Catalog 2016-2017


Teaching Faculty

Professors Bonebright, Maxwell, Peszka, and Templeton
Associate Professors Penner (chair) and Zorwick
Assistant Professors Kennedy, Taylor, and Thomas
Visiting Assistant Professor Crowell


Major in Psychology

10 courses distributed as follows:

  • PSYC 290  Statistics  *
  • PSYC 295  Research Methods  ** 
  • 2 courses from Cluster A, at least one of which must have a laboratory: 
              PSYC 165  Comparative Animal Behavior in the Tropics (w/Lab)
              PSYC 220  Brain and Behavior
              PSYC 260  Human Sexuality
              PSYC 280  Introduction to Psychopharmacology
              PSYC 300  Comparative Animal Behavior (w/Lab)
              PSYC 320  Cognitive Psychology (w/Lab)
              PSYC 323  Human Memory
              PSYC 330  Learning
              PSYC 335  Sensation and Perception
              PSYC 355  Evolutionary Psychology
              PSYC 360  Behavioral Neuroscience (w/Lab)
              PSYC 366  Behavioral Endocrinology
  • 2 courses from Cluster B: 
              PSYC 230  Social Psychology
              PSYC 240  Childhood and Adolescence
              PSYC 245  Adult Development and Aging
              PSYC 255  Stereotyping and Prejudice
              PSYC 352  Social Cognition
              PSYC 370  Personality
  • 1 course from Cluster C: 
              PSYC 400  Psychology of Gender
              PSYC 415  Psychology Practicum
              PSYC 425  History and Systems
              PSYC 480  Advanced Research
              PSYC 497  Senior Seminar
  • 3 electives from psychology listings at any level
  • A minimum of 4 of the 10 courses must be at the 300-level or above.

* PSYC 290  Statistics  is a prerequisite for PSYC 295  Research Methods
**PSYC 295  Research Methods  is a prerequisite for most other laboratory courses in the department.


Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience for the psychology major consists of successful completion of a Cluster C course and the Major Field Test (MFT) in Psychology, which is intended as an assessment device for senior psychology majors. It consists of 140 multiple-choice items covering the major areas of psychology. The examination is normally taken during the spring semester of the senior year. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on the student's score on the Psychology MFT.

Minor in Psychology

Six courses in psychology, of which three must be at the 300-level or above.


PSYC 415 Psychology Practicum does not count toward the minor.

Program Course Listings

The courses for this program are organized into the following categories:

General Topics Courses

PSYC 110

Introduction to Psychology

An introduction to the scientific study of behavior and its underlying cognitive and biological processes. Students who have already taken two or more psychology courses at the 200-level or above are not allowed to take this course.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 185

Sleep & Dreaming

This course covers basic psychological principles by applying them to the study of sleep and dreaming. Students will combine hands-on experiences (e.g., keeping a wake-sleep diary, observing a night in a sleep lab) with theoretical readings and discussion on topics such as, what is sleep, measurement of sleep, circadian rhythms, sleep hygiene, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and dream theories.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 190

Social Psychology in Film

This course covers current theory and empirical research in Social Psychology and uses popular films to provoke thought and analysis over this theory and research. Students learn about basic topic areas in Social Psychology (stereotypes, obedience, person perception, aggression, persuasion, etc.) by reading articles and discuss these readings in the context of films associated with each major topic area.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 290


Descriptive and inferential techniques for analyzing research data. Factorial analysis of variance, Chi square, nonparametrics, and experimental design.

Quantitative Studies QS
PSYC 295

Research Methods (w/Lab)

Introduction to the procedures psychologists use to study behavior, cognition, and emotion. Students evaluate, design, conduct, and present research. With laboratory. Prerequisite: Psychology 290.

Psychology 290.
PSYC 340

Psychological Assessment

An introduction to the major psychological assessment techniques and the psychometric principles on which they are based. Topics include test construction, intelligence testing, and personality assessment; broader social issues related to psychological testing are also considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 295.

PSYC 295.
PSYC 351

Health Psychology

The course focuses on psychological approaches to health and disease. Using the biopsychosocial approach, topics include changing health habits, coping with stress, dealing with pain, and treating health problems. Prerequisite: one psychology course, Junior standing.

one psychology course, Junior standing.
PSYC 365


Examination of the history of emotion research, as well as related topics such as psychological well-being, physical health, culture, and decision-making. Introduction to research methods in the field.

PSYC 367

Psychology and Law

This course surveys research and theory in social justice and legal psychology. It addresses various controversies in the law, including jury selection, jury decision-making, police interrogations and confessions, use of lie-detector tests, eyewitness testimony, repressed and recovered memories, and the role of psychologists as expert witnesses. Prerequisite: PSYC 295 or consent of instructor.

PSYC 295 or consent of instructor.
PSYC 385

Abnormal Psychology

An overview of the main psychological disorders, focusing on the major scientific theories of their etiology and treatment. Prerequisite: one of the following courses: PSYC 320, PSYC 330, PSYC 360, or PSYC 370.

one of the following courses: PSYC 320, PSYC 330, PSYC 360, or PSYC 370.
PSYC 490

Psychology: Special Topics

An in-depth examination of major topics within the discipline. The content and format of this course vary according to the interests of students and faculty. Prerequisite: consent of instructor is recommended

consent of instructor is recommended
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Cluster A Courses

PSYC 165

Comp Animal Behav-Tropics (w/Lab)

An introduction to the diversity of animal species and animal behavior in tropical environments. This course examines behavior and biodiversity from an evolutionary, developmental, genetic, and social context. Observation, hands-on research, lecture, and classroom discussion will address how animals in the tropics face various adaptive problems, like finding food, finding mates, caring for offspring, avoiding predators, living in a group, and interacting with humans. Course is taught during the summer semester in Costa Rica. Laboratory course. Cross-listed as BIOL 165.

Global Awareness GA
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 220

Brain & Behavior

An introduction to the scientific study of the brain and how we use it to think about and behave in the world. Special focus will be placed on the physiological and biological mechanisms that underlie behavior, the evolution of the brain and behavior, and how the brain interacts with our environment to produce behavior. Topics may include evolution and genetics, the structure and function of the nervous and endocrine systems, emotion and motivation, consciousness and awareness, learning and memory, and social behavior.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 260

Human Sexuality

A contemporary, cross-disciplinary examination of human sexuality and sexual behavior in an evolutionary, physiological, reproductive, social, and cultural context. Topics include but are not limited to mate choice, attraction and love, emotion, and parental care. Prerequisite: PSYC 220; Sophomore standing or higher

PSYC 220; Sophomore standing or higher
Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 280

Introduction to Psychopharmacology

Psychopharmacology is the study of drugs that affect the brain and behavior. This course begins with an overview of neural communication, neurotransmitter systems, and the basic principles of pharmacology. These fundamental concepts are used to understand the actions of drugs that are used to treat psychiatric disorders as well as drugs of abuse. Topics vary, but may include antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.

PSYC 300

Comparative Animal Behavior (w/Lab)

Study of the genetic, developmental, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary bases of behavior of animals, including humans. Particular emphasis is placed on how humans and other animals face various adaptive problems, like finding food, learning about their environment, avoiding predators, finding mates, caring for offspring, and getting along with others. In laboratory and classroom activities, students observe animal behavior in the laboratory and the field, design experiments, collect data, conduct statistical analyses, write scientific papers, and present their findings. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PSYC 295 or BIOL 222; BIOL 110 or BIOL 102 recommended but not required. Cross-listed as BIOL 300.

PSYC 295 or BIOL 222; BIOL 110 or BIOL 102 recommended but not required. Cross-listed as BIOL 300.
PSYC 320

Cognitive Psychology (w/Lab)

Introduction to the concepts, theories, and methods of cognitive psychology, which is the study of the mind and mental processes. Topics include attention and consciousness, memory, language, cognitive development, and neurocognition. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PSYC 295

PSYC 295
PSYC 323

Human Memory

In depth examination of current theories and research on human memory: processes involved in encoding, storage, and retrieval of information from the past. Topics include working memory, recall and recognition, forgetting and memory distortions, memory without awareness, prospective memory, metamemory, memory disorders, and applied issues in memory (e.g., eyewitness testimony, education). Prerequisites: two psychology courses.

two psychology courses.
PSYC 330


The course uses a behavioral and experimental approach to examine basic forms of learning. Content covers both theory and experimental methodology, maintaining a critical eye toward empirical evidence to support theoretical interpretations. The basic principles of learning are described first, followed by examples of ways in which these principles have been applied. Prerequisite: one psychology course

one psychology course
PSYC 335

Sensation and Perception

Examination of sensory systems and perceptual processing of external stimuli and their relation to psychological and behavioral processes. Particular emphasis is placed on the nature of the visual system, and comparisons are made to other special senses.

PSYC 355

Evolutionary Psychology

Examination of the evolutionary basis of human behavior, focusing on how natural selection has shaped the social, cognitive, developmental, and emotional processes of humans. Topics include mating strategies, altruism and cooperation, parental care and family relations, theory of mind, neuropsychology, and language. Prerequisites: PSYC 220

PSYC 220
PSYC 360

Behavioral Neuroscience (w/Lab)

The anatomical, physiological, and chemical bases of normal and abnormal behavior are considered, followed by the close examination of specific areas in neuroscience such as motivation, feeding, consciousness, and learning. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PSYC 295 or biology laboratory course.

PSYC 295 or biology laboratory course.
PSYC 366

Behavioral Endocrinology

Behavioral Endocrinology is the interdisciplinary study of how hormones, the brain, and behavior interact. This course begins by examining what the endocrine system is and how it functions. The principles of endocrinology are explored in the context of numerous behaviors relevant to humans and other vertebrate animals. Topics vary but may include sex differences, homeostasis, parental and social behaviors, stress, and affective disorders. Primary literature is used to fuel discussions, written assignments, and presentations.

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Cluster B Courses

PSYC 230

Social Psychology

The influence of interpersonal processes on individual behavior. Methods of research, conformity, attribution, prosocial behavior, attitudes, impression management, environmental factors, and ethics in research. Small group research activities.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 240

Childhood and Adolescence

Overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of humans through adolescence.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 245

Adult Development and Aging

Overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of humans throughout adulthood.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 255

Stereotyping & Prejudice

This course examines the psychological basis of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. It discusses the psychological processes at play for both those who hold stereotypes and prejudice and those who are the targets of prejudice and discrimination. It also discusses issues of stereotyping and prejudice in real world contexts, specifically focusing on race-based and gender-based stereotyping.

Social and Behavioral Analysis SB
PSYC 352

Social Cognition

This course provides an introduction to research in social cognition. Social cognition is the study of the cognitive underpinnings of social behavior and the ways in which we think about ourselves, other people, social groups, and our social worlds. Prerequisite: PSYC 230

PSYC 230
PSYC 370


An overview of the major theories of personality with special focus on contemporary personality theory and research.

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Cluster C Courses

PSYC 400

Psychology of Gender

Examination of the biological, social, and psychological differences and similarities of females and males, with a focus on the nature/nurture debate within the field. Prerequisites: PSYC 290 and PSYC 295 or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing

PSYC 290 and PSYC 295 or consent of instructor; junior or senior standing
Undergraduate Research UR
PSYC 415

Psychology Practicum

A service-learning course that enables students to obtain practical experience in education or services-oriented community organizational and institutions. Class meetings include discussions of students' work experiences and selected readings. Prerequisite: junior standing and consent by instructor.

junior standing and consent by instructor.
Professional and Leadership PL
PSYC 425

History and Systems

Historical roots of contemporary psychology, including the systematic positions of early psychologists. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

junior or senior standing.
PSYC 480

Topics: Advanced Research

A course designed to provide students with hands-on experience with an actual, ongoing research program. Students participate in the ongoing research program of an instructor and thus learn by doing. Instructor, and thus content, will rotate. Course may be repeated for multiple credits. Prerequisites: PSYC 295 and consent of instructor

PSYC 295 and consent of instructor
Undergraduate Research UR
PSYC 497

Senior Seminar Psychology

Discussions of current and classic controversies in psychology. Contemporary theoretical and research trends, critical assessment of readings, student-guided discussions, and independent analyses of major topics. Content changes annually as a function of faculty interests within the discipline. Prerequisite: PSYC 295

PSYC 295
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