justice principles in the form of:

  • equitable access to study abroad, 
  • principled instructional design centering diverse Mexican voices, 
  • principled community engagement in Oaxaca, and
  • intervening in stereotypes and overgeneralizations about Mexico and its people.

We’ll spend ten days of this three-week course in Oaxaca City, Mexico, living with Mexican host families and witnessing varied experiences and representations of Mexican childhoods while learning from local experts–including children themselves. We’ll learn first-hand about Mexico’s complex history, diverse society, and rich cultural contributions. Topics will include concepts of death in Mexican childhoods, oral cultures of Mexican childhoods (including riddles and folktales), diversity of caregiving practices, and the discourse of children’s rights.

MLS 210 fulfills the MLS 210 requirement for Modern Language Studies majors (all tracks) or one course of the Spanish minor. PSY 210 counts as an elective for Psychology majors or minors. Both MLS 210 and PSY 210 can count as:

  • One course of the two-course Sociocultural Engagement General Education requirement 
  • An elective for International Studies majors (Latin American track)

PSY 224.  Developmental Psychology.  4. 
Psychological aspects of human growth and development across the lifespan, with emphasis on emerging capacities, expanding behavior, and increasingly complex social interactions. Includes instruction on basic research methods in psychology, and requires students to find, read, and analyze primary research articles. Includes community engagement. Fulfills social science requirement (1998). Social/behavioral science requirement (2019).

PSY 230.  Spotlight on Therapy.  4. 
This course will introduce students to basic therapy concepts, techniques, and models. We will use television shows, movies, and in-class demonstrations, and consider how the media portrayals compare to the real work of therapy.

PSY 241.  Mass Media.  4. 
The study of mass media, including the impact of mass media on the ways people conceptualize the world, and the impact of mass media on human behavior. The course will look at a variety of media, including books and magazines, television, radio, film and the internet.

PSY 242.  Psychology of African Americans.  4. 
The study of African Americans from a psychological point of view, with emphasis on theories, research and models as they pertain to African Americans. The course examines a variety of issues, such as: ethnic identity, personality traits, nonverbal communication, racism, mental health and the legal system. Fulfills diversity in the U.S.

PSY 243.  Environmental Psychology.  4. 
Study of the impact of human knowledge, attitudes and behavior on environmental problems and their solution. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).

PSY 250.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

PSY 259.  ADHD and African American Children (AFAM 259).  4. 
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in African American children is a much-needed area of study. ADHD is one of the most diagnosed childhood behavior disorders. Traditional research has often failed to focus on African American children and youth with this disorder. In this course, we will explore characteristics, diagnosis, research, theories, treatment, and intervention techniques as it relates to African American children with this disorder. It will also address academic and behavioral challenges faced by this population, as well as the role that family, social, economic, and racial factors play in the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

PSY 260.  Independent Study.  1-8. 
May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels. Intensive reading and/or independent research on a topic of interest to the student. By departmental approval.

PSY 263.  Prisons in US and Norway.  3-4. 
A comparison of prison systems in the U.S. and Norway from the perspectives of restorative justice, criminal justice, and psychology. Students will compare the goals, structures, and policies of the two systems, and consider the differential impact on violence, mental health, rehabilitation, and recidivism. Includes visits to prisons in the U.S. and Norway.

PSY 270.  Interpersonal Communications (JPS 270).  4. 
Using an experiential learning laboratory approach, this course provides students with a solid theoretical foundation for understanding interpersonal communication, the internal dynamics that lead individuals to construct meaning and the skills needed to maintain effective relationships of all kinds.

PSY 290.  Internship.  1-8. 
Community engagement, individually arranged so that students can become directly involved in work within the community. Highly recommended for all majors. May also be offered at the 390 level.

PSY 301.  Research Methods and Analysis.  4. 
Application of methods for collecting and analyzing behavioral science data and for drawing inferences from such data.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 and Historical Perspectives.

PSY 314.  Psychology of Parenthood.  4. 
Why choose parenthood or child freedom? What is a good parent? And how do individual differences and sociocultural contexts (including power and privilege) influence parenthood? This course will teach you to apply evidence from psychology and related fields to parenthood. During the semester, you will construct a coherent, values-driven personal narrative about your experiences with parenthood and/or desires and intentions for future parenthood, child freedom, or other caregiving.

Prerequisite: Historical Perspectives and PSY 100 or PSY 224

PSY 330.  Personality.  4. 
The study of personality from a variety of perspectives; Emphasis on different personality theories and techniques of assessment and research.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 332.  Industrial and Organizational Psychology.  4. 
Application of psychology to problems of employee selection, motivation, training, work environment and human relations in business, industry and other organizations.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 337.  Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.  4. 
Childhood and adolescent problems encountered by clinical psychologists, special education teachers, social workers, counselors and school psychologists examined in the context of normal child development. Emphasis is on psychological factors in deviant and disturbed behavior and treatment procedures. Includes community engagement.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 338.  Theoretical Perspectives.  4. 
The course will focus on a major theoretical perspective in psychology, including behaviorism, cognitive psychology, humanistic psychology, or psychoanalytic psychology, one or more theorists within a perspective, or a comparison of theories or theorists. Rotating titles. Repeatable.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 340.  Psychobiology (Biol 340).  4. 
Study of behavior from a biological point of view. Focus on the structure and function of the nervous system and on the relationships between behavior and the nervous system. Co-requisite: laboratory work.

Prerequisite: either two courses in biology or one course in biology and one course in psychology.

PSY 341.  Psychotherapy.  4. 
Studies psychotherapy's theoretical foundations and the therapist's practical skills. The course will explore four to six therapeutic approaches in depth. The therapies chosen will vary each semester, as will the focus on individual, group, family or child modalities.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or PSY 224.

PSY 342.  Adult Psychopathology.  4. 
This course examines psychological disturbances that may be diagnosed in adulthood, studied in the context of modern life, genetics, and the socio-cultural milieu.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 343.  Sensory Systems (Biol 343).  4. 
Detailed study of each of the major sensory systems, including the anatomy and physiology of each system, an analysis of the stimulus and measurements of sensory abilities. Laboratory work.

Prerequisite: either two courses in biology or one course in biology and one course in psychology.

PSY 345 Health Psychology. 4
This course uses the biopsychosocial perspective to understand how individual behaviors and lifestyles affect physical health. Health psychologists are active in both basic and applied research concerned with how biology, psychology, and the social context interact to influence health behaviors including seeking and receiving health care; managing and coping with pain and stress; lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and tobacco use; and dealing with chronic illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

PSY 347.  Social Psychology.  4. 
Factors affecting the behavior of the individual in the social setting; laboratory and field research in social interaction.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 349.  Multiculturalism and Psychology.  4. 
Examines various areas in which multiculturalism has been applied, such as education, mental health and counseling, and inter-group relations. Students investigate cultural differences in development, examine cultural and personal identity and explore ways of improving relations among cultures.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224. Fulfills diversity in the U.S. requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).

PSY 350.  Advanced Issues in Psychology.  8.  

PSY 351.  Psychology and Gender.  4. 
Variable title. Repeatable.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 352.  Psychology of Language.  4. 
Study of the psychological aspects of language use, including language acquisition, language production and comprehension, the dynamics of interpersonal communication, and the relationship between language and thought. Also explores issues of memory, mental representation, and neuroscience as they relate to the study of language.

Prerequisite: PSY 100 or 224.

PSY 354.  Social Psychology and Film.  4. 
Film can be both a reflection of society and an agent for change. In this course, we will consider how social psychological principles are illustrated in film and how their depictions can be used to bring about social change, sometimes, but not always, for the better.

Prerequisite: PSY100 or PSY224.

PSY 360.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

PSY 363.  Prisons in US and Norway.  3-4. 
A comparison of prison systems in the U.S. and Norway from the perspectives of restorative justice, criminal justice, and psychology. Students will compare the goals, structures, and policies of the two systems, and consider the differential impact on violence, mental health, rehabilitation, and recidivism. Includes visits to prisons in the U.S. and Norway.

PSY 390.  Internship.  1-8.  

PSY 445.  Contemporary Issues in the Social Sciences.  4. 
Selected theoretical and methodological issues of contemporary psychology.

Prerequisite: IE 301 and a Research Methods Course (JPS 337JPS 338PSCI 455PSY 301SOAN 337, OR SPST 445). Fulfills the Senior Seminar requirement for the Integrative Experience.

PSY 450.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

PSY 460.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

PSY 470.  Senior Thesis.  1-8. 
Major research project designed and conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Prerequisite: PSY 301 and senior standing.

PSY 490.  Departmental Honors.  1-8. 
Thesis designed and conducted under the supervision of a committee, including one Chair who is in the psychology department and two other committee members (one inside and one outside the department). Requires a thesis defense to the committee and entire department. Departmental honors are awarded only after approval of the committee and department.

Prerequisite: PSY 301, senior standing, 3.5 cumulative G.P.A.